Two commonly-used words, which I never thought would hold such meaning, now do. Those being 'before' and 'after'.
On June 16th, 2008, tragedy gave those two words more weight than I ever thought possible, forever changing my life and the lives of our two boys.
My wife, Samantha 'Sam' (40), and sons, Riley (10) and Mason (5), were finishing up their annual end-of-school camping trip at Forestville State Park in Preston, Minnesota. After a weekend of s’mores, campfires and making fun memories, it was time to come home.
I was eagerly awaiting their arrival to celebrate Father's Day and hear all about their camping adventures. That was all 'before'.
As Sam began to hook up the camper behind the non-running vehicle, it slipped out of park and rolled backwards, trapping her underneath. In an instant, our boys bore witness to this devastating juncture now known as 'after'.
Unbeknown to us, this vehicle had a major design flaw referred to as “false park”, where the automatic transmission fails to properly engage the parking mechanism. Furthermore, Chrysler was protected by their bankruptcy status from ever having to be held financially responsible for this incident.
Sam is remembered by so many wonderful traits, namely being so energetic, fun-loving and always willing to lend a helping hand to others, especially in our cul de sac. There was never a home project she wouldn't tackle.
She loved gardening, all varieties of sports and could grill like nobody’s business. Sam's infectious smile was the spark in the room. She could make everyone laugh instantly and had an innate way of making everyone feel like family.
Although she could wear an apron or a tool belt just the same, nothing came close to what she did best — being the most loving Mom to our two boys.
The decade since the accident has been extremely challenging for our whole family. Our boys have struggled with having to prematurely navigate life without their biggest cheerleader, wrestling with the new unknown and fears that result from PTSD, anxiety and depression. I went deep into debt to get them the best help available.
Sports became my reprieve. It was then when I felt Sam's presence the most, as if she was there watching the games with me. To share our passion for sports and pop culture, as well as honor Sam’s memory, is how Sports Moments Plus came to be.
We are donating 10% of all proceeds to the MN Trauma Project, a charity dedicated to helping families whose children are affected by PTSD.
Thank you for taking your precious time to read our story and help achieve our goal to pay it forward and help others. I would greatly appreciate if everyone reading this could share our story with your friends and family.
In Loving Memory of Samantha Rayne Binetti
January 16, 1968 — June 16, 2008