Brad's Junior year school picture (his last)
BRAD'S STORY...THE NIGHT OF THE ACCIDENT
Saturday, November 23, 2002 will always be the worst day of my life. Never in a million years would I, Brad's Mom have believed that I would lose a child. I always thought that happened to other people, but never to me. But, it did and my life will never be the same. On the night of Brad's accident, a piece of me died right along with him.
Early on Saturday morning, Brad had gone to a Pettisville High School Boys' basketball scrimmage and later in the day, my husband (Joe) and I had gone to an Ohio State/Michigan football party. After the Ohio State/Michigan game, Joe and I came home and there was Brad sprawled out on the sofa watching T.V...just chillin' out. About 4:30 p.m., Brad and Joe decided they would go to a movie, but the phone rang about 5 minutes before they were to walk out the door. It was a friend of Brad's who asked him to go to the Girls' basketball game at the high school. Brad asked me if it was OK and whether Joe would be disappointed because he wasn't going to the movie with him. I said, "No, go ahead and go to the game, but I want you home by 11:00." I have always been pretty strict with Brad and even though, he was 17 years-old, I still wanted him home early and to know that he was safe. I knew the weather was clear; no fog, no ice, no snow, so I felt good about letting Brad go. I had the usual worries, but I didn't have any unusual fears.
Brad left the house, but before he left, I told him, "Be careful, I love you" and gave him a big hug (I never let Brad leave the house without telling him how much I loved him). I am so thankful that I was able to say, "I love you" one last time. Never did I imagine that a half-an-hour later, my Brad would be gone.
I was at Tiffany's (Brad's Sister) who lives next door. Joe came over (it was about 7:30 p.m.) and asked me to come outside. I said, "just come on in," but, he wouldn't, so I went outside. As I approached the door, I could see a flashlight and two patrolmen. I could tell by the look on Joe's face that something horrific had happened. I remember asking, "It's not Brad...Brad's OK?" and then the patrolman said, "No Ma'am, there's been an accident." I yelled, "But Brad's OK!" The patrolman looked at me and shook his head and said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry...your son did not survive."
I stood in the back yard and screamed and screamed and then, started to run to the hospital (which was about a mile away). I was sure they had made a mistake. It couldn't be Brad. A patrolman grabbed me and put me in the squad car and took me to the hospital. My daughter and son-in-law arrived shortly, as did my husband.
I remember running into the hospital and screaming, "Where's my son? It can't be Brad...you've made a mistake!" Hospital personnel were waiting for me. I told them again, "I'm sure you made a mistake...it can't be Brad." We were escorted to the morgue. As I approached the morgue, I could see in the window and could see my blonde-headed son in a black body bag. I went in and looked at Brad. He looked like a sleeping angel...not a mark on him. I begged him, "Brad, Mommy's here...it's OK to open your eyes...I'm going to take care of you. Please Brad...open your eyes." As I kissed and stroked his face, I could feel the coolness of his skin and the stiffness of his jaw. I knew that I had lost my son and the realization and the pain was so overwhelming that I collapsed.
About a week after Brad's accident (it was a two-car accident), I found out that the other driver involved had been driving with a suspended license, no insurance AND HAD BEEN DRINKING! This driver was a referee with the Ohio High School Athletic Association and was going to referee the same game my son was going to attend. This man has had several past DUI's, child endangerment, plus many other charges. I will never forgive this man for not obeying the law by NOT DRIVING! If he had, my son would still be alive...he took my son from me!
I have done a great deal of research about Drunk Driving, read a Victim's Impact statement at court, have been interviewed on T.V., had a meeting with the Ohio High School Athletic Association and a couple of meetings with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. I have done everything possible to get justice for what was taken from my family and me. I have always said, "Don't mess with my kids." I miss Brad more than words can say...there will always be a hole in my heart.
"IF TEARS COULD BUILD A STAIRWAY AND MEMORIES A LANE, I'D WALK RIGHT UP TO HEAVEN AND BRING YOU HOME AGAIN."
"IF LOVE COULD HAVE SAVED YOU, YOU WOULD HAVE LIVED FOREVER."
This online memorial was created in loving memory of Bradley Cordial, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign Bradley's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Bradley forever.
Brad and Mom (Nancy Kadel Dolan) at daughter's wedding in October 2001.
In September of 1999, I remarried and Brad and I moved to a new town where we didn't know many people, so we ended up spending lots and lots of time together. We were each others "Best Friend" and there wasn't anything that I wouldn't have done for Brad (and he knew it, too). We used to have so much fun together...so many wonderful, loving and silly memories.
Brad was very protective of me and used to call me his "Favorite Girl." He was also a "Hugger." It was nothing for him to walk in the door and drape his arms over my shoulders and say, "I love this girl" and I knew that he meant it with all of his heart. Occasionally, a "Dutch Rub" would follow. Brad even introduced me to one of his basketball teammates saying, "This is my favorite girl."
Brad and I loved to talk to each other. We would talk about anything and everything...no topic was off-limits. I miss Brad. He is my "Perfect Son" and I look forward to the day that I can join him in Heaven.
Family Picture...Brad will always be part of our family
I had told Brad a couple of weeks before his accident that I was going to have a family picture taken. Brad asked, "Who's going to be in it?" I said, "Your sister, Ben (brother-in-law), Cody (Brad's 6 mos. old nephew), Joe (step-father), you and I...and possibly the dogs." Brad asked in a surprised voice, "You mean I'm going to be in the picture?" I said, "Brad, why in the world wouldn't you be in the picture...you are part of our family."
Brad started to cry and said to me, "Dad and all of my aunts, uncles and cousins had a family picture taken, but they didn't ask me. When I walked into Grandma's house (his dad's mother), there was the picture that I didn't know was being taken and I'm not in it. It hurts so badly that they didn't want me there." I tried to explain to Brad that WE wanted him desperately in our family picture because he IS part of our family, but he was killed before the picture was to be taken. So, I had the photographer add Brad's picture...I know Brad is smiling and knows how much we love him and how he will always be part of our family.
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Scenes from his life flashed across the sky and he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand:
One belonged to him and the other to the Lord.
He noticed that at the lowest and saddest times of his life there was one set of footprints in the sand.
"Why," he asked the Lord, "When I need you the most, did you leave me?"
The Lord replied, "My son, my precious child.
I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering, when
you saw one set of footprints...
That was when I carried you."
As loving family and friends of Brad's, we must continue to believe that we will be carried through this difficult time in our lives.
To remember those children who have passed away, annually, there will be a Worldwide Candle Lighting Ceremony on the 2nd Sunday in December at 7:00 p.m. Please let your candles burn for 1 hour. This is done worldwide and the theory is...if each time zone in the world burn their candles for 1 hour, then candles will be burning consecutively for 24 hours in memory of the children who have passed away.