Survivors: Garrison mother, father lean on faith, family, commun - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Survivors: Garrison mother, father lean on faith, family, community to heal from deep pain of loss

Lanita and Gary Adkison. (Source: KTRE Staff) Lanita and Gary Adkison. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The Adkison family in their kitchen. (Source: KTRE Staff) The Adkison family in their kitchen. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The Adkison Family. (Source: Lanita Adkison) The Adkison Family. (Source: Lanita Adkison)
Bryson and his infant daughter. (Source: Lanita Adkison) Bryson and his infant daughter. (Source: Lanita Adkison)
Ryan King and his family. (Source: Adkison family) Ryan King and his family. (Source: Adkison family)

Six months has passed since the deaths that came far too soon for Bryson Adkison, and his brother-in-law Ryan King, and on Wednesday, the parents who were with them through it all shared their story of struggle, and healing.

The crash happened when they were vacationing in Colorado. The ATV the family was driving began to experience transmission problems. Moments later their brakes failed, and the ATV began to roll down a 75-foot embankment.

In August, KTRE reported an ATV accident which injured Gary and Lanita Adkison, and took lives of their son, Bryson and son-in-law Ryan King.

Now, not a day goes by without the couple remembering them.

"I can just see him going down the slide still, and I just see him when I look out there. It's kinda hard. But like I said, time to make new memories, we sure won't forget those,” Lanita said.

She recalls details from right before the accident happened.

"I remember one last curve is all that we had left. And I remember in my mind a tumping feeling, and they actually said we went straight through,” Lanita said.

Lanita's husband, Gary, who was behind the wheel, was focused on one thing after he found his wife with a broken neck.

"Just getting help, because I found my son and my son-in-law and knew they were gone. It was pretty, pretty dim day,” Gary said.

What followed next was a road less traveled.

"I was having to sleep straight up in bed. Non-pain medication every four hours, and I was in a lot of pain at the time, but they let me leave two weeks early to be able to go to the funeral,” Lanita said.

The mom and dad had to say goodbye to their son and son-in-law much too soon. One of the last pictures Lanita took on her phone was of Bryson with his daughter during the vacation, an ever-lasting memory of the good and what they never imagined would be the last time Bryson's infant- daughter would ever see her father alive.

“We got three grand-babies that have no daddies and that's tough. I don't know what that's like because I've always had a dad. I still have my dad,” Gary said.

The more challenging struggle began when they returned from the hospital,which was even more emotionally taxing and filled with doubt and confusion.

"I just came home,and I was angry with God. I couldn't understand why. Why did he take the boys? Why didn't he take my husband and me? We've lived a good life. Why leave our babies? Kennedy's six-months old, Beckam is 4, almost 5 and Briton is 3," Lanita said. "They needed their dads. So I just couldn't understand why he took them and not us. So I was angry, and I know he understands that, but at that time I wasn't reading my Bible. I wasn't having quiet time, I didn't care about anything." 

However, that  changed as with the out-pouring support from the community, seeds of healing began to sprout through faith.

"I just had a come-to-Jesus meeting. He got my head on straight. He got me back to where I needed to be,and I asked for forgiveness, and I gave it all to him,” Lanita said.

Despite the hurdles presenting themselves, an integral lesson of faith keeps this this family moving forward while cherishing the ones they love the most.

"I've never seen God in a bigger way through all these people trying to help us,” Gary said.  

Although they endured the struggles,  Lanita and Gary both savor each of life's moment, even the ones that may seem small.

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