Monday, August 31, 2015, our day started just like any other day. I was off to work, our daughter, Marla, was off to school since she had just started her senior year of high school, my husband was going that afternoon to escort a fallen soldier home as part of the Indiana Patriot Guard, and Roger was attending classes at Purdue University. Roger was coming home that afternoon after class to have supper with me, then we were going to stand along the route his dad was bringing to pay our respect to the fallen soldier on his final journey to his hometown. Marla had to work right after school so I was home by myself waiting on Roger to get home. Unfortunately, that never happened. After a couple of hours of not being able to reach him on his cell phone, there was a knock on my door. I opened it to a sight no parent ever wants to see. An officer standing there! He asked if I was Deborah Spencer, then asked if my husband or anyone else was home.
There was no one. He then asked me if I had a son named Roger Spencer, and proceeded to tell me that he had been in an accident on his motorcycle on his way home, and did not survive. My world was forever shattered! With no way to reach my husband during the escort, and not being strong enough to go to Marla's work to tell her, I waited 4 agonizing hours until they both arrived home around 9:00 p.m. Then, I had to give them the devastating news! Our precious son/brother was gone forever! In my heart, I could not notify other family members as I felt that his dad and sister should know before anyone else. Sadly, the media started releasing his name before they were even home to be notified so family and friends were already finding out before we could tell them ourselves. A dear friend of ours that saw it on the news came and sat with me until they got home. Thank God for him!
After almost 6 years, we still do not have complete answers regarding his accident. The police report was very vague and does not match the damage to his motorcycle; the other driver was never tested for drugs or alcohol which is supposed to be mandatory in any fatal accident (Roger was tested for a whole list of things and had nothing in his system at all), and he went to the hospital as John Doe because the officer kept every form of I.D. he had for almost 3 hours before notifying the hospital who he was.
It breaks my heart to know how many other families suffer from the same grief of losing a child. My heart goes out to each and every one of you!