Christmas Eve 2001, my boys, Danny and Scott were with
their good friend Jason, who was like a son to me. Danny and
Scott didn't want Jason to spend Christmas alone , he knew
he was always welcomed in our home, so they all came to
spend the night at my home on Christmas Eve.  Danny had
called me and wanted to know where I was, I told him
shopping for Christmas gifts for Jason , I said I wanted Jason  
to have some gifts to open Christmas morning.

I will never ever forget the words Danny said to me right then,
he said " Oh Mom that is so sweet of you to do that for Jason,
thats what makes you, you". You would of  had to be there
and hear his voice. It made me feel so good! The boys came
over, they decided to go to the store and pick  up some Play
Station 2 games, of course one with Jeep racing so they could
pick the color and style of there own, lol.  Scott and Jason
were playing the game , Danny asked me if I would make his
favorite butter cream frosting cake,and of course I said yes.
But he would have to go to the store and get the ingredients
for it, so off he went. He came back and asked "can you make
a double batch of the frosting" and I said yes, but you have to
go back to the store, so off he went again.  I made his cake, he
had a piece and sat on the couch and started falling asleep,  
he had a full belly and went to bed. We all finally went to bed.
Christmas morning we all woke up and I put on the coffee and
made our traditional cinnamon rolls and we opened gifts.
Danny was upset that morning, he had been trying to get a
hold of the Mother of his unborn son, but she was avoiding
him, he was so sad. I told him that maybe she was sleeping or
just busy. The boys proceeded to get ready, they had to leave
to go spend Christmas Day with their Dad and his relatives.  
We said our good byes and off they went. Before Danny left he
and I made plans to go to lunch within the next couple of days
at Olga's, his favorite place to eat.
Danny had called me on December 26th, I wasn't home at the
time so he  left a message. The next day December 27th,
Danny was attending a birthday party for a boy that was
turning 14, they needed some pop so Danny said he would go
up to the store, Richy, a friend of Dannys, went with him. On
their way to the store a man ran a stop sign and hit the
passenger side of the truck spinning them into the oncoming
traffic,  a mini van hit Dannys side. The last thing Richy
remembered  before they were hit was Danny saying "oh s---
hold on Richy." I received a call at 3:00 p.m from Danny's dad,
he said he was on his way to the hospital in Ann Arbor that
Danny was in a auto accident and they said it didn't look good.
I was home alone, I jumped in my truck and headed to the
hospital, it was 45 minutes away. On my way I remember
calling Danny's good friend Manoli, he said he would meet me
there. Then I called my dear friend Diana, she was trying to
give me encouraging words and calm me down. It started to
snow on my way. A lot is still fuzzy in my head and I don't
remember a lot so bear with me. It seemed to take forever to
get to the hospital.
The next thing I remember was waiting to see Danny. They
wouldn't let us in right away  because they were working on
him. When we finally were able to see him ,he looked like he
was laying there sleeping, Danny was in a coma. He had a tube
in the top of his head to relieve the pressure in the brain and
he was on a respirator. He only had in small cut on the back of
his head and not cuts or scratches anywhere no broken
bones. His body looked perfect lying there. I remember they
didn't want us to hug him or hold him when we did it made his
pressure go way up, I felt like he knew we were there and was
trying to tell us. So I listened to the nurses even though it was
so very hard not to do. But if that was going to save his life I
was surely going to listen to them.
Danny laid there for four days fighting for his life. He had so
many friends, too many to even count, and relatives came to
visit him. The dear sweet nurses let them all come for a
moment to see him even though it was against their policy in
the ICU unit. I belong to the Fraternal Order of the Eagle club in
Northville Michigan, they paid for me to stay two nights in the
hotel that was attached to the hospital so I could be with
Danny at all times. I found myself at Danny's bedside at all
hours of the night  sitting there with my head on his arm that
was lying still beside him.
I remember laying there, the nurse was coming in for her
regular checks on Danny and she said she felt Danny was
gone. It seemed that his brain stem had erupted which meant
Danny was brain dead, that was approximately 4am New
Year's Eve morning. But she said the doctor had to come in
and confirm it legally and that would be about 9am.  Danny had
mentioned that he wanted to be an organ donor so we went
into a room and proceeded to fill out papers, that was very
hard and I was in a daze. We went back to our hotel room to
pack up and wait for the doctor to get there, finally he arrived  
and we all went down to see Danny for the last time
We left the hospital and went right to the funeral home. Danny
was laid out one night January 2nd 2001 and buried January
3rd 2001. Danny had so many friends and family there, the
funeral directors said they had never had that many people
there before. There were 110 vehicles in the funeral procession
and not everyone made it that day due to work.

We love and miss you Danny so very much, you'll live forever
in our hearts.  Love Mom, Dad, Brother Scott & Danny III
If I Had Only Known
Reba McIntire