Tragedy brings Allisons full circle By Brett Borden BESSEMER, Ala. (July 6, 2000) Sometimes the best stories in life are born out of tragedy. It's hard to imagine what Bobby and Judy Allison have been through. Only those stricken with the...
Tragedy brings Allisons full circle
By Brett Borden
BESSEMER, Ala. (July 6, 2000) Sometimes the best stories in life are born out of tragedy. It's hard to imagine what Bobby and Judy Allison have been through. Only those stricken with the tragic loss of a child ever could. When Kyle and Pattie Petty lost son Adam in May, the Allisons knew just what was happening to the Pettys.
Though divorced for four years, the Allisons wanted to reach out together to friends in such dire need. By doing so, the Allisons were able to put four years of pain in their own relationship behind them. Bringing their own grief and healing full circle, the couple exchanged "I do's" again this past weekend in Bessemer.
"We were married on the third at noon," Bobby said. "The significance of that is that 312 has always been my favorite number."
Allison still thinks like a racer. Life can be boiled down to numbers. Judy is not a racer. And when the couple lost sons Clifford and Davey in 1992 and '93, she needed shared emotions and words to ease her grief.
"I would want to go bury myself in some project to get my mind off things," said Bobby of those days following the death of his sons, who like their father had made a life of chasing numbers. "Judy would want to go on some trip where we'd be alone. I didn't want to be alone."
And thus, the tough times became even tougher, pulling Bobby and Judy apart, just as they do to most grieving parents. Bobby said the best words of advice he can give to the Pettys are to deal with the pain together as much as possible.
"All I could encourage them to do is to talk to each other and to listen to each other," he said. "So many times in life we talk but we don't listen. Or we listen but we don't talk."
Life's hardest chapters teach us the most.
Fate wove Bobby and Judy back into each other's lives. They both happened to be attending a wedding -- the wedding of Davey's widow, Liz -- just after Adam's death. But only Bobby and Judy could seal the deal by listening and talking to each other. In the end, their hearts talked, and their minds listened. And now the love story torn apart by tragedy has, in its own way, been sewn back together by it.
"It's ironic that a tragedy presented the opportunity for us to speak, and then to put our feelings aside to help someone else," Bobby said. "We needed the four years to heal."