Drew Missildine was a sweet little 3-year-old boy who loved Elmo and Jesus! He adored his Sunday School teacher, Miss Imogene. He would tell her, “Miss I’gene, your gorgeous!” When his mom, Melody, was working on a project at church, Drew would go to “Budda Eddie’s” office and curl up on Brother Eddie’s couch to take a nap. He was also very close to his Uncle Mack. Many nights, when he was at his grandparents’ house, they would find him snuggled up in his Uncle Mack’s bed with him.
But on November 23, 1996, all that changed. Drew and his parents, Ray and Melody, were on their way home from a family dinner with Ray’s parents. Two drunk drivers were drag racing on an overpass going approximately 75-100 mph. Ray and Melody’s car was trapped between the guardrails with nowhere to go. Drew’s dad stopped the car to try and minimize the impact and told his wife, “We’re gonna be hit.” One of the drunk drivers hit the family’s car and landed on top of it as the driver was ejected and killed. The other drunk driver sped on, seemingly oblivious to the horrendous crash.
It was 10:05 at night when the Flowers got the call that they were needed immediately at the Lauderdale County hospital, about 30 miles away. When they were arrived, they found themselves in shock and disbelief! Their first and only grandson (at the time) had been killed in the crash. They would later find out that his mother, their daughter, Melody, had also been killed.
MaryAnn says that about three weeks before his death, they were sitting on the couch together when Drew asked her, “Do you know where Jesus lives?” She replied, “No, Drew, where does Jesus live?” He answered, “He lives in my heart!” It’s one of her fondest memories of him and still brings her comfort.
But it wasn’t until their second grandson, Hunter, was born that Stan and MaryAnn really realized all they had missed with Drew. Hunter knows about his cousin Drew, but only from stories he’s been told and pictures he’s been shown. He never got to play tag or baseball with him in the yard or have sleepovers at their grandparents’ house together.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the crash that took Drew from them. Today, he would be 23 years old. When Stan and MaryAnn see kids that were his playmates, they wonder what Drew would be like today. But all they have left of the precious little boy they once knew is his favorite Elmo toy which still sits on their bed today.