On Friday, after weeks of fruitless search, a father said goodbye to his wife and young children, who were killed or are presumed dead after being swept away by flooding in Texas on Memorial Day weekend.
The bodies of Laura McComb and her son, Andrew, have been recovered, along with seven others killed by the Blanco River flooding. But 4-year-old daughter Leighton is still missing, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
“My happiest moments were with Laura, Andrew and Leighton, Jonathan McComb, who along with dog Maggie are the family’s only survivors, said at a public church service in Corpus Christi, Texas. “We always had a good time.”
According to the paper, McComb remembered the family that had filled him up with joy, his eyes occasionally filled with tears.
“It was a new adventure every day. There were times I would look at Andrew sleep, and think ‘How lucky am I? I have a beautiful wife, a healthy baby boy. This is the all-American dream,’ ” he said.
Andrew, affectionately known as “Jammer,” loved sports, especially baseball, McComb said, and would have joined the all-star team this year.
“We had a hand gesture where he would point two fingers at his eyes and then at me. It meant ‘I’m watching you.’ Well, Jammer, here’s looking at you because I know you’re watching,” McComb said.
Leighton, meanwhile, was a “girly-girl” who loved the outdoors, and took ballet and gymnastics. McComb remembered his nightly ritual with “Leigh Leigh.”
“We had a game at bedtime about who loved who more. Then I would blow her a kiss,” he said, blowing a kiss toward the sky. “There’s a lot more where that came from, and I intend to use them all.”
And it was Laura, his wife of 12 years, who was a marvel. During the service, according to the Caller-Times, McComb “wondered aloud about how a woman who worked full time, kept the house, volunteered countless hours, tended to her husband and took care of their two children” still looked so beautiful.
McComb said he is still asking why – why he survived, why his family didn’t, why did the floodwaters sweep away their Wimberley, Texas, vacation home – but he isn’t alone.
“I’ve been angry, upset, confused, and I’ve cried enough tears to fill up that river a hundred times,” he said. “I will find out the answer when the time comes. I know I’m not the miracle, the real miracle is the hundreds, thousands of people who have come to support us.”