Ok, a vast majority of the useful tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, etc) were in the car with him when he died. Some of them were returned to me.
See the morning after the accident (I think??-it may have been a few days later), two of our closest friends drove to where our cars were towed and retrieved our personal belongings. They brought back what they thought they could save or clean to me in big black garbage bags. While I witnessed the carnage as it happened, they went and touched the car and went to the accident site and walked around and found pieces of our life and brought them back to me.
I will be foreverr grateful that they had the fortitude and wherwithall to do it. I know I did not. I was too busy sitting on the floor of my living room rocking back and forth in tears. It was all I could do to keep myself from either withering away or exploding into a rage. I rocked and prayed.
I sat in my garage with my parents on either side and my sister with munchkin on her hip and I opened the bags and I sobbed, and sobbed and sobbed. I couldn't breathe. My parents cleaned what they could and sorted through things. When I could breathe again I picked up pieces of things and started sobbing again.
I remember picking up our duffle bag and seeing that the canvas was split open and that everything was soaked in blood and covered with the shattered glass. I cried and cried. As I touched his things, it was hitting me that he would never again have use for anything on earth including me. That the morning that he kissed me last would be the last time I would ever feel his lips, his hands his breath. It took my breath away and I collapsed into a heap on the floor of tears.
I digress, one of the things they brought me were some of his tools. The ones that were not mangled beyond recognition, were covered in blood.
Well, one of my brothers wiped off his tools and put the tool box on the work bench.
When I finally went back to Texas to retrieve our thigs, we brought his tools. When we opened the tool box, it smelled of decomposition. We cleaned and scrubbed everything. I mean SCRUBBED! I ended up having to throw away the plastic tool box. We had soaked it in bleach, rubbed it with baking soda, used industrial cleaner, anything we could think of to make the smell go away. My brother at one point took everything to his house and soaked them in somehting else in his garage.
The end result was that the two other tool boxes that were not in the car now house his tools. There are odds and ends in there. Change for the vacuum at the car wash, bits of wire, connectors, evidence of the daily use he once had for his tools.
Well, munchkin has taken an interest in Daddy's tools. He has started opening the tool boxes to find things to help with. I don't use them much at all, I use my little house kit I bought for myself....you know the pink one...quite girly I know. But this morning as I was folding laundry, munchkin was going through the little tool box and pulling out things and asking me what they were.
It hit me, things were right and wrong all at the same time. They were right in the fact that my curious little boy had taken and interest in Daddy's tools. Wrong on so many levels that Robert is not here to show him and enjoy it with him. My heart hurts with the knowledge that Robert would have relished in teaching Munchkin and helping him learn about the world around him. My brain cannot get around the fact that it is up to me to do it.
So I take a breath and say a prayer, put a smile on my face and give thanks that my father insisted that his girls learn the basics of tools.