Instead of sending the lunchboxes with her kids on what should've been their first day of school, she spent the day at their gravesite.
Jennifer Neville-Lake was starting to get anxious about why her grandparents, who lived 45 minutes, were taking too long to drop her children off when she switched on the news and saw that a car accident involving three children had just taken place.
"[My parents] were running late and I was getting annoyed," Jennifer told ABC News. "But when 5 o'clock hit I was like, 'This is really late for them.' I tried calling their phones and they didn’t answer me. I flipped on the news and I saw the crash and I said, 'That’s my van.'"
She and her husband, Ed soon found out that it was indeed their family who were involved in the car accident. And everyone except her mother and her children's great grandmother had died. Jennifer had lost all three of her children, Daniel, Harry, and Milly, who were of the ages 9, 5, and 2, and her father didn't survive when a drunk driver collided into their car.
"I remember saying to the doctor, 'All of my children? All of my children are gone? This cant be true,'" she said. The drunk driving accident, which occurred on September 27, 2015, had left her with no children. "Our lives are pretty much over because our whole family has been taken."
Many years later, the grieving mother still misses her children and she shared a picture of their lunchboxes, hoping to show people how devastating the aftermath of a drunk driving incident can be on the victims' family.
Rather than spending the morning getting her kids ready for what should have been their first day of school in grade 8, grade 4, and grade 2, she was spending the day at their gravesite.
"These were their lunch bags for their 2015 school year," she wrote on Facebook. "...The boys took their lunch bags to school and Milly took hers to her music class and when she would spend Fridays with my dad. Our family's first day of school because of a drunk driver."
The T-bone crash occurred within moments of the drunk driver, Marco Muzzo running a stop sign. But the effect remains for years as Jennifer told Today Parents, "I miss my life as a mom to living children."
"This time of year is an immense struggle for me," she said in the interview that took place in September 2019. "I want to be with them more than anything in the world."
The drunk driver, Marco was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016 and in April, 2020, it was reported that he was granted day parole but denied full parole, according to CBC.
"I want to apologize to the Neville-Lake, Neville and Frias families for the terrible pain I have caused them and their loved ones," Marco said in the statement. "I ruined their lives, and I take full responsibility for what I have done. I always will. I was careless and irresponsible when I made the choice to drink and drive. There is no way I can undo the damage that I have caused. I will live with this for the rest of my life."
Marco was given a sentence that would last a few years but Jennifer and her husband have a life of grief to live through.
"I don’t know who I am anymore. There’s no easy way because there are no identities. There are no parts of me. I’m still trying to sift through them to see what’s left because it’s still so surreal," the mother told Global News. "I know everybody wants to hear that I’m okay and that there is a happy ending but there isn’t. This is an absolutely horrific journey."