Two days after his son was born, Cade Stensland died. On the evening of December 21, he hit a stalled charter bus just east of Rapid City on I-90. The bus didn't have any working lights and Stensland was driving up hill so he couldn't see it.
Charlotte, Bristol and Elliot Stensland all get their names from their dad. An avid NASCAR fan...their names each have a special meaning. Charlotte after where Christina and Cade spent their honeymoon. Bristol, where they went to watch a race. Elliot, after car 24's driver, Cade's favorite car.
This family says they're thankful for these little things even during the hardest of times.
"He picked out their names," Christina said.
Their dad is always with them.
"He was very proud of that," Christina said. "Nascar children, is what we called them."
Stephanie Stensland is holding tight to the three little pieces of her son, Cade, that he leaves behind.
"We would always joke that they came 'bing bing bing' and we're just very grateful that Cade had two days with his son. Not enough, not enough," Stephanie said.
Cade's first son, Elliot, is now, just two weeks old.
"We have part of our son in these three children. On our home farm, they will grow up on the land he did," Stephanie said.
Stensland wasn't supposed to work that day, but his boss needed some help making a delivery and Cade stepped up.
His sister said at his funeral service that's exactly the kind of man her brother was saying, "He was always busy, but never so busy that he couldn't find time to help someone that had something that needed to get done."
"I ask myself a lot, 'What if the bus didn't stop in the middle of the road? What if he would have been a couple minutes behind?'" Christina said.
It's a question she tries her best to keep from asking.
"It can be anybody. At anytime, anywhere," Christina said.
Three reasons keep this mom going.
"My children will get through this, and it will make us stronger as a family," Christina said.
The Stensland family says they're so thankful for this GoFundMe page,
started by a Pennington County Sheriff's deputy who first responded to the scene, hundreds of miles from their home in Larchwood.
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