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As Grubba finished his breakfast and prepared to drive out to Hueytown to meet with the family for the first time since Davey's death, the waitress clearing the table said, "Excuse me, Father, but I just wanted you to know.... Everybody's asking, Why? Why? Why?" The priest did not attempt an answer; he could only mutter, "Yeah."
But a few moments later Grubba tried to offer an explanation. "I have to look at it from a different perspective," he said. "One of the worst things a priest or a counselor can do is try to come up with an easy answer. Something like 'God needed him more than we did' is a terrible answer for the family. Sometimes people are blessed with a certain simplicity in their faith. I think the Allisons have this very simple, deep faith that is not the faith of maybe a priest or someone who has studied religion." As the priest prepared to leave for the Allison home, he decided he would simply "be present and listen. A lot of times people talk through things and resolve them within themselves."
As Grubba drove into the Allison compound at the end of Church Avenue in Hueytown, he saw that police had blockaded the street, turning away grieving fans and curiosity seekers. The police, seeing the priest's collar, let him pass. He sat in the car for a few minutes, speaking of Rose Kennedy (as a seminary student in 1963, Grubba had participated in John F. Kennedy's funeral) and drawing parallels between the Kennedy and Allison families: "Those of us who lived through that era said the same thing: How many more of these does the lady have to endure? She too was that epitome of tough Irish Catholicism. That deep, deep faith."
Even as he spoke, up walked the Rose Kennedy of motor racing, 86-year-old Kittie Allison, beloved throughout NASCAR as Mom Allison—Bobby's mother, Davey's grandmother. She had endured not only the ordeals of the younger generation but also the death of her husband, E.J., a year ago last April.
"How much more can Bobby and Judy take, Father?" she asked. "God give them strength."
"They've got people like you, though, who are examples of strength," said Grubba.
"I just hope I can be enough for them, that's all," she said. "You have to go on and accept it. You can't ask why. Someday we might know. You've got to say, like Davey said, 'When my time comes, I'm gonna go,' and he was very philosophical about that right along."
She sighed. "Have you seen them [Bobby and Judy] yet, Father?" she asked.
"Just going in now, Mom. How are they doing?"
"It's terrible hard, Father. But everybody has been so wonderful. From all over. All over."