Today marks the 9th anniversary of the accident that took my son from this Earth. Most of you know about it already but for those who don’t, Christopher was 17 and was sleeping in the back seat of a car without a seatbelt when the accident occurred. He was thrown from the car and sustained massive head trauma when he hit the ground. He never knew what happened.
I don’t tell you this to gain sympathy. My motive is far from selfish. I’m writing this today to remind all of you how terribly fragile life can be and how quickly and easily someone we love can be taken from us. Never in my life had I imagined living the rest of my life without my son. Yet, it happened.
On this day I would ask each of you to do me, and yourselves, a favor. Hug your children and tell them you love them. If you can’t do it in person, at least call them and tell them you love them. If even that’s not possible, say a prayer and ask God to pass on the message. I have a feeling God answers those prayers fairly quickly.
Life goes on but it’s different. Please remind your kids and your grandkids to always, always wear their seatbelts. Christopher would most likely still be alive if he’d been wearing his. (The other two people in the car walked away with scratches.) And he was taught from the time he was a baby to wear his seat belt. We’ll never know why he chose not to wear it that night. In addition, remind your kids about the dangers of texting while driving. More and more kids these days are dying because of this type of distracted driving. Cell phones and driving don’t mix well.
We, the adults, are the ones who teach our children right from wrong and smart choices from poor choices. Unfortunately, when they begin making their own choices we can’t protect them. All we can do is give them a good foundation for making their own decisions and hope for the best. And sometimes we’re disappointed.
Christopher - I love you and I miss you more than I can put into words. You were, and still are such a bright light in my life. I can still see your smile and hear your laugh. You are a part of me and a part of my heart and you always will be. Don’t look down and think your old dad is lame - I only get this way a few times a year. I know you’d hate it but I can’t help it sometimes. Besides – you’re not here to be embarrassed!