Today marks the 12th anniversary of my son's death in that tragic accident. As fate would have it - I'm in Oklahoma City for the day and actually went to the cemetery. It has been a tradition since he died (and since I moved to Texas, only three hours away) that I come up to Oklahoma on the anniversary so I can visit Christopher's grave and just reflect a little.
But this year I wasn't coming. Christopher's maternal grandfather died three weeks ago and I was here for the funeral. I went to the cemetery with my niece, Chelsie, and I wasn't planning on coming back up this week. But fate intervened and here I am. It wasn't really up to me.
I don't write about my son's death to gain sympathy. I write about it to warn parents, grandparents, and anyone else who reads my words just how precious life is and how quickly and suddenly it can be taken away. For those who don't know - Christopher died in a car accident because he wasn't wearing a seat belt. The car in which he was a passenger hit another car and spun around a few times. Christopher, who was sleeping in the back seat, was thrown out the back window and hit the pavement. The impact severed the arteries that supplied blood to his brain and his brain died within minutes.
The doctor told us he never knew what happened. I believe that. It was obvious when I saw him that he couldn't have been conscious after the impact. So he didn't have to suffer.
Besides the obvious lesson of seat belts, friends - never, ever pass up an opportunity to tell those you love how you feel about them. You never know when it could be the last time. Christopher and his mom had an argument before he left that evening and neither of them said "I love you" before he left the house. Their last words were spoken in anger. His mother carried that pain to her grave. Please don't allow that to happen to you. Life is too uncertain.
Today I honor my son by sharing his story so others can learn from it. Christopher was a great kid and I miss him every day. I hope he's as proud of his old dad as I am of him. I love you, Christopher. I'm still very happy and proud that you were my son. I hope I told you that enough.
I came to visit you today
To this, your final resting place
I really don't have much to say
Just wishing I could see your face
I know that you're not really here
I know it's better where you are
But in this place I feel you near
The distance doesn't seem as far
My memories still make me smile
My thoughts of you are always pleasing
It hasn't hurt much for a while
That agony is finally easing
I know one day I'll be with you
In heaven we will be together
When my life here on Earth is through
We'll walk in happiness forever
G. Clark 2-10-14