Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Birthday And Fathers' Day Wish

Today is Fathers' Day. It is also the 32nd anniversary of the day that I became a father.

My son, Christopher, was born on June 19, 1984. He died on February 10, 2002, in a car accident that shouldn't have claimed his life. This was the last photo ever taken of him. How thankful I am that I was in it too.

Christopher was lying in the back seat, asleep. He wasn't wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car when it spun after impact. The other two people in the car walked away with scratches.

The doctor assured us that Christopher felt no pain and that he didn't even know what happened. There's some comfort in that, I suppose. But had he been wearing a seat belt he would have survived it like the other two did. He would have still been inside the car.

As I wish my son a happy birthday today, and thank him for the blessing of being his father, I put this message out to all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Teach young people you love to always, always wear seat belts in vehicles. My son is a perfect example of what can happen, even at slower speeds. (They weren't driving over 45mph.)

I don't want sympathy. I've had all the sympathy I need over the last 14 years. I do appreciate your thoughts but that's not my purpose for writing this.

What I want is to bring awareness so none of you have to suffer the loss that I did. Teenagers have a tendency to believe they're invincible and that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them. They need to be taught otherwise.

The law in every state requires seat belts yet many young drivers and/or passengers don't use them. People in the back seat of a vehicle believe they're safe without a seat belt. As I've told you – they're not.

Happy birthday, Christopher. It was an honor being your dad and there's not a day that goes by that you're not on my mind at some point in the day. I miss you – so very much.

Happy Fathers' Day to all you dads out there. Take care of your kids, even as they get older, and remind them that life is far too precious to let a preventable incident take it away.

God bless you all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Christian Brothers Automotive Granbury - Taking Service To A New Level

When you find a mechanic shop that offers quality work and great customer service you tend to stick with them.

Such is the case of Christian Brothers Automotive in Granbury, Texas.

On Friday, June 3rd, my wife and I left town for a long weekend. My step son and his girlfriend had driven to Arlington, Texas, on an errand – about 50 miles away. Late in the afternoon his car broke down, still in Arlington.

Thinking the breakdown could be related to repairs done the day before, he called Christian Brothers in Granbury because they had done the work. Then he called me, wondering what to do since they had no way to get home. But we were over 2 hours away.

Pete, the Service Manager of Christian Brothers, called me to make sure I knew what was going on. They called the Christian Brothers shop in Arlington, made arrangements for my step-son's car to be checked out there, and arranged a tow truck to get the car to the shop.

I told Pete where we were and that I wasn't sure how my step-son was going to get home. Pete told me that Mike Loter, the owner of the Granbury shop, was going to drive to Arlington and bring them home.

With rush hour traffic and a couple of accidents slowing things down, Mike's mission of mercy took about 2½ hours.

Where else do you find service like that – where a business owner not only goes out of his way to help a customer but volunteers his own time to do it?

As it turned out, the breakdown was a failure of some particular parts on the car rather than being related to the repairs done the day before. The Christian Brothers shop in Arlington fixed it on Monday (Christian Brothers is not open on Saturday or Sunday because they want their employees to have family time) and told us, when we picked up the car, that if ever we're in Arlington and have car trouble to call them and they will help us in any way they can.

The Christian Brothers Automotive franchise offers quality work and outstanding customer service. The Granbury shop, and in particular Mike and Pete, go above and beyond that standard. That is why they will always have my business - and my friendship.

Thank you, gentlemen, for your assistance on Friday. You truly lived up to the company motto: Love your neighbor as yourself - Matthew 22:39