Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Soldier Boy's Last Words to me...

"hey mamaa you will be proud of me bc i havent smoked in almost a month and miss you guys and will see you in a few weeks!!"
 Chris posted this on my Facebook page
one week before he was killed.
Before giving you all an update, 
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,
for all the outpouring of love and support
from all of you.
It has touched my heart
and has uplifted me in a way
I can't explain.
Please forgive me for  not
replying to each of you individually...
I try hard to always do that,
but just haven't been able to this time.
So, to tell you a little about  what has happened.
We only know that Chris was shot,
that he fought hard to stay here with us
and to come home to Tory...
the words from his best friend who is
fighting along side him over there.
His friend and the other boys,
went and shot the man who killed Chris.
(Oh what this war is doing to our young boys and girls..)
We needed to get Tory immediately on a plane
to New York
where a Sargent there had a seat for her on the military plane
that was flying Chris' family
into Delaware.
The place he was arriving home to.
We went to the airport...
where not one flight was going out.
Because of it being a holiday weekend,
they were running at half mass.
Ken and I then decided to just drive her ourselves.
(A 14 hour drive)
But on the way down to her house
she decided she wanted to go alone.
We tried to talk her out of it
because she was in no condition
to be driving,
but she was adamant.
She was going to take her and Chris' dog Chloe
with her. 
She said she needed to be alone.
This is when it is hard to be a parent
knowing your child is an adult
and that sometimes you just 
have to take a back seat
and support their decisions,
even though you don't agree with them.
I believe the prayers of all of you,
carried her through the night as she drove.
She made it there safe and sound.
Now, to tell you a little about Chris....
One day last January,
I was sitting in my sewing room
working on Buttercream Summer
when the kids showed up.
Tory was moving out 
to move in with Chris.
Chris walked into my sewing studio,
with his head hanging down,
and told me he knew how I felt about it...
and that he was going to find a church 
for him and Tory to join.
I had a wonderful visit with him,
telling him that all I cared about was their souls.
I appreciated his humbleness and respect.
 Not long after this on  Valentine's Day in February.
he had Tory call us up and meet us at Corky's BBQ...
he wanted to take us out to dinner.
This is his best friend Dan (and wife Bryanna)
who was there with him when he died.
These kids always came over to the house
when Chris and Tory came a visitin'.
They were with us that Valentine's Day...
On Mother's Day,
Chris showed up with roses,
on my birthday,
Tory brought me gifts from her,
but Chris had one for me that he himself picked out.
A scrapbook kit
that I will cherish til I die.
I was touched by his thoughtfulness!
At the Paducah Quilt Show...
all of the kids surprised us and showed up
one day at our booth!

They came down just to have dinner with us
and hang out for the evening.

On the way home from our Oklahoma show,
we stopped in Clarksville
and loaded up Chris' bed.
He asked us to store it for him until he came home.
The boys wheeled out my big office chair
from the trailer to make room for the bed,
that I always have at the show.
And I sat in it rolling around the parking lot,
directing them
as they loaded the bed.
Chris laughed and I know he was silently
wondering what kind of mother-in-law
he was really going to have to put up with.

This was the last time I saw Chris.
As I hugged him tight,
I told him to please, please come home safe to us,
knowing in my heart that it might be the last time I would see him.
I berated myself for such a thought at the time. 
A few days later he was on the plane to Afghanistan.
So again thank you all 
for lifting us up in prayer
to our Father on High.
Your love has been like balm on  broken hearts.
A link below to view:



  1. Oh, honey....My heart is breaking for all of you.

    No, you don't need to respond. You grieve and have your time.

    Love you...

  2. My heart breaks as I read this post. What sweet memories you have of him. I am thinking of you all over this Memorial Day weekend, and now 9-ll on top of that. Some things change us forever.

  3. Oh, John'aLee, I am teary-eyed again. Living in Delaware, we many times pass the Air Force Base when planes are landing and I always say a little prayer as I know they are often bearing the bodies of our war losses. I am glad your daughter will have Chris' family there with her. If not, I'd have been willing to meet up with her and be a shoulder for her to cry on. Your post was a wonderful tribute to an obviously-special young man and I know you will all ache for him always.

  4. Please know John'aLee that no reply is necessary. I just want to tell you that I read the entire article. I have never been able to see a flag draped casket without weeping and right now the tears are falling like rain. But my prayers for all of you will continue to be lifted up. Gentle Hugs and May God Bless...

  5. There are no words for such a tragedy. My brother was killed in an accident 12 years ago and I've never read a headline about a death the same way again. That story titled "One killed" or "Local soldier killed" is not an anonymous person but someone who touched so very many and is missed so terribly. My prayers to out to all your families.

  6. Praying for your family and Tory....

  7. You have such wonderful memories from a fine young man. As I read this post, my local news was on and showed Chris' picture and reported his death. He was with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I got chills because I thought of you - it is a very small world indeed. I cannot imagine the pain and loss that Chris' family, Tory and you are feeling. My heart goes out to you all.


  8. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. What a wonderful post but you know there is not a dry eye in the house....You have an amazing daughter and that drive probably was the best thing for her. You are right, it is so hard to sit back and watch our children suffer but the most important thing is that we are always there for them when they need us. You are a wonderful mom and my heart is aching for you and your family.

  10. Being a Clarksville native, I have a deep respect for soldiers and the sacrifices that they and their loved ones make. I also have a nephew who has been on two missions to the Middle East. He came home safely, but with a minor injury, but one that will probably keep him from any more missions.
    Thirty-nine years ago, I married a handsome young 1st Lt. He was just 2 months away from getting out of the service. Two month before his unit departed for Vietnam. I was so afraid that they would keep him in and send him away.
    My prayers go out to you and your daughter.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  11. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers since reading of the terrible news. I cannot imagine how difficult these times are for you. To be a parent during something like this must be unbearable pain.

  12. Dear John'alee,
    My heart breaks for you and your families at this time of such great loss.
    hugs and prayers,
    Robyn xx

  13. Oh sweetheart, I am so very sorry. I haven't been reading blogs as much as I used to - I just read your news. I am so, so sorry :( If I could come to you I would, to give you a long, heartfelt hug. My heart is breaking for you - I have three sons and can only imagine what you must be feeling - the gamut of emotions. I do know that there is a place of peace that Chris is now at, waiting for the day that he can join you again as a family. Please know that there are many of us out here in the world praying for peace and comfort to come to you and your family.

  14. Unbelievably sad. Condolences to you all. Cherish your memories.xx

  15. John'aLee, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. You are in my prayers.

  16. Oh, I'm so sorry for you all on your tragic loss!

  17. John'aLee, I, too, am so very sorry for the loss of such a fine young man. I'm sure that in your heart he was already your "son". Please know I am continuing to lift you all up to our Heavenly Father, and pray that his peace and comfort will surround you now, more than ever.



  18. OH John'aLee, Praying the 'peace of God that surpasses all understanding' will fall upon you all at this time.....Standing back and letting our children hurt is a hard thing as a parent, she is in God's loving care and He will give her the strength and peace to endure this horrible accident.. Bless you
    Hugs Dawn x x x

  19. My heart is broken for your family and for Chris' family! My son is in Afghanistan now. War is the worse~ My prayers are with his family and yours!!!

  20. Oh sweetheart. What a tragic loss. My heart goes out to your family and his...especially Tory.

  21. I've been gone from blogs so I had no idea that this happened John'a lee. I'm so sorry soso so sorry for your daughter and you. It hurts to see what war does. My son-in-law is in Iraq and going to Afghanistan at some point soon. It makes me sick to think of what could happen and what does happen everyday. There for the grace of God go I.. as I read what you are going through. My prayers for your family.