It took many months of grieving before my family was able to acknowledge a very simple truth. Our beloved son and brother, Brian, lost his life due to a series of seemingly inconsequential decisions that many of us take for granted every day. This horrific chain of events began with a distraction, one that is quite common in our City and beyond. Brian looked down at his cell phone to make a call. He looked up and followed his friend’s truck into oncoming traffic. He died approximately two hours later.
In late March, our family decided to give away 2,500 pink and black silicone bracelets. Pink was Brian’s favorite color, and he loved to wear calf-high black socks while playing golf or wearing sandals…
We are sharing our story and asking any takers to please pledge to not use their cell phone while driving, at least on June 12, 2009, which is the one-year anniversary date.
After Mother’s Day, we began passing out bracelets to family and friends; on May 21st, Grace and I participated in a lunch time giveaway at Butler High School with the help of Butler’s Dream Team. After several recent newspaper articles, we have been mailing packages of bracelets to members of our community who have offered to help carry our cause further; they believe in the importance of this lesson for all drivers, not just our teenagers. As parents, we are setting the example for our children; in my old life, I was quite guilty of this habitual multi-tasking in my arrogant, ignorant bliss…
Our greatest hope is that through this effort toward awareness, someone will make the wiser choice and ignore their cell phone while driving. This trivial token in swirled pink and black is an instant message of a different sort… Perhaps it will save at least one life, so that our loss of Brian will not have been in vain, and another family will be spared the pain that is our constant companion. The fact of the matter is this…there is no telephone call or text message that is so important that it cannot wait…until you get where you are going or at least safely pull off the road to decide.
Please, don’t lose your life over the press of a button.
‘Remember Brian 06-12-08’
In remembrance of my son, I will resume our story on Monday, June 15. Wishing you hope…TG
‘Remember Brian 06-12-08’ bracelet campaign, free in exchange for a simple pledge regarding cell phone usage while driving! Please see story: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/276/story/739620.html
Next support group meeting, Saturday, June 20, 2009 @ 12:00 noon, Panera Bread-Matthews location.