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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Forever in our hearts

Ben Campbell was just 17 years old. On October 11, 2011, he posted on his Facebook “Today is the best day of my life.” And then a short time after that posting, he was killed when the car he was riding in was hit by another car.
He wasn’t my child, but was a child of our community. And today is now Saturday, October 15, 2011 and today our community is saying goodbye to a boy who was stolen away just as his life was about to begin. As I sit here and write this, I think about all of the experiences that he will never have, because he is gone. I think about all of the kids that have been effected by his death. I think about his family, and what they must be going through. And I think about the boy who was driving the car, and my prayers are with him, as the 16 year old girl who was in the back seat. I don’t even know if she realizes Ben is gone, because she is still in the hospital.
And as I think about all of the sadness, and what a horrible experience to have for everyone, I remember something Ben’s mother said. “Parents hug your kids every time you get the chance.”

I try to shift the sadness to the back of my thoughts, and try to focus on more positive things. I need to remind myself all the time that my loved ones are a gift, and every moment I have with them is precious, never take it for granted. Look at every mealtime as an honor that I am able to share it with my kids and my husband.
Don’t dwell on what could happen, rather embrace the time we have to share with others, and try to make a difference for someone else. Be thankful and grateful for the moments I have had. Especially the simple ones like seeing my silly 17 year old son come walking up the stairs with his Elmer Fudd hat on as he is dancing to one of his favorite songs. Those moments are priceless, and I have been lucky enough to experience it. For those moments I am eternally grateful.
I vow not only to make sure my children and my husband know how much I love them, but also to never take for granted the time I have with them, and to make every moment count. I don’t want something horrible to happen and be filled with regret for not spending enough time with them all.
I vow to live every day to the fullest, and experience life and do everything I have ever dreamed to do, and pass that along to my children. Make time to laugh and cry. Do the silly things that we will always have to look back on.
I vow to make every day count, and do what I can for others by making a difference in their lives as well. We all have the power to make a difference, even if it seems small to us, it can have a profound effect on others. 
So Ben Campbell, where ever you are now, I want you to know that you are loved, and you have made a difference for me, and because of you, I hope to make a difference too. Because of you, I will live every day to the fullest and make certain I have no regrets. We were all so lucky to have known you for the time you were here with us. You will forever be in our hearts.


  1. Lisa,

    Being a parent of adult children, I know what you are saying is so true. Now I live with my is like a second chance to live every moment that I can with a young person. Sometimes I'm tired but I still spend time with my 4 y.o. Godson playing silly games...whatever strikes his fancy and sometimes I teach him some new ones for some variety. He loves to come and wake me up every morning. Today he willing came and snuggled with me for a time. It was wonderful. His almost 14 y.o. sister is very active in school and church. She is a member of the High School Band's flag corps and she is only in 7th grade (welcome to Small Town, USA). I'm here to support this family in whatever small way that I can but I do have to draw the line when I have an opportunity for peace and quiet. I still have a business to run, blogs to read, books to type, and yes life goes on.

    Americans should have learned some of the lessons you spoke of after 9-11-2001 but as I said life went on and some lessons got lost. Not all were lost on me. I try to make it a point to tell my loved ones that I love them before they leave, whenever possible. So even if I don't say it all the time they know inside that I do love them. Garth Brooks' song "If Tomorrow Never Comes" often plays in my head when I hear stories like yours.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your feelings even the sad ones. It is better to let them out in the light of day than to keep them hidden in the dark where evil can do strange things with them.

  2. such sad thing for the parents and the community to lose a child.It makes everyday precious and you are right always tell loved ones how you feel .

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  4. Thank you to you both for your comments, Lynn and Sheilagh. Every single day is such a gift, and I am grateful for all that I have, especially my family.
    Too often it seems we all get so caught up in our every day lives that we forget to stop to think about the things that really matter, and that make each of us who we are; the ones we love.
    I love that song by Garth Brooks by the way, very appropriate, I think I am going to add that to my ipod so I am always reminded of what is important.
    And I am going to take extra time for the little things, and try to laugh at those silly little things, every day.

  5. Never take one minuet for granted. Beautifully written, and very true!

  6. Such a sad truth, but one to take to heart. Make every day count.

  7. Are you by chance the Lisa Goodwin who lived in Denver, Colorado and went horse back riding with Sandy Lehrer and me, Patty Peppler??

  8. Are you by chance the Lisa Goodwin who lived in Denver, Colorado and went horse back riding with Sandy Lehrer and me, Patty Peppler??