The Story of the Turtle
After Chris's death, we came across this design of a sea turtle that he had drawn. We were both very impressed by the artwork, and the more we looked at it, the more we liked it. Adam has fond memories of fishing with Chris, and the last time they went fishing on the SC coast, Chris hooked a sea turtle! They managed to get the little guy unhooked and put him back in the water, but every time Chris cast his line, the turtle continued heading toward the bait. Stubborn creatures! We started seeing pictures and designs of turtles everywhere - and now we associated them with Chris whenever we saw them. The sea turtle became a sweet reminder of our youngest son, who had given up the fight and given into the dark depression that had engulfed him in his teen years. But we thought about the nature of sea turtles. The adults lay their eggs in the protection of the sand dunes, and when the eggs hatch, the baby sea turtles make a heroic B-line for the sea! They don't give up. They persevere. This tribal-style sea turtle design seemed to be telling us something. Though we grieve- WE LIVE ON - through all of life's challenges and setbacks. We believe there is no pain greater than the loss of your children. And yet, we are here, and perhaps God still has a purpose for us. We believe the real problem that is driving all of the anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide is a fundamental lack of connection to others - and a growing inability to see the abundant love of our Creator. Our culture has become so detached, and our children are growing up increasingly without a clear picture of what community is. So, here's the plan. With the perseverance of the sea turtle, we will live on, and live with purpose. We will be there for one another. We will listen. We will learn, and teach, and grow, and advocate. We will laugh together, and we will cry together. And most importantly, we will heal together. We Live On is more than an organization , it's a MOVEMENT- a way of reminding ourselves that we DO have to make a conscious decision for life every day. Let's make our lives count. Let's be a shoulder for others. Let's make some plans and put them in place to help those who need help. With the endurance and tenacity of the sea turtle - let's get to work.
Did You Notice?
There is something else unique about Chris's turtle drawing. If you look closely, you will notice that the front fins are smaller than the back fins! We don't know if this was something Chris did on purpose, but it looks like our symbol of perseverance has a physical disability! Chris understood about about being different. He struggled with a learning disability and he learned at a very early age to accept and be kind to others who were a little different. We think this makes our turtle just that much more special!