What Are You Doing to Honor Your Loved One?

I have chosen to plant a memorial tree and a lily in front of Justin’s bedroom window. There are other things that I have done or will be doing to honor Justin and his legacy. We have created two scholarship programs for the two schools he graduated. To raise money for these scholarships, we are having an annual balloon launch, 5k run and car shows to start off with. To make a difference in the community, I am planning on a “Be a Hero” campaign to help community children become the best they can be by continuing the “hero” qualities that Justin possessed. Justin wasn’t afraid to say no to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Justin helped others as much as possible and was always spreading joy and laughter.

Losing Justin has changed our lives beyond belief. Justin was such a huge “force” in our family that now there is a void as big as he was. Everyday I try my best to honor Justin by being the best I can be and “Be a Hero” to someone by doing something he’d do. Another phrase you’ll hear in Waynesville is “Pay it forward, Justin style!” It is so hard to continue on but it has helped this mother by doing something for my baby.

How do you honor your loved one?

Sandy Cates

2 thoughts on “What Are You Doing to Honor Your Loved One?

  1. Brett

    You don’t know me, but your story (and Justin’s life) has touched me.
    As the mother of two young boys, I cannot begin to comprehend your struggles. That you have the strength to put your feelings, ideas, thoughts and emotions into words is remarkable. Your son’s heroism is surely living on in you.
    My husband and I just removed a dead tree from our front yard this past week. While it was sad to see it go, we are excited to plant a new tree – one that will be our “own”.
    As per your suggestion in planting new things for loved ones, when we plant our new tree, I will think of Justin, you and your family, along with others that were taken too early.
    Your courage and bravery are, I’m sure, a blessing to all that you meet. Your words have touched me, even from so far away, and I will be praying for you and your family. And thank you so much for writing.
    You, like your son, are a true hero.

    1. Sandra Post author

      Wow! Thank your for your kind words and commenting on this blog. I think that is a fantastic idea on planting your new tree in honor of those who were taken too early. Thank you for thinking of Justin. I really don’t see myself as a hero but just a mom that loves her son. I hope that Justin’s story touches others to help them be the best they can be and treat others with respect and dignity. For it to start, I do my best to do my part in spreading Justin’s legacy.


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