The following is written by Phyllis Graham, Hunter Graham’s Mom. Hunter was killed instantly in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident on April 7, 2006. No alcohol or drugs were involved, and Hunter was wearing a helmet. I am Jim Graham, Hunter’s Dad. November 15, 2006
I stood there mindlessly staring at glassware that I neither needed nor wanted, trying to keep my mind from thinking. I had done quite a bit of that during the last seven months. If I kept my mind busy with distractions, I could keep the tears from burning my eyes-at least some of the time. Today it was especially hard to accomplish this. On this day twenty-one years ago our surprise baby was born. Oh, how happy we all were. I never imagined that he would be taken from us so soon. He would never get to experience so many wonderful things. He would never marry, which he wanted to do. He would never have children, which he wanted, and he would never get to care for his aging parents, which he liked to tease us about. I stood there thinking that this would be the worst Christmas ever. Then I heard it. Even on the scratchy store speakers, it was beautiful-Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem. Suddenly a strange feeling washed over me. We had more reason to celebrate Jesus birth this year than ever before. Because of that perfect baby coming into this imperfect world, with all its hurts, pain, and tears we would one day be with Hunter again. Never again would there be pain, tears or separation. And, I knew that Hunter was happier than I could ever comprehend. Yes, there was reason to celebrate! I left the store with Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem still playing in my mind and heart and with a little different perspective of Christmas. I know it will not be easy. We all miss Hunter so very much, but I am so thankful that our family knows and loves Jesus. The circle will not be broken. As I have said and thought so many times during the last seven months, God loves us and Hunter and He doesn’t make mistakes.
Written by Jessica Levitt Sanders on the evening of April 7, 2015.
It was on an evening just like this, in 2006 that my life changed forever! We were on a path that would have led to great things. But God had other plans for us. He took you from me, from all of us, that day. Time stood still for about a year after that night. Memories ran together. Minutes seemed like hours, hours seemed like days and days like months. But somehow we all came out on the other side, a little more aware of what is important and with a little piece of us missing. But a little stronger, too! For a long time after that night I couldn't think about you without tears in my eyes. But it got easier. Now I can think back about all the time we had together and laugh. Tears aren't part of the memories. They are apart of the future though, a future without you. I like to think that you are beside me, not just in the hard times but the fun times too. It makes me feel better being able to share what my life is like now with you. Who would have thought that I would be married and have kids?!?! Crazy, I know!! I am glad that God gave me you even if it was just for a short amount of time. My life is different because of you. My perspective on things is different because of you. I love deeper now because of you. Thank you for being more than my best friend. Thank you for being the one who had a hand in making me who I am today. Thank you for giving me a family that I don't ever see but I know is just a phone call away. We will forever be attached to each other because of you. I loved you then. I love you now. I will love you forever! Hunter Spencer Graham, we will meet again! But until then keep watching over us here.
The Dedication page