February 11, 2000
February 11, 1999.  That is the day most of us will always remember. Some memories will be sad, some memories will be funny, some memories will be private and not allowed to be shared, it was only between you and Jasper, but most of our memories will be told over and over again.

I ask myself, "What was it about Jasper? How did he manage to come into our lives and stay always in our hearts?  How did he manage to be here for such a short while and make such a big impact?  My only answer is 'Jasper was Jasper'. To know him was to love him because he did love each of you.

To all of Jasper's friends and acquaintances, I know this one day last February has turned your life inside out. You're confused and troubled; you never thought this could happen to one of your friends.  But it did and I know that deep down inside, you wonder if something like this will ever happen to you. It's scary and it hurts.

Just know that as Jasper's Mother, I truly appreciated everyone that has ever given Jasper a ride, a grilled cheese sandwich or the loan of your couch, he always appreciated it.  He was grateful for his friends. To him you were everything.  To Mr. Brian and Ms. Leslie, Jasper always looked to you for guidance and friendship.  Your endless time and effort you give to each student and friend does not go unnoticed  Jasper knew you loved him and cared about him, he told me so.  Thank you very, very much for spending extra time with Jasper, he was a better person for it.

To everyone here tonight that is still trying to understand why this had to happen to Jasper, just remember that the Lord loves each and everyone of us. We will never know the answers until we go to meet him.  We will never know why Jasper was sent to us, only to be taken after such a short time on earth, until it is time for us to take our Last Ride to Heaven.  Please try to get along with one another, that's what Jasper would have wanted.  If Jasper were here right now, he would tell us to take this tragedy and turn it into a lesson.  Don't make the same mistakes that Jasper paid his life for.  Jasper didn't get a second chance, but each one of us that knew Jasper can have a second chance.

Don't drink and drive or get in the car with anyone that does.  Live life to it's fullest, in Jasper's memory, but be responsible.  Please remember Jasper loved life and he wanted everyone to be happy.  Be happy for him now, he's in Heaven with our Savior.  We will always miss and remember Jasper, but he will always be with us if we keep our memories of him alive and in our hearts.

In quoting Dr. Healy, a physician who works closely with people who are dying. He states, "People facing death don't think about what degrees they have earned, what positions they have held or how much wealth they have acculumated.  At the end, what really matters-and is a good measure of a past life-is whom you loved and who loved you."  If that is the case, then Jasper was the richest man on earth.  Jasper, I miss you!

Written by Susie Cross
February 11, 2000

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