5 Things to Include In Your "Thanks for the Memories" Email After You Get Fired...
FRIDAY QUOTES FOR HR: One "Up With People" and One "Cynical/Jaded"..

A Note to a Mom and Dad: Your Son Was a Mentor...

Capitalist Note - I'm getting ready to go to a funeral for a neighbor's 18-year old who died way too young.  Everyone has stories about people who have passed that they admired. This is mine. I'm sending it to the parents today.

Natalie and Alex - 

Your son passed away way too young. You've heard hundreds of stories and looked at hundreds of pictures over the last couple of days.  Here's mine.  It's online, so throw it in a gmail folder and look at it when the physical photos aren't available, or when you need to hear that Blake mattered.

My love for your son is framed from where I watched him.  This picture shows you where he had the most impact on me.  It's not an event or a conversation I had with him.

Where I watched your son from

You recognize the picture.  It's looking at our street, where the neighborhood kids play.  That's your house to the left.  This is where I watched Blake.

More to the point, this is where I watched Blake take care of my oldest son - 7 years younger than your boy.  

In 2001, we moved into the neighborhood.  As anyone who knows your family would expect, everyone in your house greeted us with open arms.  But - we introduced a new variable to the lives of your kids.  Here's a picture of that variable:


A roaming, sloppy 2-year old looking for attention, especially attention from older boys in the neighborhood.  The type of thing that sends most older boys running.

Part of watching your kid from the window is seeing them get rejected. That's life and it's part of growing up.

Blake was different from the pack. While many older kids would (and did) run from the kid pictured above when approached for the 1000th time, your son remained calm.

He always had time for the kid in the boots.

Always. I saw it from the window. 

Quality time. He let the kid approach.  He talked to the kid. He let the kid play, even if it meant the game being played was effectively over. He was kind. He always found a way for the kid to feel great about himself.  He showed him how to do things. We see kindness in our kid today that looks a lot like what your son provided.

In short, he was a mentor - and didn't even know it.  Most mentors don't realize the impact they have on others.  It happens informally and it's just who they are.  

Part of that is great parenting, to be sure.  Part of it was just who your son was.

When I heard the news, the only thing I could think about was that window. Hundreds of videos playing in my head of your son - taking care of the sloppy kid in boots pictured above.  

Your son was different and had impact beyond what you know. God bless your son and your family.



Great post, Kris. I'm sorry for the loss in your community. Your son was fortunate to have the friend and mentor he had in your neighbors' son.

Cindy Barth

Beautiful, Kris. What kind words in their time of sorrow. I am sure they will cherish this tribute forever.

Lisa Blanton

Thank you for sharing Kris. Please tell the family that their son has now touch the hearts of people all over the world.


Kris, This is a really nice gesture from your heart. I think Blake will appreciate your sharing your memory of him with his parents.

Dawn Boyer

what a beautiful story - hopefully it will influence other young kids to realize what a gift they have to give away!

Andrea Kessler

Thanks so much for being a beautiful example of the "human" in human resources. This is a beautiful tribute to a lovely young man who clearly left this earth too soon.

Amy Jasinski

Beautiful tribute for a beautiful child! Thank you for sharing and reminding all of us how much one life impacts another! !


Beautiful tribute, Kris. Thanks for sharing. So sorry for your loss.


Thank you for sharing, Kris. Blake is my nephew. He was one of the strongest kids I've ever known, and also one of the softest. Thank you for loving our boy. No doubt, the roaming, sloppy 2-year old touched Blake in a special way, too. May God bless your special cul-de-sac and your special family. Please pray for ours.


That goes in your blog hall of fame!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)