Lives were changed in 5 seconds July 7, 2013, at Possum Kingdom Lake never to return the same again.
Wyatt had blonde hair, the biggest blue eyes, and most contagious precious smile. He loved being outside, digging in the dirt, he loved going to children’s church and was so very serious when it came time to pray. He loved his Mommy and Daddy. One of the sweetest pictures we have of Wyatt is him showing his new big belt buckle just like Daddy’s. He would not settle for a little boys belt buckle; it had to be “just like Daddy’s.” The last time I saw Wyatt he said, “Nana, I going with my Daddy.” he gave me a big ole kiss and hug, put his seat belt on and was ready to go. The next day they went to Sandy Beach for just a few minutes, just long enough to get their feet wet, play, and then they were all coming to Nana’s house. It was a hot but beautiful, day. The swimming area was full of families celebrating the last day of the July 4th weekend. Wyatt loved the water. Sandy Beach is “usually” very shallow, however, because of the drought the water levels had dropped significantly, and what my son did not realize, was that there was a 5ft drop just about 2 feet off that beach area.Wyatt and his sister were playing while their daddy turned, in five seconds, SILENTLY, Wyatt slipped in and under. Drowning is silent and quick as we have learned since that day. Nothing can bring Wyatt back; nothing can take the heartache away, and nothing will ever fill that void in my son’s heart.
We lost Wyatt that day so very quickly and a part of my son as well. I will never forget Aaron asking me to please help him to make sure this never happened to another child, I promised I would and a new chapter in our lives began that day. We began putting life jackets on kids at Possum Kingdom Lake September 2, 2013, paid for swimming scholarships, shipped jackets to families and have shared Wyatt’s story all over the country, in the hope to save children and families. I have watched as God has begun healing Wyatt’s mommy and my Son’s hearts. It is a priceless moment to see the smile on my Son’s face when he puts life jackets on children. My husband Tony, aka Papa and our daughter Amber and her family have helped every step of the way. My grandchildren take such pride telling Wyatt’s story while they are encouraging kids to keep their life jackets on. “From the mouths of babes,” Dixie Mae is so proud of her little brother when she sees other kids wearing one of “Wyatt’s Life Jackets.” Our lives were changed that day, and I believe that with God’s help, we will be better people IF we allow him to work in our lives through this tragedy while touching other families.
We want to honor our precious Wyatt by sharing his story, and our mission is to “Save Lives One Jacket at a Time”. We do this by providing free life jackets to children, swim scholarships and water safety awareness training to families in the hope that no family loses another child to drowning. Life jackets should always be worn and worn properly.
THANKS to the generous support of friends and family, in the last 4 years—