It terrifies me to even THINK about losing one of my precious children. I think that’s a fear all moms can feel even from the moment they find out they are pregnant: we already know our hearts are at risk. But sadly in our world, that’s the reality for many moms still on earth while their babies are in heaven. Some courageous mamas are strong enough to use their losses to help others, and this week on Facebook I came across one such mom I just had to tell you about: Christine Miller of Growing Humans.
Christine and her husband have a blended family of 5 kids here on earth, and one, Kyle, in heaven. As Christine explains in her now viral Facebook post on the Car Seat Consultants page, she lost Kyle in a car accident when he was just three years old. Even 12 years after the fact, Miller’s post reveals she still longs for her son, and that she believes his death was preventable. She says she firmly believes that if Kyle had been in a 5-point harness seat rather than a booster seat, he would still be alive today. She has made it her mission to warn other parents NOT to put toddlers in booster seats. She says:
12 years ago today was the last time I saw this beautiful smile, kissed his sweet face or felt his little arms wrap around my neck. I had no idea that morning with him would be the last time I heard his adorable laugh and sweet voice call me mommy and see his eyes lit up with life and wonder. I still remember so clearly how he would only fall asleep if I laid down with him and let him stroke my cheek, and I’d whisper “I love you” in his ear after he fell asleep, or how much he adored his big sister and animals of all shapes and sizes, but especially turtles. He was the sweetest, kindest, most gentle soul I’ve ever known. There is not a day that passes that my heart does not ache with missing him and wondering what he would be like now. Losing Kyle was like being plunged straight into hell, a pain and agony beyond description. If the scars on my heart were visible, people would gasp every time they saw me. In some ways maybe that would make it easier, but instead I carry those scars and pain inside, invisible to everyone except those who know me deeply. People see me and think I’m just a regular person, but I’m not. I’m scarred beyond belief. I’ve walked through hell and still carry a piece of it inside me. I’ve come to realize that this kind of loss is not something you ever get over or make peace with, it’s something you eventually learn how to contain in a box of fire inside your heart, and keep a lid on so that you can function on a day to day basis. But sometimes certain things will open that box, a song, a smell, a flash of a memory and it rages and burns through you anew. It’s a pain I will carry with me until the day I die and can finally be with my sweet son again.
I think the hardest part of it all is knowing easily preventable it was. That’s the dagger that twists in my heart. Had I just known about the dangers of booster seats for toddlers, had somebody warned me, I would have put him in a 5-point harness car seat…and that simple difference would have changed everything. It would have saved his life. It was have saved me from going through hell. I would have had the past 12 years of memories with my beautiful boy, instead of 12 years of grief and pain. I wouldn’t have to imagine what my son would be like now, I would be able to hug him and tell him I love him and watch him grow into a man. But I lost all of that because of ONE mistake. So that is why it is my life’s mission to prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else. Car accidents are the #1 killer of children, and statistics show that 80-90% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly! Read that again and let it sink in. We are not protecting our children from the single greatest threat to their lives! It’s madness. Think of all the awareness campaigns you see on a daily basis…none of those diseases pose as a great of a risk of death as car accidents. And deaths by car accidents can, in many cases, be prevented by proper car seat usage! Why are we not talking about this?! Why are there no awareness campaigns? We try to protect our kids from everything from pesticides, GMOs, sharp furniture corners and cancer, but then buckle them into unsafe car seats. This needs to change. Please, if you have young children or know someone with young children, research proper car seat usage and talk about it with everyone you know. I’ve lost friends and family members because they were offended that I pointed out their incorrect car seat usage. But to say nothing and have another child’s death on my conscience is not something I’m willing to risk. So please, speak up if you see a child in a dangerous situation. You could save a life. Children’s lives are more important than parents egos. If someone would have done so for me, Kyle would still be here. We have a lot of work to do but I know we can save lives if we work together to share Kyle’s story and message. Car seat safety is not a “parenting choice”, it’s a matter of physics and facts. Please watch Kyle’s videohttps://youtu.be/qbdvLvscEgQ and click on the links in the description to learn more.
❤ In Memory of Kyle David Miller 3/13/02 – 5/29/05 ❤
Honestly, moms and dads, when Miller talks about “if only someone had warned me,” it gives me new determination to spread stories like these far and wide. Not only does sweet Kyle need to be remembered because his life was precious, his story needs to be told so that other lives will be saved. 3-year-olds should still be in a 5-point-harness, and Christine is doing all parents a service by bravely sharing her story. Please click through to Car Seat Consultants for more information about what kind of car seat your child needs and how to install them safely. And next time you buckle that kiddo in, think of Kyle, and take one more moment to connect with your sweet child.