♥ Alex Christoper ♥
☼ My Angel Alex ☼
This memorial website was created in the memory of our sweet angel, Alex Christopher Jeffries who was born on December 19, 2002 and got his angel wings on June 03, 2005 at the age of 2 1/2. Alex will be forever loved and missed by his Mommy, brother Nicholas, family and countless friends. Always in our thoughts, forever in our hearts. We love you Alex!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please light a candle when you come to visit Alex so I know who is thinking of him as I do. Thank You-Zana
Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 1-14. It is estimated that for each childhood drowning death, approximately four children are hospitalized for near-drowning.
Drowning rates for all age groups are three times higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. Childhood drowning in rural areas often occurs in non-pool settings, such as lakes, ponds and irrigation canals.
Drowning in canals, pits, ponds etc. is the second-leading cause of childhood agricultural-related deaths
Nicholas & Alex
"Who You’d Be Today" by Kenny Chesney
Sunny days seem to hurt the most; wear the pain like a heavy coat, I feel you everywhere I go; See your smile, I see your face, I hear you laughing in the rain, Still cant believe you’re gone, It aint fair you died to young, like a story that had just begun, but death tore all the pages away; God knows how I miss you, all the hell that I been through, just know, that no one could take your place, Sometimes I wonder…Who You’d Be Today.
Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams? Settle down with a family? Wonder what you would name your babies. Some days the skies so blue, feel like I can talk to you, I know it must sound crazy. It aint fair you died to young, like a story that had just begun, but death tore all the pages away. God knows how I miss you, all the hell that I been through, just know, that no one could take your place, Sometimes I wonder…Who You’d Be Today.
Today, today, today, today, today, today.
Sunny days seem to hurt the most, wear the pain like a heavy coat, the only thing that gives me hope, is I know, Ill see you again someday. Someday, someday.
* The boys *
If Tomorrow Starts Without Me
"If tomorrow starts without me, and I'm not there to see, If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you would't cry the way you did today, While thinking of the many things we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you, and each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand, that an angel came and called my name, and took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above, and I'd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned and walked away,
A tear fell from my eye, for all my life, I'd always thought, I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left to do,
It seemed so impossible, that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad, I thought of all that we shared,
and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while,
I'd say good bye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realize that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss some tomorrow,
I thought of of you, and when I did,
my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From his great golden throne,
He said "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
but here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
and since each day is the same way,
There's no longing for the past.
So when tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart,
For everytime you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart."
Your angel above,
Gone but Not Forgotten
by Kelsey Y. Sheppard
You were so full of life,
Always smiling and carefree,
Life loved you being a part of it,
And I loved you being a part of me.
You could make anyone laugh,
If they were having a bad day,
No matter how sad I was,
You could take the hurt away.
Nothing could every stop you,
Or even make you fall,
You were ready to take on the world,
Ready to do it all.
But God decided he needed you,
So from this world you left,
But you took a piece of all of us,
Our hearts are what you kept.
Your seat is now empty,
And it's hard not to see your face,
But please always know this,
No one will ever take your place.
You left without a warning,
Not even saying good-bye,
And I can't seem to stop,
Asking the question why?
Nothing will ever be the same,
The halls are empty without your laughter,
But I know you're in Heaven,
Watching over us and looking after.
I didn't see this coming,
It hit me by surprise,
And when you left this world,
A small part of me died.
Your smile could brighten anyone's day,
No matter what they were going through,
And I know everyday for the rest of my life,
I'll be missing you.
This is a picture I took of the sunrise on Alex's birthday
On your 4th Birthday:
I watched the sun rise by the window today.
So bright like your smile is all I can say.
The sky full of colors was that for me?
Were you painting with angels for all to see?
Today is your 4th birthday two at home and two away.
It is not fair you left us, for one more birthday
can't you stay?
On your birthday, I never thought, we would ever be so far
Watching the sky, hoping you pass by, choking on the
pieces of my broken heart.
I wish that I could hear you laugh, just one more time
just for me.
It would make me so truly happy, it would fill my
heart with glee.
Instead Im filled with sadness cause' for him there is
Happy birthdays are no longer, just dreaded birthday
Today is your 4th birthday, so I send this to you
Balloons covered in kisses and filled with all my
Written For My Angel Alex
By: Zana Maxwell 12-19-06
Alex loved his blankey sooo much!
The Broken Chain
We little knew the morning that god
was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
in death we do the same. It broke
our hearts to lose you, you didnt go
alone; for a part of us went with you,
the day god called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
your love is till our guide;
and though we cannot see you,
you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same;
but as god calls us one by one
THE CHAIN will link again
We love you Alex, and miss you always.
It's lonely here without you,
We miss you more each day,
For life is not the same to us,
Since you were called away.
To your resting place we visit,
Place flowers there with care,
But no one knows our heartache,
When we turn and leave you there.
If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them and that you'll always hold them dear
Take time to say "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.
Alex Christopher Jeffries
Today another 3rd has came, a sign that time has passed.
A day of sadness and memories of when I saw you last.
It should have been that I went first to watch over you from above, instead my baby went to heaven to gaurd us with angel love.
The haunting of that summer night, the way I saw you there.
I see you that way all the time, with nurses everywhere.
For everyday Im here without you I try to understand.
Why the angels come to call you first, to take you from my hand.
I dream of you while Im sleeping, and when I am awake.
I dream of days with you again, days with no heartbreak.
written for Alex by Mommy
Alex loved looking at his books..
you are my sunshine when skys are gray!!!!
Missing You Always Alex!! *MUAH*
* Kisses From Pa Johnny*
This is the poem from Alex's prayer card:
"I'll lend you for a little time a child of mine," He said,
"For you to love the while she lives, and mourn for when she's dead.
It may be six or seven years or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call her back, take care of him for Me?
he'll bring his smiles to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I've looked this wide world over in my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crown life's lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give her all your love, nor count the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?"
I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness. We'll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand
Alex was born on Dec. 19th of 2002 at 8:32 in the morning. He was a very healthy baby boy. He weighed 7 lbs, 6.5 oz and 21 inches long. Such a beautiful baby boy! We had been told that you were a girl so your name was going to be Jayden! We of course loved it just as much as "Alex". Alex had more energy than any child I have ever met. He always kept me on my toes since he was always into something. I think all that energy came from all the food he ate!! He would out eat Nicholas every night! Alex was very independant and loved looking at books. He liked to play alone even though he had Nicholas to play with. His favorite show was backyardigans and blues clues. He loved them. Alex had one of those smiles from ear to ear that could light up a room. And his chuckle was soo cute. He was always laughing. Even when it was time for bed he would sing and bounce himself to sleep. A big ball of energy. Especially when you hit 2. You always loved playing outside in the spring and summer running all around! On June 3rd you left us suddenly, touching so many lives when you did. So many people came to see you and show their love. I'm so thankful for all of them, and as long as we all shall live, you shall live too. As we all remember you. Miss you Alex. Love you baby!
In 2004, there were 3,308 unintentional fatal drownings in the United States, averaging nine people per day. This figure does not include the 676 fatalities, from drowning and other causes, due to boating-related incidents (CDC 2006; USCG 2006).
For every child 14 years and younger who dies from drowning in 2004, five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than half of these children were hospitalized or transferred to another facility for treatment (CDC 2006).
Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that result in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state).
A CDC study about self-reported swimming ability (Gilchrist et al. 2000) found that:
*Younger respondents reported greater swimming ability than older respondents;
*Self-reported ability increased with level of education (i.e., high school graduate, college graduate, etc.);
*Among racial groups, African Americans reported the most limited swimming ability; and
*Men of all ages, races, and educational levels consistently reported greater swimming ability than women.
Males: In 2004, males accounted for 78% of fatal unintentional drownings in the United States (CDC 2006).
Children: In 2004, of all children 1-4 years old who died, 26% died from drowning (CDC 2006). Although drowning rates have slowly declined (Branche 1999), fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years (CDC 2005).
*Lack of supervision and barriers (such as pool fencing). Children under age one most often drown in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets (Brenner et al. 2001). Among children ages 1 to 4 years, most drownings occur in residential swimming pools (Brenner et al. 2001). Most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time (Present 1987).
*Recreation in natural water settings (such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean). The percent of drownings in natural water settings increases with age. These locations represent the majority of drownings in those over 15 years of age (Gilchrist et al. 2004).
*Recreational boating. Boating carries risks for injury. In 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports for 4,969 boating incidents; 3,451 participants were reported injured, and 697 died in boating incidents. Among those who drowned, 87% were not wearing life jackets. Most boating fatalities from 2005 (70%) were caused by drowning; the remainder were due to trauma, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other causes. Open motor boats were involved in 45% of all reported incidents, and personal watercraft were involved in another 26% (USCG 2006).
*Alcohol use. Alcohol use is involved in about 25% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation (Howland et al. 1995; Howland and Hingson 1988). Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat (Smith and Kraus 1988). Alcohol was involved in about one-third of all reported boating fatalities.
*Seizure disorders. For persons with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk (Quan et al. 2006).
Who is likely to drown, when, and where?
Drowning claims nearly 8,000 lives annually. It is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in the United States. For children, it is the second leading cause of accidental death for school-age children and the number one cause for preschoolers.
Two-thirds of drownings happen in the summer months: 40% occur on Saturday and Sunday. Some 90% occur in fresh water even in states with large coastal regions. More than half of these cases occur in home swimming pools.
One-quarter to one-third of the drowning victims had swimming lessons. Although drowning equally affects both sexes, males have a rate 3 times higher than females because of increased reckless behavior and use of alcohol.
Children less than age 1 year tend to drown in bathtubs and buckets because they are not coordinated enough to get out by themselves when they fall in. Older children age 1-4 drown in swimming pools, while those age 5-14 years tend to drown in lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans. The adolescents and adults tend to drown because of impaired swimming ability from alcohol or illicit drug use.
States with the highest drowning rate are Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oregon, and Florida.
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics reported on the relationship between the child’s age and place of drowning. This study found that babies most often drown in bathtubs when left unattended, even for a few minutes. Toddler drowning most often occurs in swimming pools or backyard ponds. Most children who drown in pools were last seen inside the home or just outside of the home (not necessarily near the water) and had been out of sight of the caretaker for less than five minutes. Older children more often drown in open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, oceans, gravel pits).
Personal flotation devices (PFDs or life jackets) are very effective at preventing drowning for all ages, especially for children playing in or near pools and open bodies of water, regardless of whether the child is a good swimmer.
Prevention tips include (CDC 2005; Gilchrist et al. 2004; and Quan et al. 2006; CPSC):
*Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around the water. Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
*Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
*Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Avoid drinking alcohol while supervising children.
*Learn to swim. Be aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend swimming classes as the primary means of drowning prevention for children younger than 4 years of age. Constant vigilant supervision and barriers such as pool fencing are still necessary even when children have completed classes.
*Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Because of the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills can make a difference in someone’s life. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to improve outcomes in drowning victims.
*With young children, do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
*If you have a swimming pool at your home:
Install a four-sided, isolation pool fence that totally separates the house and yard from the pool area. *The fence should be at least 4 feet high and should completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Use self closing and self latching gates that open outward, and have latches that are out of a child’s reach. *Consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks or alarms to prevent or notify you regarding access to the yard or pool.
*Toys should be removed from the pool immediately after use. Floats, balls and other toys might encourage children to enter the pool area or lean over the pool and potentially fall in.
*If in or around natural bodies of water:
Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
*Use US Coast Guard approved life jackets when boating, regardless of distance to be traveled, size of boat, or swimming ability of boaters.
*Heed colored beach warning flags.
*Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (e.g. water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris). If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim toward shore.