I’m sure at some point in time in your life, you’ve been driving down the road one day and seen a makeshift roadside memorial. Maybe you’ve even stopped for a moment to think about who might have died at that exact spot. Was it a young person, a baby or an elderly person? You may have even wondered how that person died.
Sometimes the roadside memorials I’ve seen are pretty simple with a plain white cross, while at other times, they may be elaborate memorials with lots of flowers, animals, and other items placed near the spot or location of the death, probably placed by close loved ones of the person who died.
Here’s a son’s memorial in California that was visited by his father every night for over 12 years, until things changed. The energy giant Chevron wanted to make some changes. I hope you have your Kleenex available.
The memorial had been sitting outside of this particular property for over ten years. It was almost professional in its presentation.
There were flowers, angel statues, bushes and even solar-activated lights. All of it was kept up and maintained, but anonymously so.
Everyone was aware of the memorial but no one knew who it honored or who maintained it. And this arrangement seemed to work for everyone involved until late 2016 when it was time to make some changes to the property.
To their credit, Chevron, didn’t want to discount the emotional importance of the memorial. So they placed a note on it, asking the unknown caretaker to come forward.
“I just knew they were going to take it down” Ray Olson told MSN. Olson had erected the memorial in honor of his son who was killed in an accident with a drunk driver.
Olson had always headed over to the memorial in the dark of night to take care of it. In the back of his head, he always knew though that this day would come.
In his wildest dreams though, he never imagined that Chevron would take the memorial down only to erect a new one. But that’s exactly what they did.
Chevron enlisted the help of neighborhood council president Cesar Zepeda in creating something that would better stand the test of time. Together they installed a plaque with a photo of Olson’s son next to a park bench.
They put these in a nearby park for all to see and use as a quiet spot as needed. Joe Lorenz, of Chevron, told MSN “We said, ‘This is your spot, Ray. You no longer have to come at night.’”
WOW! What a tearjerker! What an amazing feel good story too! Nice to see that at least one big oil company, still has a heart of compassion!
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