Christine & Caleb Whiteleather
I Don’t Know When I’ll See You Again
It’s said that “time heals all wounds” but anyone who’s lost a child would be quick to dispute this. Because the truth is, no amount of time can mend the hole left in the lives of those whose child has passed. This kind of loss shatters the reality that previously existed and forever changes the future. The ensuing grief doesn’t come with an expiration date. There is no “moving on.” The best a parent can do is cope with the pain and keep their child’s memory alive —protecting that memory like a mother bear—refusing to let even death itself dim the light their child was brought into this world to shine.
On January 6, 2017, Christine Whiteleather said good-bye to her son, Caleb, for the last time. A freshman at Winthrop University, he was heading back to college after the holiday break. “I gave him a hug and told him all the things moms tell kids, like ‘drive carefully’ … ‘text me when you get there.’ And then, before he left, I said, ‘Let me give you another hug because I don’t know when I’ll see you again.’ And so, I hugged him again, told him good-bye, told him ‘I love you, Caleb,’ and he told me, ‘I love you, Mom,’ and he left.”
Less than an hour later, Caleb was hit head-on by a drunk driver on S.C. 462 (Lowcountry Drive).