Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life is what happens to you

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans…” I remember watching Johnny Carson speak those words after the death of his son many years ago. Turns out they're lyrics for a John Lennon song, one that I don't remember.

“Life” is what happened to my dear friends, Chris and Vicki Gargus this past Sunday. They were making plans and preparing for the upcoming holidays when they got the news that their son Tyler was killed in a shooting accident.

Tyler, a senior in high school, was killed with what was thought to be an unloaded shotgun inside the home of his 16 year old friend, Zach.

I do not possess the words to express my sorrow for Chris and Vicki. My mind bounces from thoughts about their loss and grief, to the all-to-real void now present in their lives and the lives of everyone who knew and loved Tyler, myself included, to required gun safety education.

Many will say that this is the reason we need to ban all firearms. I refuse to enter that debate. This was a stupid accident by foolish teenagers doing something they knew they had no business doing: playing with a weapon.

The same thing can be said for a lot of activities by children and teenagers. As adults we tell them, “Don’t cross the street without looking both ways.” “Always keep both hands on the wheel.” “Buckle your seat belt.”

Adults said these things to me and I’ve said them to youngsters. But there were still times when I disregarded what I knew was a smart thing. You have, too.

Now, Chris and Vicki have to pick up the pieces of their lives and continue on. They live modestly and did not have a life insurance policy for Tyler. How many parents actually do?

I learned today that an account has been created at a local bank to help the family defer some of the funeral costs. I dropped off my check this morning. If you want to send a gift, the bank information is below.

The bank representative I spoke with said that a list of donor names and addresses will be provided to Chris and Vicki so they can send their thanks.

Also below, are some links to both news stories and tribute websites that have sprung up over the past few days.

Life is, indeed, what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

County mourns tragic loss of Tyler Gargus (

Investigators Probing Teen's Shooting Death

Tyler Gargus Tribute Site

Facebook Tribute Page

The Park National Bank - Main Office
50 North Third Street
Post Office Box 3500
Newark, OH 43058-3500
740.349.8451 or 888.545.4PNB


Arizona Harley Dude said...

No parent should have to bury a child.

My heartfelt prayers are sent to the parents, family, and friends.

irondad said...

I don't know what else to say except to echo the Arizona Harley Dude. On the otherhand, for whatever strength the parents and you can pull from it, I wanted to add the sound of my voice to the mix.

Doug C said...

AHD & irondad - Dan,

Thanks for the kind words regarding Tyler Gargus. I'm not sure how I would handle myself if I were in the position that Chris and Vicki find themselves. I hope it would be with the grace they have shown.

Over the 2 days the public paid their respects, over 1,200 people visited Tyler and the family. There were 574 at the memorial service.

Someone once asked, "What do you want when you're dead and buried, Titles or Testimonies?" Tyler got testimonies and I think that is the better thing..

Steve Williams said...

My thoughts are with the family. As irondad suggested perhaps they'll add to some positive energy for them...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks