The Ultimate Loss
The ultimate loss for a parent is to lose a child. Only those who live with this soul-tearing experience can understand the devastation that follows a tragedy of this magnitude. Now imagine a father reliving the experience of losing his son over and over again at presentations in schools in an effort to impact our youth into making positive decisions.
Greg Drew is that man, and Jammin’ 4 Jay is his silver lining. In what would be his last presentation, Mr. Drew retold the tale of the fateful day when his son, Jay, sat for the last time behind the wheel of his car – the same car that he transports in a trailer to every school he visits – his son’s shoes still on the driver’s side floor.
From his website - jammin4jay.com:
"It was May 11, 2003, when Greg got the call at 1:00 a.m. that his son Jay had been in a serious car crash. A parent’s worst nightmare and a telephone call every parent fears.
Jay survived the accident, and while waiting for surgery Jay promised his father he would go with him and speak to kids about the consequences of speeding. Unfortunately, Jay did not get a chance; he later died in hospital as a result of his injuries on May 14, 2003. He was only 17 years old.
Greg, a retired firefighter, had seen his share of accident scenes, but it did not prepare him for the death of his own son. In honour of his son, Jason (“Jay”) Stanley Drew, a registered non-profit charity was set up in his memory - Jammin’ 4 Jay Charitable Society."
His message was a poignant one and he told our students to look in the mirror and see a R.A.T.T. – Responsible Adult Thinking Teenager. He shared the importance of making positive choices and gave students the 4 P’s to get out of the vehicle of an unsafe driver – 1. I have to pee. 2. I have to poo. 3. I have to puke. 4. I have my period. He spoke of “tickling the dream” and shared the tickle handshake with students at the end of the presentation. He shared that parents do what they do because of their love for their children and to acknowledge this love with their parents.
In the final moments of the presentation, he reached into a case to produce a obsidian box that contained the ashes of his son, Jay, and told us all to live our dreams, to hug those we love and not take them for granted, and to make it a mission to be a R.A.T.T. each and every day.
Special thanks to our S.A.D.D. student group for booking Jammin' 4 Jay and the Servus Credit Union for sponsoring Mr. Drew's visit to F. G. Miller High School on June 2, 2017.