Memorial bench installed in Mill Pond Park in Saline to remember Jamie and Lillian Caulk
When Missy Caulk suffered the double tragedy of losing her adult son and newborn granddaughter within a month’s time last fall, friends responded: There were prayers. They brought nightly meals to the family for nearly three months. And there was an outpouring of support on Caulk’s Facebook page.
Courtesy of Missy Caulk
“It took awhile; we had to come to grips with everything,” said Caulk. “But it’s in the perfect spot, next to the pond, right on the water. It’s so peaceful there.” The bench was installed in the city park last week.
Because Caulk, an area Realtor, had such a wide social network, it made sense to connect with people who wanted to help but were at a loss for how to do so using the Internet, said Carol Grubb, one of three local Realtors who organized the fund drive for the memorial.
Shortly after Lillian’s death, Grubb and local Realtors Sue Perry and Debi Gould told Caulk they wanted to raise funds to purchase a memorial bench. With help from Caulk’s friend who lives in Florida, Cyndee Haydon, they posted a YouTube video. Haydon also blogged about it. Scores of people from around the country donated, Grubb said.
Courtesy of Allyssa Caulk
The bench, Caulk said, brings her some peace. “Mill Pond is the best park. It’s in Saline. There’s a huge play structure. A pavilion. Benches along the way. And it’s where the Celtic Festival is held,” she said.
The bench is already getting attention. A friend of Caulk’s had been out of town for much of the year, and hadn’t heard of Jamie’s death in a car accident outside of Nashville last October or of Lillian’s sudden death a month later. The friend was jogging in the park and sat down on the bench to rest when she saw the names. “She called me yesterday,” Caulk said. “She had no idea.”
The Caulk family will hold a dedication from 5:30-7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the park as a way to remember Jamie and Lillian and as a way to thank friends who have reached out over the past 10 months. “All of this means a lot,” Caulk said. “I have the greatest friends.”