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Mar 22, 2010 11:08 PM by Andy Koen

A long road toward healing

It's been a difficult year for the Calegar family. Last year during Spring Break, Christopher, 10 was taking a road trip to North Carolina with his Grandparents James and Zelmalee and his Aunt Deborah.

The family was driving through Missouri when they were killed a traffic accident.

Christopher's parents, Kevin and Linda say the months since losing their only son have been trying.

"It's a reality today," Linda said.  "A year ago we were in shock and (wondering) could it be true?"

Kevin added that, "It has been a tough year, and I don't see it getting much easier but I imagine, in time, it will."

Several members of the Calegar family met at Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Monday, the first anniversary of the accident, to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

They dedicated a monument bearing a photo of the four and timed a coordinated balloon release with relatives in North Carolina.

"We're just here to honor them and tell them how much we miss them," said Terrie Calegar, Kevin and Deborah's sister.

The family has struggled through the pain, but found comfort in each other.

"We just need to be together, I think, and love each other and comfort one another and live," Linda said.

She adds that the outpouring from the community following the accident, particularly from Christopher's school, Remington Elementary, has helped to soften the pain.

A memorial was set up on campus at and a tree was planted in his memory. 

Linda and Kevin also used money donated to a memorial fund set up for the family in the days immediately after the accident to help the school to buy guitars for its music program.

Similar donations were made to the Susan G. Komen foundation in honor of Deborah and to the Mercy Center in honor of James and Zelmalee.

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