Bereaved parents’ group will hold vigil

Published 10:59 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Special to the News-Herald

March 20 was the last day Xander Trace Evans was 3 years old. It was the day before his fourth birthday. It was also the last day his family would spend with him on this earth and the first day he would see his grandmother in heaven.


Christie and Steve Evans of Gates, N.C., have five children. Kayleigh, 19, attends ECU; Jenna, 17, works at Doris and Roger’s Kitchen; Tristan, 13, is a master mechanic; McKenna, 9, an artist extraordinaire. Xander, a beautiful blend of his siblings, was playing hide and seek with his brothers and sisters that warm, sunny March day. His favorite food, pizza, and a Truck birthday cake awaited the family in celebration of his birthday.

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But somehow Xander slipped away from the family and drowned in a pond.

For Christie Evans, it’s “like the shine has been rubbed off” her family since Xander died.

Struggling to comprehend their emptiness, Steve and Christie Evans will remember Xander Sunday at the annual candle lighting memorial service sponsored by the Bereaved Parents Group of the Children’s Center.

The group holds the annual service to help bereaved parents cope with the special pain they feel during the Christmas holidays. Set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin, the event is a celebration of children who blessed this world. It is a tribute of tears and laughter. It is an opportunity to say the name of a child who must not be forgotten.

“It’s like going to see your family, wanting to meet people, wanting to learn something, wanting to honor Xander,” Steve Evans said. “He did what he came to do on this Earth.”

Xander’s favorite saying, “I love you mostest, muchest,” is likely to warm the hearts of all who attend the event.

The community is invited to remember a child, infant or adult child who has died by participating in the service. For more information on the service or the monthly support group, contact Rosalind Cutchins at the Children’s Center, 562-6806, or Tricia Phelps, 562-7078.