Celebrating life stories...



Memorial created 03-22-2008 by
Rita Edmonds-Norris (Mom)
Chad Jeffrey Norris
May 14 1973 - June 16 1993

I'm just riding off into the Sunset . . . don't worry! We'll see each other again!!!

This memorial was created in loving memory of Chad Norris, my beautiful first born son, whose life story was cut short when it was just beginning to be written. I was so blessed the day that Chad was born. I am proud to have been the mother of such a wonderful young man and I miss him with every breath that I take every single moment of every single day.

Chad was shot to death by a stranger with a handgun in a senseless act of violence. In one fleeting moment a man who had a gun made a decision that took a promising life and left a family and friends devastated.

'Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I'd of had to miss the dance'. Our dance with Chad was way too short and is forever etched into our hearts.

If you wish, please sign Chad's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will love, miss and remember our Chad forever.



Chad loved that cowboy hat and boots . . .

Chad was a glorious young man with a beautiful soul and a smile that lit up a room when he walked in. He loved deeply and lived his life fully. He had so many plans and dreams when he was killed tragically at the beginning of his life.

Chad became enamored with country music while in high school. He was "country" before country was cool. He loved wearing his cowboy hat, cowboy boots and driving around in his big, old, beat-up, red K-5 Blazer with Alan Jackson or Garth Brooks blasting on the radio.

Chad's favorite song was "The Dance" by Garth Brooks. I remember the night he came into my room and woke me up after he had just gotten off work. He wanted me to listen to "this beautiful song" and he wanted me to listen 'right now'. That's the way Chad lived his life. He wanted to do it all and he wanted to share it all.

After Chad's murder, I wrote Garth Brooks' manager and ask permission for us to use a line from the song, The Dance, on Chad's headstone. We were granted permission and so Chad's headstone reads, "We could have missed the pain, but we'd of had to miss the dance".

I wouldn't have missed my dance with Chad for anything in the world . . . it was the most joyful dance of my life.












 A mother's love never dies  . . .

This Mourning
This morning,
I held your small, white christening clothes,
To my face, breathing deeply.
Trying to remember,
Twenty years ago . . . the honeyed, infant smell.
Warm, downy head,
Blue-veined, translucent skin,
Dimpled chin.
This morning,
I held your beat-up, straw cowboy hat,
To my face, breathing deeply.
Trying to remember,
Six months ago . . . the heady, young man smell.
Curly, blond hair.
Tan, beautiful skin.
Dimpled chin.
This mourning . . .
 ©Rita Edmonds-Norris
      January 4, 1994



A momentary lapse into sanity,
where I realize that my insanity is a sane reaction
to an utterly insane event . . .
From: Companion Through the Darkness: Inner Dialogues on Grief
by: Stephanie Ericsson


My handsome Chad . . . how I miss you so . . .











Undo it, take it back,
make every day the previous one
until I am returned to the day
before the one that made you gone.
Or set me on an airplane traveling west,
crossing the date line again and again,
losing this day, then that,
until the day of loss still lies ahead,
and you are here instead of sorrow.

Nessa Rapoport, in A Woman's Book of Grieving




Chad, High School Prom 
 Mrs. Mundy
One Saturday, months after we lost you,
I met Mrs. Mundy at a friend's house.
Mrs. Mundy told me that you were,
"her Chad"
Mrs. Mundy was in Texas with her mother,
when she heard.
Heart-broken at the news,
She wanted to fly home immediately.
Mrs. Mundy reminded me,
That she was one of your teacher's in high school.
Oh yes, I remember . . .
She would call.
Early in the morning,
to wake you,
So you'd make it to her first period class
Because you were "her Chad"
Mrs. Mundy ask for a picture of you,
Through tear-filled eyes.
She recalled your "spark",
As she described you.
She said she would hang the picture,
In her classroom for all to see.
So she can always remember,
"her Chad"
Rita Edmonds-Norris
 ©April 11, 1994







How we miss you, our Stargazer . . .









"The Dance"

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared 'neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd have had to miss the dance


Leland Chad Norris

Dearest Chad...

Meet your new Nephew, Leland Chad Norris . . . born 3/31/2010. He has a little cleft in his chin just like you and he's handsome too...just like you  :-)

How we wish you were here to meet him in person. Leland is wearing this cowboy hat in your honor . . .

We love you so much Chad . . .


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