ROANOKE, Va. – We're approaching two months since a Roanoke family was killed in a head-on crash in North Carolina. The Hall family attended Roanoke City Schools and the community is doing its best to help.
Summer vacation is right around the corner, but the Garden City Elementary School community has other things on its mind. The loss of their classmates and friends continues to be a challenge, and now the school division ,with the help of a family friend, is doing one more thing to make sure the Halls are never forgotten.
In the Hall family, pictures are the means to fight a challenge they shouldn't have to face. Cathy Hall died along with her two daughters, 13-year-old Tajzmah and 10-year-old Cyani, at the end of March from a head-on wreck in North Carolina. The girls' grandmother and family was left reeling.
"Things have been very difficult, but with the support of the community (we've been getting through)," the girls' grandmother, Thomasine Crutchfield Hall, said. "The support, the prayers, the cards."
It takes strength to provide strength and Robbie Jones provided it Monday. He owns Fresh Cuts Lawn Care with his wife, Sarah. Their oldest son, Jacob, was best friends with Tajzmah, growing up together through school.
"When you have someone coming in and out of your house that much, they become part of you," Sarah Jones said. "Those two girls were extremely important to me especially, but to my husband and my kids too."
With the help of Garden City Elementary, the Joneses took it upon themselves to get this job done. They planted a tree of life to honor a family robbed of their future. It's a Weeping Willow Cherry tree, meant to brighten the day.
"It has a great white bloom on it and it just kind of hangs down, and it's just beautiful," Sarah Jones said. "It's one of those trees that just all year round, it will always be something to look at."
In five years, the tree will stand 12 feet tall. It will be a tower of strength to sit by when pictures aren’t enough. The Jones family will also be planting a tree of life at Jackson Middle School. Garden City Elementary students and staff will dedicate the tree Tuesday morning as a memorial to the Hall family.