Memories of My Father:
Thoughts from an Episcopal Senior on Integrity in the Face of Adversity"
In Memory of Kirk R. Jackson Sr. (February 22, 1957 - October 11, 2009)
We moved to Gonzales, Louisiana in December of 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina, because my parents felt that it was best to leave New Orleans. For the next few years, I truly believed that this was going to be the biggest challenge of my life. I was terribly wrong.
Later that Sunday morning, Mom, Dad, and I were packed and in the car on our way to New Orleans. Even though we lived in Gonzales, we still visited New Orleans every Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays, we would drive over to Grandma’s house and visit my grandmother, cousins, aunts, and uncles. On Sundays, we attended our church in New Orleans. However, this particular Sunday, Mom and I decided to stay at Grandma’s house while Dad attended church alone.
Later that day, I remember hearing crying through Grandma’s bedroom door. The next thing I knew, my cousins and I were rushed into the car and drove swiftly to the hospital. With Grandma crying profusely, Mom walked me into a hospital room-- my Dad’s hospital room. As I approached the room, chills rushed through my veins and my heart felt like it was about to beat out of my chest. Dad died that Sunday, October 11, 2009, and that’s the day that I actually had to grow up.
“Integrity is doing what’s right, even when nobody is watching”
“Integrity is doing what’s right, even when nobody is watching”. That was Dad’s favorite quote. He constantly preached this to both my brother and me. I never really understood it, nor did I care about it until that Sunday. Now I understand. Although Dad is not here to tell me right from wrong, his morals and values are motivation for my success in all aspects of life. His work ethic is the reason for my work ethic. I remember seeing him wake up early on weekend mornings to either finish some work or take a quick jog before anyone was awake, so he would not take time away from the family. I think about this when I wake up before dawn to run a few miles or go to school early for extra help.
Kristopher Jackson was born on July 3, 1998 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kris moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2006. He is currently a senior at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge and has participated on the school’s track and cross country team since he was in the 6th grade. Along with being an active distance runner, Kris has been working hard, since 2014, as President of Club U-Knighted. For the past two years, Kris has participated in multiple leadership programs, such as Carleton Liberal Arts Experience, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and the American Legion: Louisiana Boys State.