Speech for Parent by Chris Mosko(1983-2012)

Going through some stuff today, I found this “letter”  that Chris wrote in 2002 as he prepared to graduate from high school.  As I sit here reading it with tears, I read it also with joy.  He continued to live as he wrote here and, while heartbroken at his death, his mother and I are so proud of him and the short life he lived.

Given at the Baccalaureate for Eau Claire Memorial HS at Bethesda Church in 2002

“I am supposed to stand here today and talk to you about parents. I am unsure of how I am supposed to start talking about one of the most important things in my life. But I will do my best. I thought to myself what is a parent? As we all know a parent is much more than this, they are more than anyone will ever be able to speak. I can’t begin to term what a parent is or what they are supposed to be. But I can tell you that all of you have shown us love and caring to bring us forth in this world. Whether young, old, dying, famous, rich, or poor, our love to you as parents is unconditional.

In the last eighteen years of my life I have come to a realization. Unfortunately, friends come and friends go. Friends change, interests change or ideas change. And unfortunately some friends move far away. Our relationship and friendships change with life. But the love that our parents have for us does not change.  No matter what we do, where we go, or what we think our parents possess an undying love for their children. They have brought us up in a world full of obstacles. When we stepped forth in each of these obstacles, our parents were right behind us, holding our hand or watching our backs. No words could ever repay them for all of the love they have shown us. But I would like to let every parent know that what they do for us is appreciated. Mom and Dad I love you. I have composed a letter to you trying to sum all of my thoughts and feelings. I do know that it will fall short of how I truly feel but this is straight from my heart.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Eighteen years ago, right at this moment you would probably have been putting me to bed in hopes of a good night’s rest. But now 18 years later you will not be able to put me to bed anymore. I will be living on my own and caring for myself. But look at me, I made it didn’t I? I should be ready to leave? Right?

I came into this world depending on the love and care that you bring.  I was helpless and needed you.  To tell you the truth, very little has changed. I have changed and you have changed but I still need you.  I must tell you that I am scared for next year. Just think I will have to cook, clean, and dress myself.

Scary thought. But also I will have to wake up each morning and realize that every thing I do and every decision I make now affects the rest of my life. A pretty big responsibility if you ask me. But I think I may be ready for it.

Since I was very young you taught me responsibility and good moral judgment. No matter whom I was dealing with, or whom I had to be acquainted with you made me respect each and every person. You taught me to live with integrity and live with faith. All of these little issues have formed me as a person – a person that I respect and a person that I hope others respect.

In a little more than a week I will stand up for the final time as a high school student. Personally, I will also stand up for the last time as person from Eau Claire. Some of us will stand up with dreams of success and money, some of us will stand up with hopes of making it through college, and some of us will stand up with just the hope of a happy life. In all of these cases we will stand up for one final time at


But no matter what we go through or what we become, we owe it to you. Every time you were there teaching us how to be happy, or tending to our needs it helped us grow. No matter what we are striving to be or do in our lives we strive for your constant love. With all of your love anything is possible.

Mom, Dad, thank you. Because of you I know that my life is good. Because of you, I know everything will be ok. Because of you, I know I have made it. In each of my memories I will think of you and in all my memories to come I hope you are part of them. You have imprinted my heart with many values, but most of all the value of love. As I end I would like to read a small prayer to the parents entitled”

Heart Prints by Anonymous

Whatever our hands touch–

We leave fingerprints!
On walls, on furniture,
On doorknobs, dishes, books,
As we touch we leave our identity.

Oh please where ever I go today,
Help me leave heartprints!
Heartprints of compassion
Of understanding and love.
Heartprints of kindness
and genuine concern.

May my heart touch a lonely neighbor
Or a runaway daughter,
Or an anxious mother,
Or an abandoned animal,
Or, perhaps, a dear friend!

I shall go out today
To leave heartprints,
And if someone should say
“I felt your touch,”

May that one sense be…YOUR LOVE
Touching through ME.


Correct Information

Some less than perfect information out there about Chris

Chris was not from Pittsford, NY.  Gayle and I lived there for a number of years.

If anything, he was from San Diego where he had a wonderful life with people that loved him.  His EOD community was a big part of his life.

He was from Philly.   He did not go to Villanova.  He went to Drexel University in Philly, a city he loved and enjoyed while there.  His high school years were spent in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he participated in a wide variety of activities and left his imprint with a wonderful group of friends.

Chris is with his Lord now.  He will be with all of us forever.

In memory – Chris Mosko – beloved son, brother, and husband

12 May 2007

Dear Chris,
It has been a long time since I wrote a letter to you but, as you go to your Commissioning into the Navy and as you graduate from Drexel, I wanted you to know all the things that I have felt and experienced over the last 23 years being with you. While so much of this seems like yesterday, it is hard to believe that we are almost a quarter of century into your life and past a half century in mine.

These past couples of years have impressed upon me how much I appreciate your company as you have become a young man. While we were in Delaware, it was nice to have that closeness so that we could have that quick visit. What is now a longer drive will potentially become half a globe of distance. We will miss you. I know that I will strive to find ways that we can spend time but these will become events. I will miss the everydayness of life with you there.

I want you to know how proud I am of your accomplishments. You have shown the ability to achieve and you have learned that it takes hard work and unerring integrity. Sometimes, you have had to learn this the hard way but the results speak for themselves. You have gained a great education and you have attained your goals as you head into your Navy career.

I am also thankful that young men and women like you choose to represent our country as we try to make the world a better place. There will always be those who detract from what we bring to the world stage but I have the utmost confidence and pride in you because you are all of the good things an American should be. Do not ever sacrifice your beliefs and integrity for someone else. They are what make you what you are and that is a very good thing.

As I look back over the years, it is easier for me to remember the simple, quiet times we spent together. Putting you in a pack at 4 months and going cross country skiing, pulling you in a sled, playing with Topper in the yard, watching Lassie and the Wizard of Oz, putting a worm on a hook so you could fish, singing in church, the drives to soccer matches, driving to look at colleges. While they do not seem like much, they are what make life truly worth living – simple, quiet moments patchworked into beliefs, dreams, and being.

Thank you for recognizing that we must protect our ideals of equal rights to life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. What you are doing now allows so many others to pursue their dreams without limits. Do this with the pride and integrity you have shown and you cannot help but be successful in everything you do.

Finally, live your faith in God and Jesus Christ. This provides such a strong foundation for facing the vagaries and challenges of the world. I know you will do this. I saw this in you when you read your “Letter to Parents” at Baccalaureate. Hard to imagine being more touched and prouder than that moment but here we are at another time of pride happiness and, yes, some sadness. You have not been our “little boy” for a while but this really puts the stamp on the transition.

Your mother and I love you very much. I am very proud to be your father as well as a friend. Nothing can ever change that and you can always, always count on me for support in whatever you may need.

With more love and admiration than you can ever imagine,


So much is trivial! Remember the important.

Crappy 24 hours.  No parent should outlive their child.  Chris was taken by an Afghani IED on April 26.  He was a great man in so many ways.  We loved him and cherished him and now we will grieve him.  He chose well and was a great husband.  They had so much but our hearts are breaking for Amanda and all the things that will never be.  We watched him fall deeply in love completely and she returned his love completely.  They were to be together forever.  Really hate that “til death do us part” thing when it comes this fast.

Meredith and Nate are on their way.  Being with those you love is so important at these times.  Meredith is devastated by the loss of her big brother.  They had grown closer over the recent years and this is a crushing blow in a year that was meant to be full of joy.

Right now, not much else I can say.    We will head to Dover to great his body as he returns to the US.  After that, don’t know.

Please pray for Amanda and us as we navigate these rocky waters