Woman draws touching tribute to Eagle Mountain boys
EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah – A woman in Eagle Mountain is paying tribute to the two three-year-old boys killed last week, in hopes of bringing comfort to their families.
The memorial she created is now impacting more than just the families involved, and it comes during a difficult holiday weekend.
On Mother’s Day, Chelsey Procopio spent the day with her husband and two young children with no plans other than quality time together.
It’s something she didn’t take for granted, especially with what’s been on her mind.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a couple of days after it happened,” she said. She’s referring to the horrific crash that killed two little boys at the Cedar Valley Stables in Eagle Mountain just under a week ago.
“They were just playing outside where they’re supposed to be safe, and this car comes through the corral, and it’s just terrible,” she said.
The driver who hit and killed the boys was suspected by law enforcement of being high on meth.
Procopio thought about how the two mothers of three-year-olds Odin Ratliff and Hunter Jackson, lost their precious boys just before Mother’s Day. They’re not much older than Procopio’s daughter, Cecilia.
“Then you start thinking ‘well, what can be done?’ And that’s the best way to deal with anger, and grief, and the tension you feel when something like this happens– it’s to try and do something,” Procopio expressed.
And for her, the answer was to draw.
Procopio makes minimalist digital paintings for her small side business, Chelsey Creates.
She used a photo of them smiling, best friends holding hands, and turned it into a touching work of art.
Odin and Hunter each have angel wings and halos. They’re holding little tractor toys similar to the ones they were playing with while in the dirt when they were killed.
“It’s important to me that their little personalities came through,” she said. “So on the picture, I left dirt on their knees. I put little toys in their hands.”
Procopio knows first-hand what it’s like to experience loss from a reckless accident. She said her 14-year-old younger sister died in a boating crash when she was 15.
Procopio watched her mother grieve over the loss of her sister.
“I’m just kind of familiar with all the grief with that and stuff, so it really, really spoke to me when these boys got hurt,” Procopio shared, her eyes becoming watery. “I just couldn’t… it makes me sad… I just wanted to do something.”
After memorializing Odin and Hunter in her own way, Procopio wanted the drawing to reach the boys’ families, but she wasn’t sure how best to get in touch with them.
She shared the image in an Eagle Mountain community Facebook group, where nearly 1,000 people reacted to the drawing, and dozens commented on it, moved by the tribute.
Family members of Odin and Hunter shared that they saw the drawing and expressed their gratitude.
Some reached out to Procopio, to talk about printing the image to display at a couple of places including the stables where the boys were killed.
She’s hoping that as the community grasps for ways to ease the pain that Odin and Hunter’s families are going through, this drawing helps.
Procopio also hopes that people don’t stop thinking about Odin and Hunter.
“Keep saying their names, keep bringing it up,” she said. “Keep letting the families know that we’re still here, we’re still involved, and we love you.”
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