by Michael C.
Chico and Mary Lavoie had four sons,
and in as many years they had none.
Ronny was their youngest, and he was
the first to go. A terminal disease had claimed
him at 32. He had smoked two packs of Marlboros a
day for most of his life, despite his parents
constant pleading that he stop. To cope with
their devastating loss, the Lavoies purchased
Less than six months after Ronnys
demise, Carlos crashed his motorcycle into the
back of a trash removal truck. His injuries did
him in two days later. The Lavoies were shocked
as well as forlorn, since their son had always
taken the greatest of precautions on his Yamaha
Stryker. To deal with the tragedy, the distraught
parents bought a 28-foot Chris Craft cabin
The next year brought even more pain
to Chico and Mary when their second born drown
while swimming in the local quarry. The blow of
losing their third son was as great as it had
been the year before when Carlos had his
unexpected accident. Barry had been an award-winning
member of the Ys swim team, and his
drowning seemed incomprehensible to his parents.
To handle their despair, the Lavoies added a
media center to their house.
When their last surviving child,
Carson, died in a construction accident just 13
months later, the Lavoies again knew they had to
do something to come to terms with their crushing
grief. After considering numerous possibilities,
they realized that their grieving had left them