Family of child killed in Christmas parade turns grief around through kindness

Local News

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Charlie Daniels Park holds countless memories for the Frensley family. It was one of their son’s favorite places to play and now in an effort to continue sharing the happiness that he brought to so many, there will be a bench at the entrance with Rowan Frensley’s smiling face on it.

“This was Rowan’s stomping ground, he loved this place. A lot of happy memories here,” his father Art Frensely told News 2.

Memories are all the Frensley’s have left of their 7-year-old little boy; his name written in his handwriting is tattooed on his mother’s arm, his ashes hang by her heart.

“He was such a sweet soul and spirit. You could just see him light the room with his personality and he made people feel special,” explained his mother Jana Frensley.

Rowan’s young life ended tragically when he fell from the cub scout float at the Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade and was run over last December. His father was behind the wheel.

“I wouldn’t wish what we’ve been through on my worst enemy,” said Frensely.

While his wife recalled how a beautiful day turned tragic in no time.

“That day was a beautiful day. We were all smiling at the parade and that was a parent’s nightmare. You could never imagine that in the split of a second something like that would happen, but we do know there was probably a reason and we have our faith and we just look up to Jesus and give to all to him,” said Jana.

Through tragedy the family is focusing on triumph.

“We miss him deeply but we can’t stop life and we have to honor him and his legacy of his kindness he was a really, really good boy,” his father explained.

Their faith and support from the community giving the family strength to focus on sharing their child’s kindness with the world. Facebook group RowanRocks912 is at the heart of their efforts. Thousands of Facebook followers have painted rocks and placed them in random spots to encourage others to do an act of kindness.

“It says a lot about our community and about the spirit of people that in tragic loss we can be together and we really appreciate that,” said Art.

In their hours of darkness the lyrics of Rowan’s favorite Beetles song “Let It Be” rings through the family’s mind.

“He would sing that song to me every day when I would pick him up from school and the words mean it all. Sometimes you just have to let it be, you know there will be an answer.”

The family is selling T-shirts in memory of Rowan with the song on it that will go to support a Boy Scouts of America scholarship fund that the have started. Funds can also be donated to Wilson Bank and Trust in Rowan’s name.

Wednesday night, a park bench in Rowan’s name was unveiled at Charlie Daniels Park. It shows Rowan’s smiling with a thumbs up and has Philippians 4:13 printed on the photo.

The Bible verse “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.” 4:13 is also the time Rowan passed away.

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