Dear Austin,

       You were a light to your family and to so many people who knew you-even to thousands of people in the world who didn't know you. Your five years of life have made such a dynamic impact on lives everywhere. As we reflect on your short life of five years, nine months, and ten days, you have made us so proud. We were amazed to see how you matured in the Lord at a very young age. As parents, we loved you and taught you to love Jesus. At the same time, you were teaching us that being parents of a little boy like you, Austin, was the greatest gift that we could ever obtain in life-definitely a gift from God. We experienced love for you beyond what any words could ever express; in turn, you loved us back. Times we spent laughing and playing will always be remembered. What a blessing we will share, our little man, when we can hold you in our arms in Heaven-together forever. We will meet you at Heaven's open gates. What a day that will be!

We love you so much,
Mama and Daddy

Written February 2001, six months prior to Austin's birth:

I prayed for God to keep Austin and protect him even before he was born.

How Very Often I Have Dreamed of You
How very often I have dreamed of you,
To hold you in my arms,
To kiss you on your cheek,
And to comfort all day long.
How very often I have dreamed of you,
A world of perfect bliss,
To hold your tiny hand in mine
And give a little kiss.
How very often I have dreamed of you
My little boy or girl
With silky black hair like Daddy's
Or like Mama's with reddish curls.
How very often I have dreamed of you.
Please, God, keep my baby safe.
I can't wait to hold you in my arms
And gaze into your face.
Renee Haley


The Austin Haley Story--A Family Confronting Unthinkable Tragedy

Just then I heard my father say, “I’ve got Austin here in the back of the Polaris.”

I’m trembling as though an earthquake is taking over my body…everything is happening in slow motion.

At any moment I’m going to break—there’s no doubt about it. My husband hears my screams; he runs toward me. Putting a hand on each of my shoulders, he asks, “What? What happened?”

Out of breath, I am barely able to speak. “Someone shot Austin while he was at the pond!”

On what should have been a beautiful August evening, Jack and Renee Haley were faced with one of the most devastating and senseless tragedies that anyone could imagine. An accidental shooting by a police officer had resulted in the death of their five-year-old son, Austin.

The Haley’s and their family and friends struggled with the overwhelming grief. Ultimately, placing their faith in God has sustained them through the intense despair of losing a child. Despite the waves of grief, they never forgot the lesson Austin taught them throughout his short life: God delivers his children through all circumstances.

The Austin Haley Story will encourage anyone facing an unimaginable tragedy. It will bring comfort and strength to those who are at the lowest point in their life.

Jack and Renee Haley reside in Noble, Oklahoma, with their two children and extended family. After the loss of their son was broadcasted throughout the United States, they developed a passion in uplifting and encouraging others who have also experienced the heartache of losing a child.

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