CBS 58 Exclusive: Jackson Sparks' 'Angelversary': Family reflects one year later
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Monday was the one-year anniversary of the Waukesha Parade attack.
But today actually marks one year since eight-year-old Jackson Sparks passed away.
Earlier tonight, the Sparks family -- Sheri, Aaron and Tucker -- sat down with Jessob Reisbeck -- to talk about their little boy and brother.
The Sparks family doesn't call this the "anniversary" of Jackson's death, they call it his "angelversary".
The day their son and brother became a guardian angel.
"Today is the anniversary that we had to say goodbye, that he moved on," said Sheri Sparks, Jackson's mother.
The parade attack happened on Nov. 21, 2021. Jackson Sparks fought until the 23rd.
"It was a blessing to have those days in the hospital. The 23rd was the day that the doctors made the determination and we had to say goodbye," said Aaron Sparks, Jackson's father.
And that goodbye -- can you imagine. Think about it -- saying goodbye to your loved one, your child, your son -- knowing, you'll never see them again.
"We just held his hand and told him that we are here. Not sure if he could hear us or not, just trying to talk to him," said Aaron Sparks.
And they had to talk to Tucker, too.
He was severely injured in the parade. His hospital room, just down the hall from Jackson.
"That was the hardest conversation I remember having. How do you explain that to a 12-year-old Jackson, that was his little brother, his playmate, it's not a conversation you have a script for," said Aaron Sparks.
"I don't remember much, just going down to his room and seeing him," said Tucker Sparks, Jackson's brother and parade survivor.
"Tucker's room was just down the hall from Jackson's, so to leave we walked right by Jackson's room to go home. So that was brutal leaving without him just walking by his room knowing that he's never coming home with us," said Sheri Sparks.
Never coming home, but never leaving them, either. A guardian angel that has touched so many lives.
"So many people relate to Jackson and his love for baseball and his toothless grin. They see pictures and it melts my heart. He was an amazing little boy," said Aaron Sparks.
"We want to live to make him proud. He wouldn't want us to be in a dark place. He'd want us to live on," said Sheri Sparks.
Jackson's lucky number was 23. It pops up in the family's life a lot since his passing -- his way of saying hello, maybe.
And today's date -- the date of his "angelversary" -- Nov. 23.
We will have much more with the Sparks family next week, as they reflect on the trial, the verdict, the sentencing and more.
The Sparks family has set up the Jackson Sparks Foundation in remembrance of Jackson and to help children achieve their baseball dreams.