Quinton’s legacy

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Couple spreads a message of hope from their departed child

By Deb Hurley Brobst

Losing a child is a tragedy from which most parents never fully recover.
While Ernie and Kristine Jackson of Conifer still mourn the loss of their son, Quinton, who died in a freak car accident in June 2009 when he was 9, they believe losing him ultimately has been a blessing. Through his death, they have learned the importance of faith and family, that there’s more to life than making money, that their son is still with them and able to communicate with them — and that they need to share their story with others to help them find comfort when loved ones die.
Ernie knows that his calling now is to share his family’s experiences, and as he does so, he hears stories from others about loved ones who have died and have subsequently communicated in a variety of ways with the living. Most people are reticent to talk about communication with the dead, fearing others will question their sanity, Ernie said.
Ernie and Kristine don’t call it “death” anymore; rather, the terms they use are “transitioned” or “turned into pure energy.”
Ernie, 47, was so motivated by his life-changing journey over the past 2 1/2 years that he has written a book, “Quinton’s Messages,” to tell about Quinton’s life, his death, how he communicates, and what the family has learned. The book ends with stories from others who have had similar experiences.
Ernie has longstanding ties to the community. A 1983 graduate of Evergreen High School, he was the quarterback of the football team his senior year. Now, he’s an assistant coach for the EHS team. He works in commercial property management.
Kristine, 39, had worked for Heaney Chiropractic in Evergreen until soon after the accident.
Their daughter, Cheyanne, 18, graduated from Conifer High School in 2011.
“I don’t want people to be hurt by death,” Kristine said. “We’ve had a major awakening (because of Quinton’s death). We were blessed to have him. I have faith my son’s not alone.”

Quinton and the accident
Ernie and Kristine describe Quinton as an old soul who was empathetic to others. He was well liked at Marshdale Elementary School and had many friends.
Quinton loved to play with friends from school and in his neighborhood on Shadow Mountain. He was a typical 9-year-old — he loved to be outside and especially loved to swim. According to Ernie, he played as if it were the last time he would ever play again.
Ernie, at the time, was distant from his family because he was consumed by work, and he says he was looking for another spiritual path in his life rather than worshiping money.
The family always took a week’s vacation with extended family in early June. 2009 was no different.
“I left on this vacation looking for a purpose,” Ernie said. “Now I know my purpose. It’s to bring people the message that there’s more after death. There are a lot of people who know this, but they’re afraid to talk about it. This has put me on a path of learning.”
The family was returning home from a vacation in Lake Powell and had pulled off the road near Cortez when a tire on the trailer they were pulling began rubbing against the wheel well. Ernie, Kristine and Quinton were outside the car when a young woman fell asleep at the wheel, hit Ernie and ran over Kristine. Quinton died in the accident.
Kristine was airlifted to a hospital in Farmington, N.M., while Ernie was taken to a hospital in Cortez and released a few hours later. Quinton was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ernie said he received his first message from Quinton five days after the family returned home to Conifer. Ernie says he saw Quinton’s shadow in his son’s bedroom and heard Quinton call. He said he has received several other messages, and Kristine says Quinton has communicated with other relatives and friends.

Back to life, coaching football
Ernie says he has learned to let God direct his path, and he doesn’t worry about life issues. He continues to work and share with others about his experiences.
“I find myself pulled in many directions and appreciative of all of them,” Ernie writes in the closing of his book. “I am more enlightened, more appreciative of every breath, more taken by a smile from anyone and acknowledging of every message Quinton sends me.”
Ernie says being an assistant coach for the EHS football team has brought light back to his eyes. He has found that he enjoys coaching and helping the young men on the team grow.
He says his philosophy is to stay positive.
“I’m there to get them to believe in themselves,” Ernie said. “I tell them, ‘Look what you can accomplish when you believe in yourselves.’”

Book signings
The Jacksons will be at two signings for Ernie’s book, “Quinton’s Messages”:
• 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at HearthFire Books in Bergen Village.
• Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Mountain Books in Aspen Park.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.HighTimberTimes.com for updates.