If anything got Theresa Carey-Moore through the loss of her son to a workplace accident, it was her faith.
Her strong devotion to the Bahá’í faith made the presentation of a Bible bearing the name of her son, David Carey, all the more appropriate. It was a gift from Ron Hayes, the founder of F.I.G.H.T. (Families In Grief Hold Together) Project, who has been counseling the Rock Island woman.
Hayes, whose own son, Patrick, was killed in a grain silo accident, began his Bible tradition before his son’s death. Hayes said that when he was a hospice volunteer in Alabama, he chose a family every year to be a recipient, adding that the family “has to be in a certain place (in their grief). The first year, they’ve still got a lot of things going on, and it’s just so raw.”
He encourages the Bible recipients to donate them near Christmas to keep their loved one’s memory alive.
Carey-Moore chose to donate her Bible to Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline because its predecessor, Oak Glen Home, had been where her son’s great-grandmother, Mabel Safe, had been a resident. As a child, he would visit “Nana,” and they would watch their beloved Chicago Cubs on television.
As she presented the Bible last month to nursing home staff with about 20 residents in attendance, she talked about how “a senseless workplace accident claimed his life.”
The Rock Island mother has vowed to join Hayes in his efforts to continue to strengthen workplace safety laws and enforcement. Carey-Moore said her next step is to help F.I.G.H.T. in its efforts to see legislative changes.
Hayes, who is no stranger to Washington, D.C., wants stiffer penalties for workplace fatalities as well as a standard burial benefit through workers’ compensation. Right now, benefits vary from state to state, he said.
“In Alabama (his home state), we’re still at a $3,000 burial benefit. You can’t bury someone for that,” he said.
Through F.I.G.H.T., Hayes said he has “seen families that are broken apart, torn apart, put back together.”
“They’re still going to remember that loved one every day. I can’t fix that (they’re gone),” he added. “But I can give them some hope that it is going to get better.”