Son Who Lost His Mom to Breast Cancer Shares How He Carries Her with Him

It’s been a little more than two months since Clayton Reust lost his mom, Karri Grant, to breast cancer. She had faced the disease for nearly half his life, first diagnosed in 2009. But Clayton says, she remained optimistic even until the end.

“She never really liked to show people how sick she was. She always wanted to show people that she was staying positive, to keep everyone else’s hopes up,” said Clayton.

Karri always put the people she loved first, especially Clayton and his sister Mikayla.

“My mom would always say it was the three of us against the world, because we did everything together,” said Clayton.

While Karri may be gone, her memory is everywhere. Photographs of her cover the refrigerator of their family home. And her special space, her garden, still reminds Clayton of his mom every day.

“She made it look so nice,” said Clayton. “Either she was here, or we were traveling. My mom loved to travel.”

It’s not hard to see that life without his mom isn’t easy for Clayton. So he had an idea, a way for her to always be with him. It started with a voicemail she left him- the last voicemail she ever left him. At the end of the voicemail, Karri told Clayton, “Okay, love you, bye.”

“I just went in and saved it and trimmed it down to this portion,” said Clayton. “One of her friends blew it up for me so I got it tattooed.”

It’s a way to make her love always within reach.

“I take her everywhere I go,” said Clayton.