New Year Reminders for the Travioli Family

New Year’s Eve is usually hopeful and exciting. Even if the year had been difficult, a person can write off all their bad resolutions and plan for future good intentions.  How would a person change their New Year’s Eve plans if New Year’s Day was not a hopeful reminder? How do parents spend their New Year’s Eve when they can still remember the night their son died?

Eric Gary Travioli was a seventeen year old senior at Kerman High School in Kerman, California when he died on a country road near his home. He was a passenger when the car struck a tree. His parents arrived at the site before ambulances or law enforcement.
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Melani Travioli, Eric’s mother, rarely visits the roadside memorial, preferring the cemetery. However, she is grateful to the landowners who have allowed the roadside memorial to remain six years after her son’s death. The memorial will not replace her son, but it provides comfort knowing that neighbors are compassionate.

Perhaps the landowners maintain the memorial as a reminder to someone they lost or possibly the landowners are merely acting on a resolution to be better community members.

Note: On January 1, 2015 I updated this post by adding the link to the slideshow. Here is the link.

5 Responses to “New Year Reminders for the Travioli Family”

  1. Melani Travioli says:

    It’s hard to call it “New Year’s Day” anymore… for my family, it will always be Eric’s Angel Day. Instead of looking forward to new memories, we spend the day sharing memories and stories of Eric. It is a day of tears and hugs, but as the “Adventures of Eric” are recalled and retold, the day is also filled with many laughs and more than a few shakes of a parent’s head as we hear of Eric’s antics and pranks.

    I still have many moments when tears suddenly spring to my eyes at some memory or thought about Eric. The loss is still hard even after six years but the sharp edges of the heart-ache are eased by the comfort and support of friends. These days we strive to create lasting memorials… Thank you, Bryan for adding this wonderful tribute to Eric.

    • bryan farley says:


      I feel honored to have been part of the memorial. Every project changes me forever. It seems that I think about someone from your circle every day. Something reminds me of you, whether it is an image or emotion. I have become a better father and friend. I hope I remember to be a better person.

      As long as I alive, I will remember you folks.

  2. Bryan Farley says:

    Melani Travioli, I wanted you to know that I was thinking about you and your family… made some minor changes to last year’s post too.

  3. Thanks. We appreciate you remembering Eric.

  4. Bryan Farley says:

    Melani Travioli, You are welcome. I just finished posting something about the entire project and organizing all of the photos. I am continually surprised by how much other people benefit… how much I benefit by knowing all of you. I remember Eric and I also remember you and your family and all of his friends who miss him.

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