‘Never Be The Same:' OKC Mother Shares Message To Parents 1 Year After Son’s Death At Lake Overholser

A metro mother marked one year without her son who drowned at Lake Overholser. Oklahoma City firefighters said they have been called to water emergencies this summer. 

Tuesday, July 9th 2024, 10:42 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


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A metro mother marked one year without her son who drowned at Lake Overholser. Oklahoma City firefighters said they have been called to water emergencies this summer. 

They've responded to at least eight drowning calls in the last month. Holly Jones hopes her story will save someone else from the pain she feels every day. 

Photos save the smiles of the people we love. For Jones, the images inside her home remind her of who she lost. 

“It’ll never be the same,” Jones said. “It’s an empty feeling without him.” 

July 10 is her son Elijah’s birthday. It’s also the day he died. “He would be twelve,” Jones said. 

Last July, Elijah was one of two children who drowned at a Lake Overholser spillway. “It stings,” Jones said. “Everything stopped that day.”   

Jones also lost her home the day she lost Elijah. She found herself homeless. An emergency housing voucher brought her to a home in Northwest OKC. The van she used to live in rests outside her house. It still brings her comfort. 

“I still go out there and get in my van,” Jones said. “It’s comfortable to me.”  

She found love from her other three children and the community reflecting toward her. Their support helps her heal. 

“Everybody -- they were awesome,” said Jones, about the support she’s received from family, friends, and the community. 

Jones said she hopes families understand water’s power and keep safety in mind. 

“It’s too much pain,” Jones said. “I don’t want nobody to feel that pain.”  

As time passed, Jones found joy inside her son’s pictures.  

“He was just really loving,” she said. “He is always with me.” 

Her family photos provide evidence of the eleven years she and Elijah smiled together. Jones said her family planned to celebrate her son’s life again on Tuesday and remember the good memories he left behind. 

“I can’t wait to talk about him and smile," Jones said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Oklahoma ranked in the top 10 for drownings from 2018-2021. OKC firefighters said adults should supervise children closely around water. They said everyone should wear life jackets and learn CPR. 

Related: Staying Safe On Oklahoma's Waters: Swimming, Boating, & Water Safety

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