BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Only feet from where three year old Maksym Sugorovskiy died one year ago, his family gathered to remember his short life.
“It’s not about Maksym’s death, it’s not about what happened here or even how it happened,” said Mary Sugorovskiy, Maksym’s mother. “This is about Maksym and Maksym’s life.”
On May 30, 2015 Maksym walked along Ring Rd. with his mother and sister, Stephanie. A driver went off the 198 and hit the family in Delaware Park, investigators said the driver was asleep at the wheel.
“I’ll never forget holding my beautiful boy that morning,” said Mary Sugorovskiy. “As I wrapped him up in his favorite little froggy blankie, I held him so close that I could feel his heart beating against my chest. I specifically remember telling him how much I loved him.”
Mary Sugorovskiy hopes park-goers who return to the site of the tragic crash are inspired to live like Maksym.
“It is a way of being just a little bit kinder, a way of thinking a little more about other people than just ourselves and not expecting anything back in return, a way to love and forgive and to accept those that hurt us even when it’s hard, and it’s a way of living life to the absolute fullest,” said Mary Sugorovskiy.
Mary, Wally and Stephanie Sugorvskiy unveiled a memorial bench, overlooking the site of the crash. It sits along part of Ring Rd. now called Maksym Sugorovskiy Way. Behind the bench, stands a new tree symbolizing new life and growth.
The inscription at the memorial says, We will never forget his kind, gentle and caring little soul.
Stephanie shared a message for her brother, “Every day I wish you were still here with me but I will always remember that you were the best brother in the world and my hero. I love you and miss you.”
Stephanie released butterflies and balloons in honor Maksym.
“Now, almost like the butterfly that has emerged from its shell and transformed into a new being, let us remember that Maksym’s life is not over but has just begun, as we celebrate this one year anniversary today of Maksym Sugorovskiy’s rebirth into his new life that will live on forever and ever,” said Mary Sugorovskiy.