Jennifer Neville-Lake is living every parent’s worst nightmare.
“I miss my life as a mom to living children,” Neville-Lake told TODAY Parents.
Four years ago, on Sept. 27, Neville-Lake’s kids Daniel, 9, Harry, 5, and Milly, 2, were killed when their car was struck by a drunk driver in Vaughan, Ontario. Her father, Gary Neville, 65, also died in the T-bone crash that occurred when the other driver, Marco Muzzo, ran a stop sign.
Neville-Lake learned about the accident when she was watching the news and recognized her minivan.
“This time of year is an immense struggle for me,” Neville-Lake said. “I want to be with them more than anything in the world.”
Earlier this month, the grieving mother from Brampton, Ontario, posted a photo on Facebook showing Daniel, Harry and Milly’s lunchboxes on their gravestone.
“Grade 8. Grade 4. Grade 2. Or rather, should be!” Neville-Lake wrote. “Our family’s first day of school because of a drunk driver.”
The camouflage print lunchbox stamped with 10,000 belonged to Daniel, who loved to dance ballet. It was his favorite number, Neville-Lake explained. Harry, an animal lover, requested that his be monogrammed with the name of his guinea pig, Fixer. Milly's big brothers designed her floral sack.
“The photo is a tangible reminder of what you can be left with when your children are taken from you,” Neville-Lake told TODAY Parents.
Last summer, Neville-Lake founded Many Hands, Doing Good, a non-profit that provides art and music therapy for young people dealing with trauma. It’s a way for Neville-Lake to honor Daniel, Harry and Milly’s legacy.
“When I was a little girl, my dad told me that courage is fear with a brave face,” Neville-Lake said. “Those word resonate with me all day, every day.”
In 2016, Muzzo pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.