Widow of slain NC trooper reflects on legacy and efforts to reme - FOX Carolina 21

Widow of slain NC trooper reflects on legacy and efforts to remember him 10 years on

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(Source: Troopershawnblantonscholarship.com) (Source: Troopershawnblantonscholarship.com)
CANTON, NC (FOX Carolina) -

If you ever travel Interstate 40 in Haywood County, there's a good chance you'll come across a name and a cross within a short distance of one another.  Both are meant to memorialize a North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper who was shot in the line of duty nearly ten years ago.

On June 17, 2008, Trooper Shawn Blanton was killed during a traffic stop by Eduardo Wong. Wong shot Blanton as the trooper was trying to search him.  Blanton later died at a local hospital--the same one where his son, Tye, born premature, was being cared for.

Tragedy would strike months later when his son also died.

"It definitely doesn't feel like it's been ten  years," said Michaela Blanton Lowe, Blanton's widow.  "It doesn't feel like it's been ten years since our son was born. It doesn't feel like it's been ten years since Shawn was killed."

Lowe lost so much in such a short amount of time.  And during it all, she reluctantly became the face many associate with the heartbreaking loss, and wholeheartedly became the figure to remember her late husband and son.

But she admits it hasn't been easy.

"Sometimes I say it, myself," she said.  "I think, 'gosh, was this just a dream?'"

Lowe's life has changed in those years.  She has moved forward with her life, becoming a mother twice more with a man who she says is understanding of her loss and the sense of responsibility she still has to it.

"Today, I'm a restaurant owner, which is very exciting.  My now-husband and I own the restaurant together with my mom and step-dad, and I have two beautiful healthy little girls," she said.

This coming weekend marks the 10th anniversary of Trooper Shawn Blanton's death, and she's part of efforts to honor him. Among them, a remembrance ride, which will benefit the Tye Blanton Foundation, which was set up to help premature babies and their families.

The mix of remembering what she lost and balancing it with what she has now is not lost on her.  She admits to having guilt about moving forward with her life.

"I knew that I had a lot of life left to live.  And I knew I wanted to be a mom again," she said.

Moving forward for Lowe hasn't meant moving on.

In addition to helping lead efforts to remember her late husband, Lowe said Blanton's mother has become like another grandmother to her two children.  She also said that her children know of their brother, who would now be 10 years old.

The remembrance ride, set for Saturday at 11:00am, will start at Unto These Hills in Cherokee and end at Lowe's restaurant, Southern Porch, in Canton. Click here for more information and to register for the ride.

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