FORT WORTH - The Southwest High School orchestra still plays strong melodies, but it hasn't sounded the same since it lost its leader a year ago.
Eric Forrester, an aspiring cellist and honor student, was killed by intruders at his house. The tragedy silenced the music in his family, until they returned to school for one more concert.
Eric’s father, Richard Forrester, was prepared to shed a few tears during a performance by the orchestra at the school Thursday night.
"I will hear those sounds again that we have not heard back in our house for over a year,” he said. “Whether it was the cello, electric guitar, or a piano, he played them all. So, it is kind of coming home. So, we'll hear those echoes again."
The Forrester family still doesn't like to talk about the day Eric's life ended, or about the two teenagers who are accused of the crime.
Debbie Forrester, Eric's mother, told News 8 she still reads letters and e-mails about the kindness of her son. There are friends who said he helped them study, church members who followed his example and his brother and sisters say he offered words on how to live a better life.
"I'm determined that I am going to look at the happy things, the positive things that happened in Eric's life and the positive things that have come about because of his death," Mrs. Forrester said.
Eric's legacy of humility, service and music will live on with a new scholarship that bears his name. Thursday night, the family presented the first check to Jaquelin Torres, a graduating senior who told the family how important music is in her life.
"It was special to Eric and It was special to us,” said Sean Forrester, Eric's brother. “And because of that, it means a lot to be able to give that joy to somebody else."
His sister, Nike, said her children use to dance to his music.
"He was a great brother and a great friend and uncle," she said. "I just want him to be remembered and to be honored."
The Foresters still remember the sounds of Eric practicing his cello in their home, and they pray his scholarship will let someone else explore the passion of his dreams that were cut short.
Mrs. Forrester said she wants other people to follow Eric’s example.
"Even a quiet 17-year-old boy can make a huge difference in people's lives, and we can all make that difference in each other's lives," she said.
Questions about the Eric Jon Forrester Memorial Scholarship can be sent to the family’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org