There’s not always tomorrow.
The father of tragic child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey revealed his biggest regret about his daughter’s final Christmas — after she was given a new bike.
“We went out in the back alley and she rode it up and down the alley a couple of times,” her dad, John, told The US Sun of the 1996 holiday at the family’s Boulder, Colo., home.
But the heartbroken father said that instead of spending time with her as she rode, he rushed his excited 6-year-old daughter along, eager to get to their holiday meal with friends on time.
“I said, ‘OK, we gotta go, we’re going to be late for dinner,’” the now 79-year-old Ramsey told the outlet.
“To which she said, ‘Oh Dad. Please let me go just one more time,’ but I told her no, we’ll do that tomorrow.”
The next morning, JonBenet was found dead in the basement of the family’s home, sparking a decades-long murder mystery which saw each member of the family dogged by speculation that they were responsible for her death.
Now, 26 years later, it’s the “hurtful” memory of his daughter on her bike which haunts John.
“And that’s what I remember vividly, her asking me to go just one more time, and me telling her no we’ll do it tomorrow,” he said. “Of course, there was no tomorrow […] it’s a hurtful thought now.”
The Ramsey family has pushed in recent months for authorities to revisit JonBenet’s killing, which has never been solved.
But Christmas brings with it the pain of his missed opportunity for more joy with JonBenet.
“I had a mother write me [years later] and she said your loss made me take that extra five minutes when my child asked for my time because you don’t know,” he told The Sun.
“So that’s another life lesson […] don’t be so busy that you say we’ve got to wait until tomorrow. That’s what I remember most from that day.”
JonBenet would be 32 years old now if she was alive.