Paul Walker's mother, Cheryl, said he was in the best of spirits when she saw him the morning of his death — Nov. 30, 2013. She said he sat in her kitchen with his daughter, Meadow, making holiday plans.
He decided he wanted to pick out a Christmas tree that evening and decorate it with his 15-year-old daughter.
“We were having this good conversation, and he’d forgotten about an event he had,” Cheryl said in an upcoming documentary about Walker's life, I Am Paul Walker, according to PEOPLE. “He got a text and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m supposed to be somewhere!’”
He rushed out the door to attend a charity car show for his organization Reach Out Worldwide; Cheryl had no idea it would be the last time she'd see her son. Hours later, when leaving the fundraiser, Walker and his friend Roger Rodas crashed a red Carrera GT Porsche. The car exploded and killed them both.
“I think so many people think, ‘Oh, he was just a movie star who was killed in a car accident,'" Cheryl said. "But there was so much more to him. That was just a piece of who he was. He was an amazing man.”
Nearly five years after his sudden death, family members say they have their own special ways of keeping his memory alive and well. For his birthday on Sept. 12, the family tradition is to go to one of his favorite surf spots, Huntington Beach, to throw sunflowers in the ocean and tell their favorite memory of Walker.
"I've gotten letters from people all over the world who said he made a difference in their lives," Cheryl said. "That is such a blessing. He's never forgotten."
The actor's Fast & Furious family also pays tribute to Walker each year, usually on the anniversary of his death. Last year, cast mates like Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster and Tyrese Gibson all shared emotional social media tributes to the actor, who was 40 when he died.
Meadow and Rodas' widow, Kristine, recently settled their separate lawsuits with Porsche. Kristine claimed faulty mechanics were to blame for the crash, while Meadow claimed that defects in the car manufacturer's design led to the crash. Meadow believed that Walker survived the collision but burned alive after being trapped by his seatbelt. Walker's father also reached a similar settlement with the company.
Meadow previously settled with Rodas' estate for $10.1 million.
I Am Paul Walker will debut Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network.