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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hopes and Dreams May Change, But Never Disappear


Ready for a balloon release at Anderson's Service - Photo by A. Storch


For a week, I composed, in my head, what to say at Anderson's Service.  So many have commented on how strong I must be to have spoken.  I did struggle with whether to speak, but a friend summed up my motivation so well after the service.  So many times, when ones we love have died, we share funny stories to remember them.  Honestly, in a short 18 months, who REALLY knew Anderson - very few did, but we as parents knew and treasured every moment.  So, knowing it would be hard to gather my thoughts, I wrote out what I planned to say so that I could share with people who were there to support us just a little bit of what our little boy was made of.  In hindsight I am so glad I did, and that I printed it out in extra large font because I could barely even read it through my tears.  Many have asked that we share with them a video of the service - we had it videotaped by a good friend (thanks Jessica!) because many close family members, including my parents, could not travel to be at the service.  Honestly, I haven't been able to watch it - and probably won't for some time, so I will share here my written words for the service instead.

"Good morning.
Thank you just doesn’t cut it today.  No words can express our gratitude and appreciation for the love and prayers we have received these last 11 days.  As many of you may know, the last few years have not always been easy for our family.  It is sometimes so easy to find oneself thinking or feeling like we are alone when life inevitably does what life will sometimes do, presenting us with what seem like impossible challenges.  Today, however, I want to share with everyone that no one is alone in life’s journey of ups and downs.  I ask you to look around this room – at all the love, support, and open arms.  If nothing else comes from today, I truly hope that each of us leaves here with a new perspective and strength to draw upon when life gives us our own individual mountains to climb.  While the faces of the people you find in your own life may not be identical, today we are all surrounded by a community of love, support, encouragement, and just plain human companionship that all of us need to draw upon in times of need.  We have all heard “It takes a village.”  Today we sit among the finest of villages – this community gathered in this room, and it is overwhelming.  Thank you all for your love for our family.  The peace and comfort we have found with each and every one of you during this time is immeasurable.
I have struggled over the last few days of what to say, whether to say anything at all today.  I couldn’t help but feel compelled to say something today, as difficult as it is with a broken heart, because there is so much I want to still tell my precious boy – so much all of our family has struggled to put into words during what has been an unthinkable tragedy for our family.  I wanted to express our wishes for our precious boy to help everyone know him better, know him as we knew him.
Our Dear Sweet Anderson:
Our time with you was much too short.  We all miss you terribly, more than any words can express.  Our hearts ache to hold you, to get sloppy kisses, and to catch you as you run into our arms collapsing in a fit of laughter.   While we are biased, of course, we all believe you had to be the happiest little boy we have ever seen.  I can’t help but believe that you packed in a lifetime of happiness, laughter, and smiles into your 18 months with us. 
Every parent and family member has a long list of dreams for every child.  That does not change, even though you are no longer here with us.  While the hopes and dreams may be different, they are no less compelling than they were a mere 11 days ago.
We hope that you are, first off, still smiling that contagious smile, with the unmistakable sparkle in your eye.  We hope your days are filled with laughter and giggles, and an unending joy for learning new things.
We hope that someone is there to hear your demanding calls of “uh OH!” when you awake to find your pacifier recklessly thrown from your crib during your slumber.  And, even more importantly, that they jump to find it in the dark, feeling around on the floor and under your crib, desperately trying to return it to you for a source of comfort.
We hope that someone recognizes your pulling at your hair as your need to rest or sleep.  Or even better, that there is someone with long hair for you to sit with, entangle their hair with yours in your hand, and that will allow you to gently run it through your fingers as you fall asleep.
We hope that there is someone that will remind you to bite into the girl scout cookie as you stare at it after you have licked, or more accurately smeared all over your face, its chocolate coating.
We hope that there is someone who will stand across the room, get down on one knee, and hold their arms open and allow you to run into their arms giggling towards a huge hug.  More importantly, we hope they expect your legs to fold as you fall backwards expecting kisses under your chin, and they kiss you until you can barely breathe from laughing so hard.
We hope there is an abundance of drawers and cabinets filled with pots, pans, and Tupperware lids.  Similarly, we hope you are greeted with an abundance of patience as you empty the drawers and cabinets by the armload, and return each item one by one, interrupted by so many other fun distractions, before emptying them all over again.
We hope you can enjoy your meals while viewing a million birds gorging themselves on a feeder.  We hope you always squeal with excitement as each bird comes into view.
We hope you continue to identify fish in even the oddest of places, marveling at each fish with wide eyed excitement.
We hope you have a million balls to carry, move, put in and out of anything you can, all while exclaiming “BAH!  BAH!” with an unending proud grin.
We hope there are lots of mirrors for you to view yourself in, stick out your tongue, and crack yourself up in an endearing fit of laughter.
We hope that there is someone that finds your pulling their shirt to their knees, all while lifting one foot in what we affectionately call the flamingo pose, all while exclaiming “Up, Up” as heartwarming as we do.
We hope there is someone who loves to chase you as you run away with the devilish grin that says “catch me if you can.”
We hope there is someone who sometimes turns and giggles out of your site as you walk across a room, pretending to go get a toy, and as you pass the person who happened to irk you a minute before you grab a handful of hair.  Yes, our son, we will always stand by our rule that hair pulling is inappropriate.  However, your sneakiness and slyness were always a bit funny, you always thought you were fooling us, and just sometimes it was a joy to let you believe you had.
Most importantly, we hope you know in your heart how much you are loved.  We can’t help but believe that if the boundless love, joy, warmth, smiles and laughter you shared with us is any indication, you knew just how much we love you and now miss you with all our being.  We miss you little man, our little bud-bud and you will forever be in our hearts and lives.  Until we meet again our sweet boy –
We love you and we miss you with all our hearts."
There are still so many other memories or moments I wish I had shared.  Seems like life if full of a lot of regrets lately.  I can't help but wish that could or would change.

Balloons take flight - photo by A. Storch

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved this when you read it at the service, thanks for sharing it again. I hope you share lots of memories of Anderson, we would love to hear them. He was such a sweet, funny boy.
--heather

Terri Leeds said...

What you wrote was just beautiful, Lisa. Thanks for sharing it.