Saturday, August 17, 2013

"He felt joy 150%"

Faith. Our friend. Henry's school nurse. A wise and gentle woman who understood Henry - and loved him.

She spoke at Henry's Memorial Service. So did Casey and Jess. Henry's grandma Jan wrote something and had it read. Zane lit a candle, Anastasia played a song on the piano, mom read "Oh, the Places You'll Go." and dad gave a Eulogy that was honest, vulgar, tender and full of love - for Henry and his father. He has now eulogized his own father and son.

Rebecca, our lovely and supportive and observant officiant - delivered the service to us with grace and gentleness. She knew Henry, she loved Henry. The podium, in front of sad, grieving and expectant loved ones - could not have been an easy place to be. Her husband and family managed the kitchen and food for us. We could not have done without them.

Brendan - our hospice volunteer and now friend - managed the technical stuff for us. We'll have the evidence of that later in the week!

"It was really nice to see all of those people show up for Henry." Zane said upon reflection this morning.
A lot of people came. People who knew us, knew Henry, but we hadn't met yet. People who knew us, but hadn't met Henry - yet were touched by our love for him. People we hadn't seen in decades. People we had never met, but now are securely wrapped in the love that we shared for Henry.

Relationships were healed. Love and honesty shone along with the sun as it spilled through the colored glass of the sanctuary.

Many of us whispered a "Thank you Henry." as we walked away from the evening. Filled with love, hope and promise.

We miss Henry. Profoundly. Henry changed us. Henry made us vulnerable to other people's grief. Henry motivated us to change the world. Henry motivated us to be the best people that we could be.

Because he was. He was the best person he could be. Honestly. Painfully. Joyfully. "150%"

Thank you Henry.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"In a couple of years they have built a home...

...sweet home."

Henry was born on a sunny Saturday in February. At 3:30 pm they pulled him out of me in a whirl of emergency and anxiety.
Henry took his last breath in the dark hours of a warm Sunday morning in August. At 3:30 am we held his body and felt his last heart beat in a still and weary silence.

Next week we celebrate the life that Henry lived. We are asking that folks forgo flowers and make a donation to Henry's Heroes. We have plans for Henry's memory. But we also need to make ends meet. This last month and the next couple of months have been and will be financially difficult. We are lucky that my place of employment is so supportive with the time I've taken off of work, but they can't pay me what I didn't earn... I'm getting back on track, but it's slow, painful and unpredictable.

Our plan has always been to use Henry's Heroes as a way to give back to the community and the world. Our desire to pay it forward is only amplified by Henry's passing.

Henry loved music. We have a planned event for September - to support a local educational youth orchestra. We'll be raising money for a scholarship for one student. This is Zane's project - the rest of us are supporting him.
In February - for Valentine's Day and Henry's Birthday we will be having a Spaghetti Feed with music appreciation - for $$ to support families with special needs children. In late April or early May we will have a Dogwood Celebration (Purpose to be determined) and in August of 2014 we will have some charitable event yet unplanned and we'll do Anastasia's annual food drive as well.

Please contact Noah or Rebecca with details on where and how to donate.