The night before Henry's memorial service, I printed and put together photo boards to share at the service to give people a glimpse into his little life. I thought I'd make a Smilebox to share them here, too, for those who were unable to attend due to distance or other commitments. There are 142 photos in the slide show, so it will probably take you some time to go through if you're interested. I tried to get it in chronological order, but I think a few are out of order still. Also, note that these are only pics we've taken since we got a digital camera (plus a few early ones that had been scanned). There were additional pictures at the service that had been taken with film that I don't have here:
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
We chose three songs for the funeral. The congregation sang Children Of The Heavenly Father, and then we played two contemporary songs. The first was Brad Paisley's When I Get Where I'm Going. I chose that song specifically for the opening lyrics. The part about how he lands next to a lion and runs his fingers through its mane. I could just visualize Henry doing that - he loved animals sooooo much! The second song was Chris Cornell's I Promise It's Not Goodbye. I just loved that song the first time I heard it. It was as if it was written just for us. Be sure to click over and listen if you're not familiar. I find myself humming the first verse often when I'm feeling down, and imagine Henry singing it to me.
In addition to the songs, we shared this poem:
We never wanted memories, We only wanted you.
A million times we needed you, a million times we cried.
If love alone could have saved you you never would have died.
In life we loved you dearly, In death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
We'd walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
There are so many questions I have and so few answers. So many dreams I had for you and for all of us that will never come true. So many games we haven’t played so many zoos we’ve yet to visit. I had grand plans to take you to every zoo in the country, one by one until you tired of them. We’d walk hand in hand as we always did, and you’d giggle and say, “Run, Mama! Run with me!” while tugging at my arm. At first I’d resist, but then give in as I did every single time. Your smile was incredible, and I spent the last three years doing whatever I could to bring it out. I will never forget your laughter or your smile, or your kind soul that was so mature for a child your age. I promise you I will never forget how to be silly, and will one day run and roll and tickle and play with you in Heaven just as we did every day here on earth.
Two years ago, I was pregnant with your brother Jack, and as much as I was looking forward to another wonderful little boy to love, I was terrified that something would go wrong during his delivery, and I would pass on, leaving you far too soon. Never could I ever imagine that you would be the one leaving me. Two days before I gave birth to your brother, I wrote you a letter. Something I wanted you to have in case I didn’t make it through that c-section surgery. In that letter, I wrote, “From day one, you have meant the world to me. I’ve often told your Papa that you are my heart and it is the truth. All of the love I have is wrapped up in you. In your smile, your laughter, even in your cranky side! I am constantly amazed with you, and you have made every day of your life a joy for me, and I could never want for more. Thank you for blessing me with your presence, and as I’ve told you since the day you were born – ‘no matter what happens know that Mama loves you and she’s never very far away’.
I whispered those words – Remember, Mama loves you and she’s never very far away – in your ear when I had to lay you on the light table for your jaundice the day after you were born. I repeated the same thing time and again these past three years whenever I had to be away from you for more than a few hours. Whether you were spending the night at grandma’s house, or going on an adventure with Papa. Last weekend as I held your hand in the hospital and the Flight for Life crew prepped you for your first helicopter ride, I kissed you gently and whispered those words again. Mama’s never very far away. And then I got in my van and raced Papa and myself down to Milwaukee to be at your side.
Even though you are looking down on us from heaven now, I want you to know that I am still right here, not very far away. If you need me, you know where to find me, and you can snuggle up at my side whenever you need to… just like always. I love you every bit as much today as I did the day you were born – even more, if that’s possible. I spent nine and a half months carrying you in my tummy, and will spend the rest of eternity carrying you in my heart and in my memory.
All of my love, kisses, and tickles, sweet boy.
As you danced in the light with joy, love lifted you.