Your graveside service and celebration at C.H.A.P. (Children’s Healing Art Project) was wonderful. You are so loved Lesly. I was honored to help with your flowers on Friday. Frank had a huge picture of your beautiful face with a pink foil covered Styrofoam frame. We covered the frame with pink flowers. Your mom calls it your Buddha picture! J We also made a huge “Happy Sun” out of flowers and made buttons for everyone with your “Happy Sun” art work.
I was blessed to visit with your parents. I hadn’t seen them since you’ve left. The hugs we shared felt warm, strong and powerful. We talked a lot about you, how we miss you, how wonderful it must be for you to be without pain, to run and play in heaven. They seem to be doing ok, but I know it’s not easy. Your mom and I have made plans to go hiking together. I’m going to bring Josh’s dog and she’s going to bring your dog! I think they’ll have fun together.
It was cold and rainy throughout your graveside service. A lot of people were there. Doctors, nurses, friends, family, your teachers and school counselors, your chemo pals… We stood in the rain huddled together crying because we miss you and laughing at the many wonderful stories we heard about you. Stories like “Burn Barbie Burn”, your consistent, unique artwork of “Happy Suns”, your kindness, feistiness and fun nicknames for people you love like Mr. Bossy, and Dr. Shorty Pants. Whenever I think of you, Lesly, I hear your infectious giggle.
Frank told us to go ahead and cry, but that when we went to C.H.A..P. we were to laugh, party and celebrate your life! So that’s what we did! Your mom picked 14 kids, kids that knew you, which included Joshie. They went into the middle of the “paint cube” and the kids all threw paint at your mom and dad! You should have seen them with their goggles and hats. The bright spring colors were flying! Your mom and dad were covered with beautiful colorful blessings! Then we all took turns getting “blessed” or “blessing” others by throwing paint. Paint was everywhere! It soaked through our clothes; it was in our hair, our ears, on our faces, our hands and our feet! It’s been fun bringing home a piece of you as we keep discovering a vibrant splotch of color on our bodies! We ate ice-cream Sundaes, and then worn-out and spent we came home. We ate our favorite meal in honor of you, cried a little more, and then went to bed with thoughts of you with your colors still present.
Your mom and dad went home with your aunt, uncle and cousin last night. They are going to celebrate Easter together and your cousin is getting baptized! I know you’ll be watching. It is so fitting that we celebrated your life the day before Easter and your cousin celebrates her new life in Christ on Easter Sunday! Easter’s will never be the same for me, Lesly. I will always think of you when I ponder Christ’s resurrection. With paint still in his hair, Josh wore your “Happy Sun” button to Easter Service.
I’m so comforted knowing God sent you to your parents to be loved and cared for. Your journey was difficult, Lesly. At times it was excruciating. But you had amazing parents. They allowed you to be true to whom you are, they fought for you for five years, and they taught you right from wrong not allowing you to be rude or selfish. They are so strong they have so much more to give. Your mom spoke to me of her excitement to give to others returning what has been given to her and you and your dad. Incredible.
Often throughout the day I would look at your parents, Lesly, and think that could be Don and I. We could be celebrating the life of our young son, but we aren’t. I don’t understand why, Lesly. Why have we been spared that supreme grief? Why weren’t your parents spared? Why is Josh here? Why are you gone?
Good-bye Lesly…enjoy your new life…