Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Duncan’s Tree

Thursday, August 27, if our dreams had come to fruition, we would have welcomed our second son into this world via repeat Cesarean section.

Instead, we joined our small group – the numerous families that have stepped up and welcomed us into their midst since moving to Tennessee – for a night of remembering our sweet Duncan.

It was casual (pizza and cookies under the outdoor pavilion) and family-friendly (hence the bubbles and the swings); it was exactly what I would have planned….if I’d been involved in the planning.  Which I wasn’t.  But that turned out to be a wonderfully welcome reprieve:  instead of my Type-A neurosis driving me mad, I was instead able to show up with my family and be nothing but surprised and blessed.

As you’ll see from the slideshow (captions will appear if you hover your cursor over each shot), our church gifted us with planting a young sunset maple in memory of Duncan.  It is planted at the edge of the playground on our church property, and a plaque will hang in the preschool wing of our church in memory of our son.

This is what is inscribed on the plaque, written by my dear friend Andrea:

May this powerful tree grow strong,
as Duncan was strong and such a fighter;
May its vibrant colors be a reminder
of God's passionate love for us and for Duncan;
May the shade cast in its shadows
be a reminder of the comfort and rest we have in Him
even in the face of loss;
And as the leaves fall and dance in the wind,
may we be reminded of Duncan dancing in heaven with Him.

It is impossible to adequately express how much this gesture means to our family.  To our church family: we are blessed to worship and serve alongside you.  We love you.

family of four


Anonymous said...

Count my Heart as one that was touched beyond words!

Duncan's Gramp-e

The Blatchford Family said...


Kelly said...

So sweet. (((hugs)))

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

My heart aches and sings all at the same time. What a fabulous and wonderfully loving gesture. I know you will love watching the tree grow and comfort all those that need it. God Bless. I too have a child dancing and singing with the angels and our Heavenly Father in Heaven. One day I will get to dance and play and sing with her like you will with Duncan. Hugs, Marty

Kendra said...

Monica that is beautiful...so touching.
What a wonderful example of the family of God.

I must say...I am a little off. I thought your due date was Labor day. Your gift is set to arrive then...I feel just awful realizing I missed his due date now. Please forgive this oversight!!!

Praying for you and your family always.

Love you.

The O'Neils said...

Thanks for the bedtime cry. It was all so beautiful. We love you!

Stacy D said...


So beautiful... the tree, the words inscribed on the plaque, your church's love for you, Duncan, and our Savior.

I am so thankful that you will have a place to go and be still and remember Duncan... basking in the shade provided by that tree, hearing its leaves blow in the breeze, and watching it spring to leave each year.

I know that as lare as that tree will grow, it will never fill the void of Duncan's absence; but I am so thankful for the beauty of things done in his sweet memory.


phasejumper said...

That was so sweet. Andrea did a wonderful job. Prayers and hugs.

Jenny said...

Your family is so lucky to have a community that loves you. We miss you guys and think of you often.

Valerie said...

What a beautiful remembrance of your sweet Duncan. You have found such a loving family in your new church. The wording on the plaque is touching.

Sending prayers to your family.


Sara said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful gift and celebration! :) *hugs* Love you, Mon!

Holly said...

Wow! How wonderful!! A great tribute and memorial and I love what the plaque says.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. How wonderful to have people like that in your life!

Kristy said...

What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Duncan.

I love the photo of the 3 of you with Duncan's tree...it speaks so much.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

So beautiful, Monica...what a perfect gift...