Monday morning started way too early for me.
Seth decided that he needed company – mainly, mine – in bed at 1:45 AM. Erin decided that 3:30 AM was prime party time in her room (Daddy’s been a bad influence the last few weekends, methinks). I had just gotten back into my own bed after settling her for an hour and a half, when Seth was tugging at me: “Mommy, wake up. It’s morning.” (Well, technically, yes, but, oh, how I was enjoying my pillow.
So, I’m up, I’m tired, I’m shamelessly using OnDemand Sprout TV to babysit so I can pry my eyes open, and I’m not a little dubious about how the day would unfold around me, seeing as how I couldn’t seem to lift my head.
But after a banana and a bowl of Cheerios and half-gallon of ice water, I was starting to perk up.
And then I got an email from the children’s ministry director at our church. I’ve mentioned before how much the people at our church have just welcomed us and pulled us in and made us family. They’ve watched our kiddos and fed out family and just done a fantastic job of living life with us since the day we got to this little Tennessee town.
By far one of the greatest displays of love we’ve seen from our church family was the planting of a sunset maple in Duncan’s honor last August. You can read all about that day and view the slideshow of pictures here.
I have wanted to have some family pictures taken at Duncan’s tree, but timing and weather have worked against us. But the great thing is – the tree isn’t going anywhere! =)
But I digress. I was talking about my bad Monday morning, and the redeeming email from Lisa:
I have to tell you what happened last night at Praise Kids!
We had taken the Kindergarten - 5th graders outside on the playground for a few minutes after rehearsal (they were wound UP!) and kids being kids, they were running all over the place. A group of boys discovered Duncan's little tree and started to shake it. After being told to stop a couple of times with no results, I marched over and gathered the kids around the tree. I showed them the ornament hanging in it's branches and explained to them why it was there and what it represented.
I told them that "before he was born, Baby Duncan went to Heaven to be with Jesus. But this tree helps us remember him."
Kaylen, with her eyes full of tears said, "Oh, I bet his Mom was really sad..."
I told them, "Yes, his Mom & Dad both were very sad, and so were a lot of other people. Even though Duncan is very happy and in Heaven with Jesus, they're still sad sometimes because Duncan never experienced life here on earth with their family. They're not seeing him grow up, go to school, play baseball...."
Jack, one of our 3rd graders, then interrupted with..."Well, now that just SUCKS!"
I couldn't help but laugh...it was such an honest and accurate statement! I told him, "Yeah, it does, Jack. But we have this tree to remind us that even if Duncan's life was short, he was still part of our family. And as his little tree grows tall, it points straight to Heaven to remind us everyday of Duncan's life and where he is."
Jack reached out gently, wrapped his hands around the tree, looked straight up the branches and said, "Hey, Duncan, miss you, buddy! Say hi to Jesus for me!" Then ran off to go play.
So now I've created a bunch of tree huggers. LOL The rest of the time on the playground, as the kids raced past the tree, they would stop, give it a hug, look up into its branches and say, "Hey, Duncan!," then wave good-bye as they darted off to play.
Later on, one of the younger kids ran over and started to shake the tree again, but this time a couple dozen other children pounced on him like vultures, screaming, "Stop shaking Duncan's tree! Leave it alone!!!"
Duncan made a ton of new friends last night...friends who are gonna do a great job looking out for his tree, making sure it grows straight & tall, so they can always remember him. : )
Do I even need to say anything in closing? Talk about making my day. Not only was my son remembered, but I get the pleasure and blessing of knowing this wonderful woman will be influencing my children for as long as we are blessed to worship together here in Tennessee.
I just had to share this with my readers; I hope it brought a smile to your day, too.