But even with happiness, sometimes sadness comes, too. Perhaps the most devastating event that has happened was the recent passing of my nephew Brady. After five months of being treated for his congenital heart condition, he passed away on December 10th. As you can imagine, my family is heart broken. But despite our great loss, we gained so much from Brady. I think the pastor at Brady's funeral summed it up best. He said, "I counted the days. Brady was here on this earth for 145 days. And in those 145 days, he accomplished more than most people do in their entire lives. He made us all better people. He brought us together as a community, and he showed us the power of love."
At Brady's funeral, most of the nurses from the PICU unit where Brady received a majority of his care came to pay their condolences and read a poem that they dedicated to Brady. They called him their Little Superman. This may have been because my sister dressed him up as Superman for Halloween, but I think it was mostly because he was a fighter and endured a lot during his short time with us.
After the funeral, the nurses came to my sister's home, bearing red and blue helium balloons (Superman's colors). They planned on releasing the balloons in memory of Brady. As we all stood in the cold, one of the nurses sang a song she often sang to the children in her life - "A Bushel and Peck."
It was sweet. When the song was over, we released our balloons into the night sky. They traveled together in a cluster up to heaven, and up to Brady. It was a beautiful moment.
The beautiful staff from the PICU unit
A few days after the funeral, I heard the song "One Last Christmas" by Matthew West on the radio. Not only did it bring tears to my eyes, it really struck a chord with me. It reminded me of Brady and how much he has changed our lives. I think my sister-in-law said it best in responding to the song: "That is beautiful. There is such goodness in the world even in the face of tragedy. Proof that every person no matter how small can touch the world in an amazing way. Brady did just that!"
Thank you Brady for blessing us with your love. You'll live forever in our hearts.
A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.