These are the only four pictures I haven't posted onto facebook....the only pictures Ayden's grandparents haven't seen yet....pictures I was keeping for myself because they held one of my last memories of Ayden.
If this doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.
Here are some more pictures of how Ayden has been honored:
The above pictures are from a school Jeremy taught and coached at last year. In honor of Ayden, they are painting his initials on the field each week. These pictures are from the first game they played featuring the initials. They also presented Jeremy with this portrait of Ayden. I was in awe and humbled by what they did....
My school's football team presented us with the game ball from the week we lost Ayden. Here is a picture of the ball:
When this was presented to me, the coach told me that they wanted us to have the game ball because they played with heavy hearts that week in honor of us and of Ayden.
Bracelets have been made in honor of Ayden and passed out amongst students and friends at our church. And two of my students organized the vigil in honor of Ayden and other babies who have been lost. You can see pictures from the vigil here, at Lauren's blog. Below is a picture of the bracelet as well as two newspaper articles that featured Ayden's story:
We have set up a scholarship fund at church in Ayden's name, and the church also allowed us to plant a garden in the playground in memory of Ayden. You can see the garden in the background of the the picture in the first newspaper article.
The outreach has been amazing. People contact me daily to tell me how Ayden has touched their lives and that they will never forget Ayden. Our story continues to be told; Ayden's name continues to be spoken. But none of it brings him back. And that's hard.
I can imagine that many parents who have lost their child don't receive the type of reception we have. We know how blessed we are to have had this type of reception and support. And while we are gracious for it all....just so thankful.....as his parents, none of it well ever be enough for us because to a grieving parent, until the entire world has heard the name of your child, you can not be satisfied. I realize that that isn't realistic - unless I got some sort of amazing book deal that ended up being translated into every language possible (I'm not discounting it at all!) - but as the grieving parent, I want to honor my child every, single day....speak his name....SEE the impact.
One day, Ayden will be able to tell me, and SHOW me, why he had to leave us so soon. I have a feeling he will introduce me to so many people who were changed by his story...people who otherwise would not have chosen to change. That is my hope.
Thank you for continuing to remember Ayden. Remembering Ayden means cherishing the sweet things in life while you have them because you never know how fleeting they may be.
I'd like to end this post by congratulating my Uncle Joseph and his wife, Lorna, on their newest addition - Matthew Joseph Tyson. He is absolutely beautiful with strawberry-blonde hair and his mother's beautiful face. My uncle is in the army, so they are in Korea at the moment, but they will be home next summer. Looking forward to reuniting with them and my two little cousins. We love you guys.