Monday, April 20, 2009

A Life Celebrated

This past Saturday was my brother's memorial in Poway, CA. I went down on Friday to help get last minute things done, like ordering flowers and buying a guest book and decorating the church. This also gave the kids extra time to play with their cousins. Later that night we all made the trek to the local JcPenney photo studio to get pictures taken. Suprisingly it went smoother then I had imagined and we ended up with some really cute pictures. I will post those when we get them back.

Saturday is when the reality of the weekend hit. We headed to the church around 10:15 to get the video camera set up and take the time to capture a few pictures before everyone got there. My sisters and mom set up a beautiful memory table for people to view on their way in. This table included his stuffed football that he got on the day he was born, along with my dad's football from his childhood, that was passed down to my brother when my dad passed away in 2002. We also displayed his baby book, one of his baby outfits, and lots of other milestone pictures. Everyone seemed to enjoy walking down memory lane as they entered the church. Andrew and his cousin Jacob were entrusted with the job of handing out bulletins and having guests sign the book. They felt so big and responsible by being given this job. They did a wonderful job and would have made their Uncle D proud.
At the front of the church we had a few flower arrangements, a large picture of my brother (taken on his wedding day in 2003) and then his urn, which was engraved with his dates and also had a beautiful picture of him take a few years back.
When we went to pick out flowers for my brother the day before we only had one true requirement: the arrangement must include the stargazer flowers. Those are the white flowers with pink in the middle. My dad ALWAYS got these flowers for my mom and my brother did the same for his wife. Dale has even gotten in on the tradition and usually makes sure there is a stargazer or two in the bouqets he gets me. We wanted something simple but elegant and I think we accomplished that with this beautiful arrangment that stated "Son, Brother, and Uncle" on the ribbon.
The service itself was very touching. The video montage went off without a hitch and seemed to be enjoyed by everyone. If you would like to check it out for yourself just click on the link or picture below to be taken to it.
My mom, sisters, and I were all able to get up and speak; which we were not sure we were going to be able to do if emotions took over. There were also a few friends that came up and spoke about how David had impacted their lives. He touch many people during his short time here on earth.
Following the service we had a luncheon in the reception hall where we got to talk to all of those that had come to celebrate David's life. It was a major blast from the past having all of those people in the same room, including my Pre-K teacher and many others from my years past. The consensus was one of disbelief and shock at a life so short.
But, we also know that we don't have to say goodbye, but instead see ya later since we know we will see him again in heaven. I don't understand the why's of it all but know that God's perfect will is done in each of our lives. The most important lesson learned is to cherish every moment because we never know when it will be our last. David was great at making phone calls, not just on birthdays and anniversaries or major holidays, but whenever he wanted to say 'I love you.' His family meant so much to him and he made sure he took every opportunity to tell us how much he loves us. I hope that you are able to do the same with your family before their time comes.


  1. I am still getting comments on how great a job you did on the montage. It was and is beautiful. It was such an important part of David's service and a great memento to keep for years to come.

  2. JOY,

    I'm so sorry that I am late in getting in touch with you. I have no excuse. I truly am sorry for your family's huge loss. David was a great guy as I looked back at my memories of him. I can't imagine the pain you and your family must be going through. Nate and I will continue our prayers for your family.