(This post was written by Laura on December 2, 2018)
When you lose someone you love, it isn’t uncommon to mark holidays, birthdays and other special days based on the number of years since your loved one has passed away. Last year was our year of “firsts,” which are often, but not always, the most difficult dates on the calendar to survive. For our first Christmas without Luke a few dear friends secretly contacted many of our family and friends and asked if they would select a yellow Christmas ornament (or one that wasn't yellow but reminded them of Luke) and send it to them. These amazing women collected ornaments from both friends and strangers who had heard about Luke, his faith, and his brave battle with cancer and asked us if they could come visit us during the week before Christmas. When they arrived at our house, they asked us to go down to the basement, because they wanted to bring in and set up a surprise for us. Twenty minutes later we were ushered back upstairs and presented with their gift of love and kindness, a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments in memory of Luke.
We were so incredibly, deeply moved by this act of love. This Christmas tree was filled with ornaments from people who were touched by Luke, people who cared deeply for our family in our grief. Our Luke Tree was a healing balm to our ragged, grieving spirits that were dreading our first Christmas without our bright, witty, and brave youngest son.
This year is our second Christmas without Luke. We continue to grieve his absence in our family. We spent our second Thanksgiving remembering what we loved and missed about Luke. Over that weekend, we put up our Luke Tree. There is so much yellow on it, Luke’s favorite color and the color that most accurately reflects Luke’s spirit! As we hung ornaments on the tree, we read the tags that told us who gave each one. And again we felt the love and care of so many friends near and far. If you'd like to add an ornament to our Luke tree, we'd be honored and grateful! You can mail it to Luke Legacy Fund, Box 818, Mason MI, 48854.
The Luke tree has become Luke’s presence to us during this holiday season. We will cry and grieve his absence. But we will also smile and remember his friendly, feisty spirit. We will thank God for the seventeen Christmases we were privileged to share with Luke. We will thank God that because He sent His Son to earth as a newborn baby, we will someday live with Luke for eternity in Heaven.
Please hold us in your prayers as we remember Luke during this difficult season.
Thank you always!