Thursday, May 20, 2010

For Shawn

My husband lost his parents at a young age--he was eight when his father died and sixteen when his mother followed. A dear next door neighbor became a surrogate mother hen, keeping my husband and his younger sister under her loving watchful care. She became "Grandma" Ruby, and it was she who greeted me into the family.

When our first child, Shawn, came into our lives, Grandma Ruby wrote him a special letter. I would like to share it with you.

My Dear Shawn Lucien,

How very happy we are to welcome you into our warm family circle, for you have been wanted and needed for a long time.
Shawn, do you realize--well, one day you will, how blessed you were to be chosen to come into such a special home with parents and family who have waited so patiently for your safe arrival--and will love and cherish you your whole life through! Shawn, your Mom and Dad are pretty special people, as you shall learn each day--however, you must also learn to be a bit patient with them for they will make mistakes, not knowingly or intentionally, but because they love you and think they are doing the right thing--and you in turn, will also make your mistakes, but you'll always have parents who will try to understand, love you, and help you. So, go to them with your growing problems for it is a compliment to have our children ask our opinions. Yes, they will worry, and you'll also need to be disciplined, but heed their advice and accept their love, they're also new.
Shawn, eat your cereal and milk, don't keep your Mom and Dad up too many nights--and grown into a fine, strong, healthy lad.
You also have Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins who welcome you and you'll have so much fun with.
And this Grandma Ruby can hardly wait to become acquainted with you!
Grandma Ruby
I know you're a handsome lad!

Our dear son, Shawn, passed away last week, and this writing was extremely difficult to do, but I wanted to pay tribute to a wonderful man.

Shawn, we love you.
Mom and Dad


Anna Buttimore said...

Gale, the tears were flowing just reading it, so I can't imagine how you felt writing it. What a touching tribute. No parent should ever have to bury a child. Our hearts are with you.

Stephanie Black said...

So beautiful, Gale. Thank you for sharing this, and may the Lord bless and strengthen you at this very difficult time.

Jennie said...

Treasure all of the good, wonderful memories and let go of those that weren't perfect. One of the early stages of grief is remembering all of the times you could have done more, the missteps taken, words that should have been left unsaid, and all of the regrets and small hurts. Forget them. You're wonderful parents who raised a remarkable young man who I'm sure remembers you with love and kindness though he's far away. Don't let yourself dwell on the minor things that always seem to trouble parents when their child dies too soon; take comfort in the great love you and your family shared with him.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Gale, what a beautiful tribute to Shawn. I know this is a heartrending time for your family. May you take comfort in knowing that family ties are eternal, and the love you share is forever. The veil is thinner than we realize and our loved ones are closer than we think.

Michele Ashman Bell said...

Dearest Gale,
Even though I never met Shawn, I will never forget him. This is such a tragic loss and he was taken way too soon. Thank you for sharing this little bit of him with us. He was a lucky boy to have you and George for parents, and to have that darling Chandler as a sister.