He was just five days old when we brought him home from the hospital, a beautiful little boy, perfect in every way. My husband and I had been trying for nine long years to have a child and had gone through all the procedures with no luck--so finding this adorable child to adopt was for us truly a gift from God.
He instantly became part of our family and was loved and cherished by two sets of grandpaents and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, as every day he grew in our hearts. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes, the loonier the better, but even when he was naughty, which he was sometimes being human, there was never anything mean or crafty about him. His laugh was contagious and even at his most mischievousness no one could stay angry with him long. He was a real charmer and when he said, "Hey, Mom, did I remember to tell you that I loved you today?" of course I melted and forgave him any indiscretion. As he grew our house was filled with lots of boisterous boys and later girls, who shyly confessed they thought my son was "cool". He had loads of friends and was popular, but he never let it go to his head. He simply loved people and even as a small child had a rare gift for compassion. He loved animals, too, and was always brtinging home stray dogs and cats, and if someone was hurt or in trouble he was the first to offer a hand.
Am I making him sound like Mr. Perfect? Well, of course he wasn't, but he worked hard at whatever task was set before him. He also smoked and drank, but not to excess in any way. Actually he hadn't smoked for quite a while when he got sick and they diagnosed it as lung cancer. He had an operation and went through chemo and we prayed everything was going to be fine. But then he took a turn for the worst and died quite suddenly. I didn't know half the people who came to his funeral he touched so many lives, but I'll always remember the things they said about him. Like the woman who told me she had no place to stay until my son took her in and let her sleep on his couch until she got on her feet. Or the young man who said he was headed for prison until my son got him off drugs, loaned him money, and helped him find a job.
One of the last things my son said to me, when I think he suspected he was dying, was, "I always wanted to leave my mark on the world, Mom, but I guess I missed." And I replied, "Oh, no, my darling. You left your mark in untold hearts, and that's a legacy anyone can be proud of." So my darkest day wasn't quite as dark as it could have been.
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