Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanks for the Memories...

We were saddened last week by the news of the passing of a friend of our family. We knew the Meeks family through my aunt and uncle and saw them often at family gatherings over the past three years. Marvin was a BIG guy, six-foot-six, or maybe even taller, and all muscle, but his warm smile and genuine personality invited everyone in and made them feel welcome. He was known to be a big teddy bear. Sadly, Marvin found out in mid-November that he had colon cancer and lived only two very short weeks longer.

We first met the Meeks family three years ago around this time when Santa came to visit my aunt’s house. They brought their two young kids with them so they could get a chance to visit with Santa, but it’s tradition at auntie’s house that EVERYONE gets to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. It was quite a site to see this big guy on Santa’s lap, trying not to crush him!

When Jonathan and I gave up on fertility treatments two years ago, it was only a few days before Santa was coming again. We were lucky enough to get a chance to corner Marvin and Marianne at the event and pick their brains about their experience adopting their two kids. They were both so supportive and gave us a realistic run down of the positives and negatives of their experience. Marvin talked a lot about his struggles trying to be a good Dad to his kids but always ended his stories with how rewarding it all was. A week later, we started our process through the agency they had referred us to. Marvin was even in the orientation video they showed us when we started!

A year later, we had our foster kids for only a couple of days before Santa came again. Marvin and Marianne were so excited for us and loved how well our boys got along together. Marvin wanted to set up play dates for the boys and thought how good it would be for two adopted kids to share their experiences together. Unfortunately, the kids didn’t stay with us long, so we never got the opportunity to spend that time together. But I remember being very thankful for all their support and knowing there was someone else out there that understood what we were going through.

Today at work, we were talking about holiday traditions. One of my co-workers, Amy, was joking about how she’ll probably be dragging her kids to see Santa and go on a Christmas train ride once they are teenagers. Another co-worker, Sandy, mentioned how, despite the fact that they may gripe, if the tradition is started, they may also appreciate it in later years. I immediately thought of our visits from Santa and how much fun it is to see all the adults sit on his lap too. The kids get such a kick out of seeing their parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles laughing on Santa’s lap and acting like kids again themselves. This photo of Marvin flashed through my head and I thought how some day his kids may look back and consider little moments like this with their dad and smile.

We miss you already Marvin!

No comments: