I Am Often Asked
Posted by: Steve Hardwick
Date: Oct 22 2018 8:52 AM
I’m often asked “ How do you handle all of the sad stories you are told from parents who have lost a child? “
In the beginning when I was first being asked that I would just answer ..I don’t know..I just do.
The truth is I never had a clue how many people would be touched when I did the Angel Of Hope . I just knew I wanted to do something for children who were no longer here so that they wouldn’t be forgotten.
This November will be the 2nd Anniversary Of The Angel Of Hope at Westgate Park. In those 2 years I have spoken to or heard from so many parents who have lost a child and no two stories are the same.
I’ve hugged mothers and I have hugged fathers who have lost a child from illness , accidents, suicide, and by pregnancy loss.
I never tell them I know how they feel because thankfully I don’t.
I never tell them it was Gods Plan.
I never tell them their child is in a better place.
I just listen and hug them and let them know I care.
Which gets me back to being asked
“ How do you handle all of the sad stories you are told by parents who have lost a child?”
After two years my answer is much different...
It breaks my heart...I remember each story..each child and yes it can put a toll on someone who hears so much sadness..
And knowing that 2 years later...I wouldn’t change a thing.
No matter how many times my heart is broken I am thankful because i have met so many parents who now are like family to me. I hear the wonderful stories and the memories of their child and I feel like I know their child even though I never met them.
After all...Wasn’t that my sole purpose in doing The Angel Of Hope? Not Forgetting ? Always Remembering?
The reason i decided to share this with each of you today is because I was given a photo a few months ago of a very special boy ...TJ Northey by his mother Leigh Wicker and
When I met her at the Angel Of Hope she gave me the picture that you see below.
It was taken one hour before God called him home.
She asked me to keep it and never forget her TJ.
His picture sits in my den and I look at it every day.
I’ll never forget that day when I stood beside his mom at the Angel Of Hope and as she was crying there was a unforgettable silence that I will always remember. Finally I broke the silence and said...There’s nothing I can say to make you feel better. I can only tell you I care and will always be here if you need anything.
She turned around and said “ Thank you do much for saying that because I’m so tired of hearing people say..It was Gods Plan Or He’s In A Better Place.”
I’ll never forget being at the Angel of Hope with all of TJ’s family. Being there with Travis and Hayley Northey and TJ’s grandfather.
Always be loved, missed and remembered by All Of His Family And Friends.
And TJ will Always be loved, missed and remembered by me.
Love you TJ
And I love the Northey and the Wicker Families for sharing their son’s beautiful memories with me
And Thank you to every parent who shared the memories of their beautiful child with me.
I won’t forget you or your child
I Love you