Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lighter Than Air, Filled With Love . . .

Brian's second birthday was on Friday, July 11, which happened to be during our vacation. Early that morning, my mom and dad helped us call around to some local florists to find out if they did helium balloons. We found one that did, so we travelled to Versailles, MO, to buy balloons for him. We decided upon a balloon that depicted a cabin by a lake, with mom and dad ducks sailing by. Each day, we would see and feed this little family of ducks, so we thought it was perfect. We also got another blue balloon for Brian, and added a green one for Sawyer.

We picked out a small card that said "Glad you were born" on it. We wrote on the front of the card:

~In Memory~
Brian William Rennie
July 11, 2006
Our Precious Son

Then on the back we wrote:

We love you! Mom and Dad
If found, please mail to:
Jim Rennie
(and then our address)

We sealed the envelope after both signing our names (Mom and Dad), and then Jim wrote some words from Brian's funeral on the outside of the envelope. The words were read by the Pastor as we released a white balloon in his memory: "Lighter than air, filled with love . . ."

We released the balloons in early evening, and watched as they sailed off into the distance. It was a bittersweet moment--the day our first child was born was also one of the saddest and most horrifying days of our lives, because it was also the day we had to say goodbye to him. We want to always remember him in a positive way on his birthday, and make sure to pass on the love that we feel for him to others. In this way, he lives on and makes the world a better place.

We were really hoping that someone might find the card, but didn't know how far it might travel or how long it might be before we heard anything (if ever). Today was the day! When I got home from work, I discovered that we had a letter from Berger, MO. My heart was filled with joy and anticipation as I tore open the envelope. This is what we read:


Hello Jim Rennie:

My name is Carolyn and my husband is Gerald S****. We ride our double bike down in the Berger Bottoms as many days a week we can ride. We try to ride 20 miles a day. Berger, MO is just 5 miles east of Hermann, MO or 70 miles west of St. Louis. On Friday, July 11th, we were riding and saw the balloon on a levy, and thinking it may be like a treasure hunt my husband got off the bike and went to retrieve it. He found the card, unopened, still on the ribbon. We think it was down there because it looked like there may have been more than one balloon on the string and the remaining balloon was almost flat. We were both touched by the gesture and words on the card. We are curious, was your son born on 7-11-06, or did he pass away on that date? How old was he?

We are also wondering when the balloon was released? We found it 7-11-08.

It also throws us, when we see the florist was in Versailles, MO and your address it Tremont, IL. We are about 110 miles from Versailles, MO.

We are both retired and ride our double seated bike for pleasure and exercise. How about you?

We have email, do you? Ours is *****. Would love to hear from you.

Carolyn and Gerald S*****

We went on a bus trip, thru our local bank last summer to Amish Country. Had a delicious meal at an Amish home in Versailles, MO. We may do it again the food was so delicious. We will look forward to hearing back from you.

So how amazing is this? My little boy is still touching people's lives, people who live far away, who have never met us or heard our story. And the fact that someone would take the time not only to mail the card back, but to write a letter means more than we can express. This small gesture on their part has really moved us deeply, and we can't wait to get in touch with them. I am thinking of writing a real "paper" letter first, and then emailing if they would like to stay in touch.

So, happy birthday to our precious, beloved baby boy, Brian William. You are our firstborn, our very first glimpse of a true miracle, and we will love you eternally.


Interviewer: Do you have any advice for women?

Edith Piaf: Love

Interviewer: How about for a young woman?

Edith: Love

Interviewer: And for a child?

Edith: Love


Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8


All you need is love . . .

Yes, the Beatles said it too, in as many ways as they could find. Maybe someday the world will hear the message.


Lighter than air, filled with love . . .


Kathie P said...

that is so perfect. :-)

Anonymous said...

Amy & Jim,

I just went through the website for Brian as I was thinking about my grandsons. I keep thinking about all the could have been - teaching them to fish, to chase the Gray Cat, to feew the fish in the pond, to swim in the pool.

I know you and Jim were keeping Brian's birthday more to yourselves while we were on vacation, but we were also remembering him and how much he touched our lives in such a short time.

Keep up the web site and blogs. It is comforting to me and a way to share in what is on your heart.

I love you,

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

Thank you