Okay, one last update in CaringBridge to tie everything together for you folks out there, then I am going to focus on writing the book about Jedidiah.
It’s been over three months since Jedidiah died on January 3, 2011. It has been a tough go for ALL of us- family, friends, and classmates of Jedidiah. That pretty much encompasses everybody who ever met Jedidiah. Once Jedidiah met someone, he wanted to be their friend. Not just their friend, but their Good Friend!
I am still running into acquaintances, who heard bits and pieces about Jedidiah last year, and they ask, “….and your little boy, the one with the brain tumor. .. Oh, yes, and how is he doing?”
And I have to look them in the face and tell them, “Well, Jedidiah died in January.”
Their eyes widen in disbelief, and they say, “I am so sorry! I am SO, SO, very sorry!”
“Yeah, so am i.”
So, life goes on… But it is only with the grace and courage from our Lord above, that we can find the strength to go on too. God is good, and don’t let anyone tell you anything different!
March 30, 2011 would have been Jedidiah’s 10th Birthday. We celebrated.
I guess we actually started the celebrations the weekend before, when Scott, Jessica, Justin and I met at the Peppermill on Saturday night. I drove down from my job in Oregon, and Scott and the kids drove over after skiing with Johnsville Junior Ski Team at Homewood. We met at the Peppermill because it was always one of Jedidiah’s favorite places to go, and because we were combining the celebrations of Scott & Cynthia’s 25th Wedding Anniversary, Justin’s 17th Birthday, and what would have been Jedidiah’s 10th Birthday. AND- because Jedidiah paid our way with the money he left in his Piggy Bank!
Jedidiah would NEVER let anyone touch his Piggy Bank while he was alive. He must have started saving about 5 years ago. He was saving ALL his money for a Snowmobile! That started even before his Dad told him he could learn to play a certain fiddle song to EARN his snowmobile.
As Justin was growing up, he liked to take out his money to count it. He would sort thru it, put it in piles, re-sort it, add it up, take it away, put it back, re-count it, etc. Justin kept asking Jedidiah, “Don’t you want to count your money?” Jedidiah would simply say, “No.” Justin kept at him, “Well, if you don’t want to count your money, then can I count your money?” Jedidiah would answer with a resounding, “NO!” As time continued, his answer never changed. He would not ever count his money, let anyone else count his money- or even touch his piggy bank, for that matter.
It was hard for us to do, but we all finally agreed last month that Justin could open Jedidiah’s piggy bank and count the money. To our surprise, Jedidiah had left almost $200.! So, then the discussion was: What shall we do with the money, in Jedidiah’s memory? The general consent was to do something fun, to use the money for something Jedidiah would have enjoyed. Then we thought of the All-You-Could-Eat-Buffet- that was a big highlight for Jedidiah when he got out of the hospital and was finished with his radiation. He enjoyed inviting all his cousins to join him there. That was a happy memory for all of us. So, we took Jedidiah’s money to Reno! (And, no, we did NOT try to double it first!!). We slept and ate, talked, laughed and cried- All in Memory of Jedidiah!
Then, on Jedidiah’s Birthday, we were invited to Quincy Elementary School to plant a young, bare-root, Peach Tree at the school garden. Teacher Mrs. Hochrein and Jedidiah’s class of fourth graders came outside to assist, on what was a beautiful, sunny, Spring day. It is always fun to watch the children when they are excited, and being outside in that garden, planting a tree for Jedidiah was no exception! Principal Mr. Williams and Secretary Mrs. Beer even came outside for the occasion. It was a great time!
Jedidiah’s Mom and Dad, brother Justin and sister Jessica, Grandma Blue Nanny and Uncle John were all there. A plaque was made (and after some upgrades) will be installed at the base of the newly planted peach tree. It reads: “In Loving Memory of our Friend, Jedidiah Lusk, March 30, 2001- January 3, 2011, ‘Always Be Positive’ ”.
THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL!!
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5: 8 KJV