In Loving Memory of HEATHER . . . A True Gem.
On April 15, 2008, God asked Rick, Judy and Kris to make the greatest sacrifice of their lives. He chose that day to bring Heather closer to Him. In pondering this seemingly senseless act, one is struck by God's logic in bringing tragedy and sorrow upon Heather's loving family and friends. In His infinite wisdom, we can see, He took to his loving arms a valuable gem he created twenty-four years ago. And Heather was indeed a diamond with all the characteristics of the most prized gems on Earth. In carrying this analogy further, let's examine what gives the diamond its rarest qualities...those of CUT, CLARITY, COLOR, and CARAT weight.
Heather was a cut above the ordinary. She touched people's lives in extraordinary ways through acts of kindness, and genuine concern for others less fortunate than her. She gave of her time and herself in matters of family, friends and sports. She was never too tired or too busy to perform acts of kindness through fund-raising activities and school projects. Her cut was perfect in symmetry and we will always love and admire her for it.
Heather possessed true clarity and it gave her life purpose. She clearly had definite goals established early in life and never strayed from achieving them. One example was in her school work; she would tenaciously pursue perfection in all of her assignments. Failure was not an option and from this attitude came many of her academic successes. The clarity she brought to her life and other's lives was wonderful and we will always love and admire her for it.
Heather was colorful. She brought a myriad of light and color to a drab world. Her eyes and smile lit up the world. She was blessed with an unusual sense of humor and people responded to her in special ways. After an especially difficult thesis she had written in her Advanced Placement history class, she promptly stated that she would be happy never to write one again. One could discern from the smile on her face and twinkle in her eye that she absolutely loved the challenge. We will always love and admire her for the color she brought to our lives.
In assessing carat weight, most of that weight was centered in her heart. Her kindness, generosity, genuineness, and gentility flowed within her. She would go out of her way to cheer up someone who was discouraged. (She made certain that others were cared for before she was.) Her acts of thoughtfulness and respect were numerous. She respected her parents, friends and teachers in thought and deed. We will always remember and love her for it.
A gem of great luster and beauty is quite uncommon. This is the reason we treasure them when they touch our lives. It is only with the realization that Heather was physically with us for such a brief amount of time that we realize how fortunate we were to have known such a lovely person. We can now fathom the reason why God wanted her to be with Him. We will not forget who she was and we will love her for it.
When you first came into my life, with your little plaster legs and charcoal hair (a blistering contrast to my own near white mop), I envisioned myself as the protector of this new, wonderful child that mom and dad brought home en lieu of a puppy. Holding you in my arms, I knew that I would never let anything happen to my little sister. However, no one was able to keep you away from the Top Job and cigarette butts that were your choicest delicacies. As you grew into more animate proportions, I imagined myself an engine for your stroller, shuttling you around the backyard on the hot, damp summer days of your fledgling years or rolling around with you in the grass near our plastic wading pool. We would sit on the yellow-plastic picnic table and have tea with Alison and Ken(??); or play in our sandbox, which doubled as the outhouse for several feral cats in the neighborhood.
Even though these years saw their dusks, our imaginations knew no such boundaries. Adventuring in distant lands, fighting hordes of gruesome creatures, with you as my precious cargo (and often guardian of our furry friends),we would camp for endless nights under a sky of blankets, amazing ourselves at the untold depths which even a shallow closet can conceal. Whatever friend I fancied at the time, you were the only constant gang member, the fluid character around which so many games centered. For most, these adventures would have constituted the bulk of youths' years, but for us they were only a few millimeters ticks on the yardstick of our childhood journeys.
Winter always held magical appeal. The reds and oranges and golds of autumn would carpet the countryside and usher in the white of winter like a '70s rock star, though Thanksgiving provided the real door for old man winter to walk through. Oh, the feasts we had at Thanksgiving and Christmas! Prime rib or turkey served with all the fixings: gravy, mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, yams, corn and asparagus (though you despised the last). And the pies: butterscotch, pumpkin, cherry, apple and chocolate-cheese cake!
When enough snow had accumulated and dad had piled it so high that ten grown men could get lost in it, we would partake in an activity that would make parents around the world cringe: snow-bank plopping. These mountains of dads creation cushioned the bodies of more self-propelled children then the moon-rooms at the County fair. Whether it was porch leaping or garage-roof diving, the measure of our prowess was proportional to the number of jumps made, the time spent in the air, and inversely related to the depth of the snow at the bottom.
The only comparison to be found to our winter escapades does not occur in the lives of other children, but in our summers. Do you remember playing for hours in the Evangeline School playground? The swings and seesaws and merry-go-round and slide... even the smudged brick walls of the building were utilized in our never ending search for amusement. Riding around on our bicycles until the sun was set and the chill of night was tangibly creeping our way.
And who could leave out summers on the lake? We would spend our days exploring uncharted regions of the surrounding wilderness or on the raft bathing in both sun and warm waters, playing with the neighboring kids in one of the many games that were created during these carefree days. Nights would bring camp fires with flaming marshmallows and the most intense rounds of hide-n-go-seek/tag that has ever been played. We would be carried off to sleep to the many quasi-periodic points of green light that was the communication of fireflies. Heather, you really were my best friend during childhood. I did not realize it at the time, but you were a constant, always there, ready and willing to partake in what ever plan had been cooked up. You have worked so hard and set a grand table for the years to come. Our experiences together are amongst my favorite and most cherished possessions. That is why for your graduation, I wanted to give you this, a montage of childhood memories. Sit, relax, and drink deep from the future that you have created for yourself, for the past will always be there.
Welcome, We're Glad You're Here!