Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Love Is Still Alive...

The amazing videographers at CinemaCake have done it again.  They put together a beautiful video capturing the special mementos and moments from Gavin's vistations before the funeral.  It is a little over three minutes long.  Below that you'll find explanations of things you'll see in the film.  Thank you for watching - and for loving my little boy.  

The shot you saw with the Superman socks?  They are my triplet nieces and nephew... Shannon, Brendan & Claire.

The second song?  That was written just for Gavin in the PICU by Tricia Gonzalez, a music therapist at the hospital who was also kind enough to come perform it at his service.  That song means so much to us as she included personal memories and phrases (like "smilestone" which is what I called every milestone of Gavin's).  It's to the tune of one of Gavin's favorite songs, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  Here are the words:

Gavin Our Star

Our dear Gavin, you're our star.
You've defied all odds,
That's who you are.
Courageous and brave,
You journey on.
With every smileston,
You carry on.

Our dear Gavin, you're our star.
Shine down on us, from where you are.

Up above the world so high,
I'm your diamond in the sky.
I'll teach you so much without a word.
Brian find me, I'll shine on you.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high.
I love you each day and every night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

The butterflies you saw here and there were bought the day we left the hospital without Gavin.  We had to stop in the hospital gift shop - a ritual of ours - and couldn't resist them when we saw them in the window.  As a matter of fact, we bought them out.  You will see a few of those butterflies in Hope's nursery.

The two women wearing the custom made "Super G" shirts?  They are our friends Kirsten and Jen.  Kirsten was my sponsor in AA when I first got sober and I love her very much.  (What?  You missed that big reveal?  You can find it HERE.)

The balloons you saw decorating some of the photo boards in the back of Church?  They were generously sent from Neely, a reader/friend from Florida who coordinated that surprise to us with the florist.  They were perfect.

The "A Superhero Sleeps Here" sign is straight from Gavin's bedroom... where it still lives - right above our other Superhero, Brian, who sleeps in Gavin's bed every night.

The "5K Day" sign is such a big deal.  You can read about the inception HERE - which is mainly due to Miss Sara.  Then, check out the actual day in a post I called "The Best Blog Entry You'll Read All Year"

The handwritten note you saw?  That was written before Gavin was born.  I saved every single ultrasound in a photo album - in chronological order.  I saved and wrote notes like that to him for other things, too.  You can read more about the items I brought from Gavin's memory box to the funeral in THIS post.

When you saw the "Goodnight Moon" sign (also from Gavin's bedroom), there is a photo above it.  That is a photo of St. Katharine Drexel which we brought back from the St. Katharine Drexel Shrine.  What you can't see in the video are Gavin's hearing aids... the ones he didn't need anymore after we took him to that shrine and prayed for his hearing to be restored.

The handprints were from Gavin's final days.  Our incredible Child Life Specialist, Jenn, meticulously painted Gavin's sweet hand for the prints.  The one with two hands?  One print is Gavin's and the other is Brian's.  We will treasure those handprints forever.  You can see photos from that day HERE.

The final hug in the video went to my nephew, Dan and his new wife, Miranda.  We attended their (beautiful and emotional) wedding less than a month before Gavin's sudden death.  If you're looking for a happy story to read today, click HERE.

And finally... the "Love is Still Alive" beautiful framed artwork?  The morning we were leaving for Church, Miss Sara happened to walk out of the garage for a second before getting in the car... and her eyes spotted something on our front walkway.  It was that artwork - in the frame.  No note.  I nearly burst into tears when I saw it - and truly assumed it must have been from one of my neighbor's children.  I brought it into Church and placed it prominently in the entryway - right near the guest book.  As it turns out, it was drawn by the daughter of friends of ours who drove from another state... dropped off the gift probably before the sun rose... and then came to the funeral.  We still have that beautiful drawing by sweet Miss Mattie in the playroom and look at it every day.  And Mattie, you are right.  Love IS still alive.  And if we ever forget, your beautiful art reminds us.

If you haven't figured it out - sharing all of these "things" and memories and stories mean a lot to me.  It actually helps me to share them.  All of those memories and stories and keepsakes were important to me then... and always will be.  Thank you for taking the time to watch... and look... and get to know Gavin.

If you missed the actual funeral video (and have 45 minutes!) you can see it again below...



  1. Simply beautiful! I watched this at work with the sound down so I wouldn't cry, but I'm crying anyway! I still can't believe he's gone. God bless you and Ed and Brian, you are doing a great job. You are in our thoughts and prayers always. Go Superhero Gavin!!

  2. So was great to hear your voice, Kate, after all this time reading your blog. I'm sure each day carries its own unique challenges as you manage grieving, raising your son, being pregnant, being a wife, managing your home...but you are handling it with grace. Many blessings to you all as you continue your journey. God Bless, Ellen C.

  3. no words. It is beautiful. thank you. you are in our thoughts and prayers

  4. You have honored your son in such a beautiful and loving way that just defies words... thanks so much for sharing with us all Kate and Ed. I'm a Grandma of four, but when I 'grow up' I want to be just like Kate! xx

  5. That was so very beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  6. Okay, crying again. Love this. Continued hugs.

  7. Crying again here too. I still can't believe he's gone. Beautiful post and videos. Praying for you all every day.
    -Debbie S. from CT

  8. Kate,

    I am so happy you had the time to plan and honor Gavin's memories in this most moving and life-changing way. I'm happy that you had the connections and the talent in those around you, those who could help put together this vision you had, and to help you pay tribute and memorialize your beautiful boy in such a beautiful way...

    Hugs and healing, Kate (and Ed and Brian and Hope...)

  9. Crying so much with you. What an awesome tribute to Gavin. You don't know me, Kate, and we have never met, but I am praying for you and your beautiful family.

  10. How amazingly beautiful and moving.

  11. Simply beautiful! What a wonderful way to capture the day. For you, for Brian, for Hope! Thanks for sharing.

  12. I just read as much of your blog as I could in one night. You and your family are just so beautiful and I couldn't stop reading. I am so sorry for your loss, but I'm so glad you and your family had the gift of Gavin in your life.

    I have two sons with moderate/severe special needs and an older "typical" son. I related so much to your way of caring for and enjoying your boys. Thank you for posting your journey here.

  13. I was finally able to watch both of these videos. I am truly thankful to you for sharing your story with us. We are all continuing to learn so much from Gavin.

    Sending prayers to you and your family and baby Hope.

    p.s. the cantor in your church has such a clear and beautiful voice!


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