I have heard many bereaved parents say, "I'm afraid my child will be forgotten!"
This is one reason so many parents start foundations and other charitable works in their child's name; they want their child's legacy to continue. They want their child to be remembered.
Parents start safety programs in their child's name to help keep other children from dying the way theirs did. They donate to the hospital where their child was treated and have plaques posted with the child's name on them. They fund scholarships named for their child at the college their child attended. They host arts events and golf tournaments named for their child. These events and charity works keep their child's name and memory alive.
We did some of these things.
We organized the Andrew Raymond Duncan Memorial Scholarship through the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation just weeks after The Accident. Each year $5000 in scholarships are given to college students who were involved in local arts organizations. My husband and I are glad to help fund this great project each year. Others have donated as well.
Bereaved parents often try to keep photos of their child in the public eye. Photos sit on prominent places in their homes. Moms keep their child's photo as their profile picture. They share photos and stories of their child on social media.
We do some of this as well. We have pictures of our son hanging on the walls of our home alongside his siblings' pictures and I sometimes post pictures of him here and on Facebook. We share stories and have many fond memories of our son.
He lived and we want to remember everything we can about him. He mattered. His life mattered to us. We want others to remember our child as well.
But what if he is forgotten?
What if all my efforts at keeping his memory alive fail?
What if everyone else forgets he who he was? What if they forget Andrew ever existed?
What if I forget he existed? What if I have a brain injury or get dementia and forget I had a six-foot tall, goofy, wonderful, kind, smart son who loved to dance and sing and laugh? What if I forget his face, his walk, his smile? What if I can't remember his favorite foods or movies or music anymore?
What if years from now I or someone else hears his name or sees his picture and asks, "Who is that good-looking guy?"
Here's the thing, folks: Though I and everyone else may forget my son…Though future scholarship winners may have no idea who he was or what he did…Though I and everyone else may someday forget he ever existed…
God saw his unformed body and knew Andrew before one of his days came to be.
Our son believed in Jesus. Andrew believed in his heart and confessed with his mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. He has eternal life! He is forever living as a child of God.
By faith our son was adopted as a child of God. God never forgets His children.
Our son's name is written on God's hand. Andrew's name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Never to be erased!
Our son is in the presence of Christ now! Alive! God knows those in His presence.
So, dear friend, if you have lost a child, a parent, or spouse. If you have lost a sibling, a friend, or othe loved one. If you are afraid they will be forgotten, please know that God never forgets His children.
He knows those who love Him and He remembers them forevermore!
He will always remember, now and forevermore.
Take comfort in that, dear one. And live in peace.
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