Back in early October, 2010, when Tara and I went down to order the headstone for Aaron's grave, we were told that it would be in after the New Year, sometime in January. So imagine my surprise when I got a call early one Friday morning in November telling me that it was in. They planned to set it on Monday morning, November 22, and were calling to let me know since I had asked to be notified so I could be there. Thanksgiving Week seemed entirely appropriate to me as I think Aaron was a grateful kind of guy and we are very grateful for Aaron. Tara couldn't get off work and decided to go later in the week when she had time off. But Aaron's best man and friend, Aaron Rhinehart, and his Mother, Jan met us there. It was nice to have company. You'd think I might have guessed it would be emotional, but Jan knew. She lost her daughter, Amy, to cancer when she was just a little girl of 10. Here's a few pictures of the process.
The story of Aaron is not complete without "How Great Thou Art". It's the song his Daddy sang to him as a little boy when he tucked him in at night. It's the song that little boy would request EVERY Sunday night at church when we had song requests while his Dad was out to sea. It's the song that Aaron would call Vern and ask him to sing in the middle of the night when he was in too much pain to sleep. And it's the song Aaron sang in a LOUD, CLEAR voice after he learned that the oncologist had placed him on Hospice. It's the song I remember when I give thanks for my son.
Choi, I wish you could have been there Sweetheart. But FOB Salerno in Afghanistan was a little far to come even if you could have gotten off... I think you and Tara did a good job coming up with a design that helps represent a little bit of who SAM was. Thank you. llly, mom