I Refused to call it a Eulogy
I was even more unwilling to call it a funeral. Somehow a celebration of his beautiful life seemed like it would hurt less. The truth is it didn’t matter what we called it; no parent is ever supposed to plan their child’s final resting plans. It goes against the natural order of the world. I believe it’s the worse loss one can endure. Despite the pain and heart ache I was committed to speaking at Braedon’s Celebration of Life. matter what it took, it was something I had to do. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I read that speech over and over in preparation trying to desensitize myself. My only goal was to survive.
My Speech (slightly altered to reflect the that’s passed)
I was still really a baby myself when I had Braedon. I wasn’t much older than he was when I became a mom myself. I honestly believe that’s why our bond is so strong though. It was him and I against the world for such a long time. We always had a never-ending support system of people rooting for us, helping us and guiding us along the way though but at the end of the day it was just him and I for many years. I grew up while raising him and that’s how loving him and caring for him became so deeply woven into every fiber of my being. He is the best thing I’ve ever done. He’s shaped the person I am today more than any other person in the world; without him I simply wouldn’t be me.
Braedon touched so many lives and was loved deeply by so many people. Everyone fell for his charm, his big heart and that never-ending smile that could light a room. He has so many honorary aunts, so many friends and teachers who adore him and so many extra sets of grandparents that he was shocked to find out that most kids don’t have 10 sets! He captured the hearts of everyone blessed to know him during his short time here on earth and the imprint that he has left on us will last a lifetime.
Never so Happy to be Wrong
I remember the day Braedon went out to his first hockey practice with the school boy league at Forest Hills Elementary. He was late to join hockey since he wasn’t allowed to play sports early on in life. A special Dr. here at the regional hospital custom made Braedon a brace that wrapped around his tiny little body to protect his enlarged spleen. Once he got the go ahead, he was ready to jump in. I suggested he take the first year and join a learn to skate program and he was not having it. This kid had a deep love for hockey passed on from his dad and grandfather Donnie and of course the Mighty Ducks movies. Hockey was his first word even before mom or dad! Those of you who knew him well can attest, this kid was also stubborn. Once he had an idea in his head there was no changing his mind.
He got out to practice that first day and every time he moved; he fell. Every inch that sweet boy took brought him down onto the ice. He fell over and over again. I couldn’t handle it; I insisted his father Mike go get his skates and get on the ice to help him. I was panicking watching him fall again and again. I was sure by the time he got off the ice he was going to be heartbroken and vow to never go back. I was never so happy to be so wrong.
He got off that ice that day so happy, so overjoyed and so ecstatic that he could now play hockey. He was doing what he loved and that was all that mattered. He couldn’t wait to go back and get on the ice again and even even convinced his aunt Nora to take him skating again that very same day. This is how Braedon lived. He jumped into things without worrying about what could go wrong. He bravely pursued things he loved, tried new things without hesitation and was a big dreamer.
Believing in Miracles
Braedon passed almost 11 years exactly from the day him and I flew home from Toronto in 2007 after he defied the odds and survived his first life threatening illness. Dr.’s in Toronto couldn’t explain his recovery and described it as miraculous. When the dates dawned on me and I realized it had been almost 11 years exactly I got curious. What I found out was the karmic master number 11 has special meaning. This number is representative of someone who is an illuminator, a messenger and a teacher and relates to those who are here to be inspirational, spiritual, guiding lights in the world. I believe with all my heart that Braedon was here to be our guiding light. He taught us how to love, how to be kind and generous and how to give freely. He taught us to believe in miracles and continues to show us how strong we are. He will continue to be a light in this world even now as we set out on a mission to honor him by helping others in his name.
Be Stubborn, get up Again and Again
Some days I feel so broken and wounded I don’t know how I will ever heal. In these dark hours and dark days, it would be easier, safer and less scary to retreat, to give up. But today and all the days going forward I will take the lead from Braedon and I will be brave. I won’t get wrapped up it what could go wrong. I will be stubborn like him in the pursuit of my dreams and passions and when I fall, and my face is in the dirt I will get back up again and again like he did on the ice.
I encourage all of you to honor Braedon, by playing this game of life and playing it hard. Follow his lead. Don’t waste a single moment of the time you’ve be gifted here on earth. Be a light to those around you. Be stubborn in your efforts to live a life you love. Try new things. Jump in and be brave like Braedon.
Thank you for Being a Part of Braedon’s World
I want to thank everyone who made his life so special, to those of you who provided him family to those who provided him companionship and friendship to those of you who supported him and nurtured him. Thank you for cheering him on and cheering him up when he needed it. Thank you for being a part if his world, thank for sharing your lives with Braedon and thank you most of all for loving him so dearly.
Thank you Braedon
And a special thank you, to Braedon, for being our teacher, our illuminator and for lighting up our lives. Thank you for showing us that miracles are within the realms of possibility and for showing me a love that will transcend time. Even though you are gone my sweet boy I will always be your mom and being your mother has been my greatest honor. You give me strength and courage every day. I am better for having known you and I am braver because of you. I will love you fiercely all my days on earth and I will never stop trying to make you proud.
It’s been a long day without my sweet boy. I’ll tell all about it when I see you again. Until then.
May 16, 2019 will be the one year of Braedon’s passing. Every Blog entry this month will be in his memory. Everything I am is because of him.
XO Tiffany Agnew