There are no words that will make sense on a day like today. No matter the context, they will fall empty. Words are unable to grasp the enormity of losing Luke and none big enough to tell the story of his life or of your lives together. From the moment you held him in your arms 21 years ago, full of hopes and dreams for the life he would have, to the day of his diagnosis, that day, when Duchenne, the most unwelcome of all words, would break down the door of your home, and your family. The well developed plans for the life you had planned would forever change.
Our children become our teachers, they show us the way. They smile and embrace the life they have and encourage us to become our very best selves. They teach us that dreams are not lost, just retrofitted. They teach us to aim high and that life will indeed be wonderful.
What a joy it was to see Luke sign his lease in August and move into his very own space, his smile said it all, and the upside down snowman at Thanksgiving and that beautiful photo of you, Jenna, and Luke at Thunderbird Falls on December 26. What an amazing life to celebrate and to remember.
Chris and Patrick have been gone for 18 years. I still stumble when I talk about them, the memories so precious and the sorrow still visible, especially to those who know me well. People would tell me 'grieving is a process' with specific stages, suggesting there is a beginning and an end. I have not found this to be the case, rather I think grief is a state that we learn to live with, that enables us to see the world in a different way and that helps us to recognize how blessed we are to have our sons and our daughters, how they have enriched our lives and taught us the definition of unconditional love.
We are all with you in your grief. We are thankful for all you do for all of us and we are blessed to have you. Wrap your arms around Jenna and feel the warmth of the Duchenne community.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.
—Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
Take good care, my strong friend. Luke is loved and sorely missed.
Pat Furlong, Founding President, CEO
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