Thursday, March 5, 2009

Henry's Gift


I could never have anticipated the feelings that we experienced at Henry's memorial service. We were pleased that the space was filled with sunlight. We were happy to have Henry's presence through his memories and his special things. As people began to come - some strangers, some old friends, some new friends and our families from all across the country - we cried at our loss and laughed about our love and times with him. Our family felt hundreds strong that day.

We're so grateful to all of you who attended Henry's service, either actually or in spirit. We know of some, despite their best intentions and efforts, could not be there. We have poured over the notes and memories and loving tributes of support that were written to us through the mail or on the message cards from his service. They are touching and heartfelt and will serve as a tremendous memorial of Henry for us. We continue to receive them by email and in cards and we plan to preserve each one. I do have a favor to ask of anyone who took pictures - we'd sincerely appreciate any photos of the ceremony and especially any, any, any pictures you may have of Henry.

Henry's memory has been honored too by many donations to Cure Search, Believe in Tomorrow, Alex's Lemonade Stand and St. Baldrick's among others. We're very touched by the outpouring of generosity and love given to others in his name. Every cent brings us that much closer to additional comfort for families and to a potential cure for many childhood cancers.

As for Tara, me and our girls - we've been shown love and support beyond our wildest expectations. While we are still healing from our losses we feel comforted by the memory of our smiling, brave, four-year-old hero. Our hearts will be forever tender from seeing his picture, or walking by his room, from seeing a toy of his, or remembering how he acted or spoke. But we are slowly and gradually finding balance in the knowledge of his effect on not only our lives but so many we've heard from. It is difficult not to have joy in that. It is in that spirit that I'll be renaming Henry's Challenge to Henry's Gift.

I love you son. You did so well. And I'm forever proud of you.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Scheck Family,
I did not know Henry, but in reflecting I realize I am so wrong in writing this. After reading your wonderful accounts of how he "lived" and brought joy to others I feel I most certainly DID KNOW Henry. Henry's Grandparents are part of our Church family in Walkersville, and we will hold them and all of you in our hearts and prayers. My mother was able to attend the memorial as I stayed home with our 4 year old daughter that she watches for us. Any parent would have this hit close to home. It certainly did to my family. Henry's life reinforces what is important: to live each day to the fullest; to find joy in life's everyday activities; and to unconditionally love each other. My mere words cannot express how this has touched me. You, your family, and most of all Henry have taught us all so much. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

May Gold Bless you all.
Alan, Woodsboro, MD

Anonymous said...

What an amazing tribute to a very brave boy. I am touched by Henry without ever having met him in person.

You cant help but feel the love your family shares as you read through the daily posts. Thank you for sharing Henry with us.

I also notice a gentlemans hand in the picture signing I LOVE YOU as his balloon flies on that beautiful sunny day.

I pray God continues to give your family the wisdom to know that he is with you, and to comfort all of you as your needs change.

When someone very close to me passed away, in an anonymous card I revceived was written:

He is with you when you feel the breeze in your hair, when the sun gently kisses your face, and when a rain drop lands on your cheek- and Ive held those words close to me and found comfort in them-

God Bless all of you...

Anonymous said...

We are forever proud of ALL OF YOU. Your family is a blessing to OUR LIVES. THANK YOU for sharing your sweet boy with us.

Love you guys...

xo The Hartley Hooligans

ms.t. said...

Bryan and Tara

What a lovely change from Henrys Challenge to Henrys Gift. His illness, strength and humor has forever changed me. As others have said, I am a better mother, wife, friend ect for having known Henry. I loved your little boy and miss him. I just can't imagine your loss.

Lets plan a 5K in his honor? When your ready, I'll be the first one to help!

Anonymous said...

Tara & Brian,
The celebration was absolutely perfect in honoring Henry. The video and balloon launch were especially touching. I have taught Lane to sign 'I love you' and am working with Keller. We are also singing Henry's favorite song. Each week in Sunday school the boys are asked to share something they are thankful for, but we are also now recording every night something they are thankful for, thanks to your inspiring idea.

You all have touched many, many lives with your blog. You have helped us to be not only better people, but also better parents. We have Henry to be forever grateful for this. Thank you for sharing your journey and Henry's gift with us all. Please continue to blog. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers as you face your next challenge.

Chad, Julie, Lane & Keller Routzahn

Anonymous said...

Although never meeting Henry in the physical sense, I feel like I knew and love him thru your beautiful writing and tributes in your blog.
I will forever be a better mother, friend, daughter, wife, and person because of Henry and your family. Henry and your family has taught me so many things and first and foremost, to live for today, not tomorrow, not for the next weekend, not for the next vacation but for today. I will hug my children tighter everyday because of Henry.

I am forever in awe of you, Bryan and your beautiful family. How loved Henry and your girls are by you and Tara speaks volumes thru your blog.

May your family find peace knowing Henry is still with you in spirit. When I look at the beautiful blue sky, all I can think is Henry is up there riding around in Cruckie eating his manderinin oranges. :)

Love to you and your family.

Natalie West

Anonymous said...

Our hearts will be forever tender...

May your hearts never harden and your happier memories of Henry be the first that come to mind.

Thank you so much for sharing your joys and your burdens with so many of us.

rlbates said...

From a challenge to a gift.... Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for sharing your gift with us.
I miss my hero.
the krause house

Anonymous said...

Bryan:

That is perfect! It is exactly what I think we all feel about Henry--a gift. Thank you for sharing him.

Anonymous said...

I too am a better mother thanks to your Henry and your beautiful writings.I am sure to always take a minute to let my family know how much they mean to me. I tend to let the small stuff slide because there are more important things in life. Thank You Scheck Family for teaching me what is important and how to love a little more. You guys are amazing. Thanks for sharing Henry's Challenge and Henry's Gift. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Scheck Family,

Though I never met any of your or your darling Henry, he holds a piece of my heart. I think of your family often and it reminds me to be ever thankful for our blessings and to live and love each day. Thank you for sharing the gift of Henry with all of us.

God Bless,
Miranda Connelly

Justin said...

I love the name change! God Bless you all!!

Granya said...

And Henry would say, "I'm proud of you too Dad."

Ami Czorapinski said...

Just wanted to let you know that the name change is just perfect. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing Henry and his Gift with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, Henry was a gift. He taught us all so very much.

God speed Henry!


Nancy in NC

D. Joy said...

Dear Scheck Family;

Love the name change. I hope someday you all will consider writng a book about Henry's journey, I feel it would be so inspiring to others and benefical for your charities.

God Bless you and thank-you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Your entire family is a gift. Although you have mentioned in a posting that the blog is synonymous with Henry's illness, hopefully the change to Henry's Gift will help you to have another association with it. We have come to love your entire family and would like to see the blog updated to know how all of you are doing, especially Anna and Sophie, who have also had to endure much more than any child should. We care about all of you and wish you much love in the days ahead.