Thursday, December 15, 2005

memorial for dad

this is what I wrote and said at the annual memorial service for deceased children


Good Evening. My name is Veronica Scott. In May 2002 I was pregnant with triplets. I lost two of them on May 17 Katrina Renne and Alisha Nichole and lost the last one Greg Jr. on May 19. Some of you have met my dad, but for those who have not I would like to share a little bit about him with you. Fifteen years ago my father James Witmer coordinated the first memorial service for families of deceased children. While he was working, a co-worker was asking him if he knew any memorial service designed just for those who lost children. She lost a child and went to the service provided by hospice, but sat next to a person who lost their elderly parent. When you loose a child, the grieving is so much different from when you loose a parent or other family member. Dad decided to plan a memorial service for those that lost children. He thought it would have been a one-time event; the first service consisted of about 20 people. With this service being so needed and wanted in the community dad decided to make it an annual event, and do it the first part of December due to the fact that the holidays are so painful and this is a way that each of us can celebrate Christmas with our children who have passed away before us and who we miss and love so much.  Doing so gave him both great sorrow and great joy. It hurt him to see any child hurt, suffer, or die at such a young age, yet he was glad he was able to provide something to the families that are left behind. On September 8, 2004 dad peacefully went to be with the Lord. He was diagnosed in July 2004 with terminal liver cancer. Before he died, he told my brother and sister in law that when he got to heaven he was going to pick out a grandchild to send down. My sister in law asked him to put in a good work for a little girl. He did just that, on Sept 18, my brother and sister inlaw welcomed their first child a little girl into this world. When he first found out, he had cancer one of his main concerns was that this service be continued for each of you and for those who need it in the future. His other concern was his family and a few special friends. I can remember dad working and preparing this service, making sure each detail is taken care of.  From sending out the information, to talking to whoever called that wanted information, to polishing each ball that is placed on the living memorial and each keepsake ornament that he handed out. Dad was the type of person that would do anything for anyone especially a child. He would stop whatever he was doing if a kid missed the school bus and needed a ride to school, needed someone to talk to. When children were outside playing dad would sit out there and watch them, smiling and often would offer them something to drink or something to eat whether it be candy, ice cream, or anything they wanted. If they wanted something he did not have, he would make sure he would have it next time. I know now that dad is in heaven with my children and with your children until the day we all meet again. Tomorrow is dad’s birthday and he would have been 58 years old. My mother found a poem I would like to share with you titled Merry Christmas from Heaven written by John William Mooney Jr...

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p>

<o:p> I still hear the songs</o:p>

<o:p>I still see the lights </o:p>

<o:p> I still feel your love </o:p>

<o:p>on cold wintry nights</o:p>


<o:p>I still share your hopes</o:p>

<o:p>and all your cares</o:p>

<o:p>I'll even remind you </o:p>

<o:p>to please say your prayers</o:p>


<o:p>I just want to tell you </o:p>

<o:p>you still make me proud</o:p>

<o:p>You stand head and shoulders </o:p>

<o:p>above all the crowd</o:p>


<o:p>Keep trying each moment </o:p>

<o:p>to stay in his grace </o:p>

<o:p>I came here before you </o:p>

<o:p>to help set your place </o:p>


<o:p>You don't have to be </o:p>

<o:p>perfect all the time </o:p>

<o:p>He forgives you the slip </o:p>

<o:p>If you continue the climb</o:p>


<o:p>To my family and friends </o:p>

<o:p>please be thankful today </o:p>

<o:p>I'm still close beside you </o:p>

<o:p>in a new special way</o:p>


<o:p>I love you all dearly </o:p>

<o:p>now don't shed a tear </o:p>

<o:p>Cause I'm spending my </o:p>

<o:p>Christmas with Jesus this year</o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

We love you dad and we miss you more than words can ever express. Give my children, and the children of each family here tonight a hug and a kiss let them know they to are loved, missed and thought of everyday. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas dad. May the Lord be with each of you and give you comfort today and each day to follow.

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