One year ago today, my son lost his best friend. Xander‘s last act upon this earth was holding a 3-year-old girl above the water so that she could breathe, while he drowned.
Xander’s parents have been such an inspiration to us over the past year. They have found the strength not only to move forward in the midst of a heart-wrenching tragedy, but also to use their son’s memory to make the world a better place. They strive each day to emulate Xander’s compassionate nature, and have continually worked toward saving lives and making a difference in the lives of others.
In a similar vein, we wished to honor Xander’s memory today, and decided to implement what we have started calling “Xander Day.” Jens and I both took off work today, so we had a full day at our disposal. Every member of our family brainstormed to come up with acts of kindness we could carry out throughout the day.
We also made donations to Goodwill. We took a big box of shoes and clothes, Kaelin donated some books, and Koren picked out some toys to give. The kids even managed to do kind things for each other. Koren took the initiative to go ask the hostess for a coloring page for Kaelin while we were at lunch, and Kaelin later volunteered to help Koren clean a mess he had made in the pantry.
It’s been a busy day, but one full of blessings. Many of our neighbors weren’t home, so we branched out and met some people on our street that we don’t know. We even discovered that one of our neighbors knew Xander as well. And it warmed my heart so much to see the kids doing things for each other, and also making other people smile. Today was an example to us that sometimes God can make blessings bloom in the midst of tragedy, and I hope that we are able to continue this tradition as we honor Xander’s memory in the future. As always, we’re keeping Xander’s family in our thoughts and prayers, and look forward to spending some time with them soon.
And now I need to go put up the leftover cookies to keep my kids from raiding them.