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Lisa King

July 03, 2012

This week has been a particularly hard one, since what would’ve been Noah’s eleventh birthday fell on the day that marked five months since Aaron passed away. My boys and I went away for a couple of days to be alone and to try to have some fun together as we remembered Noah’s birthday.

Since we released helium balloons at Aaron’s and Noah’s funerals, for each anniversary we release a few more balloons in their memory. So on Noah’s birthday we stood in the snow on a beautiful mountain, which overlooked the city where Noah passed away. We were sad, but as the boys yelled “Happy birthday Noah!” and the balloons floated up towards the sky, we imagined them eventually reaching Noah and Aaron, and we smiled.  

When we arrived home, we found some beautiful cards waiting for us, each of them sent from lovely friends who wanted to let us know they were thinking of us. After reading the cards, I put them away where all of Aaron and Noah’s keepsakes go—in the two blanket boxes in my bedroom, one box for each of them. 

Noah’s box is full of photos and reports from school, get-well-soon cards from his friends from school and primary, medical reports and x-rays accumulated through his ten years of life, and special things that we kept from the day that he passed away.

Aaron’s box is similar. A couple of months after he passed away, I began sorting through his stuff. Since it was hard to look at his things just sitting in the cupboards as if he were still here, I decided to put them in a special box where the boys and I could look at them whenever we wanted to. Aaron was a collector vinyl records, sports cards, and sports memorabilia, but now I look at these things in his box and they mean nothing to me. To Aaron they were important, but I couldn’t care less if I have a particular sports card or sports top, or some rare vinyl record. I’ve kept them because they were a piece of Aaron, but more important are his personal items, the things that still hold a little piece of him.

The significant things are photos and letters from those he loved and those who loved him, things that he kept because they were important to him—family photos, photos from school and church, birthday and Father’s Day cards from the boys, beautiful cards and letters from students who wrote to him to let him know how much he meant to them as their school teacher, letters and cards from me, and special items from his childhood. These are the things that mean more to me and to my boys, especially now that he is no longer here with us. These were the things that meant more to him as well, and he kept them in his drawers in his bedside table and looked at them often.

Now as I put the cards away that friends have sent, I look into his box and still can’t believe that his things from thirty-nine years on earth are now packed away into one box. But I’m so grateful that we don’t need to open up his box of keepsakes to know how much he loved us. Every day he either told us or showed us how much he loved us by spending time with us. 

And I’m grateful to Noah for teaching us how important every single day is. It means so much more now that Aaron and Noah are no longer with us to know that we cherished every day together. Our family is far from perfect, and there are many things we needed to improve, but I feel very blessed to be able to say that we always let each other know that we loved each other—and that is more important than anything that you can put in a box.

Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.

Photo by Alana Aston Photography