My son seems to be making his mark even despite his absence.
A few weeks back I got a letter at the Day Job. One of the ladies of the Friends group that helps the library handed it to me, along with a hug, and said that it was for J and I to decide how to use it. I was puzzled by her crypticness, and tore open the little square envelope. There was a card inside, and as I pulled it out I saw “donated in memory of Michael Stearns” and a dollar figure. It was signed by the donator.
Someone donated money to local library in my son’s name.
(As I found out later, it was actually the decision of multiple people, not just the one who signed the card.)
These people — who never knew more of my son than just his end — wanted to remember him with us. They wanted others to remember my Michael.
J and I chose to use the funds to buy a children’s book. Today, it arrived:
We chose “Saint George and the Dragon.” We were largely influenced by our activities in the SCA, but I especially loved the story. It’s a tale of perseverance, and honor. George is asked to come slay a dragon that is plaguing a city. It takes him three days to do it, and he nearly dies several times in the course of the battle. Still, he gets up. Every day, he gets up. And he picks up his sword and tries again, and again, and again, until the dragon is dead, because he made a promise to help save the townspeople, and he would keep his promise.
It’s a beautiful story, with the most lovely graphite illustrations I think I’ve seen. I think my little boy would have liked it. He would have liked it because his daddy is a good man just like the Knight George, and he would have liked it because the Knight slays the evil dragon with a sword. I can see it very clearly. My little boy playing sword fights in the yard with his daddy and all the ensuing games involving dragons and damsels and Good winning against Evil… Michael would have loved it.
As it is processed for addition into the library’s catalog, it will receive a bookplate inside the front cover reading, “In Memory of Michael Stearns.” The years will pass, and though many will not know who Michael was, they will know that he was important and that he was loved.