I recently heard the following saying:
They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.
I don’t know the author of this saying, but I find it to be profound.
I believe in eternal life and wholeheartedly know that life goes far beyond this world. Yet, I get the gist of this saying and, from an earthly perspective, it rings true for me.
I think, in part, it’s what compels me to write this blog, share stories about Ian and speak his name whenever I can. Could there be anything more torturous to a mom and dad’s soul than to think that their child will be forgotten?
A few days ago, we were given a monumental gift.
Our nephew Kellen and his wife, Jazmine, gave their beautiful newborn son a special middle name. Jeremy Ian Kaimana Ventura-Ho. Each part of this great name carries special meaning. Of course, they had me at “Ian.”
When I had the chance to carry Jeremy at the hospital the other night, a huge wave of emotion came over me. Not only is this the precious child of my nephew, but little Jeremy is now part of Ian’s legacy.
While he will sadly never know Uncle Ian personally, he will know his namesake by the stories that are shared with him and the love that remains within his dad, who is more like a brother to Ian and Zach.
Oh, how Ian loved children. He wanted to have many. I know he would have been overjoyed for Kellen and Jazmine. Looking into Jeremy’s eyes, I’m sure Ian would have been looking forward to starting his own family all the more.
Oh, how he loved the children in his life. To think that his nieces and nephews might not remember Ian is an unbearable thought.
But, there have been moments that give me so much hope that this will not be the case…
- There was Ava’s sweet note written to Uncle Ian just the other day on her iPad. “If I had one wish, I wish you came back,” she wrote.
- There was Eli’s spontaneously drawn pictures of Uncle Ian getting barreled in gigantic waves!
- There was Max who asked, “What color is Uncle Ian…in heaven?”
- Mady, well, she prayed for Uncle Ian every night when he was in treatment.
And, now there is Jeremy Ian … a bright light that breaks through our dark journey and reminds us of what is still so very good in this world.
God bless you, little Jeremy.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)