“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is costly, care for it. Life is wealth, keep it. Life is love, enjoy it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.” Mother Teresa.
It’s AJ’s two year anniversary and as I reflect on all that has happened since he physically left us, I am reminded of how much we all miss him. Every day. And especially every night. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed with the loss, I recite one of my favorite verses from the Qu’ran ” Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” which translates to “To God we belong and to Him we shall return.”. I find it incredibly comforting to know that one day we will all return to our Maker – no matter what and no matter when. I also find it helpful to remember AJ’s positivity in the face of any adversity, and this motivates me to do more in his honor.
For the first time in a very long time, our family had the opportunity to have AJ’s parents grace us with a visit to Edmonton. They haven’t been to our house for a while as it brings back too many memories – which is totally understandable. However, on this occasion, they were able to visit and amidst tears and stories and group hugs, I am hopeful that they have started their journey towards healing. I breathe a sigh of relief, as I know in my heart that AJ would want his parents to find closure and peace. I am eager to help out in any way I possibly can.
There are many things that have been accomplished in AJ’s memory. Of course, the most relevant is the school in Western Uganda. For AJ’s 2 year anniversary, HEAL International presented us with a beautiful certificate for AJ’s parents . I do believe it helped them appreciate his legacy. To finally see a smile on his dad’s face was so worth all the cajoling I have had to do to get them to come home!
A big thank you to AJ’s parents for raising him to be such a wonderful man who continues to inspire all of us.