This week last year, my blog was a remembrance of my husband Gerry and our three precious children, Dawn, Stephen and Michael, who were tragically killed in a car accident 27 years ago.  Year 28 whispered by this past weekend and again I am so very grateful for the many emails, texts, calls and cards from family and friends alike. I especially appreciate my sister, Nanci, who each year makes the trip to the cemetery and lovingly places flowers on the graves in my absence.

Beloved memories still mix with tears of longing this week, until the flow of grace reassures my heart that Gerry and the kids are reveling in Resurrection glory.  Each message bears special grace from the Lord encouraging my faith and reminding me of His mercy over the years.  So my deepest and most heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who contacted me over this past week.

After that blog last year, a November blog followed in which I remembered my beautiful daughter, Dawn’s birthday, followed by a February blog that showcased the antics of our “baby”, Michael, on his birthday. But, New Year’s Eve came and went and I omitted a blog about our son, Stephen, because well – in death as in life, a New Year’s Eve birthday, or any holiday birthday for that matter, can be a real challenge to celebrate. It certainly wasn’t that I forgot Stephen’s birthday, it was just that the likelihood of anyone reading a blog on New Year’s Eve isn’t very great.

So I decided to remember my beloved crew this year by shining a light on G. Stephen Michaud.  Named after my dad, Stephen was born on December 31,1982, and was six years old at the time of the accident. He once asked me if he could take a helicopter up to heaven to visit Grandpa Steve. I just know my dad was there to greet him!

Stephen was such a calm, sweet child. He was always willing to share his toys and whatever else he had, and he was extraordinarily kind to everyone around him.  It made him a much sought after playmate. Stephen was born with “love your neighbor” sealed on his heart. His kindergarten teacher took me aside one day to tell me how impressed she was by him, when he came to the aid of a classmate who was being bullied on the playground. I’m sure the fact that he was a head taller than his classmates (we kept him back a year because of his late birthday) and athletically built gave him a bit of an upper hand there.

By age five, Stephen had become a “rink rat,” like his older sister. Roller skates or ice skates – it didn’t matter, like his dad who played college hockey, when Stephen stepped into the rink he ruled. It was always so heart-warming to see him stop to scoop up fallen friends as he weaved in and out of the crowd. In his brief life, my sweet boy was a shining example of the real love that Christians are called to.

As another year passes, I pray that the lives that were touched by Stephen, Gerry, Dawn and Michael will continue to be inspired and motivated by their love of God and those around them.

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