Two years ago, when my son, Andy, was killed in a car accident, my whole life felt like it was over. The road back to find a little bit of joy again has been long and hard. There are twists and turns, and sometimes it even feels like I am moving backward. Regaining trust and hope in God is not easy, but one thing that I can say is that I have not lost my faith. As rocky as that faith sometimes feels, it has not disappeared.
Part of the reason for that is really the great faith of my son, Andy. His faith had always been rock solid. There had never been a doubt in his mind that he would someday meet Jesus in heaven. A few months before his death, he was even talking about death with a friend. The friend was scared of death, but not Andy. Andy told this friend that he was so excited to go to heaven. To Andy, death was never something to be feared. That was the faith of Andy. It wasn’t complicated in the least.
I remember that first year when he was scheduled to go off to church camp at Stony Lake with his older sister. I wondered if he would even make it through the week. He had never been away from me before and I feared he would be too homesick. I was so wrong! He loved every second of camp. He loved the relationships that he made. He loved singing camp songs and playing camp games. He loved learning more about God and growing his faith. Andy really grew to love his church family during those weeks at camp. Two weeks before he died, he returned from his first mission trip with the same great kids that he grew close to in camp. He seemed to grow up so much. I was so proud of him and of his faith in God.
A few weeks ago, our pastor told us about a Stony Lake project to build new cabins for the camp. I immediately knew that Eric and I would want to contribute. We had planned to donate money each year to causes that were important to Andy, and certainly, this would be perfect. I started thinking about all of the kids like Andy who would be attending Stony Lake in the future, and I thought how Andy, more than anything, would want them to have fun. He would want them to learn about God and to get just as excited for heaven as he had been.
The more I thought about this, the more that I realized that I was thinking too small. Our church had a goal of $50,000 to raise for camp, but one cabin was going to cost over $400,000, and there are so many cabins to build. I wondered if Eric and I promised a $20,000 starting gift, if we could reach a goal high enough to raise enough money to get at least part of a cabin dedicated in memory of Andy. That is my dream now – I hope and pray that we can at least raise $100,000 to get the great room of the first new cabin dedicated to our son, Andy. I am reaching out past our own church now to family and friends as well, to as many people as possible. Hopefully, someday, campers will see a plaque on the wall of that cabin and ask about Andy. Someone will then share that Andy was a kid who loved to run, sing and learn about God at camp and that someday, he will be there to excitedly greet them in heaven.
Throughout the month of November, all donations to Always Andy’s Mom will be donated to support this great cause. All gifts to our organization are tax deductible. Always Andy’s Mom is a 501(c)3 entity. Tax ID # is 84-3844746.