A letter from Luke's mom.
As many of you already know, I lost my son.
Not in a store like our little girl once long ago within furry clothes racks. Not left behind on the counter of Henry Bear’s Park in his car seat carrier during the daze of new motherhood. Lost forever to the hands of time. Passed away to the spirit world, to a hereafter we hope he’s happy in.
Refracted in the tears of all who love him is a rainbow of colored light so warm we can only believe Luke is one with the sky and the earth. He lived a life that mattered. To many. And in that knowledge we find peace.
Luke loved conversation.
He was able to talk to anyone, of any age, of any gender, race or nationality, of any profession or any educational level. He sought such conversations out.
"Talk to a stranger every day," he would say—and try.
The more different, the better.
He had a glow that illuminated any room.
Because he was truly interested in you. All of you.
His ability to see the light inside everyone defined who he was and how he lived in the world.
His friend Nick remembered at his memorial service: "Luke saw me at my best and he saw me at my worst. But to Luke I was always at my best."
THAT was Luke.
Edith Wharton said "there are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." Few of us can imagine a person who did both. Shine from within and refract every one else's best. Luke did. In fact, we believe he still does.
In every story told about him, in every time someone he knew remembers him, in every instance someone he loves says YES instead of no...there is Luke shining and warming and loving. Incandescent.
Friends put together a tribute that honors Luke's light http://www.freethechildren.com/donate/legacy-giving/lukes-lights/ that is like a salve for our family. They have established a fund to collect money in Luke’s honor to buy solar lights for communities in Kenya that are off the electrical grid. Luke spent time in Kenya a couple of years ago and we couldn't think of a more perfect tribute than to bring Luke's light into the dark, smoky, dung huts currently lit by kerosene. It shows us the way out of a sadness and darkness of heart we feared could overwhelm us. The "Luke's Light" movement is a sweet star and sunlit path towards healing.
Whether you are a parent or not, try to imagine:
One instant your child is shining as bright as a lighthouse on the ocean or a firefly in a meadow.
The next moment OFF.
Dan and I lost our son Luke on the cusp of adulthood, with the impish traits of a boy and the big plans of a man.
"Dream big. Do bigger" was his motto. Who even has a personal motto at 19? Luke did.
The loss of his deep voice in our lives, his throaty laugh, his lanky hugs is viscerally raw to us. But the loss of his potential is so gargantuan it does not compute.
And then this "Luke's Lights" movement took shape.
An act of generosity and shared humanity that reached out to me and my family (and Luke) at a time of terrible tragedy.
A prism is only glass until light catches it.
The more light hits it, the more colors are revealed, the more rainbows reflected.
This quest feels like a prism to us. It gives light. Magical, healing, life-affirming light. To our family. And to those whose own families live in darkness.
Our tears flow more joyfully when we think of Luke's departure from this earth having an impact that mirrors his lightness of being.
I am a mother of three. Always. One is a spirit now.