Several people have asked us for copies of the messages we wrote to Caleb for his memorial service so I thought it fitting to make them the first blog post.
A Message from Mommy
My dearest baby, Caleb, my floorboard pitter-patter,
My sandy-haired blue-eyed angel, how I loved your joyful chatter.
February ninth -- the absolute best day of my life.
You added “Mommy” to my title, where it sat proudly next to “wife!”
Daddy laid you in my arms and “happy birthday” I did sing,
I never could have imagined the depth of love that you would bring.
You were my miracle from heaven, ten tiny fingers and kissable toes,
You looked an awful lot like Daddy but with Mommy’s mouth and nose.
We took you home and introduced you to the “woof woof” and “meows,”
Where the howling roommate and ceiling fan shaped your trademark eyebrows.
Your high-pitched giggles and excitement when the “Tickle Monster” gave chase,
I will forever cherish these memories, jewels in life’s too hurried pace.
You would climb on my back and we would pretend to fly through the air,
Or dress just like Daddy, except you still had more hair.
Whether climbing to your car seat, or reaching a book on the second shelf,
I adored your independent nature, and the way you said, “self, self.”
My sweetest little drummer boy, you are a gift, a light, a treasure.
The hole left in our hearts is too cavernous to measure.
I wish I could kiss your soft cheeks and bottle the way you smell,
Sing you one more sweet rhyme, spike your hair with your gel.
I want to hold you and hug you, and get a few more pats on the back,
See your perfectly fanned eyelashes, and prepare your favorite snack.
You smiled with your whole face -- such a magnificent, bright star,
You are the center of our universe, although now from afar.
Your purpose on Earth, though it was much much too brief,
Was to teach us to love even in the midst of our grief.
I love you beautiful boy. Until we meet again.
Come visit us in our dreams, amen, amen, amen.
Daddy's Message to Caleb
Caleb Lennon Wile touched every soul he met, and he never knew a stranger. Caleb didn’t care how much money you had, or what kind of car you drove, what your skin color was, or who your favorite football team is. If you met him, he loved you. Just for being you. Just for being here on Earth, he loved you.
The eyes are often described as “windows to the soul,” and when you looked into his beautiful blue eyes you understood that to be true. When you looked at Caleb you could see Bernie’s remarkable empathy and her limitless energy. From his father he received a passionate curiosity and an occasional lack of coordination. Caleb was brilliant, too – he could count to thirty, name every vehicle on the road, and use words like “toucan”, “racket”, and “ambulance”. He loved animals and routinely tackled our very tolerant cat so he could kiss him on the nose. Although his favorites were peas and frozen mangoes, his first food was avocado, and the only thing in this world he would not eat was an olive.
Caleb returned to heaven in the care of his grandpa, great-grandparents, and countless friends that are all waiting their turn to spend time with this precious soul. He was only with us for an achingly brief time, but Caleb has changed this world for the better. His message to us was as loud and clear as his police car imitation: Love each other unconditionally. Hug your children, no matter how old they are. And housekeeping and chores can wait, for children won’t keep.