Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hannah's memorial dedication

After my beautiful, newly-17-year-old sister passed away from a horrible childhood cancer in 2001, half of her memorial money was given to her high school in Chicago.  The art teacher decided to design four mosaic benches to honor her memory.  The benches were finished within a year or two, but every time we contacted the high school, they told us that the benches weren't quite ready.  We did not forget about them, but eleven years later, the school contacted us because they wanted to install the benches and have an official dedication of them.  September 14th was chosen as the day, and friends and family showed up to remember Hannah and be a part of a beautiful tribute to her.  

Here were the benches, just before they were assembled.
 And now, all put together:

We had a good crowd of about 60 family members and friends.

My mother wrote lovely words to speak about Hannah. 

The current principal spoke as well.  Unfortunately, this dedication happened to be planned the very week that Chicago public teachers went on strike.  The art teacher who designed the benches was unable to come (almost all of Hannah's former teachers did not come).  But the principal read words that the art teacher had wanted to say herself, explaining the meaning behind each of the four benches.

Hand of support ;)

  Though it is a public school, we asked if it would be okay for my Uncle John to say a prayer, thanking God for Hannah, and for these new benches in the community.

Refreshments afterwards.

So grateful for all who came!

Three of my sister's gorgeous best friends. 

 Then Nolan stole the photographer's attention for a while.  This photo is with Great-Grandpa.

This visit was Nolan's first trip to Chicago, and the first time he laid eyes on my hometown and Aunt Hannah's hometown.   He will grow up to hear many stories about his vibrant aunt.

Nolan Bruce with Daddy and cousin Nathan Bruce.

My guys.
My mom and me.

 And then with my two aunts (Mom's sisters) Lori and Sally.

It was a very significant day in my life, and I hope that Hannah's benches receive many, many visitors, for years to come!

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