October 10, 2018
Our candlelight vigil for work is this Saturday. I typically give the “opening remarks.” Typically I say something about hope, etc. However, this year I’m giving the closing remarks. Our “token of honor” or gift to the families that attend are Seeds of Happiness. I just wanted you to see my closing remarks that I am going to read at our vigil. As I know you know, I will never forget Dawson and always think of you!!
“I’m sure some of you are wondering about the two, bright red, small, balls you have received from us today. Some of you might know of them, some might not. The bright red balls are actually lumps of clay known as “Seeds of Happiness.” Created by a local sculptor in St. Louis, their main purpose is to help put a smile on the face of anyone who needs it.
In June of this year KSDK ran a local “Feel Good” story. While watching it, I discovered it was about a friend of mine. In 2007 Paula and John Ivanowski, lost their young son, Dawson, to a battle with cancer. These “Seeds of Happiness” were created by a local sculptor to help Paula and John put the smile back on their face after Dawson’s death. While Paula and John’s son battled with cancer, their friend, the sculptor, didn’t know what to say to them during this difficult time so he did what he knows best…he sculpted clay. It was that small act of kindness that started “Seeds of Happiness.” He told them: "I know there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better so I thought I would bring you some smiles to help you get your smile back.”
While the manner Paula and John lost their son is different than the reason we all gather today, the pain and grief we all share is similar… we grieve for a life that is forever changed or a life that is forever lost. We wake up every morning wondering how we will continue through this day and the next. We work hard on creating our new sense of normal in our lives, always wanting or yearning for our old normal back, even if it’s just for brief minutes.
As you can see we gave you two “Seeds of Happiness.” One of the seeds is a gift we are giving to you, to give you a smile when you may need it. The other seed we are giving to you is for you to give it to someone that you know who could use a smile. We many never know the impact that our tiny seed has on someone’s life, but together we can help others along their path of grief. Please go and spread “Seeds of Happiness” in the world.
After we hear one final song from the Worship Team everyone is invited next door to the church cafe for a small reception. From myself as well as all of our very dedicated volunteers and staff at the Gateway office, thank you for joining us today as we honor victims and survivors.”
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In 2006 Seeds of Happiness started out as leftover lumps of clay that Mark Borella made into little smiles to give to friends who were going through hard times and needed a little smile.
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