Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Tribute To Andrew

We want to thank everyone who was able to make it to Andrew's memorial service and for your gracious outpouring of compassion, sympathy and love for our family during this difficult time. We are so proud of our Andrew and the tremendous fight that he gave during his short time here. We are forever changed and live for the day we can be reunited with him.

Pastor Benji relayed a powerful message and said some things that we really needed to hear. The staff at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home and Daniel especially were so kind and compassionate to us during this time. Thank you Jen for singing such a beautiful lullaby in honor of our baby. ("You Can Always Come Home" by Andrew Peterson) Another song that Gene and I chose for being very close to our hearts right now is "Homesick" by MercyMe. My mother gave the most beautiful tribute to Andrew- we are so grateful to her for this. We know this was not easy for her to do and we will cherish these words forever:

Tribute to Andrew

by Carol Glass


Where to begin – I have never known anyone in the world to impact the lives of so many people for good as Andrew Weston Hobbs. His journey began early in 2009, and he was loved and prayed for by hundreds, if not thousands, of people across the world as soon as he was introduced to them, either by his amazing parents, their families and friends, or through the blog his parents created, sharing Andrew’s journey and their hearts to the world on behalf of their precious son.

Gene and Becky chose the name Andrew for their son because it means brave – and they knew their son would have to be brave when he was diagnosed with CDH at 17 weeks gestation. And Andrew proved to be just that and more. Everyone said Andrew would have to be a fighter to survive this battle, and he must have heard this early on because he started his kick boxing exercises in utero and boy was he strong! When he was born and we saw the size of his feet, we all had a new appreciation for the kicks Becky and Gene felt from Andrew while he was in Becky’s womb.

Andrew was born Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009 @ 8:37 a.m. and the word love took on new meaning for everyone that met him. The love on Gene and Becky’s faces was unmistakable, and looking at Andrew was like looking at Gene with Becky’s nose! 9lb.4 oz and a head full of dark hair – he was so handsome! I remember the first time I saw him in the NICU – he was supposed to be still but he was busy looking all around – and when I asked if I could touch him he curled his fingers tightly around my finger and won my heart forever. He was such a beautiful baby it was hard to believe he had such a difficult journey ahead of him, but he proved true to the meaning of his name – “brave” – as he faced heart surgery and CDH repair when he was 7 days old.

Throughout his 30 days, his mommy and daddy were beside him, fighting for him, praying for him, caring for him, reading stories to him – his favorite one being “ Guess How Much I Love You”, and holding his hands, imparting their strength and courage to him. And Andrew felt that strength, courage and love and would open his eyes and look right into their eyes, and squeeze their fingers. And what a grip he had! He liked to listen to lullabies his parents would play for him on an Ipod – he had his own headset for quiet times, and he could always count on his mom and dad being there for him, every day of his life, to love him, hold onto him, and stand by his side. It was amazing to see his facial expression when he would hear Becky or Gene’s voice – no matter how sedated he was, when he heard their voices, he would open his eyes and look right up at them, or at times when he was unable to open his eyes, his eyelids would flutter and you knew he was trying to open them, and his fingers would curl tightly around their fingers.

His loving character and cute looks won the hearts of the cardiac PICU staff, as well as the hearts of his parents, grandparents, extended family, and hundreds of people across the country, across the world for that matter, as they joined in his journey.

Andrew’s 30 days on earth changed more peoples lives than I have personally ever before experienced. He drew not only our family closer together but hundreds of families closer together. People who had not prayed in a long time turned to God and prayed for Andrew, and experienced a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father as a result of this, and people learned the importance of making every day count, and to love each other more deeply.

Andrew had the best parents God has ever given a child, and the example they have set for us will live on forever.

Andrew – your time was short – but your eyes and touch showed how deeply you loved your parents, grandparents, and others. Your parents were with you from the beginning through to the very end of your journey. You remain in their hearts, and in our hearts, forever. We don’t understand why we are here right now, but we look so forward to the day we can be together with you in heaven.

In the meantime, we will try to live as you and your parents taught us to: to be brave, to love deeply, and to embrace whatever life brings you with courage.

Until we meet again, thank you, Andrew, for these gifts you have given us. As Paul said in II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”, so the same is said of you, our precious Andrew.



47 comments:

  1. The most beautiful Tribute to Andrew is the love you share with him in your hearts. Our beautiful children we love you more than words can say. Love, mom & dad

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  2. Gene and Becky, Andrew will always live in your hearts and you will see him again in heaven. Love, Aunt Kat

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  3. that was absolutely beautiful! Again, Gene and Becky, I'm so sorry.

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  4. Absolutely beautiful. I am so sorry for your sorrow. I will keep you in my prayers and I pray for your comfort.

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  5. Noelle, David, George, and VirginiaNovember 3, 2009 at 10:15 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful tribute to your beautiful baby. We continue to think of & pray for you two constantly. Andrew's life touched us deeply and we will be better people because of him.

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  6. Gene and Becky,

    It was a beautiful memorial service for Andrew. I was very impressed with Pastor Benji. Becky, your mom's tribute is so moving and she did an absolutely amazing job. May peace be with both of you and your entire family, you are all in my constant thoughts.

    Big hugs, Dawn

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  7. That is such a beautiful and tender tribute to sweet Andrew. He indeed taught us many lessons about life. Becky and Gene, thank you sincerely for so openly sharing your lives with us. You are in our continued prayers for peace, strength, and comfort. Our Love, Alan & Jeri

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  8. Those are amazing words. Thank you for sharing them. Much love and prayers...

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing Andrew with us. I can truly say my life has been forever changed and I'm sure many others would say the same. He showed more fight and bravery in his 30 days than most show in years and years. He is truly an inspiration to us just like his amazing parents.

    Much love always,
    Robin

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  10. Beautiful, simply beautiful! My heart aches along with yours...CDH is a horrible condition that takes the lives of too many babies! Please know that Andrew will forever be watching over you giving you the braveness his spirit has left behind!
    God bless you and thank you for sharing this and Andrew with all of us!
    Love,
    Sheryl

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  11. A beautiful tribute for and amazing boy. Thank you for sharing Andrew's life and passing with us. I wish you love, peace and serenity.

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  12. Carol was so right is saying that Andrew impacted so many! He is an angel and champion of grace. God bless you both and we will continue to pray for you as you begin to live without Andrew. He will continue to make a difference in the lives of others through you -- you are changed for having loved and cared for him. God is good, all the time!

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  13. that is so beautiful. I will never forget Andrew. My heart is brocken for you. I cried the entire way home from work today. Your precious little Andrew has touched so many lives. You are in our prayers.

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  14. What an amazing and beautiful tribute to a magnificent little boy! Thank you, Becky and Gene, for sharing Andrew with us and for sharing this touching tribute since we were unable to attend his service. We are all truly blessed and changed in some way for having known Andrew. We pray that God will provide you continued strength, courage and comfort in the days ahead.

    "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
    Philippians 4:7

    Peace and love!
    Tim, Donna, Alex and Lawren Beeman
    And all your friends in Western Maryland!!

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  15. Becky and Gene,
    Know that we love you both more than words can say. Andrew will always have a special place in all of our hearts. He was the most precious, brave, and handsome boy! You both have truly inspired us to love harder and be brave no matter what life throws our way. Not a day will go by that we do not pray for peace to overcome you. Love Sue and Bryan

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  16. Andrew has touched us in so many ways. The tribute is beautiful and I'm so sorry that we couldn't make it to his memorial service.
    We continue to think of you and pray that you find peace.
    love,
    Brad, Kellie & Carter

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  17. Gene and Becky, We love you both so much. Andrew was such a beautiful boy. We pray that we can show the bravery and strength that he showed. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of his life.
    Josh and Katie

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  18. Dear Becky and Gene,
    Thank you for your unselfish love in sharing your lives and Andrew's life through this most difficult journey. The 3 of you showed us what true love and courage is, and you have changed so many of our lives in ways you will never comprehend. How we look forward to that day when we are all in heaven, and we see people coming to both of you and Andrew, and saying " Thank you, for giving to the Lord. I have a life that was changed", and it will be because of your living testimony of what love is through this difficult journey. May God continue to wrap his loving arms around you now and in the days ahead, and comfort you as only He can do, and give you His peace. We love you so much.
    Love, Mom & Tom

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  19. You are in my prayers. Andrew has joined our CDH angels in Heaven and they will forever watch over and protect us . . . until we meet them again . . . Much love to you all during this time

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  20. This is such a beautiful tribute and I thank you for sharing it. You don't know me, but I've read your blog and was hoping and praying for Andrew right along with you. I've been thinking of you and your family daily and am so sad that you can't be together. I know you have a hard road ahead of you and will carry this loss with you forever. I have taken the wonderful things that have been written about Andrew to heart and am trying to treasure the time I have with my own family. Your son's life was far too short, but I want you to know that it had meaning to me and he will not be forgotten. I plan to make a donation to one of your designated charities in his name, but I wish there was something more I could do.

    Sue

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  21. I just read the beautiful tribute that Carol wrote and was so very touched by it. Although Andrew's life was very short, I can tell you he touched many people who knew you and others who didn't. My friends and coworkers that I had asked to pray for Andrew are so saddened by his passing. They had asked their friends and family to pray for Andrew and are now praying for your family for God to give you strength and peace. You are all in my prayers daily. I plan to make a donation to one of the charities in Andrew's name.
    Debbie Ross

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  22. What a beutiful tribute! I read Guess How Much I Love You to Kasey everytime I left his bedside. There is now doubt that Andrew know how much you love him! ((hugs)) during this difficult time.

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  23. I have never met you Gene and Becky, but you are friends of Doug Denney, who is a friend of mine. I found your blog on facebook when Doug invited all of his friends to pray. I followed Andrew's journey, and my life has been forever changed through the prayer that my family lifted up for him. Although the outcome I prayed for was that he have a happy healthy long life, I have to believe that God had bigger better plans for him that I could not comprehend. I will continue to pray for you that you will find peace and that you feel all the love that everyone has for you.

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  24. Thank you...thank you...
    Dai

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  25. I've started reading this at least 3 times today and finally got up enough nerve to get through it. I'm so sorry for your loss. We so wish we could have been at the memorial, but please know that we were thinking of you guys and Andrew.

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  26. What a beautiful tribute. I especially liked the part about being the best parents God has given a child. I think all us cdh angel parents were chosen for a reason--what that reason is, I'm not sure, but I do know that each of us would have rather spent moments with our babies than a lifetime without them. For that, we are thankful to God. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    --Beth Houselog
    Mommy to Syliva, 2/26/09 1:34pm-6:34pm

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  27. Our family is continuing to uplift you to the Father during your time of grief. May God's grace overwhelm you during the days ahead.
    With Much Love,
    Steve and Tracy Graves and family
    Berean Baptist Church
    Kathleen, FL

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  28. God's grace shown through that tribute. What a peace your mom had to be able to write that in his memory.

    We'll continue to pray for you and your family as you begin to walk through the days ahead.

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  29. Thank you for sharing moments from Andrew's service with us! The tribute is wonderful and so true.. even though I did not know Andrew personally I had him in my heart. His story will never be forgotten! Continued prayers for all of you!
    Joanna(gabriela-monteiro.com) LCDH

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  30. Good Evening:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful words at a difficult time. Being a grandmother myself I understand how it is to love a child with ones whole heart and beyond.
    Such eloquence and grace from all of you.

    I truly hope the tributes all are leaving will cont. to hold you up.

    I have asked our "Andrew" in heaven and my beloved nephew who is there as well to look in on
    your "Andrew"!!

    My family and I will pray for you and will never ever forget your generosity in sharing your personal steps!

    Hopefully those two beautiful pups that you have will comfort you as well.

    Sleep well Andrew as you are all loved!
    Please take care!
    Angie

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  31. 1 Peter 5:10
    And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

    (it won't feel like a little while...God's time...but His word is true)

    Such an amazing outpouring of unselfish love at such an anguishingly difficult time truly is transforming lives. Andrew's courage, lessons taught, and Andrew's strength of spirit, will live on in the hearts, minds and actions of a great many whose lives Andrew touched. His life and your whole family's "teachings" of steadfast profound radiance of love while living through heart-rending adversity, positively will impact future generations. You and Andrew brought many people closer to God, closer to eachother, and strengthened others by demonstrating actionalble values under painful duress.

    Plus the love you three shared during Andrew's life on earth always will live inside you.

    Thank you so much for sharing baby Andrew and your lives with us.

    Love,

    Elizabeth and Larry

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  32. Becky and Gene,
    I will continue to pray for you both. Andrew will live on because you have shared him with so many. Gina

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  33. What a beautiful tribute to precious baby Andrew. We have been praying for you all from the beginning of this journey and will continue to lift you up to our dear Lord Jesus. May He will give you the peace that passes all understanding as you go through this very difficult time.
    Prov. 3:5&6 Love & Prayers,
    Cathy Stokes (Katie's friend in Florida)

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  34. Gene and Becky, my husband and I are friends with Becky's Dad Jack. We wanted to send along our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Andrew was a beautiful baby and we know your time with him was very precious. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely,
    Becky and Bruce Glueck

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  35. Gene and Becky, if it isn't hard, you would not become any stronger. If it wasn't an exquisite pain, you would struggle to remember the exquisite joy. It is now necessary that you let yourself feel all of these amazing and horrible emotions and feelings so that you will heal and become stronger than you ever knew you could be.
    Please Take Care.
    Daniel Kuhn
    H-W

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  36. I think I missed some of that at the service (hard to focus at such a sad time sometimes)... so I am so glad that you posted it here. It is beautiful, the service was beautiful and I am truly, truly humbled to have met 2 such amazing parents and such an incredible little boy. Andrew will always hold such a special place in my heart.

    I've wanted to call but I know sometimes family or friends stay for a while after funerals so I wanted to give you a little time. I will call this week, but please know that you can call me anytime at all!

    Love and Prayers,
    Dawn

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  37. Gene and Becky. I am sorry to hear about the loss of Andrew. What a precious baby. I pray believing for your faith and strength during this time.

    Scott Jones

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  38. That was so beautiful, I am so sorry about your loss!! I found your blog through Kelly's Korner! I just wanted to you know your family is in my prayers!!!

    Love, Hugs and Prayers--
    Tiffany

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  39. Happy Thanksgiving to you Becky and Gene. We hope that you enjoyed good food with your family. We just wanted to drop a line to you to tell you how thankful we are this year that Andrew was who he was. He taught my husband and me valuable lessons about blessings which we still think of many times a day. Andrew will always be in our hearts, as I'm sure he is in yours. We are so sorry that he was not able enjoy Thanksgiving with his family but know that he was with you in spirit.

    Erica & Doug Marcoux

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  40. The Pritchard FamilyNovember 29, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    We have delayed writing for too long but our family wanted to express our deepest sympathies for the loss of Andrew. In just the couple of weeks our sons shared time in the PCICU we were inspired not only by Andrew's bravery and strength but also the love and dedication you showed him every single day. While his time was regrettably short, know that Andrew impacted the hearts of people he never knew in ways that will last a lifetime.

    -John, Kelli, and Evander Pritchard

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  41. Our lives continue to feel the impact of Andrew's life, and the impact of your love for your son. Rejoicing this day that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us, and offer us a home eternally with Him, where we will never be separated from our loved ones again. What comfort and hope in the midst of great sorrow! Praying for you this Christmas, that you will somehow be able feel the arms of those who love you, around you, as we hold you up in prayer.
    Love, Mom

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  42. I have so many mixed emotions when I think over the past year. It has been one filled with surprise, excitement, worry, anxiety, desperation, dedication, sadness, joy, love, love, love and more love. It has been the best year of my life being a mother for the first time and yet the hardest year of my life holding my sweet baby boy of one month for the first and last time as he entered heaven. I miss him terribly, in a way I never thought was possible. I so wish things could have turned out differently. My life is so much richer for knowing and loving Andrew and I am so grateful for the time, however short it was, that I had with my son. It has been said that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all...and that is so true in my own life. I am a better person because of him. I hope that Andrew knows that his mom and dad will always love him and how much we miss him and can't wait to see him again one day.

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  43. We continue to thank God for the gift you gave us in sharing Andrew and yourselves through this journey. To love deeply is the greatest of gifts anyone can experience. May the love of God and the love of family and friends continue to comfort, support, and encourage you until that wonderful day we will all be together again. Love, Mom & Tom

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  44. My family and I continue to think positive thoughts for all of the Hobbs family and friends.
    While your loss was great, the care that Andrew recv'd. by all of you is a real tribute to how
    families push ahead and impart love.
    May 2010 bring you peace and reflection. We will
    pray for all of you and most of all know that Andrew is and always be a "child of God".
    Let us know this year how you are all doing if
    possible.

    Love to all of you!
    Angie

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  45. Just thinking about all of you and wanted to let you know that never a day goes by that I don't think about all of you and whisper a silent prayer for you. Andrew is deeply missed. He was an execeptional baby who had a deep influence on people and it was an honor to be able to share his life with you. I can't explain what I feel but I know that he has changed my life forever.
    Love
    Aunt Sandy

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  46. Just a note to let you know that I was thinking of you and Gene and Andrew and I again I prayed for your peace. I know that Andrew is wanting that for his mommie and daddy. He was special. You could see it in his eyes. You could see the love he felt for you both. What an honor to have been able to know him!!!! Thanks
    Aunt Sandy

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  47. I'm missing baby Andrew today. Becky and Gene we love you guys and continue to pray!

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