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Jan 5, 2010

A Little More...

Our Family ~ 12/08
(click on pic to enlarge Andrew's sweet smile.)

I want to share a little more with you about Andrew's service on 12/19/09. Our daughter, Andrew's sister Audra, began the worship service as she played her guitar and sang "Healer," the song many of you have heard Kari Jobe sing.

The praise and worship team from our church sang 3 worship songs, one of which I requested, There Is A River. This song has special significance to our family. During Andrew's life saving surgery on 9/11, we sang this song as we awaited the outcome of his surgery. And often in the hospital Andrew would ask me to sing to him. I always sang There Is A River as I rubbed his feet. My pastor's wife who is my friend sang on the team. I had asked her to organize that aspect for me. (At bottom of post is a url to There Is A River.)

Our pastor, our friend, spoke so eloquently about Andrew's life. Our pastor and his wife were with us in the worst of times over these past few months. The day of Andrew's preliminary diagnosis I called them and from that moment on they were with us every step of the journey. They spent hours with us in hospitals, visited our home and prayed and loved on us in an extraordinary way. They came to know Andrew and love him in a way that no one else other than our family could have loved him. They are true shepherds in every sense of the word. We thank God for their ministry and their friendship to our family.

Andrew's former Wednesday night boy's leader (another close friend of ours) reminisced about Andrew and how during game time he and our other son, Avery, were some of the fastest white boys to play Capture the Flag.

My sweet friend, Alisa from Carolina Panache, beautifully read "The Gift" written and sent to me from dear Lisa Smith of Glad Chatter. Alisa and her family drove from NC to be with us. Alisa organized the photo display for the viewing and service. Her gift of beauty blessed me.

Another special long-time friend, LaDon who with her husband flew in from MD, spoke so sweetly and blessed me with her loving words.

Long time friends from college days (Lee University) flew in. Loving family members drove long distances. Audra's school and work friends came. Avery's school friends and faculty attended. Precious neighbors and friends were there and our loving church family surrounded us with love, hugs and tears.
By my side sat my mother and my father. My father, a pastor and the one who dedicated Andrew to the Lord, spoke at the gravesite. My brother, a professional saxophonist, played at the service as well as "Jesus Loves Me" at the gravesite. My husband's brother (an army vet) presented a special tribute regarding Andrew's desire to serve in the military.

Following is a portion of the obituary I wrote for our son:

Andrew’s passions were skateboarding and graffiti art. His life long ambition was to enlist in the United States Army when he turned eighteen. From an early age, he had a keen interest in the military and expressed his desire to be a sniper in the Army.
Andrew never met a dog he didn’t like and often walked the neighbor’s dogs as a “job.” He most often spent his money on skateboards at Double Barrel Surf & Skate where he became good friends with the owner Skip. Until the time he would be old enough to enlist in the Army, his wish was to work for Skip.
Today marks 3 weeks since Andrew left our earthly home to join Jesus in Heaven.
I have other thoughts to share with you. Maybe tomorrow...
Catherine Mullins worships with "There Is A River."


  1. I have thought of you all day- your precious testimony to a living God who does love us, does care for us, does carry us through and does show us the Way to life everlasting.

    Thank you so very much,

  2. Thank you for this testimony, Melanie. I have been reading through your last few entries, crying with you, and worshipping as well.
    Oh, the picture of you spending time with Andrew as you worship. You, here on earth, and Andrew, in the presence of God!
    I pray the LORD will continue to infuse your heart with comfort and hope - until you meet again.

    May the peace of Christ rest upon you today.

    Much love,

  3. Even though heaven holds a sweet draw for each of us, a hope that one day we will be there and have nothing to do but worship God, surely for a mother who has a child there, the pull must be overwhelming at times. I can only imagine. Thanks for your testimony through this trial, the testimony that God is unshakeable, that HE is our Rock, that He is indeed a healer....I am so sorry for the loss of your son, but know that God will reward your faithfulness someday. And one day you will be with Andrew again. Bless you, my sweet internet friend and sister in Christ.

    He collects your tears in a bottle and holds them dear.

  4. Melanie, you've been in my heart daily, thank you for sharing Andrew with us, His smile IS so very precious.
    hugs and love,

  5. THANK YOU for sharing these things. We will not forget Andrew. He continues to show Jesus to us.

  6. I read about your son through Simply Debbie blog and looking at the pic too of you and him my eyes jsut welled up with tears at the loss of such a precious boy. I can only imagine how I would be if I lost one of my sons. I am so very sorry and am glad you have dear loved one around to help carry you in this time. you have given him a very fitting tribute i'm sure. I suppose one thing to look at is he was not tarnished by this cruel world and allowed to go as a child, and one who was loved so much. He will be there on the other end for you.

    Again, deepest sympathy to you. I will remember you and him and your family.

  7. Sending love, keeping you close in thought and prayer.

  8. Oh, Melanie, what a beautiful picture of your family. He is precious in that picture. Thank you for telling us about the service and all your friends. You are truly blessed to have so many loving you all through this time. Praying for God's comfort to you and your family ~ Love, Cathy

  9. again...THAT smile!

    andrew's smile and eyes show his zest for life. thank you so much for sharing him with us. i still cannot fathom your pain but i long for your faith.

    love to you!

  10. Thank you for sharing more of Andrew's life, Melanie. You did such a good job on his obituary. He is no doubt skateboarding in heaven, zooming around free of pain.

    You and your sweet family are still in my prayers.

  11. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing this, I was wondering if you were ok and would be coming back to blogging again as you were away for some time. It will take a while a long while to heal from the pain of losing him. I should know. But take heart, it will get better, and the memories will not be one of hurt and pain of losing Andrew but joy of having had him in your lives. Blessings.

  12. What lovely tributes to a young man whose life touched many. I think of you often and continue to pray for you! ~Adrienne~

  13. You are a very strong lady whose faith is bringing you through the hardest thing you will ever have to do.....Andrew was so precious and I agree with everyone, he does have a special smile and he looked so much like you Melanie. You and your families are always in my heart and prayers......:-) Hugs

  14. You have given me a better understanding and hope. I too lost my son to the same kind of cancer. I have a very strong belief in the Lord, but you have showed me through your testimony that I can get through this and I will be with him again. Not that I didn't already believe that. You have just given me more hope.
    God Bless you and your family. I bet our boys are playing on streets of gold!...Cathy

  15. *tears* and continuing to delight in your great faith.

    My sister lost her oldest in a car accident (she was 20) in Jan 2003, I walked that journey with her. I then lost my brother (27) in Feb 2006 to a farming accident.

    May the Lord continue to hold your heart in His hands and provide your comfort in your tears. <3 Kathy

  16. Melanie,
    The service sounds perfect!
    I'm so thankful you and your family have been surrounded by those who love you so. What a comfort and blessing family and friends are to us.

  17. Thank you for sharing more about Andrew's life. I cannot imagine the pain of loss you are going through. The photo you shared was priceless as was your son.

    You are in my prayers daily, the Lord has placed upon my heart. May HE refresh you daily with HIS peace and HIS comfort. ~Isaiah 58:11

  18. Thank you for sharing such special moments with us Melanie. It sounds like it was an absolutely beautiful service! A celebration of Andrew's homecoming.

    You all remain in my prayers and I look forward to hearing more about Andrew's service and life as you feel called to share it dear.

    God bless you!

  19. It sounds like a beautiful service, especially with all the people who love you and your family to be there to lift you all up. Thank you for sharing with us. I have you in my thoughts and in my prayers, and want you to know that I, and am sure many of your blog readers were with you on that faith journey with Andrew, in our spirits. I never tire of reading about that sweet child. I did not know he loved graffiti art or wanted to go into the army.
    When you are ready to share again, I will be here to visit.
    love, ginny

  20. Preach the gospel everyday; if necessary, use words. Francis of Assisi

    Thanks Melanie once again for sharing your precious Andrew with us. The service sounded so beautiful and anointed. God was glorified once again.

    I continue to pray for you daily and especially for your children.

    I was 14 years old when my mom lost her 18 year old son. I remember my loss and then watching my mom grieve for him.

    Like you, she had the hope of seeing him again, it was her greatest comfort during those long days/months/years after.

    I have a little package that will be coming your way. Be on the look out for something from Baton Rouge.

    Although I've never met you or your Andrew I feel so close and connected. It's the prayers and intercession.

    Love you Mella Bella~

  21. Oh Melanie, that picture of your family is soo good, and that smile on precious Andrew's face really is priceless. What zest for life you can see in his face. The service sounds soo lovely. How good it must have felt to have soo many who love you around and offering what comfort they could. I can't tell you how sorry I am that this has happened, and can only imagine how hard it must all be. But your faith and love for the Lord through the whole thing has been soo inspirational for me. It does make it seem as if you can really know that He IS really there for you no matter what this life might dish out. I do want you to know that I pray for you all every night...the Lord will continue to see you through as you go about your lives until you see that sweet smile again. Blessings to you all, Debbie

  22. Thank you for sharing that beautiful picture...precious memories...and moments from Andrew's service.....

  23. Hi Melanie,
    I wanted to send you and your family a card, but didn't have your mailing address.
    Not a day goes by that I don't think of you guys and your sweet Andrew. The ladies in my prayer group are still praying for you, too.
    It sounds like Andrew's service was very special, a celebration of a wonderful boy who was very loved and full of life. Now he has life eternal. I can't wait to meet him someday.
    Praying for peace and comfort. Sending lots of love and hugs!

  24. i loved hearing about andrew's loves and ideas...very compassionate, deep thinking and ambitious! his service sounds like it was a very neat time of worship and love. i'm sure you miss that sweet smile melanie and what a treasure to look at that photo and see it over and over again!...i'm praying for you and your family.

  25. Thank you for sharing the beautiful parts of this day with us.

    I am thinking of you often, and praying for you as well.

  26. You've all been in my thoughts and prayers - and will remain there.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. What a beautiful tribute for a beautiful soul.

  27. will never stop praying for you, lovely Melanie. This picture of your family may be my favorite thus far. Spread His fragrance of grace. I needed the fresh air tonight. love you.

  28. Even though I don't know you or your family personally, I feel as if I do. I believe God's children just have that spiritual bond. I still request for my Sunday School class to continue to lift you and your family in prayer each week. Thanks for sharing more of Andrew with us. The service sounded like Andrew was truly loved.
    Your family is lovely.

  29. Hi Melanie,

    I continue to pray for your family. And I loved reading how so many people love your son. He holds a special place in my heart even though I never met him in person. A place of much prayer and love.

    Thank you for sharing another part of Andrew's life with us.

    May perfect peace wash over you and yours. Like a river, may it flow...

    Hugs and prayers,


  30. Melanie,

    Still praying for you and loving you from Kentucky.

    Just checking in to say "I love you."

    Here for you always and sharing your pain deeply,

    (You will cherish your gift from Susan......I know I did mi

  31. thank you for sharing these things

  32. Still think and pray for you family. I enjoyed reading your post today. I know his service was wonderful...it would have to be!
    Hopeing that every day a bit of joy comes in....

  33. I clicked to see the enlarged pic. Loved all the smiling faces, especially Andrew's. You are the Fab five family forever : )Thank you for sharing the special touches in his service and the people who surrounded your family. Love to you Melanie. b

  34. LOVE the photo. Love the YouTube praise. Love YOU! Thinking of you and praying for you every day.

  35. Thank you so much for sharing! We love seeing Andrew's happy face, and moments from his service.

    Thankful, that you are surrounded by love from such wonderful friends and family.

    Thinking of you!

    with love, Brandi

  36. Your posts are overwhelmingly precious...your faith inspiring. Thank you for sharing such wonderful moments and testimonies to bless and encourage others...we continue to pray for you and your family.

  37. Melanie, I am so glad that you had family, friends and your church family surrounding you with love during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing the details of the service with your blogging friends.

    I recommended to my sister Christine that she try your church as it sounds like a good one. She lives only about a mile or so from you and she and her hubby do not have a church family. We'll see what she does though. I can only suggest, if you know what I mean.

    May you find comfort as you remember the good times with Andrew and the love that so many seemed to have for him. I know this is a hard time as you miss him though. The comfort comes also from knowing you will see him again in heaven.


  38. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of Andrew as well as the way the Lord has wrapped his love and comfort around you and your family. I love reading all that you have been sharing. You and your family are in my prayers and I lift you up whenever you come to mind, which is often. :)

    Love and prayers,

  39. Thank you for sharing these things with us. I know it was a beautiful aroma to the Lord as you praised Him through your deepest grief.

    I am praying for you and your family constantly.

    With love~
    Jennifer Walker

  40. Thank you for sharing such beautiful day with us all. I wish I would've been there for you in person.
    love from Nebraska.

  41. I just got caught up on your posts and with tears streaming down my face, thanked God for your testimony and mourned the loss of Andrew. I hadn't mourned his passing but this morning I did. I know Andrew is upside and he is serving a purpose in my life...to remind me to never take one precious day for granted. His Mom (you) are reminding me there is joy in the journey and a faith that hell cannot move. You are loved by this sister in Christ.