|On August 9th, 2009 our lives changed forever. Our best friend and our hero, passed away. Our father Andre was the light of our lives. He was the sun in our days and the love of our every day existence. He was only 60 years old when he passed. |
Although young, he packed more into his 60 years than most can ever imagine in numerous lifetimes. He was the essence of the mantra, “Live, Love, Laugh.”
Two months prior to his passing we threw him a surprise 60th birthday party to celebrate his life with all of his friends, family, and loved ones. It was the best night of our lives, and he made it clear it was the best night of his. We talked for hours the following days about how lucky our family was to be surrounded by so much love, and how lucky we were to have him in our life.
Our father grew up in New Orleans where his passion for family, food, and life grew daily. He married the love of his life, his high school sweetheart and our mother, Mona in 1977. Our parents lived a beautiful life together and showed us how to truly love someone unconditionally. His zest for life can only be surpassed by the strength and courage our Mother has displayed in such a difficult time.
Two children later and a move to Sacramento, California is where he would live the rest of his years prior to his passing. His memories and his story will live within us, but his legacy will continue to live on through everyone that knew him. We are still devastated by the loss of such an incredible man, but know we live each day bettering ourselves because that is what he would have wanted. He was the epitome of altruism and took great joy in helping others live, love, and laugh.
We are running the Chicago marathon in honor of him. He loved Chicago, and of course the delicious food the city has to offer. My dad loved setting goals and loved daily challenges. This marathon represents a culmination of many things for us. We want to finish a goal we have set for ourselves, make him proud, and we want to honor his legacy. By running this marathon we want to ensure in ourselves that our dad’s spirit lives within us, and he will be running every step of the way by our side. We are running for him, but also for us. Our love for our father goes deeper than any words we can put into writing. We think about him every day, and we know how lucky we are to have had him as our father.
We are looking forward to October 10th, 2010 where we can make our dad proud of the kids he has raised and the love he has instilled in us. We thank you for following us and supporting us along in our journey, and can’t thank you enough for your love.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 by October and would love for any contribution towards Hospice Care. Our father was the center of our life and we want to do all we can for those who take wonderful care of others in the time of need. My dad did not use Hospice Care because his passing was unexpected, however the team of friends, family, and complete strangers that have made our grieving process more manageable, has become family to us in our time of need. For those people who have been by our side, we are forever grateful. Hospice Care’s mission symbolizes our Father’s vision for us – to provide to others, to live, to love, and to laugh as if each day is your last.
Andre Jr. and Jennifer