Once we returned home from our final trip to the cemetary, I went to the mailbox to get mail, just like I had done everyday since I had moved into that house on April 3, 1993. Today I was not prepared for what I saw. Our mailbox was stuffed to the brim with cards. We received many cards at the service, so our number for the day was well into the hundreds. I went through every card that night and was shocked at the amount of money people were giving in Andrew's name. Some donations would go to support a kid going to Young Life Camp. Other money would go to the Athletic Fund at the high school. The sheer volume of heartfelt sadness for our family in the form of cards touched our family. The thing that struck me the most about the cards was how many people from so many different places and circumstances could be touched by a sixteen year old boy. Most of the cards were from people we knew, but some were from people who had been strangers to me. However, I soon learned that my sweet boy had touched them--maybe for a moment, or for a day--but his kindness, enthusiasm, or sweet smile had touched them--and with that experience, those strangers became friends.
For a week our mailbox would hold cards from all over the area. I saved everyone. Today I have two large plastic containers that hold precious words from precious people. One day I will re-read them all. But for now, they are with my other Andrew treasures.