Since Derek’s passing, I have tried hopelessly to find a way to talk or express my feelings. For my first blog entry, I don’t think the right option is to go all mushy, and let it all out. Instead, I think it would be better to tell those who are reading this, the back story of how this page came to be, and tell you the story of our community.
On August 4, 2013, our son Derek died tragically in an accident, 3 days before his 10th birthday. The next day, a fellow classmate of mine decided she was going to do a kind gesture, in Derek’s name, on his birthday, and suggested others do the same. Very quickly this turned into the Acts of Kindness For Derek movement on Facebook and on Twitter. Little did we know it would end up here.
But that was just the start of discovering our community. On August 6th a group of wonderful individuals organized a balloon launch for Derek in which 600+ balloons were launched. We are a community of 2500 people. There was so much love and support, you can find the pictures and videos from the event on our Facebook page and scattered on this page as well.
The outpouring of love and support from hundreds to thousands of people, to our family, has been constant since Derek’s passing. From the balloon launch, to the couple thousand people that came to his funeral, to the couple hundred people at his field dedication, to the 500 people who are going to the Brewers game on August 20th when we throw out the first pitch in Derek’s name. Everyone has just been great. The community has embraced the Random Acts of Kindness movement and that movement has spread to over 20 states and 11 countries. It’s not just Fennimore people sharing the love and spirit of Derek. It is people we have never been fortunate enough to meet, but have felt compelled to share this with others.
How do I define my community? When I wake up in the morning, I know I am where I am supposed to be. Even though the circumstances of me discovering my community are tragic, I have still come to know that our community is a blessed place to be. As I stated a week ago, my community is like a second family. They all look after me, they ask me how I am doing, and they go out of their way to make me feel better and take care of my needs. There is no place I would rather be than here.