Remembering Max

A great post by fellow member of the hardest-to-get-in-to-club-that-no-one-wishes-to-join reminds me to ask for stories and pictures of Max.

By Paul's Dad

Time can be a greedy thing-sometimes it steals the details for itself. — Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)

I just finished reading this novel, which I thought brilliant for many reasons, but mostly because of humanly insightful quotes like the one of above. I have thought about that passage a lot. What struck me about it was how it describes particularly well the battle that those with great loss, like bereaved parents, must fight. Time has already eroded so many of the details of our time with Paul. It is a constant fight to keep time from robbing us of these wonderful details. So, we vigilantly keep our memories alive by repeating Paul stories all the time, saying what he would say, pointing out what he would have done, what he would be doing, what he did, and on and on it goes. Lately, we have brought his name up more and more in these contexts. That tells me that we are mindful of the robber - time - trying to steal our details. So, that is why it is so important for us to see his pictures, talk about him, and to hear stories and memories that you have of Paul. Feel free to join the ranks
of the detailed memory soldiers. (-:

Please send stories and pictures, anything that to you, epitomizes Max (email or just comment here). And any pictures or videos from Max's celebration of life - especially of the fly-by! We have our memories, but would like to know yours as well. We are having some videos created of Max's life. One is going to be especially for Nic. We already watch clips of Max with Nic and Hannah, but this we envision as more a movie, if not feature-length. Our good friend Leo is creating this for us with his kids helping out. Max, it turns out, was the topic of conversation around Leo's dinner table with his kids for the better part of four years during Max's battle. We know there is no one else in the world who can tell Max's story better than Leo.

We have also found an artist that is going to create a permanent resting place for Max's ashes. Because his death caught us quite by surprise - really, we were totally unprepared and unfocused on it happening then - we rushed into a decision for an urn at the funeral home. But really, would an urn from a catalog - something that others had also purchased for their loved ones - do for Max? Not for us. So we decided that what Max came home in from the crematorium was only a temporary home, and that we would create, or have created, something that with one look, would say, no scream, Max.

Thanks to the wonders of Google, 30 minutes of online research turned up Funeria, an artists representative that specializes in "personal memorial art". We found an artist - Chris Rizzo - that connected with Max's story and are signing the commissioning paperwork today. This is a snippet from the email response to my description of what we were looking for, and who Max was.

What a touching story and such a beautiful boy. He really sounds like an amazing person... It is uncanny reading his interests and excitements, for it completely parallels mine; once as a 7 year old boy and still as 35 year old boy. I have always been fascinated with planes, space, the military, and building, building, building. I've still got heaps of legos and model planes. But seeing Max's artwork really confirms the kindred spirit. I've framed some of my young sketches of egg-headed pilots flying planes with outrageous numbers of cannons, rockets, and bombs. Everyone smiling, no specific targets. Just lost in the purity of a 7 year old mind.

Below, a sample of the type of work Chris creates. Everyday we strive to behave and make decisions that honor his life.


Anonymous said...

I never had the pleasure of meeting Max, but I am truly blessed to know his story through this site and Mashed Potatoes ...and to see what love and family are all about.

I keep going back to the last short video of Max.... it is extraordinarily touching to see how comfortable, calm, and peaceful Max is on what turned out to be his last day on earth. Max is still being Max. The magic of Max shone through at such a heartbreaking time. Much love to you all.


Anonymous said...

Last night I read "Where the Wild Things Are" to my son and thought of Max (although I do every day even though I never even knew him). He continues to touch people every day - EVEN people who didn't know him.

Debra in NY

Anonymous said...

Yup, no one would ever want to join this club, but I must say, the members of this club are the most amazing people and wonderful parents I've ever met.

Talita said...

Some way or another, threw out the day Max comes in to my minde. I never got to meet him, but since the 1st day I saw his smile, I knew how much he was special. There are so many people in the world that go threw life never touching manyone as deeply as Max has touched me and so many others. www.mikulak.blogspot.com will forever be my starting place on the net, eager to hear about 1 more story of Max moments! Praying always for your family, my you forever feel Maxes presence close!
Hugs from Brasil,
Talita Calebs mom

Anonymous said...

Just letting you know that I think of your beautiful Max all the time, especially when I look up at the stars at night. It is amazing how a little boy whom I never met impacted my life so deeply. My heart aches for your loss...and the loss of the world and its people who never got to be graced by his smile.
Rebecca, Plymouth, MA

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