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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gordon's desk - a thoughtful touch of warmth at Selkirk boy's funeral

Seven-year-old Gordon Anderson was killed in a car accident while driving with his mom last week. I went to his funeral yesterday.

He came from a good Mormon family. One that believes that families can be together forever. Hope and faith in Jesus Christ anchor them through tough times. This is their biggest test.

His grandpa gave a moving eulogy of a boy who lighted up a room and filled his world with hugs, questions and energy - tons of energy. His grandma sang "Goin' Home." His four siblings, mom, dad, and 20 other members of his extended family sang "We Can Be Together" and "Love One Another" through their tears. And one of his uncles put together a video tribute that left 450 people wiping their eyes and scrambling for tissues.

While Gordon's death near Lockport, Manitoba, was tragic, his funeral was anything but bleak.

Love filled the chapel. Admiration and anecdotes of the little guy filled the post-service air in the foyer. And gratitude toward Gordon's principal filled our hearts.

Yes, his principal.

He had arranged something none of us had seen before. A moving tribute to the boy, Gordon's desk, signed by his teacher and classmates, was placed discreetly along one of the walls of the foyer. Underneath it, his family had tucked his gym bag and a pair of his runners.

The desk had a powerful effect on the many knots of people who gathered around it. It provoked pictures and questions and somehow made the boy more real - even to those who had never met him.

It was a loving gesture on the part of his school administrator, teacher and classmates - and it left a huge impression on everyone. What a thoughtful touch of warmth it added to the celebration of Gordon's remarkable short life.

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