Eulogy

jt's birthday 012

Read by Scarlett’s brother Trent Lewis:
A few little interesting facts about the character that was Jesse McCord Lewis

- Jesse had a rubber duck collection that he prized highly. He had cowboy ducks, sailor ducks, ducks with sombreros, batman ducks, football player ducks, motorcycle ducks and that’s just a few of them.

- He loved horses as much as his mom, and preferred to outdoors playing around the farm even if it was freezing cold.

- When asked to stop running in the house he would revert to a speed walking , then in a few moments revert back to running

- His younger cousins looked up to him as the big cousin that was so fun to play with, they would follow him around like little puppies laughing and playing until someone got tired out.

- He carried around a collection of toy soldiers in his spiderman lunchbox, ready to break out and play with at a moments notice.

I remember the day Jesse was born. When I entered the hospital room, Scarlett was sitting up on the bed, a little exhausted but also joyful and smiling. I saw Jesse for the first time — he looked like a little Eskimo baby with tight eyes and a round face — beautiful, perfect, and huge. Scarlett asked me if I wanted to hold him and I said, “of course I do” as I took him in my arms immediately I realized this was the heaviest newborn I have ever held. Jesse weighed 11 lbs, as much as a healthy 3 month old. After a few minutes he started crying, wailing like a newborn child does but in a much more forceful way than I could believe. His whole body started shaking. louder and louder he cried, I could hardly hold on to this child he was so strong. He simply wanted to be with his mother, he was hungry, and I was in the way of that. I walked over slightly panicked to Scarlett, please take Jesse I can barely hold him down he is so strong. She took him from me and to my relief and his he was comforted by his mother and he quieted down.

Jesse McCord Lewis was a bit of a wild child, a wild flower, a wild rose. He was mischievous at times, he wouldn’t always mind the instructions of adults. He lived by the set of rules that all young boys aspire to. The rules being: fun always comes first, the dirtier we get the better, cookies are good for lunch, always play ball in the house….. actually when I think about it I think there was just one overall rule and that was to have fun. His personality was boisterous and larger than life. You always knew when Jesse was in the room or house.
Above all he enjoyed life as much as boy possible could, and that is a lot.
He loved his mom, dad and older brother. He would talk energetically about the activities he would do with his father, he wanted to be just like him.  JT would walk Jesse home from the school bus sometimes when his mom was working a little late, they would sit and play video games together, Jesse sitting in JT’s favorite seat right in front of the TV, completely happy.  The brothers went sledding together, they played soldiers together, they kicked the soccer ball, and of course they fought at times, after all they were brothers.

Every night Jesse slept in his moms arms, they were so close. Scarlett’s love encircled him always; his love always was with her. A lot of kisses, a lot of snuggles, constant love, enormous love. Jessie’s fearless joy and strong heart was nurtured by this love.
I think about what an unusually strong boy he was. We went pumpkin picking this fall with the whole family. He lifted up a pumpkin from the ground that surely weighed as much as he did. I think about his toothy bright smile. I think about his huge personality his wild nature. I think maybe angels are wild, free and strong spirits like this.
On the day of the tragedy we were told he ran out into the hallway, out of the safety of the classroom, directly into harms way to help other children to escape. To show them the way. We probably will never know exactly what occurred that day, why these young souls were taken from us at such a early age. How something like this could ever occur. There is no peace in that search. What I do know and what Scarlett and Neil knew instinctively knew in their hearts is that Jesse would immediately try and help others. Even if that meant he would be in harms way. That fearless, wild heart, that strong body, that beautiful soul was also a helping one that cared about his classmates, he would always jump at the opportunity to help. I like to think that at least one child survived because of his strength and fearless nature.
Sometimes angels are among us and we do no always see them for what they are. They stay with us as long as they are needed to help us. They are stronger than us, they are fearless, they do not always behave or work within the rules. There were many angels that day. I know Jesse has taken his rightful place among them now. Jessie’s wild heart, fearless nature, strong spirit, and toothy bright smile will serve them well. I am sure he is in heaven testing his new wings out right now, seeing how high and fast he can fly. Those wings are unbreakable, but he might just give them a run for their money.

I thought I would share a few of many great memories of Jesse from family and friends.

*From Papa

Every year the Sandy Hook Elementary School has a wonderful morning-long celebration honoring Armed Forces Veterans on Veteran’s Day.   I had the honor of being Jesse’s Vet for last years Veteran’s Day.

This year due to a mix-up with Veteran’s Day falling on a Sunday I missed the honor of attending as Jesse’s Vet, but I promised Jesse that I would be with him for the next year’s Veteran’s Day – and I will be – I will be with Jesse and Jesse will be with me for next year’s Veteran’s Day and every Veteran’s Day for the rest of my life.

*From his Nana

Jesse challenged us
And taught us

His presence could easily take up a whole room-
He didn’t know hesitation
He wasn’t a whisperer
He was an energy
He ran
He laughed a BIG LAUGH
HE WAS A FORCE – a strong light
He painted with oils with his mom – bold, sure strokes of color – and feeling.
He beat me in the game of concentration most of the time  – easily.
One day at my house he bounded out at the top of the stairs and with a full-of -life voice and his arms flung wide, shouted “HHHEERREE’S. JESSE!”    Here was a little boy describing himself and how he faced the world –  FULL OF LIFE – feeling confident and strong about himself – with an eager.  And generous. And intense Committment to life – no hesitation. No holding back.

Jesse, his mother Scarlett, his brother JT did everything together – long sometimes arduous hikes – bowling, arcade games, horseback riding, movies, jumping on the trampoline, reading good books every night- and that would be just one day!!! Scarlett would ALWAYS say “We’re going to have a great time!!” The three of them – together – enjoying life on their terms as Trent said – with an intensity and zest – an eagerness. Scarlett creating experiences for them to share, enjoy, and learn from.

Jesse played with little soldiers – lining them up in staged settings on the sides of a bathtub  or tabletops – when he visited he always carried a suitcase or some container of soldiers or ducks and various toys -

Every thing Jesse did he did with all his heart -
He loved his mother, his brother JT and his dad whole-heartedly -
And unabashedly.
Jesse knew what he wanted.
He lived truly “in the present moment.”
He was a soldier in a helmet and ever-present boots – on a mission.
He was strong – and brave.
There was no holding back.

There is not one person who ever met Jesse that has not been taught by him and is now changed by that lesson.

Jesse really was bigger than life
His light shone so brightly

We are a family strongly bound in love and loyalty – we live with awareness – And appreciation -
Jesse will always live in our hearts and minds – we hold him in our  circle of love. Love never ends -

*From Rick/ Ashley

 Rick Bartholomew

One of my last memories of Jesse was when he came to see Santa at
the Dream Come True Farm in Oxford:

Santa, being particularly busy this time of year, had detailed some
of his visits to surrogate helpers, they be round of belly, and full
of holiday cheer. This particular day, I was standing in for Santa. I
remember Jesse running up to me as “Santa” exited his “Sleigh” (a
2010 Kia Soul), and cried out “Mr Rickle!”…I patted his head,
mussed his hair, and said “…shhhh, I’m helping Santa today, don’t
tell anyone, OK?”. Jesse nodded his head knowingly, and said “yes sir!”.

As we set up, Jesse saw the bowl of Candy Canes Santa was going to
be handing out. Being ever the sales man, Jesse asked if he could
give out Candy Canes? “Sure” I said, and he was off carefully
carrying a delicate hand made ceramic bowl of Candy Canes up and down
the stone steps, over the stone walls, in and out of the house,
through gates, and past curious/puzzled llamas and goats, all in his
mission to see that EVERYONE received they’re share of Candy Canes.

Later that morning, it was Jesse’s turn on Santa’s lap. When asked
what he wanted for Christmas, he informed me that he was preparing a
list, and would be sending it to “me” soon. As the day went on, Jesse
played with the other children, chased the goats, distributed Candy
Canes, ate some of Santa’s cookies, posed for pictures, and made sure
I put him on the “Nice” list.

As it became time for Santa to leave Jesse ran up to me for a big hug.
“Ok little man, I’ve got to be going now.” I said.
“‘bye Mr. Rickle!”.
“I’ll see you some time around Christmas, OK?”
“OK Mr. Rickle.”

That was the last time I saw little Jesse, our little man. A six
year old boy, looking forward to Christmas.

Goodbye Jesse. We Love you

*from JT

Brothers fight. Brothers hate. But most important brothers Love. I loved my brother and he loved me. We could only express that in short video game playings or maybe a small game of soccer. I would get him off the bus and fix him food. He would say I have homework and I would say I have video games. FOr years I thought I hated my brother, but I didn’t I don’t He died helping little kids like him try and escape the school. I believe he left his world to see them through. He was very brave too. Our house has two floors, like all young kids he had a fear of the dark lifeless upstairs. Be he would go up. ** after his soccer he would kick the ball. alternating

*From Aunt Becky

I was going to write about the last time we saw Jesse (last month at Christian’s and Jordan’s bday party) and about how much love he had for his little cousins but then something happened this morning and I can’t seem to get beyond it.  On Monday, we all went with Scarlett to her house so that she could get some pictures and things.  We had the boys with us.  Christian and Everett immediately went to play with the big train under the tree and it kept them pretty busy.  When Scarlett saw them playing with it, she insisted that they have it because it was Jesse’s train.  I didn’t feel right about taking it at the time, but Scarlett insisted we take it.  Christian became obsessed with it, just knowing that it was in the trunk of our car.  We vowed to bring it back up for Christmas so that all of the cousins could play with it under Nana’s tree.  Tuesday morning rolls around, we hear Christian up and about in the house (nothing new there!).  I get up and walk down the hallway, noticing that the door is unlocked.  After some questioning, Christian fessed up to trying to go outside to get the train out of “dad’s car”.  To prevent a recurrence and because we were going to be gone for much of the day, we brought the train in for him to play with.  This morning (Wednesday), I heard Christian get out of bed like he usually does and go into the hallway.  He had slept with part of the train so he was in the hallway with the train playing. What I heard next, will always stay with me.  Christian began talking to someone.  I heard him say, “what you talking about?”, then a pause…..then he said, “this your cool train??”.  At this point I grabbed Jordan’s leg to wake him up so that he could witness what I was hearing.  There was some mumbling and then I heard him ask once again, “this your cool train??”.  I called to him in the hallway after a little bit and he yelled back, “just playing with my train, mom!”.
May Peace, Love, and forgiveness be found in all of our hearts. May time and love be the healing force that cleanses us all of this pain, this void in our hearts. May Jesse McCord Lewis rest in Peace with God. May his light shine down upon us all. May he walk in the light of peace and joy in the place where time is forever and only love is known.

God Bless you Jesse McCord Lewis.