Monday, April 12, 2010

Shine On

Tonight was a very special evening, the end of an emotional weekend celebrating the life of a young boy from our church, Jonah Hoser. This afternoon was a beautiful memorial service filled with music, prayer, laughter, and many, many tears. Jonah received a heart transplant at the age of four. Now nine years later, at the age of 13 he began rejecting his heart and was on the transplant list for a new heart. He lost his battle this week. There was not to be a heart for Jonah. As Ethan said, "God wanted Jonah now,” such a simple statement from a little boy, but so true. Jonah is in heaven playing and running and doing all the things he hasn't been able to do the last two months.

Tonight was the annual candlelight vigil for Lifeline of Ohio, except this year was different. They were trying to beat a world record of the most candles lit simultaneously at a single event. It seemed appropriate to go in Jonah's honor. A group from church went downtown to the statehouse for the ceremony and lighting. WOW! What an awesome night. We signed in and were assigned to a leader who was in charge of our group and to make sure that our candles were accounted for when they were lit. We joined a family who was there with their daughter who received a double lung transplant. Such inspiring people were all around. Jonah's family has inspired so many of us over his life and especially over the last couple of months. We were surrounded by so much hope tonight it was uplifting.

Many stories were shared. A lady shared her living donation of her kidney to her friend, another the story of her son's donation to save five lives, a daughter who spoke of her father not getting the heart he was waiting for, and a women who is waiting for a liver. We listened and cried at all of the stories. The spokeswomen from Lifeline shared that one of the speakers who was scheduled to be there was not able to make it, they were recovering from receiving their heart last weekend. She shared of the loss of a boy (Jonah) who had been waiting for his heart, they made sure to include Jonah in the evening.

After the stories were shared we gathered around our red balloons that marked our spot in honor of Jonah. After the countdown was done we quickly lit our candles. The wind that had been blowing our balloons, all but disappeared. Our candles stayed lit for 20-30 minutes. It was as if God and the all the spirits came through to light the candles and keep them lit.

After our candles had been lit for awhile, we gathered around our balloons and held our candles together. Someone noticed that we had 13 lit candles joined around our 13 balloons. We let our balloons go and everyone yelled, "We love you Jonah." People all over started clapping. Our balloons took off right towards Pickerington, they stayed in our sight for awhile, getting smaller and smaller, closer to home. We joked about how neat it would be if they made it to Jonah's house or to Peace.

Jonah touched many people in his 13 years. He inspired many as did his family. In his memory, make sure that you are a registered organ donor. Give the gift of life so that the light will shine on.


Laura said...

Beautiful pictures, Margot. And a sweet tribute to your friend, Jonah.

Gretchen said...

So neat that you could all share that special time together....

Anonymous said...

Wow, this was a beautiful tribute to Jonah! Thanks for posting this beautiful blog and most of all thank you for being there to honor Jonah and all recipients, donors and candidates waiting. Jonah lives on everyday in our work!
Terri Louder
Lifeline of Ohio

Marilyn Pongonis said...

Wish we could have met under different circumstances, but your tribute to Jonah is beautiful. Thank you for sharing the vigil experience with all of us.