One of the fears you have after losing a child is that they will be forgotten. You think of them daily; sometimes it feels like every minute, but you worry that over time others will not remember them. Having them remembered keeps their spirit alive and lets you know your child made a difference in the lives of others and is missed.
When we made plans for our first fundraiser, I did worry for a moment about how we would feel if it wasn't a success. I prayed for a good turnout, both for the future of the scholarship, but also to honor Austin.
My goal was 16 teams, though I'm not sure why. I knew, for one, that it would mean we would be halfway to our first scholarship goal with that number of teams. For another, I knew it would show strong support for Austin and this project.
We've been in constant prayer in the forming of this scholarship fund. I have felt God's strength throughout and know that Austin has been smiling down on us to be successful.
The week of the event, I began praying for good weather, as the forecast seemed to change daily. I woke at 5 a.m. and immediately checked the radar. The weather was scheduled to be wonderful - full sunshine! I remember shortly after the tournament began I looked up to the sky, to say a special thank you and share the moment with Austin. ...Above me was a beautiful blue sky, wispy white clouds, and a shining sun. Perfect!
Teams started arriving as early at 10 a.m. and trickled in all the way to the last moment. Amazingly, we were at exactly 16 teams. It seemed everything was falling into place. The teams had a great time and the tournament ran smoothly.
I was touched by some specific teams and donors who made it out. Every team, every donation, was like a hug for my heart. The day was long and I was physically exhausted when arriving home that night but my heart was full and I was filled with excitement.
By the time all deposits are made, we'll be over $1200 in Austin's Fund. My goal was to award at least a $1000 scholarship each year. I am thrilled to have our first scholarship funded, almost a year in advance from our award date!
I know Austin is proud of the work we're doing. I can feel his love flowing down to us and imagine him smiling even brighter than usual in Heaven. Every dollar, every step, is all for him!