May 13, 2005

Time for Remembering event set

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photo by Dana Johnson

Staff and faculty who have served a family whose child died within the last year at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt are asked to come to the Time for Remembering on Sunday, May 15 at the Blair School of Music's Turner Hall. The event honors the children who have died and gives families a chance to return to remember them and visit with the people who helped care for them.

“Josh died in 1997 and the Time for Remembering started in May of '98. I went to the first and never have missed one,” said Julia Stephens, one of the volunteers who helps organize and put on the annual ceremony. Her son, Josh, was 15 when he died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Stephens said while the event does mean some tears will be shed, they are part of the healing process and are important for families.

“It means so much to the families that the room is always full,” said Stephens. “You are celebrating your child's life and that's what you want for your child — you want them to be special and they are at that time, again. If you have a child who is terminally ill, you get so close to those people at Vanderbilt Children's.”

The event will start at 3 p.m. with a short ceremony. The speaker this year will be Marlee Crankshaw, nursing manager for the NICU. The ceremony will be followed by a reception from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. and planting of flowers in the Children's Garden in front of VCH from 4:15 to 5 p.m. Workers are encouraged to come by, even for a short time. Scrubs or street clothes are completely acceptable.