Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Our best effort"

As Deanne mentioned in her last post, we had a friend offer to make the casket for Gideon.  Here is that story...

Kevin Herd is a good freiend who has had a special connection with Gideon since we brought him home last year.  Not only is he a sensitive man who has been a great friend of our family, but as you can see by the photo with him and his wife, Melodee, he has a special place in his heart for the Asian culture. When I called Kevin the morning after Gideon passed away, he was very touched and immediately offered to make the casket.  This took me completely by surprise.  He is a good friend and I trusted his skills as a furniture builder, but he has been extremey busy with his own business. I told him we really appreciated such a tender offering from his heart, but didn't want to overburden him with such a huge sacrifice of his time.

He is a furniture builder by profession and owns Tanglewood Design in Salt Lake City.  He focuses on children's furniture and playhouses and I asked if he had ever made a casket before. When he said he hadn't, it made his offer even more meaningful to us.  He was willing to go through the process and spend the time to learn the intricacies of casket making for just one casket, Gideon's.  (I know how my projects go - the first time time always takes twice as long as the second time).  Melodee has vast experience as a seamstress so she did the fabric interior.  After it was done, I was afraid to ask how many hours he spent on it, and he never offered to tell me,  but he made sure we knew that it did not matter.  It was his offering to Gideon for a proper send off.  He said, "Gideon has a lot of work to do over there so I felt we needed to send him off with our best effort." Kevin showed that commitment and love through his craftmanship, and, I am sure, many late nights.

The first impression Deanne and I had after laying Gideon's body dressed in white in the casket was that he looked like an Asian Prince and should be laying in a royal museum.  It was interesting how many people expressed the same thought throughout the viewing.  He truly looked like royalty, and I guess he is in God's Royal Army now.  There was something special about that little boy and even his "empty" body laying in that beautiful casket touched people.  There was a peace surrounding his body and everyone felt it.  Thank you Kevin and Melodee.




  1. The casket was so lovely. Little Gideon did look like a prince and I know that he is in a royal army. There was a wonderful feeling of peace at the viewing. I loved how Deanne took time with the children that came. She was amazing. In her own grief she reached out to the children. You are all such wonderful examples of the "Pure Love of Christ". Blessings, prayers and hugs for all.

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