The HEARTLIGHT TREE was dedicated in memory of our son, Kevin Blowey. On January 7, 1991, at the tender age of five-and-a-half, Kevin died in a bike-truck accident near our home.
Later that spring, our dear friend, Dave Arellano, who was a principal in the school district where Stann taught, organized a group of district administrators who donated a blue spruce tree in memory of our Kevin. The city granted their request to plant the tree in the parkway at the end of our street. Dave chose the spot because it was close to our home. It was even more special to us because two days before Kevin died we shared a wonderful afternoon at that park romping in the snow and sledding down the big hill. It was a glorious day!
Over the years we have made many pilgrimages to our sacred tree. Our tears have watered its thirsty roots to produce blue green needles and thick branches that offer solace in their shade and wisdom from a gentle breeze. Yet, those are the same needles that pierce tender fingertips in the way that grief unexpectedly stabs at the scars of a healing heart.
Kevin’s little tree endured drought, freezing temperatures, raging wind, and
vandalism, 26 years later, we have battled the brutal and turbulent weather of
grief to stand taller and stronger than ever. Blessed by the kindness of
strangers, the support of our loved ones, and the gentle mercies of God, we
have survived and continue to thrive.
This holiday season, the 26th anniversary, the Heartlight Tree stands over 20 feet tall and sparkles with a special heartlight ornament in memory of all children around the world. We extend our love and gratitude to Ed & Joyce Chenevert who lit the tree from their back-yard patio from 1991 to 2000, and to our dear friends, The Gaber's, who have continued the tradition.