Memorial created 04-9-2006 by
Jerry "Grant" Lewis
December 19 1979 - January 17 2006
Grant and his brother, Blake, and sisters, Ashton and MaKayla
Bless you our brother and remember you are always in our heart - tucked so close there is no chance of escape!
A BROTHER IS A GIFT TO YOUR HEART, A FRIEND TO YOUR SPIRIT AND A GOLDEN THREAD TO THE MEANING OF LIFE
You dont' raise heroes, you raise sons and if you treat them like sons, they will turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes.
-Walter M. Schirra-
Graduation Day May 1998
"I'll lend you for a little time, a child of mine," He said, "for you to love while he lives, and mourn for when he is dead.
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three, but will you, till I call him back, Take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief, you'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return, but there are lessons taught down there, I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over, in my search for teachers true, and from the throngs that crowd life's lanes I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labour vain, nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, thy will be done for all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may; and for the happiness we've known will ever grateful stay
But shall the angels call for him, much sooner than we planned, we'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand!"
by Edgar Guest
At age 12, Grant did the ribbon cutting at AIDS Project of the Ozarks in Springfield along with Missouri Senator, John Danforth.
Grant with little sister, MaKayla, on the left and cousin, Kylie, on the right. He loved the little ones so much!
GRANT and MOM
"A MILLION TIMES I'LL MISS YOU, A MILLION TEARS I'VE CRIED"
Oh, how I miss you. So many hours we spent together; talking, sharing, arguing; all the good times and the bad. You were my best friend.
Thank you for telling me all your secrets and thoughts, even the ones that I really didn't need to know. I miss your morning visits and having to tolerate the sports channel.
I love you and miss you,
IN THE HALLS OF JUSTICE
Grant, Blake and Ashton in Washington DC at one of our lobbying days in support of the "RICKY RAY HEMOPHILIA RELIEF FUND ACT", compensation for persons with hemophilia who were infected with HIV through their medicine.
BIG BROTHER ISN'T WATCHING. HE'S SINGING AND DANCING. HE'S PULLING RABBITS OUT OF A HAT. BIG BROTHER'S BUSY HOLDING YOUR ATTENTION EVERY MOMENT YOU'RE AWAKE. HE'S MAKING SURE YOU'RE ALWAYS DISTRACTED. HE'S MAKING SURE YOU'RE FULLY ABSORBED.
"SLEEPING ANGELS" 1992
"Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat and humble and gentle in victory."
Grant and Dad
Grant and Grandma 12/05
"I CRY TO WASH AWAY THE HURT FROM MY HEART"
I cry a lot Tears these days,my Son
I cannot count the Tears
My love for you has no bounds
It will last through all my years
To dream of you, to hear your name
Or even out of the blue
The Tears they come to comfort me
'Cuz I know they come from you
The Tears that dribble down my face
In little hits and misses
Comfort me because I know
They are your warm, wet kisses
Telling me that you're at peace
In the Freedom that you sought
These warm, wet kisses on my face
Only asking me to suffer not
And as these days tumble by
Without you by my side
These warm, wet kisses that you give
Will continue like the tide
For I cannot stop them
Nor would I even try
I've always loved the ocean
And now Son, I know why
As the ocean's blood is salty
So are theses warm, wet kisses
From a Mother's oldest son
A Son she sorely misses
But go on, soar, my Son
Soar to greater heights
I will handle the days
If you'll help me through the nights
Bring your warm, wet kisses
Your mommy needs them so
She needs to feel your touch
So she can let go.
Author --Julia Long
Grant and Grandpa Fisher
YOU WERE A BROTHER LIKE NO OTHER! THANKS FOR BEING MY GREAT BROTHER AND FRIEND.
Grant and Blake with Uncle Max at his retirement party.
Grant and mom at AIDS walk in Columbia, MO remembering those in Missouri who are living with the disease.
Everyone carried a white flag to represent someone in the state who was living with HIV.
Grant watching out for little sister Ashton
Grant age 13
The year his T-cells dropped below a count of 200 classifing him as having "full blown AIDS".
Grant and Dad December 2005
Grant, Dad and Blake 12/05
Grant and Mom 12/05
A very hard day for me.
GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS
Going through the motions,
With pain in my heart.
Days seem to last forever,
Since we have been apart.
I get up every morning,
Expecting you near by.
And then I remember......
And I begin to cry.
I wash the clothes and cook the food
For the ones you left behind,
But it is only motions
With you always on my mind.
At bedtime when it's quiet,
I think of your sweet smile
And cry more tears than ever
Just wishing to see you for a little while.
I'm just going through the motions,
Each and every day.
And it doesn't get any easier
No matter what they say.
Going through the motions,
I guess it will have to do
Until that glorious day
When I again will be with you.
Grant and cousin Kristie who's father Roger passed away 05/89 from hemophilia/HIV.
Kristie and Mike made many trips from Nebraska to support Grant when he needed them. They were very special to him.
Kristie's husband and Grant's friend, Mike
Niki, Grant's cousin with his sister Ashton. Niki wrote the following paper for a class at school. Niki's grandfather, Grant's uncle passed away from hemophilia related AIDS in 1989 when she was just days old. Her little brother Mikey has hemophilia.
Life is Just Too Short
There I am sitting in the dark hospital room with him, lying there peacefully, or what you thought was peacefully. I am just thinking of all the good times we had together as a family. Just remembering his soft, comforting voice, his laugh when he thought something was really funny, his amazing smile that would make you smile the moment that you saw it and his beautiful baby blue eyes that you could look into forever. Well at least it felt like forever. Everybody knew that this day would come but nobody wanted it to come this soon. A lot of people, including me, learned a lot of lessons from my cousin Grant.
Grant was just a kid when he got infected with this horrible disease. Grant had hemophilia and one night he cut his tongue and his mom knew that she had to take him to the hospital to get a blood infusion, but what she didn't know is that that night would change Grant's life, her life and everyone else's life forever. Grant was ten years older than me, he was twenty six years old when he passed away.
The day that Grant found out that he had HIV/AIDS he knew that he had to talk to people about it, to teach them stuff about it. When Grant was in Jr. High he was out for the basketball team and nobody would play his team because he had AIDS. At that time nobody knew anything about it and if people did know about it they didn't know very much. So Grant decided to learn about the disease that he had and to tell people that they can't get AIDS from just touching him or being around him. So Aunt Linda (Grant's mom) and Grant started to read about AIDS so they could talk to different people about it.
When Grant was sixteen or so he was on all different television shows talking about what he had, how he got and how he was dealing with it. Grant went to high schools all around the country talking to them and telling them "I had no choice on how I got the disease, you do". Grant did not want anybody else to go through what he had to go through. He told everyone the different ways you could get AIDS.
Before I knew that Grant had AIDS I knew nothing about it. Now I think I know a lot more about it than most high school students do. Just being around it made me realize how bad it actually is. If it wasn't for Grant and all of the other people with HIV/AIDS I don't think that anybody would know this much about it.
The most important thing that Grant taught me is to never let anything bring you down. Grant just lived one day at a time. I think this is what he wanted everyone else to do too. Grant never did anything he didn't want to for anybody else. He taught me that you only have to make one person happy in your life and that one person is you. That is the biggest lesson that Grant taught me. I don't even think he knows that he taught me that, but he taught me to make no one happy but me.
Grant just made everyone realize that life is just too short. Some people teach others a lot of lessons in life. That is what Grant did. He taught millions of people, including me, lessons. If there is one other thing that Grant had taught me, it is to live life to the fullest. That is what he did every day. Grant never had a choice on how long his life would be but he still lived life to the fullest. Grant will be loved and missed by millions of people, especially me. Thanks to Grant and all of the people with HIV/AIDS, we actually know a lot more about HIV/AIDS.
Hugs & Kisses
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