My brother-in-law delivered Wyatt's eulogy. We thank Ben for his wisdom and love.
The Little Warrior
Man you crumble to dust. A thousand years are in your sight. As a passing day, an hour of night. You sweep men away and they sleep; Like grass they flourish for a day. In the morning they sprout afresh; By nightfall they fade and wither. Laden with trouble and travail life quickly passes and flies away. How long must we suffer? Have compassion upon your servants. Grant us of your love in the morning. That we may joyously sing all our days. Match days of sorrow with days of joy. Equal to the years we have suffered. The favor of the Lord our God be upon us.
The Talmud teaches us that no matter how much our children mean to us, ultimately they donít belong to us. Rabbi Meir was delivering a sermon in the house of study on a Sabbath afternoon. While he was away his son died. His mother placed him on a bed and spread a linen cloth over him. After the Sabbath the Rabbi returned and asked: "Where is my boy?" "He went to the house of study," she answered. "I didnít see him there." He asked again: "Where is my boy?" "He must have gone someplace else. Heíll be back soon." After bringing him a cup of wine and some food she said: "I have a question to ask you." "Ask away," he said. "Some time ago, a man came and gave me something to keep for him," she said "and now he wants it back. Should we return it?" "Wife," he said "anybody who has received something on trust must surely return it to its owner when asked." Then she took him by the hand and led him to the room and to the bed where their son lay. When she removed the cloth he saw his son lying dead upon the bed. He began to weep and cry: "Oh my son, my son... my teacher my teacher! My son after the fashion of the world and my teacher because he brightened his fatherís face with his knowledge of Torah." His wife then turned to him and said: "Rabbi, did you not say that I had to return our pledge to its owner? And does it not say: The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord?"
I had the great privilege and honor of meeting Wyatt Sutker during the final days of his brief but brilliant life on Earth. What I witnessed was truly astonishing, a horrific tragedy as we all know, yet at the same time a story of tremendous, courage, heroism and love as well as hope for the future. Wyatt means Little Warrior. Steve and Julie could not have chosen a better name. The Little Warrior fought with all his being to survive. And his parents literally devoted their every moment to his care and to make him as comfortable as possible during his short life. One cannot imagine both the physical and mental effort that was involved in this undertaking. Let us not however dwell on the pain and suffering that this family endured for surely as our tradition says our children brighten our lives by what they teach us. I believe that the Little Warrior knew much. You could see it in his expressive eyes and hear it in the gentle whimpering sounds he would communicate. He knew he had the greatest parents in the world. He knew how much they loved him. And he knew he had a great collection of Beanie Babies. The Little Warrior certainly brought Steve and Julie and those who were blessed to know him much joy and strength. All of our lives have been enriched by his teachings.
I would like to offer this prayer on behalf of The Little Warrior: My God and God of my fathers accept my prayer. If you have decreed that I shall die of this affliction, then shelter me in the shadow of your wings and grant me a share in the world to come. Protect my beloved family with whose soul my own soul is bound. Into your hand I commit my soul. 0 God of truth.