These are responses from Committee Members when asked:
“Why do you want an Angel of Hope Memorial Garden in Tampa Bay
and what does it mean to you?”
Mother of Caylee
The AOH would be my place to go to visit with him in town. It would somehow represent his parting to me here in Tampa. I think it would bring me much peace and feel like I am at the grave site only from Tampa. I know this probably doesn’t make much sense but if you are a Mom that has lost a child I know you will understand as we all do that have had children die, that sometimes there are things that only we understand (the Moms and Dads that have lost children).
She touched all who knew her, but we are left without the promise of what her life might have been. So in our Caylee’s precious memory, my “hope” is that for each person who visits the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden, one more driver might slow down on the road, one more researcher might search deeper for a cure, one more CEO might give more value to a life that might be saved than to dollars that might be saved, and one more parent might hug his child each and every day.
Our son, Darek Wade Leyde, is the reason I became a member of the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden, Tampa Bay. Darek died April 23, 2003 at the age of 35, after valiantly battling metastatic melanoma of the brain. He had lived in Salt Lake City, Utah for 18 years and wanted his ashes to be scattered in the mountains he loved so much and at our family home in Spokane, Washington. A parent’s biggest fear after the death of their child is that their child will be forgotten. Our fear is even greater because of the fact that Darek was in college when we moved to Tampa. He came home often, but never lived here so only our close friends got to know him. Our family would very much like a place to honor and remember him in Tampa. The Angel of Hope Memorial Garden will be such a place. The Garden will mean different things to different families. It will be a place of solace to quietly talk to our loved one; to shed a few tears, but to also remember all of the happy times spent together or a place to celebrate a birthday or special occasion together. It will have many meanings for all of the families who have lost a loved one. Most importantly, we are anticipating that the Angel of Hope will be able to convey a feeling of HOPE!