First, how crazy smart he was. A math whizz, a Master Builder of Legos, a problem- solver and an engineering genius.
Second, His ability to love. Hans had the most amazing ability to love beyond what seemed possible with an unconditional love. Well...maybe he had one condition...Elle & Lara had to wear snuggly pajamas when cuddling with him. Hans spent his days nurturing both his mind and spirit by surrounding himself with the people and things he loved most.
Lara once told me a story about Hans that I think exemplifies both of these traits...
When I first met The Weberlings, my first son was 4 months old and Hansie was almost 2. At that time, Lara was still nursing Hans throughout the night. As a “very experienced” mother of a baby who was sleeping through the night, I told her she was crazy to be up nursing at night. We laughed and exchanged strategies for weaning. It wasn’t much later that Lara had weaned Hans from his “all night snack bar”. She told me this story shortly afterwards.
One night, Hans finally slept in his own bed! When she woke up the next morning, Hans wasn’t in his bed. Lara woke Kevin up and asked where Hans was. Kevin said that he thought Hans was with her. So they both started searching the house until they found him....Where was he???
Well, apparently during the night, 2-year-old Hans woke up, went downstairs, opened the front door. He went outside and the front door shut behind him. The outside door handle must have been too hard for his little hands to open, so he found himself stuck outside. With his 2- year-old wisdom, Hans went about solving the problem. He went to the car that was parked in the driveway, opened the door, found the garage door opener, pushed the button to open it and then went into the garage and opened the door to the laundry room where he found his puppy, Kramer, sleeping. Hans snuggled up with his dog and slept peacefully the reset of the night. He couldn't make it any farther than the doggie gate that kept Kramer in the kitchen and out of the rest of the house.
This is where they found him the next morning. The last place they looked. Car door open, garage door open--all evidence pointing to the path Hans had taken to get there. Hans, snuggled sweetly with his beloved puppy---not a care in the world. Well, I have three boys and I can tell you that not one of them could have solved that problem as Hans did. What other 2-year old could have thought through those obstacles in order to make it to the safety of their home? To the warmth of their pet? Hans had not a worry or a fear---he probably would have picked that as his route of choice. Never fearing a challenge, never backing down and always finding love in a snuggle in the arms of his family or his beloved pets.
Lara asked me to read a scripture today and I found Hans’ example of unconditional love echoed in 1 Corinthians 13, 1-8 & 13.
If I speak in human & angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy & comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrong doing but rejoices with the truth. It BEARS all things, BELIEVES all things, HOPES all things, ENDURES all things. Love NEVER fails. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I couldn’t help but see in this scripture what I know about Hans’ life---it was defined and refined by love. Hans loved his favorite foods, his hobbies, his pets, his friends and his family better than anyone.
He truly ENDURED all things, BELIEVED and HOPED like no other and his parents and Elle were right there with him----bearing, enduring, hoping and believing. Fighting in the name of love. Their love never failed---not in the ugliest darkness.
Hans will always represent love to me and if I am to make any sense out of him enduring this trial---it is that we are to learn from Hans’ example of love.
You’ll never see more love than what he had for his adoring daddy, his beautiful big sister and his amazing mother.
We were all blessed to have an angel among us to show us the meaning of unfailing love. What if we all chose to love as Hans did?
Love you all- Michelle
Hansie loved your family too, Michelle!