We lost our son Brody Lee Bittick on April 12, 2008 only after a year of being with us due to SIDS. While his time on earth was short, we have learned so much from the time we had with him and tribulations from his passing.

Our first thoughts after Brody passed away were how do we tell his big sister Breanne (6) and big brother Brooks (3) what happened? How do we explain that this healthy and happy baby just died while he was sleeping when we don't understand it ourselves?

That evening while we were sitting in the hotel room (I couldn't go back in the house), we started talking about things like how are we going to pay for a funeral? We were a young family living pay check to check and had a little savings but not much. We didn't have life insurance on any of the kids. They were all heathy, and lets face it who really wants to think about your child dying. So we decided that the only way we could pay was to charge it to our credit card. I had it all planned out on how many years it was going to take us to pay off our son's funeral. The next morning, my sister in law called and said that she was going to open a bank account for us to take in donations to help pay for the funeral. My first reaction was no, but we let her open the account.

We planned the service for April 15, 2008. Brody's service was the most emotional yet amazing experience that we have ever had. We were members at a small church that on a good Sunday was maybe a 1/3 full. The church was standing room only on April 15, 2008, and I will never forget the sound inside the church when everyone was singing together. It was amazing. This was the first timesince Brody had died that I felt maybe God knew what he was doing.

That evening, a friend of ours called to tell us that her daughter was saved after Brody's funeral and that she wants to go to heaven so that she can see him again. My first reaction was wow did our son die so that one person would see His presence?

A few months went by and the cards filled with such sweet and comforting words kept coming. And to our surprise most of the cards had checks in them. With the help of our family, friends and even strangers we made the last payment on Brody's funeral just three months after we had buried him. What a blessing!

Then we got a call from Bill's former employer and they wanted to do something special for Breanne and Brooks. They asked if we had room for a playscape in the backyard. We declined the offer because we had already decided to put the house on the market and start fresh. A few days later they called back and told us that they were going to send us to Disney World. That August, we took the kids to Disney World and had so much fun. The kids released balloons for Brody in front of the castle in Magic Kingdom. Having that trip made available to us certainly assisted in the grieving process and gave the kids (and us) something positive in our lives to look forward to and to experience.

When we got back from Disney World, Bill and I talked about the whole experience and how blessed we are to have family and friends that are willing and able to help us out in our time of need. We realized that in Brody's death he could help so many more people than just our friends daughter. We wanted to help other families who have lost a child. But we didn't have the monatary means to do so.

That Christmas, we adopted a child off the Angel Tree that was Brody's age. The kids had so much fun buying gifts for that little boy. The next Christmas, Bill did a gift drive at work and we were able to help provide gifts and food for 5 families. Every year that number has grown. Last year, with the help of our family and friends, we helped 29 families with 135 kids. Now we are taking the next step and not only helping around Christmas but all year long.