KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The family of Luke Bresette, the 10-year-old boy killed on March 22 when an airport sign fell on him in Birmingham, Ala., is grateful for all the support they've felt during their unfathomable grief.
Alex Bresette, Luke's uncle, is speaking on behalf of the family. He was at the balloon release at Saint Thomas More, where classmates and staff honored Luke on Friday. The family invited the media to the event, and Alex Bresette made himself available to talk to reporters afterward.
He said Luke's mother, Heather, who was also injured by the sign, is still in a wheelchair and will be for a few months.
"But knowing her, she's tough. She's feisty. She's independent. She's an awesome woman. She's going to be back in no time."
He said he talked to both Heather and Ryan Bresette, Luke's parents, before the balloon release and they asked him to say thank you.
"I talked with Heather today. And her and Ryan had a private viewing earlier. Something she wanted me to share is 'thank you'. For thoughts and prayers, love and support cards, well meaning messages. Not just from St. Thomas More, not just from Kansas City literally from across the country," said Alex Bresette.
"We're going to have a hole in our hearts for a long time. It will never completely heal. We don't want it to heal," Bresette said. "We want to know him and love him just as if he was here."
Bresette said the Friday and Saturday services will be extremely difficult, and he says the family will continue to need prayers next week and in the days to come.
"When quiet sets in, that's when we still need those prayers and support, and love and support of every parent and child, grandparent out there," he said.
Friends may call from 12:00-5:00 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Saint Thomas More, located at 11800 Holmes Road in Kansas City, Mo.. The family will receive friends from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Friday at the church.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:05 a.m. Saturday, April 6 at Saint Thomas More Church. Interment will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
"I think that kid would want everybody to know how good life is and to celebrate and to really be there for each other. Hug everybody every day when you get a chance. Luke always hugged," his uncle remembered.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions made to a fund set up in his name:
Luke Bresette Fund
Saint Thomas More Parish
Attn: Tim Waris
11822 Holmes Road
Kansas City MO, 64131
Condolences may be left for the family at www.muehlebachchapel.com.