Baby Nathan's Memorial Service 1/17/09

Nathan James Avila Andaya was a beautiful little boy. With a huge smile, a high pitched little laugh, and eyes that shone with happiness. Everyone who has seen his pictures can agree that these things are true. But above all of this, Nathan was loved.

As I watched the Andaya family say goodbye to Nathan today, I was deeply touched by their sense of faith and family. I do not know them well; in fact I only met them in person today. But I have no doubt that Jaimee and TJ were wonderful parents and that everyday they shared with Nathan was a day filled with love. The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming, and evident from the number of people that stood crammed into the chapel to attend the service to celebrate Nathan’s life. I have no doubt that his grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, and every other person who considered themselves extended family, loved this little boy and were delighted each time they were lucky enough to interact with him. Nathan was loved.

We were allowed to see into his life not only by the images on the screen, but by the words of those that loved him most. I sat with my husband and we listened to family members as they told us why Nathan was so special. Grandpa would get so caught up in playing and enjoying him that he would just decide to call in sick to work and extend playtime. Jaimee’s sister admitted that a visit from TJ & Jaimee without Nathan was met with the question “then why are you even here?!” And Great Grandpa put his own spin on AVM by switching up the acronym to AMV for an Angels Momentary Visit. We watched in awe as TJ played the violin and Jaimee sang “Paradox of Faith.” Nathan was loved.

Today was beautiful. Today was filled with family, friends, love, compassion, faith, balloons, doves, butterflies, sunny skies, and everything good. But the reason to join today, to mourn the loss of this little boy…was unbelievably sad. Throughout it all, Jaimee and TJ were gracious, thankful, and heartfelt in honoring their son. They showed strength of character and of faith that most of us can’t pretend to have. And I can only believe that Nathan was instrumental in making them the courageous people that they are today. These young parents are a testament to what a wonderful little boy Nathan was and will continue to honor his memory and remind people of the “giver” that he was.

I can’t begin to understand the grief and sadness that TJ & Jaimee felt this week and today. Witnessing this beautiful young mother kneel next to the gravesite and weep for her baby boy was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen. I wished more than anything that there was something that could bring her peace and happiness at that moment. But I know she will have it again. She has faith in God that they will see Nathan again.

Today he was laid to rest with his family and friends close by to wish him well as he joined the angels in Heaven. His battle with this AVM is over, and Nathan is no longer suffering with the pain, the treatments, or the uncertainty. Jaimee and TJ are strong in their faith and belief that their little boy is now healed and sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Every member of our AVM family has been touched by the story of baby Nathan. The Andaya family and their struggle has been an inspiration to many of us. As we continue to face our daily AVM journeys, please remember the courageous fighter that Nathan was. May his example provide you strength and encouragement when needed, and may your successes and happy endings be shared in his honor.


Nathan’s website
Sign his guestbook

I agree that was beautiful shalon. The baby will be missed. My prayers out to the family i feel ill . God bless them. Stella

Shalon, Thank you so much for representing us today and sharing it with us. Nathan will aLways be in our hearts.


Thank you for attending for us and thank you for the words you wrote.

I can’t begin to imagine the heartache of losing a child.

ron, ks

My heart and thoughts were with the family today and i wish i could of been there, so shalan thank you for the insight and beautiful words you wrote to describe this day to us who wished to be there but could not. Thank you

Thank you for taking us with you on this sad trip trough your eyes and ears . I will neaver forget that baby’s beautiful eyes .

Thank you for those beautiful words, Shalon. I cannot imagine their pain either. It sounds like it was a lovely service full of love.

Shalon , Thank you so much for sharing this information . It is awesome that you were there and could share this service with us . Nathan was such a fighter and his parents are such an inspiration to all here on the site. Thanks for everything Shalon !

Shalon I am so glad you could be there today. I am sure it has meant alot to his family. This little boy truly has touched each and everyone of our lives on this site. His family is so couragous. He will be sadly missed and never forgotten in my heart.

My prayers are with the entire Andaya family. Ben

shalon thank you, your words mean alot to me about the way you describe the family. very well done !! the service sounds as if it were beautiful. nathan is with our GOD now !! rest easy little boy ! God loves you.

that was beautiful shalon…
baby nathan and his familys story has touched a lot of lives.
i dont find myself speachless too often but that has really touched my heart.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of the family and freinds of nathan, god bless them what a brave fight there little man had,Thinking of you all

Many prayers for these 2 young, faith filled parents. Walk in the love of the Lord. Dianna

remembering nathan xx