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Memorial created 08-15-2008 by
Sara Burke
Noah Matthew Burke
January 30 2004 - March 2 2008

Mommy & Daddy's Lil Cowboy

Welcome to Noah's online memorial. This site was created to honor and share the light that was his life.  Here you will learn his story, and hopefully be able to see him as we did. Noah will never be forgotten and his presence still warms our hearts. So take some time to get to know him...he was/is a very special little boy. He was sent here to teach his Mommy and Daddy true love. We love you Noah! Please visit as often as you like and be sure to sign Noah's guestbook so we know you where here. Every person that leaves a guestbook entry we thank you and know that your kind words are heard and very much appreciated.

Noah was a bright shinning star in our lives and he will remain still shinning in our hearts forever. He was a 4 yr old Autistic Angel that tought us so much and touched many people with his sweet heart in the short time he was here. He had many passions. Animals, he'd line up all day. (on thier way to the Ark I'm sure) He loved Elephants and Giraffes the most. Him and mommy would sit at his table and build lego animals , which he enjoyed very much. I saw him build a giraffe one time and I was amazed. Noah amazed us like that all the time. We were always so proud of him. One day I built one just like his. He looked at me right in the eyes. Like I had cracked a secret code. After that he would drag me in his room all the time to help him build his animals. I cherish those moments I took for him. All of the days I stopped to play with Noah, color or paint, build legos....take him outside, or just stopping to rub his sweet little head. Very precious to me. He loved to go on tractor rides with Dad in the winter to feed the cows and whenever Dad came home from work he'd sit on Dad's lap and pull his big arms around him.  Dad treasures those rides and luv's. Most of all he loved to wrestle with Dad. His sweet little giggles still echo in my head. He also loved to ride horses. We had just started putting him up on the horse for rides. A few times we caught him out in the horse corrall trying to climb up..Thank you so much Noah for giving us so many of your little precious gifts. May you continue to send them to our hearts.

 

Shine baby shine.

 

Noah Matthew Burke
Died on March 2, 2008
at the age of 4
He was Diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 1/2
We moved to Ione in June of 2007 to start fresh and live a life long

dreamed of. My husband got a job on a 4,000 acre cattle ranch and

we were all quite happy.
Noah's sister, Chloe, was born in Oct. of 2006 so you can imagine my

hands were pretty full at that time.

On March 2nd,it was a Sunday, we all (Me, Noah, Chloe and Dad)

were home enjoying the day off. Dad was preparing his vehicle for a

new job he was starting.  He was a very curious, independant little 4 year old who

loved to be outdoors. He loves playing in the tall grass. As if he were a Lion hunting in the Savannah.

Scrunching up his face in delight. It was still quite cold out but the

signs of Spring were begining to show. Noah had on Camoflauge

Pants and sweatshirt,  a rusty colored Carhart knit cap and

cowboy boots. As it warmed up and the sun came out I took the cap

off and went in and got him his new Go Diego Go Bicycle helmet

that his dad bought for him. He loved it.

He wasn't going to ride a bike. He didn't know how...but Dad knew

he would love it. Diego was his favorite show. Animals were always

"his thing" After a bit I thought I should go in and check on Chloe

to see if she was still sleeping. I had stepped inside and left the door open to keep an eye on him. He was

laughing and shaking his head back and forth enjoying his big

helmet head. The next time I stepped out Noah

was playing on the porch...that was the last I saw him. As soon as we both realized he was gone,  we ran out into the driveway and began

to yell his name. I was in immediate panic...I was yelling his

name, but I knew he would not answer. Noah only had a few words

in his vocabulary and would not respond most of the time. We

checked all of the spots we thought he might be and then proceeded

to call 911. As soon as people started coming I was in a dizzy spin. I

couldn't think, breathe, or hardly talk. I remember spouting out

things like, what he was wearing and that he doesn't respond to his

name...and that he has no reguard for his own safty. This was

about 2 o'clock. People kept coming to help look for the little lost

Autistic boy. Searching the area by way of 4-wheeler, Horseback,

and foot. The Sherrif kept asking me if there was anything they

could be doing that they weren't...I couldn't think of anything at

that time, of corse now there are a few things I wished we'd done

and crossings at the creek we should have guarded...I have a big

list of shoulda coulda woulda's that play through my head on those

awful days. At approx. 6pm someone located a tiny cowboy boot on

a small island out in the middle of Willow Creek (About 200 yards

from our house) The Sherrif came and got me to identify it as

Noah's. I ran out to hear my husband yelling "Sara, they found his

boot in the Creek!! In the Creek!"...I immediatly lost it. I Was

screaming and falling to the ground. "NO! NO! My baby, NO!" I

knew at that moment that I would never see him agian. At 3 oclock

the county sherrif's dept. had called in for National Guard help

and 2 Black Hawk Hellicopters were arrinving. They headed down

stream. They set up command post in my front yard. It was getting

dark and the searchers were getting tired. For a few hours I sat at

the window watching all of the flashlights out in the feilds and

listening to the Hellicopters flying overhead. It was an empty

bottomless, dark, and overwhelming feeling.  Then they had to call it

quits for the night. My worst nightmare had come true. I was

having to go to bed without tucking in my baby boy. I couldn't

sleep at all. I trembled at the thought of him floating down stream,

cold & alone. I shook until I couldn't stand it....I got up slipped on

my shoes and coat and ran outside...I screamed his name. Then I fell to my knees. I asked God " why? Why my

baby? Why my baby?" I was very angry with God for letting this

happen. I was angry at myself for letting this happen. But most of

all I felt an empty very uncertain feeling in the depths of my heart.

.A feeling that you know will never leave

you. "How would or could I ever feel happiness again, or how will I

go on with out him?" This consumed me for several days until the

reality of it all sunk in. And well, I have to say we have our beautiful

daughter to thank for helping us get through what had to be the

nightmare of all nightmares. She made us smile on the days we
thought we could not. She filled those empty spots in our hearts with

warmth and love and most of all...a certainty of love and life that

cannot ever be taken away. Bless her dear little sweet heart.
 
When I woke to the alarm

clock, it felt like a nightmare... the helicopters were starting out where they had left off. The

dive team was headed to the creek, and everyone was showing

up with hope still in thier eyes. Me and Lea (the pastor) walked

down to the creek. She held my hand as we quietly approached the

bank. She asked me " Sara, what do you think happens when we

die?" Feeling a loss of words I looked up into the sky and said " Love,

love is the only thing that is eternal. We go where our love is. Here

we try to learn of love and live in love. When we go, we are love." I

was amazed I was able to put this into words seeing as the last 24

hours were filled with words I could not speak.  As I walked back to the house I

had this feeling of lightness. Like I had been touched by God. I felt

and could almost see my little baby standing there holding God's

hand and smiling at me. Yesterday was a whirl wind and certainly

chaotic. However I felt a bit of tranquil peace this morning.
 
 
(At this point I have to say a bit about the community I live in. Everyone

that could be here to help was. Any way they could.There were over 200 people
 
including the emergancy rescue, and National Guard, and people of the

surrounding towns. Even mothers of the kids in Noah's preschool

were out here late with flaslights and boots. I will never forget all of

the faces of the Angels that came to help. The schools put on a

spagetti feed to help with the service costs. )
 
 
By 9 am they had found him 3 miles downstream. The black Hawk pilot spotted

something blue in the water just below the surface. Noah's Helmet.

They then came to the house to tell us I knew already but it was all

so sureal to us. We never saw him that morning. It was prob. better

that way . We saw him the day after at the mortuary.

They allowed us as much time as we needed. That was the sweetest

yet the hardest thing I have and will ever have to do. Say goodbye

to my son. He was so cold, so we put his favorite Finding Nemo

blaket around him. Then we read him his favorite story. "Oh the

places you'll go" by Dr. Suess. Then we gave him his favorite little

baby elephant. We knew he was gone but I was

rubbing his head and stoking his hair and talking to him like he

was hearing me. I didn't know what to epect of myself as I walked

into that cold room. But as I entered I realized that this would be

our last time seeing his sweet little face and I couldn't let it pass me

by with fear. We said our sweet goodbyes and proceeded to make

the arrangements. There were as many if not more people at his

service as there were there that night looking for him. I was

amazed. We let balloons go, blew bubbles, and sang the saddest

songs I'll ever hear. It was perfect. To this day I will never forget the

family that all came and shared memories and helped us. we laughed, we cried and remembered everything about little Noah.

Noah is still giving us gifts.

Rest in peace little Angel Noah XOXOXO's
 
 
 

Noah's Memorial Stone

 

If only for one Night...
                             Oh, Noah we miss you so.
                              Do you know how much?
Do you miss your Dad & I?
Do you miss our loving touch?
 
We have 4 years of memories...
The star…your little face.
For this we are so lucky,
You brightened up the place.
 
Do you know the many tears we shed?
Do you hear our awful dread?
We now that you are gone,
But wish with all our might,
That you would come home to us...
If only for one night…
 
We'd tell you how we love your smile
And how we'll miss it so,
And then we’ll tell you just how much
You’ve taught us how to grow.
 
After that we'd have a snack,
Your favorite one of course.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
With crusts cut off, and milk.
We'll smile and say "He loves that"
Just as we always said.
 
You'd sit up on Daddy's lap
Pulling his arms round you,
As mommy sits nearby and says
With love,"Just look at you two"
 
And then we'll tuck you into bed
Like we wished we could that night.
We'll stand back in awe and say...
"What a beautiful sight".
 
If we had one more night with you,
We'd have the chance to say,
What a beautiful little soul you have...
How about one more day?
 

Through the Reeds

I had my angel just four years and feel I did not get to know him enough. He did not speak words. He
had a language of his own, which I truly miss hearing in the
background of my days. I have a daughter (2 yrs) and I have
to say I thank God for her precious little spirit every day. She gets
me through and has many a times made me smile on days I thought
I could not. Since building this page I have met lots of grieving parents here at VM. I have seen everything from young children to the elderly. Honestly I don't know whats worse, knowing them well
, or not knowing them enough. Surely both are a heartbreak
waiting to crack. My heart goes out to you all.I am glad I had the time that I did. He was the light
of my life and made me a better person, the person I am today. Noah had a way of speaking to you without words. I knew everything he loved and tried to get in his world as often as he would let me. I followed him around with a camera a lot. I have thousands of pictures. (I am soooo glad for ) and that was my way of getting in his world. Somehow putting the camera inbetween him and me made it easier for him to let me in close. He was a true teacher,He taught me patience, tollerance, true pride, faith, and most of all unconditional love. The hole that is left in my heart can only be filled with memories, his love, and the hope that one day we will be together again.

 

Noah's Favorite Place

This is one of my favorite photos of Noah. I am so lucky that I have so many photos to go with all of his beautiful memories.

 

Beautiful Dream

We were lucky to be able to get Noah the Perfect Memorial stone. We absolutely owe that to our family & community...Thank You all so Much!

 

The song chosen for this page is "What hurts the most" by Rascal Flatts I love this song and it meant a lot to me befoer Noah died. I miss you Bubbies!

 

 

 

 

I love this picture still. Thank you Noah!

 

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