Saturday, October 15, 2016

Obituary from The Baltimore Jewish Times

Young Light Shined Bright
by Mathew Klickstein
IAN ALEXANDER SCHER (Yitzkak Avraham) passed away in his Pikesville home, surrounded by his loving family, on Thursday, Sept. 15 at approximately 7 a.m. Ian was 13 years old.
According to his mother, Marci, Ian had been challenged by myriad health complications throughout his course of his unfortunately truncated but ultimately exuberant life. Wheelchair bound by the time he was 7, it was not until 2012 that Ian was diagnosed with a rare from of muscular dystrophy stemming from a mutation of the VRK1 gene, which would result in a terminal prognosis.
"Even during his post painful days, he was able to smile some and make us all laugh," Marci wrote in a blog post entitled "Rest in Peace," published one day after the effulgent fire of her son's iridescent life ceased to burn.
"His smile was radiant," she wrote the following day. "The light in his eyes shined bright up until the last few days. His spirit was large."
Ian's passions were for Legos, films such as "Tangled" and "Frozen," and nearly all manner television shows. Marci jovially elaborated that "if we lost the internet, we were all in trouble," as Ian loved having the television on as much as possible.
"That was something he still had control over," Marci said. "His eyes were the one thing that never really left. He could always still watch TV."
As Ian's ability to vocalize became more and more strained, he would find other means to communicate his wants and needs by way of movements of those eyes of his or, in the example Marci gave about a certain particularity that did come about during television watching, the use of his tongue.
"Ian definitely didn't like the 'girl shows,'" she said. "He made it clear he didn't want to watch them. That tongue would come out to let us know: "Nope, I don't want to watch that one."
"Ian was every bit a 13-year old boy," beamed father Brian with something of an elegiac chuckle, adding that "not to sound crude," Ian did enjoy his fair share of age-appropriate scatological humor punctuated by a playful predilection for bodily functions.
"To watch him smile like that," Brian said, "it would make me smile, too. Whenever Mom and [Ian's twin sister] Becca would leave the house and it was just him and me, we'd have 'guy time,' and not having to say 'excuse me' would make Ian laugh. It would send him to Cloud 9."
During that final week in extremis, Brian maintained a dynamic of "just being father and son" with Ian, something that had always been important for the family. Brian would roughhouse with his son -- though less so during those last days.
"I would walk over to him and pretend like I tripped and would fall on him," Brian said. "Every little thing like that would bring a smile to his face. Even when I was tired, I never minded doing those kinds of things because I saw the enjoyment it brought to him."
As for Ian's proclivity for Legos, Marci mused this might have had something to do with son's interest in mechanics and science via his one-on-one specialized in-house/hospital schooling. Marci explained that Brian would be "Ian's hands," building various Lego objects such as giant "Star Wars" R2-D2 statues.
"For years, his room was full of Legos," Brian said. "So much so that many of the sets weren't built yet because we ran out of space in his room. Really, up until the last year or so, we were always putting together, taking apart and rebuilding different Lego sets."
"I'd put the book [of instructions] as best as possible in Ian's lap or in a way that he could see it," Brian said. "I'd purposely pull out an incorrect piece to: one, see if he was paying attention; and two, make sure he was involved. I'd joke around with him: "Did you take it? You took it, didn't you?' Of course, we knew he didn't, because he couldn't move. But he'd always smile at that."
Ian would also act as the father-and-son team's quality assurance "spot checker," with Brian holding up the set in progress so Ian could observe it and make sure they were following the guidebook.
Playing video games on their Nintendo Wii system was another favorite pastime of Ian's that he enjoyed with his father.
"I wasn't allowed to play on the Wii with him," Marci giggled. "It always had to be Daddy."
The game that father and son would play most was one involving Ian's favorite superhero, Spider-Man.
"No matter how many times we'd already played it, Ian always wanted to play it again. I could play that game forward, backward, with my eyes closed," Brian said. "Sometime I'd ask if we could play another game, maybe 'Super Mario Galaxy,' but Ian always wanted to play his Spider-Man game."
Everyone in Ian's life was well aware of his fealty for the arachnoid superhero, with Brian noting that no matter how much Spider-Man stuff they had, there was always someone coming over with even more.
Ian's Make-A-Wish Foundation trip in 2010 took him to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., where he met his longtime idol, and his adaptive bar mitzvah was Spider-Man themed, with Ian as involved in the service as much as possible, supported by assistance from the likes of his longtime Camp Simcha Special camp counselor Danny Trestman, who has become another member of the family, in Brian's words.
As for Ian's twin sister, Becca, Marci said the two survived the typical sibling rivalry one would expect from a red-blooded brother-and-sister duo. Though Brian said that their family's needful prioritization of Ian's health drove her into "growing up a lot faster than she needed to" and that Ian could "annoy the heck out of her," Becca was also typically "very motherly" and "always up to offer a hand when asked. They had a very special bond."
When the two siblings were much younger, in preschool, they were separated into two classrooms. Ian would leave his own class without asking his teacher to go find Becca in order to make sure he knew where she was and that she was doing all right. Marci, who worked in the same building as her children's early school, said Ian would come wandering into her office for the same reason.

"His soul was old, always needing to make sure everyone else was OK and taken care of," she continued in her blog. "The bonds he had with many were incredible, one everyone will hold onto."

Ian is survived by his mother Marci, father Brian, and sister Becca.


e photography said...

This was great~

Anonymous said...

Kendra Bober This is so beautiful...
Loving thoughts about all of you all have not stopped up here...