SHERI'S LEGACY

This legacy is not about land or money, it is a simple one of a mothers love for her family and friends.   It is about the battle with a dreaded disease, the loss of a child and then the loss of her own life.

This is a story of strength, courage and most of all love.  This love is the legacy Sheri passes on to all those who follow, but most of all, to the families that have lost a child.

"I'm just a mom who lost a child that wants to do this"

 

 

                         The photos and text below is Sheri Fishers 25 years as a girlfriend, wife, mother and then a grandmother..
Jess and Sheri met in  1980 and fell in love.   It did not take long for them to realize that they each had found their soul mate.    They married July 18, 1981 and their life was about to begin for the next 25 years.  Like all young people life had its ups and downs, but they stormed them out and came out on top of them.  It was a good life together.
 
Their first child was born November 14 1982, a girl.   They named her Alyssa Marie.   Sheri was elated with the birth of her baby girl.   She was a great mother. This was not an outstanding family, just a simple couple loving each other and their child.  

On March 2, 1984 a son was added to the family.  His name is Zachary David. The family was now complete

 
Life was simple and  then in the 15th year of the marriage Sheri developed cancer in her left wrist. It was  a rare  form, epithelioid sarcoma, that did not respond well to treatments. But life went on, this time at a different pace.  Hospitals, doctors, treatments, sickness,  traveling, and still she fought and lived a simple life with her family.
 

Life is complete when you share it with those you love.

 
As the children grew, their lives were filled with all the challenges and accomplishments growing up brings.  Birthdays, holidays, school years and graduations all came and went, each one celebrated and shared.  Through all of this their love grew stronger and was a constant force in their lives.

That phase of life, when looked back upon later, seemed to have flowed with ease. 

 
 

Sheri was to fight her cancer for over 10 years. This was to be a  great battle for her, but it was not the ten long years of hurting, it was how she handled it.  She underwent some 25 surgeries, lost her left arm almost to her shoulder and still would not give up the battle. With the love of her family and friends Sheri showed great strength and courage  and battled on.  

Sheri had a strong friendship within her circle and her friends were always there to help her through the good and bad times.  Some of them were neighbors, some were family and some were firefighters wives.

 Still there was more sorrow to come..........

   .

 

 
 

In 2003 , The Fisher's experienced a heartbreaking loss.  On the evening of Jan, 29 Alyssa was driving to her boyfriends house  when she was involved in a one car accident and was killed. This was a devastating loss, one that was almost more than they could bear.  The Fisher's faith in God helped bring them through  this painful time in their lives. Sheri's circle of friends, neighbors, family and  firefighters wives, helped her now in her time of need.

 

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Sheri's brothers and sister summer of 2006.

 

Sheri's best friends forever. This is part of the group that held her together in many sad times.

 

Buster the family dog

 

Zac and Sheri

 
The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand.

The sun goes down but the gentle warm still lingers on the land.

The music stops and yet it echoes in sweet refrains.

For every joy that passes Something beautiful remains.

Courtney, Ben and Zac Christmas 2006

 
 

 

 

 

Sheri and her mom, Irene Mathias.

                                                                                 
As Sheri worked through  her healing process she read a book called "The Christmas Box" about an angel statue that was a place for parents, grandparents, and all who had lost a child could go to find comfort.  This inspired her, this was something she wanted to do for all people who had experienced a loss similar to her family's.  Sheri and Jess began the process of bringing this vision to fruition.  Along the way they ran into frustrating road blocks, but they persevered.  In the midst of Sheri's strength and courage and all the love of family and friends, her time to pass on from this life came on October 16th, 2006.

The legacy that Sheri leaves behind is one of love. The angel statue will serve as a place where anyone who has lost a child can come and have something solid to touch and gaze upon as they remember, talk to, send love to, that child.  In doing so they will feel the love that surrounds the angel from all the other parents, grandparents, families and friends that have come there for the same loving purpose and find comfort.

 
The photo at the left is the location of the angel statue.  It will be on the private property at Evergreen Retirement Community campus just off Eagle street in Oshkosh.  It is near a quiet part of the property on Sawyer Creek.   Sheri used to take walks to this location with her dog Buster.

 

 

 

Angel is in Oshkosh waiting for spring to come.

Some of the local businesses that are donating to the project are below.

Ben Ganther Construction--excavating and landscaping

Reinke Monuments is working heavily with us on the granite and bricks.

The Oshkosh Tavern League / Jeff's on Rugby for the fund raiser and taking collections.

Jim Dennis from Pyramid Foods, JJ Fiddlers and Hungris is donating a percentage of accounts from Pyramid Foods for upkeep and maintenance of the statue.

Lisa Hibbard and Friends-Fund Raiser.

I would like to thank ALL the community for their letters of support during the controversy about the placement of the statue on public land.  That outpouring of support provided a lot of strength for us and allowed us to continue moving forward.   "JF"

 

   
 

Photo to the left Ben Ganther Construction group laying the foundation for the angel statue during the second week of June 2007.

 

After a long wait Sheri's dream has come true.  

This is the first photo of the statue as of November 9th, 2007.   A page will be set up for all the events to follow now that she is in place.

 

 

 
Welcome to the Oshkosh Home of the Christmas Box Angel

The concept for this site originated from the book and made for TV movie entitled The Christmas Box by Richard Evans.   Mr. Evan's powerful story centers around a woman who mourns the loss of her child at the base of an angel monument.

In January 2006, The Oshkosh Chapter of Compassionate Friends, chaired by Jesse and Sharon Fisher of Oshkosh, recommended to grieving parent the touching story The Christmas Box.  Subsequently Jesse and Sharon Fisher initiated a discussion with its members about bringing a Christmas Box Angel statue to Oshkosh and started the "Angel of Hope Fund" for this project.  In February 2007, Evergreen Retirement Community and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation joined resources along with other community members and the Christmas Box Angel found a home in  Oshkosh.

Shortly after the statue was ordered in October 2006, Sharon Fisher passed away after living with cancer for 10 years.  She was proud of the work that was accomplished during her time with us and her courage, spirit, and strength will be remembered as the driving force behind this site.

 

   
 

The inscribed bricks are in place and the landscaping will be done in the spring of 2008.

     

 

There are three benches around the angel statue and the following inscriptions are on each of them.

Travis Scott Trinko

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane.  I'd walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again.

Jacob David Lenz

Sit and rest your weary feet and let me carry your worries. Jacob David Lenz. April 16 2006- July 3, 2006.  Love ya Jake.

In Loving Memory

Alyssa Marie Fisher and Sharon Louise Fisher

Forever in our hearts.

The Fisher Family 

Sheri's mom  and Aly"s grandmother, Irene Mathias tries out the new bench in front of the angel statue.
   

Close up of the inscribed bricks that surround the angel.

 
The following photos are from Sunday June 1, 2008.  The day the Christmas box angel was dedicated in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

This painting was done by Leif Larson. He shows the peaceful place where one can come and remember.

     

Sheri's Mom

Ben at almost 2 years old.

Bens brick to Aunt Aly and Gram Sheri

Father Dan Felton, Manitowoc opening the dedication.

Dixie Jarchow from Compassionate Friends.

Pastor Alice Riemer McKee, Jesse Fisher and Ken Arneson President and CEO, Evergreen Retirement Community.

Lisa Johnson special speaker from the Christmas box angel.

Laying flowers at the Fisher bench.

 

Remembering

  

A SPECIAL THANKS

The Christmas Box Angel of Hope statue is a collaborative effort of

The Compassionate Friends of Oshkosh

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation 

and Evergreen Retirement Community.

 

 

Thanks to all who cared enough to make this happen.

 

The Fisher Family

Jesse, Zac and Ben.

   

 

 

 

 

   
   

If you wish to purchase a brick to be placed at the base of the angel statue click HERE for the form to print out and order.

 
To contact Jesse please click below

 

To the Fisher Girls

Click on the starfish for Alyssa's site.

 

Music by ENYA

"WATERMARK"

                                                                            ©    Copyright 2006 and beyond.   fisher©
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