Eric's Heroes: One son's enduring tribute to his mom
The luckiest boys in the word know that their mother's love for them is true and constant. It will never waver, never falter, never die.
That was the way it was at the Resch house.
Then the family lost its most precious treasure: Its wife and mother.
But the way one of the sons created a tribute to his mom that has made a difference. It went viral. More important, it reminded sons everywhere to call their mom and tell her she is loved.
She had lived in a boys' house. There were four of them, after all,
"It was a boys' house," said dad Jim Resch. "We were very comfortable about being a boys' house.'
Josh, one of those boys, says it was crazy growing up with all those boys around.
Deborah Resch was beaming in the middle of it all.
"She was our best friend," said son Zach. "She did way more than enough."
She was also full of self-doubt and low on self-esteem.
"We'd tell her, 'You know, you're amazing. You're great. Thank you for being such a great mom,' " said son Josh. "She just never took it in that way. She was like, 'Why do think I'm so great?' It's like she never saw how great she way."
She had a heart attack in September. She bounced back, though she had to learn to write again.
Deborah Resch was also scared.
"Somehow deep down she knew she didn't have much time left, so she was setting things up," Jim Resch says.
She started a monthly game night to get everyone together. She had talks with each of the boys.
Jim Resch remembers what she said, "Make sure if there's anything that ever happened to her, to make sure the boys would all stay together. Keep in contact...Stay close...and take care of me."
Then came Jan. 14. Thomas Resch, the youngest of the boys, was moving out. He was the last to leave.
"Being the runt, I was always known as the momma's boy," Thomas says. "That's how it was."
That day Deborah had another heart attack. Her boys gathered around her at the hospital and prayed. But she didn't make it.
Two days later, Thomas moved his boxes into his new home. There was an envelope. There was a note on it, written in his mother's shaky handwriting on the day she died.
"I'm going to miss you A LOT!" she wrote. "I love you Pic, Mom."
Pic is short for Pickle. That's what his mom called him.
"Then I saw the mail and was looking through it, then I saw my bank statement. On the envelope she wrote the note to me, and so it felt like it hit even harder because it was after the fact," Thomas said,
Thomas wanted his mom to be a part of him. He made an appointment with a tattoo artist. Then he got an idea.
He got his mom's Fitbit and took a screen shot of her final heartbeat. He wanted to make that the tattoo, along with his mom's note to him.
"I already had my tattoo appointment all set up, and I pretty much just told him to put that heart rate in between the two parts of the note she wrote me," Thomas says.
Then the magic happened. He tweeted out a photo of his tattoo.
"So everyone was reposting it to all these different social media platforms," Thomas says. "And those were reaching 200,000 people."
The tattoo, Thomas says, was like wildfire and "just spread everywhere."
Buzzfeed did a story and Woman's World. There was Yahoo News and the Irish News.
People were reaching out to Thomas. He had touched them.
"I can't tell you how many people were like, 'I'm calling my mom right now' ... 'I'm on my way to give Mom a hug.' 'I'm going to see Mom.' I just feel like so many people take their parents for granted, when I know, like, no one will ever love me as much as my parents do, and that's the one thing I'll never forget."
Thomas, Jim and all of the them have been overwhelmed by the reaction to the tattoo.
Deborah was a shy, loving mother who didn't always feel good about herself. But wouldn't she laugh to know that she inspired people all over the world to give their moms a hug and tell them that they are loved?
After all, the luckiest moms in the word know that their children's's love for them is true and constant. It will never waver, never falter, never die.
Editor's Note: "Eric's Heroes" is a weekly series airing every Wednesday on KOMO News in the 6 p.m. newscast. If you have a good story about a good person doing good things for the right reasons, share it with Eric by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.