Honoring A Beautiful Life
Dr. Wisam Haddad
Dr. Wisam Haddad was born in 1954 in Amman, Jordan. He worked hard to accomplish his dreams of becoming a surgeon, and served people in that capacity since graduating from Loma Linda Medical School in 1979 until his peaceful passing on August 10 2014 at the age of 60. Countless lives were saved by his skilled healing hands. He was named among the nation's top doctors by US News and World Report. He worked and taught at Loma Linda University, and practiced surgery at Riverside General Hospital, Redlands Community Hospital and Beaver Medical Clinic where he also served a term as Chief of Surgery. He loved his life's work, his colleagues and the patients he served, but above all, he loved his family and God.
His true joy in life was serving his family. He was married to Rozanne Haddad for 35 years. It must have been a match made by God because Rozanne was delivered by a Dr. Haddad when she was born in Conneticut in 1949. Together, they had Angie, Laila and Laura. Wisam was a true family man. His greatest joy was spending time with his girls- repeating family traditions and reminiscing about the years of love they shared. He nurtured and provided for their dreams to become reality- he was a dream maker. Angie is a nurse with four beautiful children (Michael, Ashley, William and Nathan) who affecionatly called him "Papa", Laila founded a medical non-profit called New Reality International and is also a spokesperson globally to combat the injustice of sex trafficking, and Lara is a gospel recording artist and singer/songwriter living in Nashville TN.
Wisam loved the home he and Rozanne designed, built and got to enjoy for 27 years. When he wasn't working at the hospital or dreaming up new vacations to share with his family, Wisam would be out picking citrus and fruit that he planted, putting in new flower beds, editing family home videos that he took, playing in the pool with his four grandchildren or taking long walks with Rozanne. The beautiful experiences and home that he gave to his family were mere expressions of the big heart he invited all to find refuge in. He loved nothing more than giving his best to his family, friends and patients- His heart beat with generosity and thoughtfulness.
Wisam was the eldest of his six brothers and sisters. His siblings- Silvia, Sameer, Grace, Sammy, Jacklin, and Haitham- his mother Tammam and father Boulos, all relied on him as the rock and leader of their family. Wisam could be called on day or night- a dependable and faithful son and brother.
Wisam in arabic means "Medal of Honor" and that is what he truly was for the Haddad family. Integrity, faithfulness, honor, kindness, gentelness, respect, generosity and service are the words that ring loud and clear in people's hearts when they fondly think of
Dr. Wisam Boulos Haddad and the great life that he shared with this world.
A Note From His Daughters
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NIV)
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Daddy, you spoke these verses not only at our weddings, but without words every day of your life. You were like the sun that shined life-giving love on us. Your love gave us wings and wind and a big open sky- your words gave us strength and courage and vision to reach higher. You gave and gave- it was your joy to give everything you possibly could. We were so blessed to call you "ours". Yes, you gave love and you were loved and the beautiful part of our story is we all knew it while we had it.
We can't wait to see you again in paradise.
Love your daughters,
Angie, Laila and Laura
March 4, 2018
Daddy today is a day we celebrate that God allowed you to be born. Our world was changed the moment you came to be and no one and nothing could ever be who you are. You are in our minds and hearts every single day and on your birthday we get to celebrate how blessed we were to be chosen to know you and be part of your amazing life on earth. Daddy you are always our star, always the air we breathe, in fact, you are in my blood because you are part of me and I am part of you forever. We always love you and our love for you never diminishes with time it only grows as we wait for the day we can squeeze you and hug you. Until then each day we long for you more and more. I love you daddy. You are my light. Love Laila
August 11, 2017
We gathered at your Tomb, not because you are there, you are in Heaven, but your bones are there. We played
your favorite River Dance CD and Auntie Grace read a new poem she wrote about you while the bagpipes played. We had desserts and Arabic Coffee and Samaan shared about how much it meant to them when you took them to the circus and Boulos talked about how he watched you working hard in Surgery with all the lights and smells and pressure.
I (Lara) Sang "His Eye Is On The Sparrow".
Here is Auntie Graces Poem: You Can Count On Me
You can count on me again
I will continue to send you signs
To prove my presence all the time
I will guide you and use
protect you through life on automatic cruise
In the meantime, Keep looking in the skies
for the clouds and the birds shall spell my name
I never left you, my love and devotion stays the same
You can count on seeing me again.
This year on Aug 11 2016 we will think about the 2 years that our Dad has been in Heaven.
You always marveled at natures beauty! You always stood for what was right! How you must enjoy Heaven!
I know you are preparing a place for us all to be together again soon- can't wait to see what you and our other Heavenly Father have dreamt up. Missing you every day. -your family
It's almost Resurrection day!!! Our favorite day! I, Lara, will be singing at an Easter service- I know you'd love that!
It's Lily's first Easter and she looks so cute. We whisper "Papa loves Lily" to her like you would do to the kids.
Here's a poem Auntie Grace Wrote:
The fruits you planted
We are eating from the fruits you planted
With your bear hands, with all your love and soul
But life turned around, and you took a sudden fall
When we taste your labor
It remind us with you, such a sweet flavor
Your memories we keep
The trees miss your presence, it cries and weep
And the trees miss your touch; they miss you and only you
It cannot replace or find
The sweet smell you left behind
We are eating from the fruits you planted
With your bear hands with all your love and soul
Will see you soon, and you can share your fruits with us all
Written by Grace Elliot
We gathered for your 62 Birthday at your beautiful home...
I, Laura, wrote some reflections about "death"
Yesterday was my dads birthday. And someone messaged me asking about how to deal with the pain of losing a parent. For 2 and a half years I've thought about how to deal with this. I've come to some conclusions and maybe they will help you if you've lost someone so important to you and feel confused, sad, angry and just heartbroken and lost... Here is how I look at the situation and it helps me tremendously even though the fact that he's not here sometimes punches me in the gut and makes me cuss in my head and I miss him every day.
1. Our loved ones are not "dead", they've just moved to heaven. They aren't under the ground, they are in the most beautiful, enjoyable place imaginable. That's why I don't visit the grave- he's not rotting and decaying there.
2. We can still have a relationship with our loved ones, it's just different. They aren't physically here to share our lives, but I believe that great "cloud of witnesses" that's gone before us can see us. I don't think it's sacrilegious to talk to them, write to them, and look for the signs that show they are near, and they are orchestrating things on our behalf with God. Jesus went away and sent us His Spirit to be our constant companion and empower us to live. If Jesus can send His Spirit to everyone all the time, I don't think it's unreasonable that he could let our loved ones Spirit visit us in dreams or through signs- both of which I've experienced.
3. YOU WILL feel a void, a hole where they used to be. Vacations, family get togethers, big occasions, and everyday life will have a glaring HOLE. This is unavoidable- they were a big part of your life and sometimes it aches. But don't feel cheated! Don't get bitter!
Be grateful for the times you did have, and use the ache as a cue to relish the people you are currently blessed with. The devil will try to lie to you when you're vulnerable, don't listen, know that there is a reason they are gone and you are still here and determine to make the most of NOW. Don't let now die just because they did.
4. Death isn't the worst thing that could happen to someone. It's actually the best thing- they are lucky their work was done and they were allowed to go to Heaven. The worst thing is thinking you're alive but being dead inside to bitterness, sin, and darkness.
5. This life is like a mother's womb, or a butterflies cocoon. A baby is alive in the womb but it only sees and hears and understands so vaguely. When it's born into this life, it's like a whole world the baby couldn't have dreamt of. When a caterpillar emerges from a cocoon as a butterfly- how could it have known what it would look like and how it would feel to fly! This life is a womb, when we die and are in a cocoon of a lifeless body, we emerge like the butterfly, like the baby being born into an unimaginable world called Heaven- sights, smells, abilities, dimensions, colors, feelings that we had no idea existed will be open to us!
6. Everyday we don't get further from our loved one- they don't become part of the past like a mark on the horizon getting further and further away. They are now ahead of us, in our future, at our destination and everyday we are getting closer to them, everyday they will become clearer. They are in our future and present not just the past.
Death doesn't have a sting like it did before we had the hope of resurrection! It can hurt like hell to want to share a moment with our loved ones physically there, but I do believe they are there in Spirit and memory and we have a big FUTURE with them, much bigger than this brief time we've had here. This time on earth with them was just a foretaste of the eternity we will have with them, doing far more awesome things! While we are here, we can make them proud and we can pass down the love and truth they passed to us. We aren't without HOPE. And we can smile knowing that it's not just a cliche, they are literally LIVING a life we can't even imagine here in the womb, in the cocoon. I'm looking forward to being born into heaven like my dad and until then, our relationship remains true!
A Poem by Grace Elliott- Wisam's Sister
Aug 11 2016
Year after year
Year after year,
You are far, yet so near
Your spirit had traveled to a sacred place
Your image will not erase your voice your face
We miss you so so much
There is no description for the pain as such
Waiting till we reunite
Living by faith and hope
Hanging by string of rope
Holding tight from falling
Falling to disbelief and fear
Fear of the unknown
To a dark place to a scary zone
But will keep on believing
On meeting again,
Season after season, sunny or rain
Year after year
You’re far, yet so near
Written By Wisam's Daughter Laila and Read Aloud at His Memorial Service
August 17, 2014
I remember so many things about my father, so many memories, so many moments. When I was a little girl after a long day of work, he would come home and I would lay my head on his chest and he would read me stories about nature and about God… I remember as I lay there pressing my ear to his heart, that the beautiful background music to those stories was his strong, powerful heart-beat. I remember all of our walks together, where often he would spot a beautiful flower or colorful bird and would tell me how the majesty and order of nature spoke of the existence of an all powerful creator. I remember on all of our family trips and adventures, he, with excitement, would try to capture on camera every bit of beauty that he could see.
My father was a servant and a giver. He loved to serve and was compelled to offer all of himself, and then offer even more. When we would eat together he would always take half the food off of his plate and give it to me just to make sure I had enough. During the many years I lived at home, almost every morning when he was off of work he would gently knock on my door and deliver a warm cup of tea that he made just for me. His joy came from seeing us joyful. His happiness came from making others happy. Not only did he serve his family, but his loving and skillful hands, healed and saved so many people I never had the chance to know. I remember being on the mission field with him in Haiti and Southeast Asia, serving the poorest of the poor, those in such destitute poverty that the only thing they could offer him in return was a smile…during those trips, in the sweltering heat, he took time and was so patient with each person who came to him for healing. Before they left he would hold their hand, look into their eyes and say “God bless you”.
He was a humble man. I remember a time when he won an award for being and excellent surgeon and we had framed it so he could put it in his office, but he wouldn’t, because he didn’t want to boast about himself. Or the time when we were all sitting in a straw hut with a dirt floor, in Myanmar. People from the village had come out to hear my dad teach about health. He started out by saying to the eager audience, “I don’t have all the answers, yes, I am hear to teach, but I am also hear to learn from you.”
He was a man with justice in his heart. Unfairness, and injustice made righteous anger rise up in him, and he would always stand up for what was right and true, with no fear. He wasn’t shy or embarrassed to express his opposition to things he felt weren’t right. I remember many conversations about politics, war, poverty, and human rights that we had through the years. It was his outspoken opposition to the oppression of the down trodden, that inspired me to dedicate my life to helping the poor and oppressed.
He was a man of integrity. I can say with confidence that during my 32 years of knowing my father, I never once heard him tell a lie. He was a man of truth.
He was our provider, a rock of stability, and he was wise and discerning. My dad was the man that my sisters and I compared all men to. My younger sister Lara isn’t married yet, and when her and I have conversations about different guys that are interested in her, the conversation always comes back around to the question, “well how does he compare to daddy?”
But above all these things my dad was love. He wasn’t just love in words, but he was love in action. He didn’t just say he loved me, he demonstrated his love every day of his life. My dad’s love was not a human love, it was a supernatural love that came from God who calls himself our Heavenly Father. It was pure, it was alltogether good. It was love that came from God and was able to shine through him. My dad’s example made it easy for me to approach God as a Father, to know Him in that way. I want you to know today that God is not far off, He isn’t angry, he isn’t just tolerating us. God describes himself as a Father. He is everything my dad was to me. He is near, He is interested, He is attentive, He is kind, He is gentle and humble, He is proud of us, He is a Servant, He is our provider, He is our healer, He is our comforter and our counselor, He is with us.
My dad believed in God and he loved Jesus, and the gift my father is giving us now is our hope for a glorious reunion with him in paradise. Even in death, his faith gives us comfort. Jesus said in John 11, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
1 Corinthians 15 says When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life.”
Resurrection Day is our Favorite Holiday! March 2016
Because He lives, our dad lives! Because the tomb was empty, our hearts can be full of hope
for a life together with God and daddy, all of our family, as it should be. March 4 is our dad's birthday and this year
March 27 is the day we cherish the fact that he defeated death and is in Heaven with Jesus.
Laura Reflects 8/11/15
On The One Year Anniversary of our Beloved dad's moving to heaven, we are still so hurt, dismayed and
feeling the profound loss of such a presence in our lives. We also have hope, now more than ever, in the
ressurection made possible through Jesus Christ. One year down, how many more to go before our great
reunion? We don't know, but everyday we are getting closer and closer to that great day.... Aug 11 2015
A Poem for Wisam by Grace Elliot Haddad
It’s been a year.
Since you had left us to heaven
so far yet so near.
Near to our hearts, in our daily lives you live.
You devoted yourself to help others,
and in your own way, you still give and give.
You gave us the gift of you.
In history, there were heroes,
and you were selected from only few.
You gave us your memories to keep and treasure.
No one else can be you, or even measure.
Your name has power, demands respect.
You just had and still have this special affect.
It’s been a year.
Since you had left us to heaven,
so far, yet so near.
A Poem for Wisam by Grace Elliot Haddad
Let’s cry and weep.
For all the memories that we’ll cherish and keep.
Let’s reminisce about the past.
Which is alive, it will never be forgotten, it will always last.
I remember you each passing day.
I look at your pictures, puzzling questions,
Pausing, in daze, nothing to say.
But; the gates of heaven let you in.
To see you again, we have to be free of sin.
We cannot lose the hope.
We have to hold tight to the rope.
Time is still, time is long.
Is there an encouraging song?
But what about the messenger who sang?
Open the gates of heaven, let him in, and let him in.
This song is enough evidence and clue.
Why I am feeling so sad and blue?
In the meantime, we’ll cry and weep.
For all the memories that we’ll cherish and keep.
A Poem for Wisam by Grace Haddad
It hurts so badly, in burns my inside.
Sometimes, I can’t go on, I can’t from reality hide.
I miss you as much, with each wave of the ocean and tide.
You were the light.
I just love you with all my might.
Your essence, your presence is always here.
I wonder, if the end is coming near.
It hurts so badly, it burns my inside.
Written by Grace Elliot
For Rozanne Haddad
My tears soak my pillow, burning on my cheek.
My bedroom walls hear my cries, trying to find an answer, my heart will seek.
How something so good, could suddenly disappear?
Oh my God, I am facing my biggest fear.
Wisam, when we say your name.
Reality sits in, that you left, Oh! So much pain.
It is like an earthquake, with cotinuing after shock
With waves of sadness, moaning your loss, and many wishes that we should of done,
The only thing that stops the pain, believing in faith, believing in hope.
The hope to meet again.
To be totally free from pain.
The pain of departure from the one we love
We have to trust the higher power from above.
But s'll my tears soak my pillow, burning on my cheek.
And my bedroom walls hear my cries, trying to find an answer, my heart will seek.
A poem for Wisam on his 61st Birthday... and his FIRST birthday in heaven.
March 4 2015 written by Grace Haddad
Your heart was so big and loving.
Giving yourself to everybody you know.
Your intentions were pure, white as snow.
No matter how heavy was your load,
You never cut corners, even if you had to take the long windy road.
You loved life, cherished your kids and your wife.
Your name is tattooed, on your daughter’s arms.
In our hearts you live.
Every day we experience your presence in some way.
We feel your love, your warmth in every sun’s ray.
We will meet some day; we miss you every single day.
Happy 61 Birthday, we are missing you.
As you celebrate it with the angels above.
We send you, our endless love.
Your sister Grace
Written by your sister Grace Haddad Elliott
When you left us from earth, the world had stopped, paused for your loss.
The loss of a wonderful person to all.
The heavens open their doors, welcoming you, welcoming the most special man to big and small.
Our lives would never be the same.
You were the most giving, humble man, who did not need praise or fame.
Our Wisam will live in our soul, our heart.
Your memories will never leave us, we will never be apart.
You left us, peacefully in your sleep.
Everyone, have you in their heart, and your memories to keep.
You gave yourself to all.
Our lives now had crumbled, and took a steep fall.
Wisam, you were devoted till the end.
History had recorded your deeds, and a big message to send.
I wish the world, have more of Wisam.
Because on one can ever replace you, no one can.
There is only one of you, only one.
The devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and son.
We will miss you forever more.
Our wounds will never heal; it will be open and sour.
For the biggest loss, there is in history.
The heavens have you now, they are in victory.
Your name would always be alive.
In our soul, and all our past lives.
Where is Wisam?
Written by your sister Grace Haddad Elliott
Can you hear our frustration, can your hear us cry?
Do you know our deep sorrow, do you know our pain?
Are you comfortable? Are you hot or cold in the rain?
Your shadow follows us, every corner and everywhere.
Are you really gone? Did you really leave?
Are you going to invite us on Christmas Eve?
Our Wisam is gone, our cries are echoing in the sky.
We ask God, why did you take him, so early why oh why?
I just want to be alone, in silence.
To savor your memories, from beginning to the end.
But wait a minute!
The end is new beginning.
You are in heaven, I heard a clue.
I heard a messenger sing.
Open the gates of heaven, let him in, let him in.
We shall see you, and you will wipe our tears.
And you will take away all our fears.
And you shall fill the room with your presence.
No more shadows, no more pain.
I have high hopes to meet again.
A Poem By Deena Haddad Carmingo
Niece of Wisam
The Day God Called you home.
We did not get to say good bye
It was shocking news that brought tears to my eyes
And you made me remember what it was like to cry
We didn't know that morning God was calling your name
In life we loved you dearly
and death we do the same
It broke us to loose you
For you did not go alone
Part of us went with you
The day God called you home
You left beautiful memories
Your love is still our guide
Although we wont see you
You are always by our side
Our family chain is broken
Nothing seems the same
But as God calls us
One by one the chain will link again
I love you Umo! your niece, Deena