McKINNEY — Aidan Peterson was just six years old. He died last weekend after a long fight against leukemia.
On Wednesday, there were tears... but also smiles and laughs... as hundreds of people gathered for a special memorial at John Baker Elementary School in McKinney to celebrate Aidan's brief life.
"From the moment I saw him, I knew he was my soulmate," said mom Candice Gaudet. "I knew he was the one I've been waiting for my whole life."
Aidan's journey through cancer and chemotherapy brought a community together.
"Aidan Vance Peterson has created a circle of love that is evident in this gathering, and extends far beyond these walls," said one speaker at the memorial that was held at the school the the littler kindergartner loved the most.
His mother jokingly told a story of how he he learned about life at Baker Elementary.
"He said, 'Mom, did you know that when the teacher's trying to teach the class, if you interrupt her and ask her to be quiet so you can talk, she will put you in the Naughty Square for five minutes?'"
Aidan loved the color orange... and superheroes. So it was fitting that the people attending the service were asked to consider being bone marrow donors to become real-life heroes... and perhaps help others like Aidan.
Through their prayers and tears, Aidan's family asked for grace and understanding... taking comfort in the little boy's legacy and the wisdom he left behind.
"He said, 'Well on planet Earth, we only have one real purpose: To learn how to love," his mother recalled. "'And then one day when our spirit is ready, our future selves are in heaven, and all we do is fly and love. God told me that.'"
Orange balloons were released into the sky as a tribute to Aidan Peterson.