This tribute was delivered by Dylan’s aunts—Hillary Taatjes and Linsey Bont—during the service honoring Derek and Dylan. They captured Dylan James’ spirit and impact with great beauty.
After having Ella and Johanna, Derek and Charity desired another child. When they were picking baby names, we reminded Charity that Dylan was one of their name choices in the past. We said to her “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a D3? Doug, Derek and Dylan”. Derek wanted his middle name to be James because the book of James was Derek’s favorite book of the bible and Charity’s brother Josh, who passed away 12 years ago, also had the middle name James.
When Dylan arrived, they had the sense that their family was complete. Derek Charity Ella Johanna and Dylan were the Taatjes family. Dylan was a great baby from the start, sleeping through the night by 6 weeks. He was full of joy and energy. He brought a smile to everyone he encountered. His sisters adored him. Sometimes they overwhelmed him with their love by hugging him too hard. Like their father in regard to passion, Ella and Johanna were obsessed with their brother. Johanna was so excited to have a baby brother that she always said “Baby, Oh the Baby,” whenever she saw him.
We remember watching Derek practice his sermons on Dylan. Dylan was on the verge of getting the giggles and would try so hard to laugh like everyone around him. The last couple of months, we started referring to him as “the Monster” because he was growing so fast. He would suck down an 8 ounce bottle in less time than it would take us to prepare it. Even though he was six months, his clothes were meant for a twelve month baby and they were still too short.
We are so happy to have been little D’s aunties for six months. We all loved on him so very much during that time. Derek and Charity dedicated all three of their children with a life verse, Job 1:21: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.