Chasing Rainbows and Running from Bombs

16 Apr

I’ve been thinking about writing this post since I heard about Gavin’s (Chasing Rainbows)death. He was 5 1/2 years old. He was a special needs child with special gifts and special parents and a special brother. If you haven’t read his mom’s blog yet or visited her facebook page, please do. You will be changed forever.

I’m sure I’m like most parents of special needs kids when hearing that one of our family has passed. I think, “What if that was my Oli? What if it was me taking pictures of my sweet girl as they wheeled her down the hall for the last time? What it was me giving her a bath and a kiss for the very last time?”

And then I sob and I cry and my heart breaks for this mother all over again.

I like to think of them as family because we are all in this together. Gathering inspiration and support, raising awareness about differences and forging our way trying to make an impact and an impression on the world that our kids are just like everyone’s else’s kids. Just a little bit different in more obvious ways.

I think that Gavin and his parents did that in his few short years on this Earth. He did the impossible. He made a difference. And he did it with his life and his death. His mother and father also achieved a rarely attained goal. They have changed the world.. They have changed the world by sharing their story with us. Sharing their heart ache and their pain. Sharing their courage and strength with honest words and tear stained faces. They have taken an unimaginable, horribly sad event and maintained dignity and grace while the earth shakes beneath their feet. They have made selfless choices and decided that despite their grief and darkness they have chosen to give another family light. They tried to donate Gavin’s organs.

This was not to be however.

Part of his liver was unusable so it rendered the entire organ unusable. His corneas were not able to be transplanted either. Rather than be shattered by this one positive that his family was clinging to, his mother maintained her poise and managed to never lose sight of what life is really all about.

Living life on life’s terms.

She talks about giving gifts and expecting nothing in return. Because that’s what a gift really is. And if it doesn’t work out? Then it doesn’t work out. They tried. I will stop there because I REALLY encourage you to visit her blog and read her story. Like I said…it will change you.

So I’ve been thinking about this family. Gavin, his mother Kate, his dad Ed and his brother Brian. This family that I have never met, never spoken to, never “met” on facebook or on her blog. I know nothing about them other than what I have read and what others have posted about them. I don’t know them and yet I’ve been praying for this little boy whose pictures I can’t stop looking at and whose sweet little face that I can’t seem to get out of my head. And then I ask the obvious question.

Why?

Why do these things happen? Why did such a small, defenseless, amazing little boy have to lose his battle so early on. Why? He has touched so many people. He has given so many people strength and courage and taught others to continue on in the face of difficult situations, in spite of labels and disabilities and the unknown. He just continued on. He lived and he loved just like so many other little 5 year old boys. Except that he wasn’t. He was Gavin. And for some reason people were drawn to this little guy and his story. They were drawn to the way that he lived his life.

Just like people are drawn to my Oli.

I don’t know why these things happen. I don’t know why people are drawn to these little people who never even utter a word. I think it’s because of what I stated above. It’s because of the way that they live their lives. Just like my Oli, Gavin showed courage in fearful situations and strength where others would be weak. He celebrated accomplishments with the ferocity of an Olympic athlete. Because life is not always easy for our kids, but they carry on. The carry on despite slow progress and others telling them what they can and cannot do. They carry on and thrive and progress and amaze people every day. They reward us and surprise us every single day. They make possible the impossible.

And I don’t know why Gavin had to die. But I do know that although he is gone, he will NEVER be forgotten. I know that people all over the world are fulfilling his mothers wish for random acts of kindness in Gavin’s name. I know that he had a purpose and his purpose is to continue to be an inspiration. Continue to be that light in the darkness.

Little Gavin lost his life yesterday and then the bombings at the Boston Marathon happened. Another little boy died. A little boy who also has a name. His name was Richard and he was only 8 years old. I thought, “I wonder if this family has seen this? I wonder if they know that another little boy died today?” And I can’t make sense of that either? I can’t make sense of the fact that Gavin got sick and died, but Richard wasn’t sick at all. He didn’t get an infection or have cancer. He didn’t get into a car accident or anything else. His life was taken. Taken, on purpose, by another human being.

How do you go on after that? I cannot imagine either one happening, but the rage and the anger that I would feel if someone else stole my child from me…would never be forgotten. How do you see the positive in that? How do you get to the light?

I don’t know. I’m sure that Richard’s family knows though. I’m sure that he touched the world in his own way. I hope that we learn more about this little guy in the days to come. Because I need to know that a life was not lost without purpose. I need to know that this child will be remembered and that people will not forget what we lost yesterday.

I don’t know who would do such a thing. I’m not even going to venture a guess. It has happened and they will catch who is responsible for it. That…I am sure of. Rather that feed more hate with hate, can we remember the people who lost their lives yesterday? Richard in Boston and little Gavin. Can we keep them in our hearts and heal without spewing more violence?

I’m not saying not to be angry. Of course not. But, can we remember what really matters? Can we remember the kids and the friends, and the moms and dads, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, who will never see their loved one again. Can we honor their memory and be kind to one another? Can we stop the hatred and stop reacting with fear? Maybe just for a day. Do something nice for someone else. Do something in Gavin’s name. Do something with love rather than hate. How many times are we angry with someone and cannot WAIT to give them a piece of our mind? How many times do we take that same fire in our hearts and tell someone else that we love them, or appreciate them? How many times do we close our mouths to keep the vicious words from pouring forth? How many times do we open our hears and allow others to see our vulnerability. How many times do people see our love?

Never did words ring truer to me “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

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7 Responses to “Chasing Rainbows and Running from Bombs”

  1. tric April 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    One of my best friends little boys is having chemo at the moment for leukemia. Life is uncertain but still we hope, and enjoy as many good days as possible. Hug your Oli close and be happy because you can!.

    • mommyhasissues April 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

      I do every single day. One time we came too close to losing her. I will never ever forget that day and I will never forget what that felt like.

      • tric April 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

        Sorry. I cannot even imagine. I enjoy your posts immensely.

      • mommyhasissues April 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

        🙂 Thanks tric!

  2. My Dance in the Rain April 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I was following her journey but after it she wrote about holding him for the last time my heart could not take it.

    Dealing with my own daughters health issues just makes it so hard to read and follow without falling apart!

    Life is just not fair!

    • mommyhasissues April 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      I totally get that. I’ve been following your daughter too.

      • Kristanna April 28, 2013 at 2:27 am #

        In the complictaed world we live in, it’s good to find simple solutions.

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