Stan and I wanted to say thank you to the many people who came out over the past two days to support our family. We only wish we were able to spend more time with each of you. If we were unable to speak to you, please know how much your presence meant to us.
We also want to thank those of you who have reached out to us over Facebook, you will never know how much the words of a person unknown to us have comforted us.
We have again been amazed at the outpouring of support and to learn from countless people how much our son meant to you. We have been blessed beyond belief.
We wanted those who were unable to attend to hear the words we wrote for Declan. This is not the end of Declan’s Journey, only a stop off. We plan to continue and our posts will continue again soon. So I’ll leave you now with our heartfelt thanks and our words for Declan. I’ll be back again soon.
Our Dearest Declan,
Your Daddy and I hoped and prayed this day would not come. Please know how much we prayed. We knew from the very beginning you had an uphill battle but we also knew we had to do everything we could to give you the opportunity to live a long life…an opportunity for your miracle. In looking back, maybe just maybe, your miracle was granted on March 26th. The day we were told the chemo “needed to work, it needed to work now, it needed to be magical”… a miracle.
And it worked. It worked so well at one point no tumors were noted in your MRI. A true blessing; but in that blessing was something else…and more likely our miracle, it was time. My dear sweet Declan, we were given 5 more months with you. Oh and what a glorious 5 months it was. We got to hold you, kiss you and love on you, countless more times than if we had chosen to listen to the doctor who had earlier told us to take you home and let you go to heaven. We got to see you create and build bonds which we know will always be with your brothers. …Will reading books to you and of course, always getting you to smile when no one else could …of Brady kissing your port, gently rubbing your head and telling you it would all be ok …of you and Cole, curiously exploring each other’s faces and reaching out to touch each other. True blessings.
So many times since your diagnosis, we wanted to be mad and to a certain degree we are…how could we not be? But then we remember you and how courageously you fought …and your smile; your contagious smile. It always reminded us that we could wallow in self pity, doubt and fear or we could enjoy what it was we have… today. We were given a tremendous gift. We were able to parent an amazing child, you, through your life. I mean, truly be there to support your every move… something I think most Mom’s and Dad’s desire.
Certainly the circumstance is something we would have traded in an instant, we hated to see you hurt but even in those moments, we were able to comfort you and love on you. Do you know you knew nothing but love your whole life? Some hope for love but son, you truly had it …and not just from us. You received it on so many levels …from your brothers, your grandparents, your au pair, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, your nurses and doctors and yes, even strangers. How wonderful it must have been to feel only love.
So we could be mad that you were taken from us so early but again, your Daddy and I are choosing how we behave. And if we had any doubt about how we wanted to act, last night at your wake removed any. My son, your life was not in vain and albeit short, it was filled with so much more than we ever could have imagined for you. Your little life touched more lives than we will probably ever know. Son, you made a difference. Your ability to smile in the face of horrible pain and months of being away from the family that loved you so, made people (including us) stop and reflect on their lives. To look at the world around us, see all the blessings we have been given and maybe for the first time, really and truly appreciate them. YOU did this. You reminded parents what a gift it is to be allowed to be a Mommy or a Daddy. You helped us all slow down and appreciate the little things in life …like the smile of a little boy from Ashburn …and to remember no matter how bad anything in our life seems, if you keep a smile on your face, you can do anything, be anything …even impact a world. We are so grateful to you for all you taught us. We are so proud of you and to be your parents.
You should know we will not let today be the end of your journey, we plan to work tirelessly towards a day when no Mommy or Daddy or Brother has to stand by a coffin and say good-bye to their sweet baby or brother. We will certainly miss you (oh God how we’ll miss you) but your light will shine bright in us and in the countless others who remember and were touched by sweet Declan’s smile.
We love you forever, Declan.