My eyes and my heart have been pried wide open.
Post tragedy, I know what it's like. I know how it feels. I know what it feels like to be trapped in a hospital bed and wishing to die because the pain is too much. I know how hard it is now and I can't ignore the fact that it's happening to other people right this second. I've looked into the eyes of sick kids at Primary Children's Hospital. I've experienced what it feels like to be a helpless parent with no hope.
Last year during Colum's Birthday we were in the center of our grief and in the deepest depths of despair we could've ever imagined. Honestly, when I thought of planning the 5k the thought of it deeply overwhelmed me. I knew walking would eventually get easier and crying would become less. I dreaded the thought of celebrating his birthdays without him. But I knew we had to do it. We have had so much outpouring of love and support from people and I can't begin to explain how much relief we were given. A lot of stress, a big one was lifted off of our shoulders. No one could bring him back but they found ways to help us any way they could. I was so shocked. I didn't expect any of it. All of you, every little thing you did was what got us back on our feet. It helped us to not give up. It was beautiful. You've taught me so much. And I am so excited to share the love.
Colum, we are gonna make such a big difference in so many lives! Your birthday is going to be something we look forward to, just like we should. We now empathize with what other people are struggling with and we are going to help a new family every year in your honor...for your birthday baby! We are planning your birthday party.
This year we've chosen to give all the proceeds to the Gunnell family. Shauna sent me an email that I wrote about in this post. Here is the email: