Exactly one month from today - on September 29th - we will mark Gavin's sixth birthday. The first birthday without him. Ed and I are not looking forward to it.
Gavin was always very easy to please. Put him in a room with something that plays music or lights up and he was happy. Put him in a room with Brian, his beloved little brother? He was even happier. He loved Brian so much.
I want so badly to do something special - something permanent - to honor Gavin's birthday. I had so many ideas swirling around in my head and I kept coming back to Brian. I am hoping that Gavin is watching me from Heaven and feeling so pleased that his brother was the inspiration for this birthday project.
None of us knew that the last time we would see Gavin smile... watch him play with toys in the playroom with Brian... hear him laugh... would be on the morning of April 10th, 2013. It is a miracle that I decided to take Gavin to the emergency room that afternoon - not even thinking that we were dealing with anything close to a real emergency. And it was a HUGE blessing that Miss Sara was with me so she could bring Brian into the waiting room. We couldn't have known that this would be one of the most traumatic days of Brian's life.
Since that day, Brian has consistently reminded me of one very important fact:
"Mama, remember that little room in the hospital when Gavin got sick? It didn't have enough toys."
Lucky for Brian, he had Miss Sara to occupy him. But she was very stressed, too. Brian has showed us the importance of toys to help children (and the adults that are with them) through very stressful times. And that is when it came to me...
We will re-do the children's waiting room at Paoli Hospital for Gavin's birthday.
I've been working on this behind the scenes for a little while now. I went to the hospital to meet with the nurse manager in the E.R. to look at the room (and Brian was definitely right about the lack of toys!) - and I have been working with the hospital to be sure that the items I chose met with their safety and infectious disease protocols. I am so excited to make this a reality.
These are the items I have chosen...
I chose several of these items with Gavin and Brian in mind. Like the Sea Life Table and Pathfinder Panels - we all know how much Gavin loved the ocean. And the Springtime mirrors. I chose them to honor the Spring day that we lost Gavin... and were introduced to Hope. Brian loves mirrors - and I figured they would be great for infants and toddlers in the waiting room, too.
This is the hospital where Gavin was born and spent the first month of his life... the hospital where Brian was born and where he will meet his sister, Hope, this December. If I can make this a true reality, there will be a permanent plaque on the wall saying that this children's waiting room was made possible by our family and the Chasing Rainbows community in memory of Gavin and in honor of his little brother, Brian. Our hope is that as Brian gets older and understands more, he will realize that we heard him that day... that we cared about him that day... and we did something about it. We hope that as he grows up, he will be proud that there is a lasting legacy that he helped inspire... and, because of that, other children will find a little joy in that Emergency Room because of him.
Ed and I have contributed $600 to the project. $1,000 more will get us everything on my list. I would love to invite you to this "birthday party" by contributing $1.00 - $5.00 - $10.00 - or more. I chose to use "GoFundMe" in order to keep my PayPal account strictly dedicated to Gavin's Trust Project. If you click the link below, you can see the fundraising page and watch the donations as they come in (hopefully!). Or, you can click the badge with Gavin's photo at the top right side of this blog.
UPDATE!!! I never expected this, but through the middle of the night I not only met - but surpassed! - my $1,000 goal!! I thought asking for $1,000 was asking for a lot. I have decided to let the donations keep coming and use the money for MORE toys and the personalized plaque for the wall. I couldn't do all of this without you! Thank you to those who have donated already - who will donate - and even those who merely support us with your kind words and encouragement. Each gift is SO generous!! Thank you!!!
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The Chasing Rainbows community has proven that tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean.
Let's create an ocean for our little Superhero's birthday.