Thursday, August 29, 2013

What To Get The Boy Who Has Given Us Everything...

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!!!

Feel free to share the link!  

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.


  1. Wonderful way to honour your whole family and the hospital et al at the same time. Love the choices for the waiting room. Only one suggestion - let people donate as they wish. If you receive more than you need for this project redirect the funding to another hospital or start a second project or find another foundation to support. I can immediately think of two families who would pay it forward....

  2. This is such a lovely tribute. My family is honored to be able to help you reach your goal for this project.

  3. Love this idea - what a wonderful way to honor both your boys :)

  4. I was excited to see when I went to contribute you have reached and surpassed your goal.

  5. What a beautiful idea! I am so happy to be able to donate!

  6. I could not think of a poignant gift! xox

  7. I have never been so thrilled to give. Absolutely. Gladly. Cheerfully. <3

  8. I am not sure when you will check it, but GoFundMe was at $1,355 at 5:15 a.m. Pretty special.

  9. Checked at 7am EST and you're already at $1,510!! Amazing!

  10. Boy are you going to wake up to a nice surprise. What a wonderful thing to do to honor your superhero and for Brian.

  11. Such a lovely idea and a wonderful way to honour Gavin and Brian. I agree with Grace that you should carry on receiving donations for as long as they come in and help other hospitals or foundations. If people want to give, let them!! :)
    Much love to you and your lovely family, I love reading your blog, even though it has me sobbing sometimes ;) xxx

  12. This is such a great idea and a great way to give back! Just a thought but every time we go to our hospital my children love the magic hands and it is fun for parents too.

  13. You are SUCH an amazing mother to ALL of your children! This is so touching and beautiful. I can't begin to imagine how your heart aches, but somehow you have carried Gavin's spirit and have used it to do GREAT things in his honor. At the same time, you daily teach Brian so many important lessons.

  14. I have to echo what others have said in that what a great way to honor both boys AND help other kids. Great choices in toys!

  15. Congratulation in reaching and exceed the $1.000 goal. Wish you lovely memories every time you visit The Waiting room... Or not, but I know you will be there checking the toys at least ones. Lots of love from Switzerland.

  16. This is lovely. I was taken to Paoli Hospital ER 2 summers ago after I started hemorrhaging 13 days after a hysterectomy. It was terribly scary with an insane amount of blood. My 8 year old daughter had to see it all. I was panicked and crying, scared I was bleeding to death. She was horrified and scared. My husband had to come back to my room to answer questions for me and my daughter waited in the waiting room with one of the sweet staff. They were very caring and kind and stayed with her until my best friend could come and pick her up. How wonderful those toys will be for any kid stuck waiting for someone they love, perhaps taking away some of the anxiety. I will donate as well. This just made me cry - remembering our scary day. Warm hugs to you and yours.

  17. What a wonderful way to honor Gavin and create a friendly space during what can be/is a scary experience for any child.


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