As you know, last week we celebrated Gavin's birthday. It was the first year we really didn't do much. I think we were all pretty down in the dumps. Going to bed that night, I was feeling pretty crummy for not writing a blog post - or doing anything "grand" to mark what would have been his eighth birthday. Ed and I were sitting in bed just about to turn off the light when I opened up my Facebook page and saw something unbelievable. I burst into tears and passed my iPad over to Ed. We stared in disbelief that a group of people would go so, so out of their way to remember Gavin.
It all started with a Mom from an online "playgroup" I belonged to from the time Gavin was born up until shortly after his death. It got a little tough for me to read about the kids his age and what they were up to, so I bowed out of the group. Those women (and their children) are still a big part of my life - and they continue to be there... and remember Gavin in the most exceptional ways.
Grab a tissue and read on to see what they came together to do for us... and be sure to look closely at each photo to see what they're holding...
In honor of our favorite little super hero Gavin, who would have been 8 years old today.
The mamas of our playgroup and several strangers came together today to celebrate Gavin. I knew when I saw this picture of him sitting proudly in his fire truck, aptly numbered 8, that I wanted to do a fire related 8 theme. Some brought dinner, ice cream or candy to the fire fighters and asked them to take a picture with Gavin. Still others performed random acts of kindness in his name today. Happy 8th birthday, Gavin! We love you, buddy!
Station 76 in Melbourne, FL
A shift at Station 8, Joliet, IL
Station 8 in Nashville, TN
Squad 8 in Naperville, IL
Woodsboro, MD Department 16
Engine 8 crew of Lexington, KY
Southward Fire Department in Howell, NJ
And finally, the fire fighters from Phoenixville, PA, Gavin's home town.
Thank you to Kelly Rogina for putting all of this together. She shared with me that this idea came to her LAST YEAR!! It is so humbling to think that anyone would not only think of doing this - but would remember this for an entire year. I have a hard time remembering last week... and I'm not even kidding.
It is also humbling how many people still think of Gavin and care about him so much. He really was such a special child. From daily emails I receive telling me how Gavin's journey has touched someone... to events like the one held over the Summer in Ocean City, NJ, at Gillian's Wonderland Pier that raised $1,862.50 for Gavin's Trust Project... we feel very lucky, indeed. To know that your son's life meant something is wonderful. To realize that your son's life continues to mean something to so many? There are no words.
Thank you to the Moms and the families and the firefighters that participated in this special "Eighth Birthday project."
And thank you to all of you for caring about our little family.