"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Part 2: "The Clothes"

A lot of people dress their loved ones in their Sunday best when they bury them.  When it came time to choose what Rowan would be buried in, we didn't hesitate for a moment to decide.  It was his Sunday best too...but not what you might expect:)

If you knew Rowan, or ever cared for him in the hospital, then you know what he called Sunday.  It was his favorite day of the week, and he happily referred to it as "Shorty Short Sunday".  When Rowan was at home, there were no doctor appointments on Sunday, no clinic visits, no soccer, no play practice.  Sunday's he got to stay at home and "chillax" in his shorty shorts, his favorite Calvin Klein trunks.  He had every color imaginable, but his hot pink ones were usually reserved for Sunday.  The whole time we were in the hospital in Seattle, Rowan continued this tradition.  Asking me for his pink, fuschia or silky red Calvin Kleins every Sunday.  The nurses all adored this.

Rowan was also known for his big fluffy robes and light up slippers.  Zoe gave him the slippers for his 10th birthday, the day before he got admitted to begin chemo for his first transplant.  He LOVED them!  His favorite thing was to kick them off and try to see how far across the room he could send them, once he got back from a walk down the hall. 

The robes, he had several...red plaid, green plaid with a hood, bright green, and his favorite color, bright orange.  Every night at 10:00 pm while he was in the Cancer Care Unit at Seattle Children's (prior to moving down to ICU), Rowan would put on his fluffy robe and light up slippers, and push his ginormous IV pole down to the tub room for his bath.  The nurses all looked forward to it.  We joked that he looked like Hugh Heffner.  We had planned to buy a pair of adult size light up slippers, just like Rowan's, and raffle them off to give one of the nurses.  Rowan said the raffle tickets would be free of course.

Since he was a few weeks old, Rowan has used silky blankets to comfort him.  He had probably 20 or more of these satin on one side blankets.  If a nurse ever covered Rowan up, but laid one of his blankets with the warm fuzzy side down, he would gently clear his throat and point at it, saying "silky side down please".  It didn't take long to learn how he liked things.  As he grew older, the silkies didn't quite cover him, so I started sewing two of his old silky baby blankets together...they were the perfect size that way.  A dear friend (Thank you Becca) made one for him several years ago and embroidered his name on it on one corner, with the saying "Keep looking up, cuz that's where it all is" in the middle.  That was Kidd Kraddick's sign-off and well, you all know how much Rowan loved being a Kidd's Kid and raising money for the charity.  This particular silky was bright orange satin on one side, so it was obviously one of Rowan's favorites.

Finally, if you ever cared for him, during the first 10 years at Methodist Children's Hospital, or the final 6 months at Seattle Children's Hospital, you know what he loved to have in his hand at all times when he was sick in the hospital...his wubby.  They were his original pacifiers, with the little stuffed animals attached to them.  He had about 20 of those too.  He kept them for over 10 years.  He named them when he was little, so they were simply named: "green frog, yellow duck, black cat, blue horse, brown dog, blue bear, red dragon, etc..."  We started cutting the silicone nipple part off before he turned two, because he still loved holding them but was getting too old to have pacifiers.  For ten plus years, those wubbys were a source of great comfort to him.  I would give him a different one every 2 days so I could wash them, but his favorites for sure were OG Green frog: "original green frog", and his back up green frog: "green frog junior".  Green frog jr. was the last one he held in his hand before he passed.

So, when it came time to choose clothes and belongings to take to the mortuary, to have Rowan buried in...the choice was easy... his silky shorty shorts, orange fluffy robe, light up slippers, orange silky blanket and green frog jr. wubby.

But. putting all of those favorite items in a cardboard box, and dropping them off at a mortuary...that part was not easy, not by a long shot...

I love you and I miss you Rowan.

I've had 28 days without you...
but you've had 28 days with Jesus...


  1. This is such a beautiful way to honour your son. You'll always remember him for the caring son he was and how much he loved you and everyone he ever met. I can't imagine how your heart can be broken and so full of love at the same time.

  2. Amazing choice. I'm sure Rowan is pleased. Iove Rowan and I also love you, Carrie

  3. Continued prayers for peace and comfort . I can't wait to read the book. I definitely feel your pain. My son drowned at 14 yrs old . It took 4 days for his body to float to shore. Burying a child is one of the hardest things a parent has to go through. Your son touched many lives a very extraordinary young boy. We all will miss him .

  4. What a loving tribute and endearing memory.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Carrie! Always remember he's always with you! <3

  6. Thank you for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about how pleased Rowan would have been with everything you picked out. It must have been an easy choice because you knew exactly what he would like!

  7. Perfect choices! I love that he was dressed in everything that have him comfort here with Jesus and all of you and his friends in his heart.
    As I read this, the song that came on my radio is "It Is Well With My Soul." Prayers for comfort for your family's heart and soul. You are loved!

  8. Sherry Chesky Creed BeyerJanuary 12, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    My prayers are still with you. Thank you for sharing the story of your remarkable son.

  9. I am so very sorry for the loss you have endured the pain will never go away you will just learn to live with it with each passing day. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow.