Our son Rowan left this world December 15th, 2016 at the age of ten years old. In those 10 years, he spent a third of his life in the hospital including his last 6 months, as he went through 2 bone marrow transplants in a row. He taught us so many lessons through his life long battle though. He was tough as nails, with a heart of gold, and the faith of 100 men combined. Not a day went by that he didn't say "I love my life!" And he truly meant it.
"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175
Saturday, July 1, 2017
In Memory of Rowan's 11th Birthday ...
July used to be one of my favorite months. Not anymore. Today is an extremely difficult day for me. July 1st. This is the day last year, that Rowan and I loaded up the car for our grand adventure to Seattle for his transplant. We spent 5 days together driving through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. We enjoyed the views, blew bubbles in every state we entered, stayed at some amazing places (including Big Foot Bed & Breakfast!), listened to lots of music and movies, laughed, checked a few items off of his bucket list, talked about taking a different route home so we could see even more sites, etc. He was so excited...so was I. It was one of the best times of my life. But, I had no idea it would be our last road trip together... our last grand adventure.
Now July just brings me to tears. My birthday is July 15th, I don't want to celebrate it without him. Rowan's birthday is July 21st, he would be turning 11 this year. He wanted an Army party for his 11th birthday. More tears...
As difficult as this month is going to be, as much as I wish I could sleep the entire month of July away, I can't...and I know Rowan wouldn't want me to either. I may cry all day today, and maybe even every day this month, but I also want to try to find a way to honor his beautiful spirit and memory. Rowan would want me to do that. He would want me to "make the good", I know it.
So, in memory of our sweet boy, Rowan, I plan to donate some special new toys, games and books to Methodist Children's Hospital on his birthday this year. Rowan would like that. Included in this post is an Amazon Wish List, titled "In Memory of Rowan's 11th Birthday". If you feel led to do so, you can choose an item from this list, purchase it from the wish list, in Rowan's memory, and it will be delivered to my friend Lorraine and I. We will gather the items, I'll purchase some more myself too, and we will deliver them to the hospital the week of his birthday. It is the best way we could think to still "celebrate", by giving back to others. I chose items that Rowan loved over the years, and that kept him busy during his many hospitalizations: hippos, art, legos, playdoh, soccer, cooking/play food, joke books, etc. You also have the option of purchasing Amazon egift cards of various denominations, and we will find out if there are specific things the Child Life Department is in need of at this time.
If you would like to purchase an Amazon gift in memory of Rowan's 11th birthday, please click HERE.
All gifts will be donated to Methodist Children's Hospital Child Life Department in San Antonio, in memory of Rowan's 11th birthday.
Last year on his 10th birthday, Rowan underwent his 81st surgery, and had his new line, a double lumen central line, placed at Seattle Children's Hospital. Then, we took the ferry back to Bremerton, met up with the rest of the family and our dear friends, played a game of croquet (Rowan's wish:), and he opened his presents.
The following morning, he was admitted to begin chemo in preparation for his transplant. It was a whirlwind birthday. But he was all smiles...ALL SMILES, as always.
Rowan never left the hospital again...
Thank you for helping us celebrate his life, keeping his generous spirit and memory alive.
***If you are unable to participate in this gift registry for the hospital, please do not worry. Other ways you can honor him on July 21st, 2017 are by wearing your Rally for Rowan shirts, blowing bubbles (his favorite), or donating blood or platelets in his memory at your local blood bank. Please post pictures of yourself doing one of those things on the Rally for Rowan Facebook page that day. We would love to see the good, happening all over!