Sunday, March 15, 2009

Connor and Eli- Best Buds 4-Eva

My friend Mandy grew up a few hours from the place I grew up. But we didn't meet then. She was just one town away from where my husband grew up. But they never met, either. We never met, in our entire lives, until I moved away to Florida and had babies, one of whom died, and started a blog. She ran across Seth's blog...I can't remember how, anymore, and she emailed me. She had a baby, too. Not only that, but he'd also died. We were both in the club. But it was even stranger than that...our boys shared a birthday, one year apart.

We started writing back and forth, and the things she wrote, I could remember thinking and feeling them all myself. It was overwhelming and so awesome to be able to be a part of her healing process and to be able to talk with someone who totally understood when I said "This sucks!" Her little boy's name is Connor, and he died just 71 minutes after he was born, due to a completely preventable condition called Vasa Previa.

She decided to hold a 5K in honor of Connor and to put all of the proceeds towards the Vasa Previa foundation, and the 5K is going to be run on Connor and Eli's birthdays! Even though we won't be there in person, Mandy knew we wanted to represent no matter where we were, and I was thrilled to open my mailbox yesterday and receive our very own race shirts with Connor's very own footprints on them!

Ava has been rocking hers (yes, she used the word "rockin'" along with a totally rockin' gesture) continuously since then. Church, picnic, grocery store...she's spreading the word down here in the south in her used car salesman-ish way!
Ava signs "I really love you!"
We will spread the word for Connor even more on he and Eli's shared birthday, when we wear Connor's shirts on the busy streets of New York. We have been given the opportunity to go again this year to celebrate Eli's birthday, and I am so flipping excited, I can't even tell you. The streets of that amazing City really are my little boy to me in so many ways. Even though Eli never went to NYC, the week we spent there immediately following his birth was such a blessing to us...I feel as though I catch a glimpse of him around every corner, the baby he was in the arms of someone walking down the steps, the boy he could have been running ahead of his father in the park, the man I wish I'd gotten a chance to know stopping to help us down the subway stairs...each one bringing me joy and pain all mixed together. Our visits to New York mean so much to us, and I am thrilled to be celebrating his second birthday there in a couple of weeks. Magnolia Bakery, here we come!


Anonymous said...

Wow. It's amazing what God does in our lives. Thanks for sharing this story.

Julie said...

How amazing that you met through your blogs! What cute shirts!

Mandy & Jeremy Hall said...

The shirts look great!!!! I can't wait to see a family picture with you ALL Sporting your shirts!!! :) I was SO excited to read this!!!
Take care!!
Much love!

Kameron said...

We will be flying to California on zhis birthday so I will keep him and you in my thoughts that day!! Enjoy your trip to NY. I love going there. It is less than a 3 hour drive for us so we like to make a day trip out of it. :o)

Madison Sanders said...

How great is that!? It's wonderful to be talking to someone who KNOWS what you're going/been through.

The shirts are precious.

Anonymous said...

Everything happens for a reason, and God leads you to where you should be when at times you don't know where to start. I am so happy that you are able to take part on such a wonderful event.

I can't believe you're going to New York! This is going to be so incredibly great. Though painful but reminiscent, Eli's presence does not go unnoticed

(this is a late comment, I KNOW!! Horrible me! LOL)

God bless your beautiful family and thank you for being such a motivational and inspirational person. God lead me to your blog, and through you (and so many people who share your story) it has lead me to Him. So Thank You!

4 Lettre Words said...

I can't get past that it's Connor's mom, Mandy! I've cried with her and am sooooo excited, now.

What a cool world!

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