Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A True Super Hero

Braeden "Super Bub"

The planet lost another great super hero on Saturday when Braeden, aka "Super Bub", passed away, just a few weeks shy of his fourth birthday.

Braeden is the son of one of my dearest high school friends, Dawn, who I just recently reconnected with through Facebook. He battled Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer I'd heard of before, but did not really know much about. From what Dawn has told me, Neuroblastoma is the most common form of cancer found in infants, and occurs in children typically around age two. There is no known cure, and every 16 hours, a child with Neuroblastoma dies.

I never met Braeden, but felt as if I knew him through all of the wonderful pictures and stories Dawn posted on Facebook and on his Carepages blog. I quickly learned that he loved blue "slushies", Cars characters, tools, fire trucks and trains, and that one of his favorite things to do was roast "mono monos" (marshmallows) with his family over the "wiya pit" (fire pit).

Braeden's sticky fingers from the "mono monos"

I "introduced" my own girls to Braeden by showing them his pictures, telling them of his illness, and we prayed so hard for him everyday. My girls even drew him pictures and talked about him as if he lived next door. I know that they were touched by his life and felt a connection to him.

When Dawn posted of his passing, I was afraid to tell my girls. We were in the middle of a fun weekend with family in town and I didn't want to make them sad. Kiki especially worried about him and frequently asked me how he was doing. She wanted to know if our prayers were working, if he was getting better. So I knew when I told her she'd be crushed. I was right. Kiki asked about him again last night and I told her that he had died, but that he no longer felt any pain. He was happy now and looking at her from up above. She smiled and looked up and said "I love you". It took all of the strength I had to hold back the tears.

This morning when Kiki woke up she said wanted to honor Braeden today by wearing blue clothes because "Braeden liked blue slushies." So we all proudly wore blue. We also talked about planting some perennial flowers and making a "hope" garden for Braeden, and for all of the other children who have died too soon. Kiki also drew a picture of Braeden and his family to send to them:

Kiki said that Braeden is an angel now and will be forever with his family, watching over them and "taking care of them."

Braeden, we didn't know you personally, but we loved you so much. You touched our lives and we will forever be thankful for that. We know the world is a better place since you were a part of it. We are sad you are gone from us now, but we know you are no longer in pain and that gives us comfort. We will continue to fight for a cure.

**Donations can be made in Braeden's memory to www.nbhope.org or www.lunchforlife.org

1 comment:

Kasey said...

I love this picture. You definitely should frame this one.
Children are so special and pick up on pain and sadness so well. So sweet. So sweet.