Warrior March

The anesthesiologists came at exactly 6:15. She asked me if there was anything she could do and I said to take note of the time when she turns the ventilator off. She promised.

We all walked Owen down to the operating room. A warrior needs his army when marching on to battle. And that’s just what we did. The nurses silenced as we walked by. Doug walked with his shoulders puffed up. I felt so proud of my son. I could feel the respect from the staff for my little Owen.

I pictured all of Doug’s army men standing along the wall, paying their respects. Samurais and everything.

We walked down to the swinging doors, where we said our goodbyes. One last kiss. One last pat on the head. One last hand hold. There I stood. Waiting for the doors to swing open from someone else coming or going. Sneaking another peak of my little warrior marching on to his last battle.

While I already know he wins this battle, I asked Doug if thought Owen would be scared. He told me of course not. He died in bravery and in strength. Our child completed more in his life than anyone else we know.

Love, Mel


  1. You are warriors too….what an amazing gift you have given this world. I am honored to be reading your words & you’re truly the strongest person I’ve ever “known”

  2. God is giving you amazing grace during this difficult time. Owen is accomplishing more in his young life than most of us do in a several lifetimes.
    The Booth family

  3. Dear Bissings, I do not know you. My heart is saddened by your loss. I have a family member that was blessed by receiving a liver from someone who selflessly gave theirs when their earthly body no longer needed it. The love that you and Owen are sharing is so gracious and beyound what anyone could ever imagine (unless of course they have walked along the same journey that you are). God will continue to bless your family. Owen lives on in your hearts and in God’s Kingdom! My prayers are with you! Amen

  4. Your strength is amazing. Your little warrior is a hero. My prayers will accompany many others on his final earthly victory.

  5. He difinitely won the fight your little warrior is a hero an will live on forever.

  6. May your tender hearts sense a peace in knowing that Owen is safe in the arms of “I AM” until we see him again in heaven.

  7. Mel you don’t know me but I have been following your blog through a friend of yours & mine. I would like to say I am so sorry for your loss. My heart just breaks for you. Your strength is amazing, I honestly don’t think I would be as strong as you are. Thanking for keeping us all updated on your little Owen. Just know that we are all praying for you and your family and especially your little angel Owen.

  8. Mel, your courage and grace continue to overwhelm me. Owen obviously does get his “warrior” spirit from his momma. Thru your words I can actually see you, you and your husband proudly marching your beautiful angel down the hall. He has already won the battle. You are my hero, the strongest mother I have ever “known”.

  9. When I was working as an OT one of my students badly needed a heart transplant. Toward the end of his young life he had to live in the hospital, he was too sick to be cared for at home. His new heart never came and he passed away. Owen is helping a child to live with his heart, another with his liver, and an adult with his kidneys-all answered prayers for those families. Owen was a warrior and fought the good fight. Well done little one! You are so loved by so many! We are so proud of you too!

  10. What an awesome gift you are giving to 3 more families as you are losing your precious little guy. What an impact he and you have already made in the lives of others in such a short time. We have a family here in our community who lost a triplet about 3 years ago- (May 8 to be exact.) He was put down for a nap and was also found unresponsive. His grandmother is a respiratory therapist at our hospital and I work in the maternity unit. I had the honor of going to the ER that night and taking many priceless photos of him and his family, one last time.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you in the days and months ahead. Owen will never be forgotten, especially since he now lives on in others.

  11. My heart is breaking for your loss and your family. I know you dont know me but I have been keeping up with your blog and i feel like i was a part of your family reading the good along with the bad stories. I have twin nephews that have had medical conditions that several time we have thought that we would lose them. Your little warrior has touched my life forever and has done more in his life than alot of people will never be able to do. God bless you and your family

  12. March on, sweet, sweet Owen! Into victory, into God’s arms, and into 3 others who will benefit from your selfless gift to them. I don’t know you, never met you, but you have made me weep the past 5 days like I’ve never wept before. Such a brave soldier and brave family. I lift your family into prayer. The battle is over; the war is won. Owen has truly blessed others in a way that I could only dream to. God bless your family and little Owen.

  13. My heart just aches for you….but because of your wonderful son, 3 people get a new chance at life. I know it doesn’t help or make anything easier, but what a gift..I am the mother of a heart patient..so knowing such a loving heart is going to a child to get a new chance at life makes me cry for the loss of your beautiful son, but also the parents getting a second chance for their sweet child.

  14. Words fail me. My heart is breaking for you. Your strength and your faith are a blessing that will see you through this unimaginable loss. I’ve cried reading your blog over the last several days but sobbed tonight reading of your last moments with Owen and yet was comforted by your strength. I lost a friend this week who fought so hard but new lungs never came. Thank you for sharing Owen so that 3 others may heal and grow. Thank you for sharing Owen with all of us who will never know him but feel as though we did. Please continue with your story. We are here to listen to your anger, rage and inappropriate humor. We want to hear about the boys as they grow. Your little warrior has won his war.

  15. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I am simply and profoundly heartbroken for you and your husband. I found your blog yesterday after seeing a link on Jennandtonica’s blog. You are an amazing mother, and I can only hope to have half the strength you have if I am ever blessed with children of my own. You’re amazing, and though you’ll feel weakness, please know that you are inspiring. Owen left us too soon, but his love will give new hope and life, and he is lucky to have you in his army.

  16. You are all in my heart tonight. Words can not express how much i feel for you all. Thank you forsharing this part of your lifes journey and Owens special gift with the world. xo

  17. I am crying, even though we are strangers and I just found this blog a few days ago. God be with you tonight, tomorrow, in the coming days and weeks and months. Praying for your comfort and continued strength.

  18. Hi Mel and Doug- I am a friend of Sarah B in MN. My heart and prayers go out to you in this very hard time. I can’t even imagine your pain but I know God is with you in this time and I pray you feel “the peace that passes all understanding” He alone can give.
    When time allows, please read “Heaven is for Real”. It only takes about 2 hours and will give you a real glimpse of heaven and how wonderful it is. It is the true story of a 3 year old who was near death and spent a bit of time in heaven and when he survived his illness, could recall all he saw and heard in heaven. It will give you peace to read it.
    I leave you with a sweet old hymn that I learned as a child and I pray it brings you comfort knowing Owen is in the arms of Jesus.

    I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb
    Hymn Lyrics

    I am Jesus’ little lamb,
    Ever glad at heart I am;
    For my Shepherd gently guides me,
    Knows my need, and well provides me,
    Loves me every day the same,
    Even calls me by my name.

    Day by day, at home, away,
    Jesus is my Staff and Stay.
    When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,
    Into pleasant pastures leads me;
    When I thirst, He bids me go
    Where the quiet waters flow.

    Who so happy as I am,
    Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?
    And when my short life is ended,
    By His angel host attended,
    He shall fold me to His breast,
    There within His arms to rest.

    love and prayers to you all

  19. You do not know me but I too have been following your blog the last few days since this tragedy occurred. Your faith is inspiring. I recently lost someone I was very close to and found myself drifting from God and feeling angry towards Him. You have shown me how to grieve with God by your side instead of by pushing him away. I can feel Him closer already. Thank you for that. I can not imagine the pain, shock and anger you feel now. I do not know how one heals after losing a child, but I know you will. It well definitely leave a scar, but you and your family will heal. Owen is a hero and will forever be remembered for his gifts of life and second chances. My heart aches for you Mel. Prayers and thoughts for you all. <3

  20. I’m so sorry for your loss. I came to lurk at your blog today, 1st time too, and never expected to feel so much for someone I’ve never met. My prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family.

  21. Dear Mel-
    Your Owen did more in his short time on earth than most people do in a full life of 50+years.
    He will still be touching lives long after you or I are gone.
    The person who got different things that were donated got a new lease on their life. There is a mother somewhere who was waiting to say goodbye to her child because someone told her it was unlikely that someone that small would be donating. OWEN LIVES!!! I wont need my earthly body in Heaven either and I plan on donating too. I hope you find peace & cherish your remaining trips sibs. (I WOULD KEEP THE TRIP STROLLER) cause hes still in spirit right with yall. Dont stop blogging You never kno who it touches.

  22. Thank you for your wonderful gifts to help others. I hope donation gives you comfort through this terrible loss. Know that the families receiving these wonderful gifts from Owen and your family are praying for Owen and you and will always have you in their thoughts and prayers. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you.

  23. Hi Mel,
    I recently started following your blog ~ the link was sent to me by my sister who works with your mom, along with a request for prayer. Also, another one of my sisters knows you from SNC (Anne Johnson). Don’t know if you will even read this, but ever since I learned about your story, whenever I have been praying for you and your family, a song has been running through my head and I keep thinking maybe I am supposed to send it to you. In my worst moments, it is often music that makes me feel closest to God and my prayer is that He will feel closer than ever to you today. Though I am guessing you would trade all the glory you are bringing God with your show of faith for just one more day with Owen, please know that you are changing lives ~ you have already changed mine.

    In case this youtube link doesn’t work, the song is called “Desert Song” by Hillsong United. May God meet you today in the desert.


    Blessings, Becky

  24. I am so sorry for your loss. You are such an amazing person and a wonderful mother. I just found your blog a few days ago, and my heart has been breaking reading what you have had to go through. My mother lost my oldest brother Patrick at 3 months to SIDS 33 years ago yesterday. I was thinking of Owen all day yesterday and then when I spoke with my mom I realized it was Patrick’s anniversary. I said a prayer for my big brother is going to look out for Owen in heaven. Hugs to you. xxoo K

  25. God bless you and Doug. My heart feels like it I going to crumble from reading this. You are amazing and I can’t wait to give you a hug. Owen is my super hero angel and it’s no wonder…he has a super mama.

  26. I found your post through a friend and would love to talk. We just lost our two month old on April, 10th. It was the hardest time of my life to say our final goodbye. I added you on FB my name is krista and josh low if you would like to talk send me a message, God bless you and your family.

  27. So proud of your whole family…I have never seen such unselfish thoughts and actions. God Bless you all!

  28. You are the strongest family! I can not imagine having your strength through these events. I have come to love your family even though I do not know you I feel like I have been in your lives for years. You will always hold a special place in my heart and every time I hear the name Owen I will remember your brave little warrior. All Gods love and blessing from our family to yours!

  29. I find it quite ironic that I have absolutely no words to adequately express my condolences and yet here you are with absolutely every perfect word in place. I pray for peace and comfort to find you while you grieve. Owen, Angel, you and your family have inspired me beyond measure.

  30. I just don’t have a clue what one says in times like this. I only recently found your blog and wanted to let you know that I am praying for your family. Your love, your strength, your Owen… They all shine through in this very special blog.

  31. What a brave family you all are. Strength clearly lives on in each of you – Owen’s gift is going to help so many people and so many other little (and big) warriors! What a wonderful blessing you have made this. Your courage through this is incredible and while it will be hard as the loss of a child always is there is no doubt that you will continue on and make good of his fight! As parents and family you will be faced with long days ahead of you – keep the light on always for Owen.

  32. Amen, Amen, and Amen! Its not only a word that ends a prayer, but a statement of agreement. Mel, dont be afraid of silence or the quiet times. Its in those lonely moments that you may catch the sound of his voice and footsteps running through the house. Watch your babies too…maybe they can see things that we cant. One grand and glorious new day you will hold him again…until that day comes, he will be waiting in heavens playground.

  33. Dear Owen, Little Warrior:
    I was blessed by the generous donation of a family’s loss when I was 17 years old. I never was able to thank the family. Because of the love and kindness in donation, I was able to walk, deliver seven children (including triplets), run with my babies, dance with my adult children as they move on through life. Because of that brave loving donation, I am now able to swoop my granddaughter off of her feet and twirl her around until we’re both dizzy. Part of that loving donation lives on through me and I never forget how grateful I am and how much my life has been enriched by that. I never knew the name of the donator. But his/her gift has never been forgotten. The gift that was Owen in life to you will be a gift that will go on to change the lives of many. On behalf of all of them, thank you. I feel your love today in my leg, as surely as if Owen were a part of my leg (rather than the anonymous donation). I feel Owen’s fight and grieve for your loss and rejoice that he will live on and help others do great things.

  34. Mel,
    We’ve been praying. We’re still praying. We will not stop praying.
    You and Doug are amazing. Your strength, ability to make decisions and cope with this awful thing that has happened is incredible. Owen IS a blessing. He will always be a member of your family. You will continue to honor his memory and make an impact in the world for him as you raise his brothers and tell his story.
    God is with you. Grief is HARD WORK. You and Doug and the boys may not “be on the same page” as each other during the process. Know that, no matter how and when you each experience the emotions of grief, you all loved Owen well. You helped him fulfill a much higher purpose than anyone could have imagined when you first heard the words, “there’s baby a, baby b, baby c…”

  35. As many before me I have never met your family but stand back in total amazement at your courage and faith. Being a mother myself my heart is breaking for your loss. Would I have the strength to go on as you must to care for your family…moms are needed every single minute of every single day. Your writings have brought me to tears every day and I pray for you and your family every night to find some comfort in the knowledge of all the families your little boy has impacted….to be so generous at such a horrific time I wish I would have known you. May God shine upon you and lighten your burden….you have the prayers of so many people helping you along.
    You will continue to be in my families prayers every day…GOD BLESS YOU!!

  36. You are so, so strong. May God continue to give you His strength and peace during this time. The following song came to mind as I read your post.

    Blessed Be Your Name

    In the land that is plentiful
    Where Your streams of abundance flow
    Blessed be Your name

    Blessed Be Your name
    When I’m found in the desert place
    Though I walk through the wilderness
    Blessed Be Your name

    Every blessing You pour out
    I’ll turn back to praise
    When the darkness closes in, Lord
    Still I will say

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Blessed be Your name
    When the sun’s shining down on me
    When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
    Blessed be Your name

    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there’s pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name

    Every blessing You pour out
    I’ll turn back to praise
    When the darkness closes in, Lord
    Still I will say

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

  37. Again, I say your strenght and courage amazes me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and your family, and that sweet warrior Owen. What an amazing gift he is sharing with 3 other people. I can only hope that these people feel the strenght of Owen inside of them from here on out, and to know the impact that Owen has had on this world in the short time he was here.

    Owen is indeed a warrior, and such a selfless little guy. May your family find strength in the days, weeks and months that follow, and know that the light will always be on.

  38. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world. I found your blog through a link on another blog and have truly been touched by your strength and faith in this time of deep sadness in your life. I don’t believe that you and I share the same religion, but I can tell through your words that we share the same faith in a loving God who is watching over us and helping us in our trials. Your faith has strengthened my faith. Thank you.

    I know that your little warrior will live on, through the precious gifts he has given others, and through the strength you have gained in this trial. And because of my faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I know that your beautiful baby will live on with our Lord and Redeemer. Death is never the end but only the beginning of a new chapter and we can and will see our loved ones again. Our families will be together forever.

    Thank you again for sharing your strength and faith through your blog. May the Lord continue to bring you and your family peace.

  39. Mel – I have been following your story since this tragedy happened, and I am amazed by the strength and faith that you and your family have. I am so incredibly heartbroken for your family, and I cannot even imagine what you are feeling at this point. Owen is indeed your little warrior, and he has accomplished in his short life more than some people ever will. Reading your blog, and seeing your faith has indeed strengthened my relationship with Christ. I am constantly thinking of you and your family, sending prayers and strength to get you all through this. You have touched so many while sharing your story on the Miracle Marathon. Carol read your blog yesterday on air.. I heard it while in the car and I had tears in my eyes. The gift you guys are giving is beyond what words I can even express. Sending lots of love your way.

  40. You are a family of warriors….I am so very sorry it came to this but I am amazed and grateful for your strength, and bless little Owen for giving life to others.

  41. Not sure I can add anything that is worthy, but I have been following your story every day and shared the link on facebook. You have been and will continue to be in our prayers. Motherhood has taught me to be selfless and you and Owen have been that for three people who will be blessed by your gift. My son Dillon who is One years old was found in his crib coughing and struggling to breath, thankfully he is a healthy happy boy today. The doctors all agree he choked on acid reflux. That experience was traumatic so I cannot imagine how you are feeling,but God can and I pray he is holding you and your family tight as you walk through this journey

    This song has blessed me in hard times, hope it does the same for you. I hope the link works if not(Sidewalk prophets;the words I would say.

  42. Melissa, Doug and boys – I work with your mom, Melissa. She is such a proud mom and grandma and I cannot imagine how difficult, confusing and painful this situation is for all of you. Your family and all you have been through has been weighing heavy on my heart all week. I have prayed for you and Owen often. I am amazed by your faith and grace and flat out honesty with all you have had to deal with. I am also a mom of multiples and my heart breaks for you just thinking of one of your “group” being gone. Owen proved to be triumphant in his passing and he will not only live on in your hearts and memories, but also within the three people he has helped to live. I pray that your family is surrounded by a peace and calmness that only God can provide and that you feel Owen’s presence, warmth and love always.

  43. I’m so sorry for your loss. Bless you for thinking of others and donating his organs. Do you know anything about the recipients? Our family received a organ, we are so unbelievably thankful to the family. You have given a beautiful gift, in such painfully sad time for your family. I just want to say thank you. You have made believers out of non and restored faith in alot of people with your incredible gift. Thank you so much!

  44. First I would like to say how very sorry I am for your loss! Ever since I heard about your story, through a friend of yours as well as a post on facebook, I prayed and hoped that the outcome would be very different. However, God sometimes has different plans that us. I was working last night at the hospital and saw how very strong you, Doug and your family were. The strength and courage it took yesterday as well as the past week is beyond words. Mel, you are an inspiration to any person that comes in contact with you or your story. I know that your words on this blog throughout the whole experience as well as what the future holds will have an everlasting affect on others. Owen will live on in 3 other families and in many other ways. I know the future holds many great things in Owen’s name and I know just by your blogs that you will make sure of it. You have every right to feel just the way you do, and I hope things get easier for you and your family in the near future. Your faith will pull you through this to make you an even stronger person than you already are.

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