Owen’s Memorial – First Draft

I’m really excited about a few of the fundraisers we currently have going on.  But I think I owe a little more insight on where Doug and I would like to go with Owen’s Memorial.

Recently, Doug and I spoke very briefly with a lawyer about our plans.  Here’s a little sneak peek into where we’d like to take this OWENGE project!  I’m really excited to finally put some of this into words 🙂

One of the main things we took comfort in through this journey was hope.  Living in the 2%.  Focusing on the good that came out of this rather than the terrible, horrible reality of Owen dying.  We found Owen’s story constantly branching out and reaching more and more people.  It started with the blog, then his story started spreading overseas.  Owen donated his organs (heart, liver & kidney).  His kidney went to research.  It’s possible that not just one life was saved from his one organ (ok, technically he gave both of his kidneys but you know what I mean), but many lives were saved as doctors learn and continue to improve their medical transplant knowledge.  We find ourselves always finding and hearing of more and more good that is connected to our Owen.

Doug and I want to keep the “good” ball rolling.  So … we’d like to set up at charitable trust foundation that would support “doing good.”  I know there are so many times that I want to help someone, but I just don’t have the funds to do so.  Repaint a community park.  Buy a car for someone who deserves another chance and needs a little help getting on their feet.  Or maybe a donation to a ’cause’ in memory of someone.  Whatever the act, Owen’s memorial would help with this.  The hope is that people like you would share your story, what/who you’d like to help.  Then you’d receive a grant from Owen’s fund to help with “angel” expenses (the cost of the service project).  I fantasize about grants being given to “warriors” all over the US. Perhaps it’s self-indulgent, but it makes me smile.  Makes my heart beat a happy beat.  Gets me motivated to help others in spite of my own pain.  I pray that Owen’s Memorial will help answer someone else’s prayer.

Owen’s story has answered so many prayers and proved to be a blessing/miracle to many.  Two families rejoiced when they got the call that there was an organ for their sick child.  Moms and dads are more thankful for their kids.  A big sister wrote that her mom asked her to read Owen’s story when she was complaining about her baby brother.  She values her little brother more today.  No matter how big or how small, his story is living on.  His story is doing God’s work.

I’ve been thinking of a name for this fund/organization/memorial/movement.  Perhaps Owenge Warriors?  I just love the word warrior.  It screams dignity and honor.  It tells a story of battles, blood, loss and victory.  Owen fought for his life for five days.  His story is a reminder of victory into everlasting life.  Hope.  The fund would provide the means for other warriors out there.  Those who are fighting to make a difference.  Fighting to be a warrior of God.  A warrior of good.

We need to work out more of the details of how this would really work.  We need to write a mission statement.  It’s more of a general concept – our first draft if you will.  I hope it does Owen proud.  I hope it’s a cause you feel passionate about or feel connected to.  Maybe you’ll be a OWENGE warrior someday.  Or maybe you already are.  Maybe Owen’s warriors are already fighting.

When I get really sad or angry I think about the good this fund has the possibility of doing.  I think about the girl who has a heart.  About the girl who received more time.  I think of all the prayers that have been and are being said for my Owen and my other boys.  I try to remember grace, forgiveness, understanding, compassion.

Everyone has a story.  It’s true that I have sad chapters in my story.  When I get angry, I try to remember that others might have hidden sad chapters too.  How do I want my ugly chapters to be treated?  With respect.  Don’t undermine them, don’t focus only on them … but respect them.  Learn from them.  Honor your pain.  Through your pain you learn the most about yourself.  Hold it close to your heart, but don’t let it consume you.

I’m planting my pain and sadness and hoping a field of OWENGE warriors bloom!

Love, Mel


  1. Absolutely a wonderful idea. Don’t think you have worry about Owen not being proud of this. Of course he is. He has a strong family, which has come up with a way to help others, even with all the pain they’re in. You’re very inspiring. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

  2. Owen is PROUD of you and your strength! Now you must think of his brothers that are left behind, I know you know to a point the pain they feel. Never ever will they forget their lost brother, neither will the rest of us! ( orange and purple scooters!) I really have a hard time saying this to you because hopefully, I will never experience losing a child (omg! i am soooo sorry) but everything happens for a reason. This tragedy has made you a stronger woman and helped more people in this world than you will ever know! MY family thinks and prays for you and yours every day! Mitch (4) more so…. BUT you are in our thoughts and prayers! HA!! I so wish you were MY friend so I could know you, hang out and be their for you. YOU Mel, seem like the kind of person I could get along with:) You will always morn your lost son but he will NEVER be forgotten! He is YOUR little angel and the angel for all little ones now, little angels do not seem right, but at least OWEN is there for them!! Just think of him welcoming all of them!!!! UGH! I so wish I could give you, Doug and the boy’s a hug right now! LOTS of LOVE form Ohio,

  3. You continue to motivate and inspire me!! What an amazing ’cause’ you and Doug have thought of. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I know you have touched my life in so many different ways. I hope that I am a better wife and mother as a result. I instantly think of Warrior Owen anytime I see orange. I smile when my kiddos pick orange to wear and it seems that everyone must know your story as I see orange everywhere!! Blessings to you and your family!!


  4. Owen is a proud baby boy looking down on you. Your family is doing something so wonderful. I can’t wait for more to come. God bless u and your family. I wore owenge yesterday, and all I could think of was Owen being there with me.

  5. What a great idea. I love the idea of the name. I read your blog every day and my heart goes out to you. I am a part of the Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. Our counties Relay is July 23rd and I’ve just learned that this years tshirt we will wear is Orange. I don’t believe the color was picked because of Owen but it touches my heart just to be able to wear that color the day of the relay. The color Orange means so much more to me today than it ever has before. Thank you so much for sharing your story of Owen all over the world and good luck on your journies.

  6. I like the name too Mel…Owenge Warriors it has a great ring to it…are you looking for tagline ideas?
    Owenge Warriors…Doing God’s Work In Honor Of Owen
    Owenge Warriors…Doing God’s Good Will Through Owen
    Owenge Warriors…An Owenge Warrior’s Work is Never Done

  7. What an inspiration you are!! I continually think of your baby every time I see orange in Georgia. You have brought such honor to God through your story! thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding me (us) of our blessings!

  8. Wearing my owenge tshirt in door county!! Already have shared your story to many here:) gods blessings!

  9. Mel, I have been reading your blog for several weeks now. My cousin’s cousin (on her dads side) just had a baby very early. She was only 27 weeks. They were not sure if he would make it but he came out breathing on his own! I found out several hours later that they named him Owen. I cried and sent a message letting some of my family know what the name meant. I went and put my 5 month old in orange as fast as I could and started to pray that God and your Owen fight for this little boy. He has a long road ahead of him in the nicu but he is fighting. They have been asking for donations for his medical bills. If this is something you would like more info on you can email me at rebeccahfloyd@hotmail.com. I pray for you daily in NC. *Rebeccah

  10. First of all let me say one more time that you are AMAZING!

    Second I LOVE the name Owenge Warriors!! It says a ton in just 2 words!!

    Third this is a cause close to my heart because although I never met him, Owen is close to my heart. Your story is close to my heart. I think of Owen often, and Owen has helped me more than you will ever know. I have a child with “disabilities”, and there are days that I “just can’t take it anymore.” Those are the times I think of Owen most. A sweet Angel reminding me that a Tomorrow in this life is never a guarantee. I try to treasure every second I have with my children even more than I did before.

    Thank You Owen… Your story will live on forever!!

  11. Found a bible verse from 2 Corinthians 9:12-15:
    12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

    made me think of the OWENge Warrior Fund. Doing great things for those who need it! We’re all beaming with pride…I know Owen is too!

  12. I never cease to be amazed at your strength and ability to get through each day with Grace and put your thoughts and feelings so rawly and truly out here for all of us to experience. I think of your family and pray for you all often. As I was reading this post, I love the name Owenge Warriors. Or how do you like Warriors of Hope? That came to me as you write so much about the important part Hope played in those tragic five days. God bless all of you – this fund will surely see Owen’s memory living on!!

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