It’s May … memories of Owen begin to flood my thoughts, preparing myself for the end of the month. Three years ago, tomorrow, is the last time I saw Owen awake. Three years ago, I called 911 and the village of Sussex fire and police departments flooded my home and worked tirelessly to save my baby boy.
The past two yeas, I’ve brought the fire department a meal on the anniversary of the day as a way of saying thank you. The first year, it was on the actual day … 365 days after my 911 call. My family and I decided that this year would be the same. It’s cool that the boys remember being there last year and were totally psyched to go again this year.
The Village of Sussex fire department is home to a few of my heroes. Losing Owen was a huge loss – one that will never quite be filled. However, the hope that this team gave me is irreplaceable. I have found such healing and comfort in knowing that Owen saved someone’s life. That the little baby I grew, continues to grow and give life. This simple fact, helps me get up each morning. Without their expert care, Owen’s body would have been without oxygen for much longer and he might not have been an organ donor.
I was able to share a short video from Josie and her parents – introducing the team to the life that they saved on the night of May 21, 2011. Whether they will admit to it or not, these big, burly fire fighters all had tears in their eyes 🙂 I mean who wouldn’t, Josie is stinkin’ adorable! It was important that they have a face to the life they saved.
At one point, I went into the garage to see what the boys were up to. They were trying to talk Logan into trying on a helmet. He was shy and really didn’t want to do it. I asked him if I put it on, would take a picture with me. This is the best picture we got:
What this picture doesn’t show is how much my heart is melting and I’m slightly freaking out on the inside. As the fireman handed me his helmet, I saw Owen’s hand print in the top. There is this space in between the helmet and the part that sits on your head and Owen’s prayer card, from his funeral, was tucked inside. It was torn and tattered … and there – held secretly in a heroes’ armor. Saving lives is his job – he does this every week, day in and day out. It’s been three years – how many calls has he been on since then? And he is still carrying this little owenge hand print of my baby boy in his hat. Are there even words for something like that?
I think, as a mother, I was most sad that people would never have the chance to meet my Owen. I would always have a part of my heart that I could never show to others. Since he has been gone for far longer than he was on earth, I grieved (still grieving in many ways) the truth that he would be forgotten one day. I would be known as a mother of three and not four. It would one day be easier to call Logan and Weston twins, rather than explaining why they are triplets. Owen would be a memory … and no longer a part of my present. These men and women remember my baby. They think about my baby. They saved my baby from being forgotten. They took care of him so that he would be able to be a hero to someone else. These men and women give so much of their time, efforts and heart into their job. They saved my life too that day. I have found peace in my truth because of these blessings. There will never be enough meals to bring to these heroes. There will never be enough I could do to express even a fraction of my gratitude for their gift.
God sends you angels in time of tragedy. These are just a few of the angels that I encountered. I am honored to know these men and women.
On a lighter note, and for some added cuteness – here are a few more pictures of my boys playing in the fire trucks.