With all of this, that weight seems to get heavier but I HAVE to carry this magic on because Grace and Ev deserve it. They have had so much of their childhood taken from them that I must put a brave face on and carry on through the Holidays and with our family traditions.
Grace and Griffin would have sleepovers in each other rooms because they could hardly contain themselves with excitement on Christmas Eve. I now hear Grace planning a sleepover with Ev… Everett is not Griffin, the age difference is a tough one especially when they were blessed to have a little “Buffer” (Griffin) around to break up the age gap. But I thank God they have each other especially during the holidays so they can experience our traditions together, create ones between them and hopefully carry them on to their families. It’s like a ray of sunshine when I feel like my skies are gray.
Last night I stopped at the cemetery just before dark to “check” on Griffin. Once again I immediately felt a smile across my face, with tears in my eyes. This is our 3rd winter without Griffin, and the Cemetery workers still “plow” a path down Griffin’s row. Not only is this the only row they do, but it goes down the entire row but they also veer off a little path right to Griffin’s Stone. These workers, these strangers, even after 3 winters are still thinking of my Griffin… and understanding the need for this path so others can get to him whenever they want. To me it’s like another ray of sunshine when I feel like my skies are gray.
Then I think about Griffin’s Guardians and where we have taken this organization to. I will admit, it is hard on those days when I receive a new referral for a 4 month old little baby diagnosed with cancer, or the referral for the 12 year old boy that has relapsed. It’s hard to be brought back to those early days when our lives forever changed. When I meet families, I usually just say I'm with Griffin's Guardians and explain ways we can help them. I don't ususally tell them that I had a son pass away to cancer, because who wants to look at a mother whose child died from cancer while they currently have a child battling cancer. But in some cases I will be asked, "Are you Griffin's mom?" Those are 4 words I will never tire of hearing in my lifetime. I feel like I want to shout from the mountaintop "Yes, Yes I am the lucky one to be called Griffin's Mom". That's when I think about the amount of support we receive from all walks of life, from friends to complete strangers, from those far and near that help us carry on Griffin’s legacy and allows me hear those 4 words "Are you Griffin's mom?". Yet another ray of sunshine when my skies feel gray.
I received a note from a mom thanking Griffin’s Guardians for the support we have provided to them. She described Griffin’s “light” so beautifully. “We are so deeply sorry that Griffin passed away and that your family has endured so much pain. But we are profoundly grateful that his spirit and energy continues in the wonderful things you do for perfect strangers. I hope you know that his smile and laugh lives on in the gifts you give to others-in the sunshine you are working so hard to create. Out of pain you have created love, which is a remarkable feat”!
For most of you know, Griffin lived life to the fullest… You knew he felt it in every one of his bones when he would say, “It’s a great day to be alive”. I reflect on his life and feel It’s like living a life with rays of sunshine, that’s how he lived! Having the ability to find the sunshine, to live for the sunshine but most importantly embrace the sunshine when it feels like the skies are gray. This is what I hope to carry on to Grace and Everett during the holidays. It will never be the same, but together we can always find the sunshine, thanks to Griffin!
I wish you all a new year filled with blessings, filled with love and most importantly filled with sunshine.