Hard to believe it’s been 3 years since we got the call that Aidan, one of “our” handsome and amazing kids, was no longer with us. Ever since meeting this boy with the shy yet infectious personality, we had clung to the hope that his brain cancer just wasn’t that bad and the surgery would prove successful. Each time we saw him he was so full of life that it just didn’t seem possible that this ugly, debilitating, evil disease was lurking inside his young body. His parents, as is the case with all of the moms and dads to “our” special kids, were relentless in their hope, optimism and search for answers that would cure him.
Aidan didn’t make it in the way we all hoped and prayed for, but he did make it in the way God had designed for him. In his short 11 years he touched so many lives and made such a lasting impression on people that a major league pitcher for his favorite team, The Angels, named his newborn son after Aidan after only one encounter with this special young man. Aidan’s parents shared his ipod list with us in the form of a CD which we play to this day. To listen to it, you would be sure that this was the list of a mature, older person who had found peace in their situation. It is filled with songs of heaven, of finding peace in suffering.
We had lunch with his wonderful parents this week, and they were so honest about their daily struggles of life after Aidan. There is the ready smile that is genuine but to those that “know”, just can’t hide what lies underneath and deep in their hearts. His mom wears a necklace with his name and fingerprints on it. His dad shared how little things trigger memories that are beautiful yet painful.
I was reminded again of how small my seemingly “big” problems really are when I sit with a couple who has lost their only son, yet still find the courage to go on with strength and dignity.
When the little things of life try to steal the joy from your day ask yourself, “Does getting upset over this really matter enough to waste one second of my life on?” Tomorrow is promised to no one, no matter our age. Make each second count. Does your life have the kind of impact Aidan’s did when people meet you?
And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.
Making a difference for children in need,
Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.