Sunday, February 02, 2014


I cannot sleep.

I cannot sleep.

There are too many words in my head, and they will not be quiet.

It's almost 2:00 am on the day after Connor died, and I can still hear the words of my husband, and my children, and the police, and the doctors and nurses at the hospital, and all the dear, dear people we spoke to today, who saw our phone numbers pop up on their phones and said to themselves, "Oh, cool, it's Colleen/Lee.  I haven't spoken with them in ages." and flipped open their phones and we proceeded to break their hearts.  Our mothers.  Our fathers.  Our sisters and brothers.  Our in-laws.  Our friends.  
We could not have gotten here today without all you.  Each of you.  Even while I sit here, slowly leaking out all that is in me, I am inhaling and exhaling.  I am laughing while I'm crying.  Connor was good.  He was the best kind of good you could ever know.  And he just doesn't have to fight any more.

He's been fighting for so long, and I am filled with gratitude that he is with God now, and with all our family and friends who went before him.  I am filled with gratitude for everyone who has helped him and us.  I am filled with gratitude that there will be not a single day more that I will have to worry about him.  I miss him, but I have already heard his voice tonight, and know that the light I still have in my heart is his light.  

I sat with Drew tonight and we talked a good talk about this.  We'd never really prepared our other children for this.  It was scary, and I apologized to him for scaring him.  And then we named all the things Connor can do now.  Running around.  Telling jokes.  Playing piano.  I asked him if he thought Connor would be playing with Legos now.  He smiled widely and said, Yes.  What's his favorite set, Drew?

Drew and Tucker Legos, Mom.

Even with him gone, Drew knows that his brother wants to play with them and now he can.

I imagine I will be quiet here for a while, all.  I will reply to you when I can, and I will think of you a lot. If you are thinking of us, please come by.  Our doors will always be open, and we welcome the company.  It helps me to know how far the love reaches out from Connor to the world.  For a child of such limitations, the love that came to him was limitless, and I don't think a single person who met him didn't fall immediately in love with him.  

I just cannot believe today.   


Jojo said...

I woke up thinking of you and the family. Conner lived a life that touched so many lives and his memory will live on. It's such a beautiful thought that he is now able to play like never before. An angel always.

Katie Muller said...

Colleen I can't sleep. I wrote this for Connor and my heart breaks for you, Lee, Tucker and Drew. I feel such an amazing and yet very overwhelming sense of loss. I always looked so forward to seeing Connor because he kept life very real for me. He said no words yet gave me comfort every moment I spent with him. So hear goes my words to Conner.

"Make Me A Happy Place to See You Again"
No More days Shall Your Words Not Be Spoken.
May we sit and talk for hours one day in a Happy Place.
No more wheels to be pushed around.
May I have the joy of running and playing with you some day?
I know you wanted to say many things and I want to hear all of them, some day I will.
Please know I love you with all of my heart.
I am a better person for having the honor and pleasure of knowing you.
My heart has been breaking and I can only find piece by knowing that you are in a place looking over all the people that loved you in this place. This helps me to Make a Happy Place to see you again.
I love you Connor and I look forward to the day I see you again.
Love Aunt Katie

I love you to Colleen and I wish I could hug you right now. Please know if you need anything I am here for you. Today and everyday. I miss you and I hurt so much for you and I really just need to give you a really big hug. Your Friend Always and Unconditionally, Katie

Krista Iddins said...

Colleen, I cannot begin to tell you how very, very sorry we are. My heart is broken for you. We only met Connor a few times but we heard so many wonderful stories about him from Julie and Joe I feel we knew him much better. As Julie said yesterday, Connor was indeed blessed to have been born into such a loving and supportive family. I am praying that God will draw each of you very close and fill you with the comfort that only He can bring. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Kris and Ron Iddins

Karen said...


Randy and I are thinking of you constantly. We have always admired the spirit and strength of your family. Here is a story that I hope can bring you some comfort:

A Little Soul

“Not too long ago in Heaven, there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there, and often expressed this joy with God. One day however, the little soul was sad, for this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked ‘Why do bad things happen, why is there suffering in the world?’

God paused for a moment and replied, ‘Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see unlocks the love in people’s hearts.’ The little soul was confused. ‘What do you mean?’ he asked. God replied, ‘Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences, and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone.’

The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued. ‘The suffering soul unlocks the love in people’s hearts much like the sun and rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this – it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer to unlock this love – to create this miracle – for the good of all humanity.’

Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings, fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, ‘I am brave, let me go. I would like to go into this world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people’s hearts! I want to create that miracle!’

God smiled and said, ‘You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave, you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this, so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. These souls will help you create your miracle, however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and they will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you. Caleb Andrew.’

God and the brave little soul shared a smile, and then embraced. In parting, God said, ‘Do not forget Caleb that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought and, I will bring you home.’

Thus at that moment, the brave little soul was born into the world and through his suffering and God’s strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people’s hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those who were always too busy, found time. Many began new spiritual journeys – some regained lost faith – many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant families reunited and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives were changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle happened!“

God bless all of you!

Keni Rienks said...

I cannot imagine the breadth of emotions you must feel on an hourly basis. Though I only got to see Connor a handful of times, I feel as though I knew him so well through your blog, Facebook posts and through all of Kelly's stories throughout the years. You did so well of expressing all of his happiness - you are an amazing mom and an amazing human being. May you take comfort in each other and know how loved Connor was by so many people. xxoo Keni

Pinesandcedars said...

Love and friendship to you and your whole family. Wishing there was something I could say, except that you can count on all of us to be here for you.

With love and a broken heart,

Daniel Manchester said...

Colleen and Lee, Drew and Tucker, we are so sorry for your loss.

It was always so good to see Connor at school events, and at your home. Stopping and sitting with him even briefly brought a special kind of peace.

Thank you for letting him touch our lives.

Connor will be missed, and we will be thinking of you all.

LaVonne Dillard said...


I just got news from A&B about Connor's passing. My heart aches for you. As I sit here and read this blog, I realize that Connor had an awesome life. He was loved FULLY and completgely by his entire family.

I never got a chance to meet him, except through the words on your blog and he has touched my soul as well. I wish you God's comfort and peace. I wish you all the happy memories you can muster and in those quiet moments when no one else around, I pray that Connor's still voice soothes your soul.

God Bless.

LaVonne (VONNIE) Dillard

MMonteverdeJackson said...

Colleen - What I find just remarkable is how your words are so comforting to others at a time when others want nothing more than to hold you up. You and Lee have shown and continue to show undeniable strength and a love for Connor that will live forever in Drew and Tucker's lives.

We are thinking of you.
Love, Maria, Jon, Jake &Tyler Jackson

jrcbuzby said...

Colleen, I've been meaning to write you for a few months. You probably don't remember us - my daughter Sarah was in Connor's preschool class (with Ms Rachael). We were so happy to see Connor again when his class moved over to the current school. I saw him most recently on Friday, at the Winter Concert, and told myself, again, that I needed to write you and say hello.
I was so sad to hear the news my oldest daughter brought home from school today. Our love goes out to you and your family.
~ The Buzby family

Karen Frasier said...

Keep writing Colleen, even if not here. Keep talking to people. Focus on the positive, good memories, how our story will help others, and how you and your family can seize this moment to embrace the love bonds you have, the preciousness of life, and the future you have been blessed with to do your best to grow together through and beyond it.

Alice said...

I can't begin to imagine what you're going through right now. I've been thinking about you guys non-stop these past few days. Connor was so blessed to have been born into such a beautiful family, and it's clear that everyone who got to meet him was equally blessed. All my love.

Unknown said...

I can imagine that Drew was scared w/ all that went on at your home w/ Connor's passing. Good call for you to sit down w/ him and chat, especially about sadness, death, but also the freeing aspect of Connor's passing. Yes, he can play Legos now--what a lovely image.


Rachel said...

I only saw you your grandmother Wright's funeral here in Richmond. My husband, George Sanborn, was a good friend of Mel's at VMI.
Several days ago, Mel wrote the 67 class rep about Connor's death....the rep then contacted all the "brother rats" and Geo forwarded the e-mail to me.
I immediately e-mailed Mel telling him how blessed Connor was to have had you and Lee to love and care for him those ten years of his little life.
But then I started reading your blog and I was consumed with your words......utterly consumed. I read and re-read almost your entire blog. I now appreciate what your son gave you in return.
I cannot imagine the hole he leaves in your hearts and in your lives.
Don't worry about ever replying to me. I just want you to know that your words made me understand, for the first time, what a child like Connor can mean to a parent.
Love and sympathy to you both and to Connor's two little brothers,
Rachel Sanborn

DianeCG said...

Colleen, this is beautiful. You are an inspiration to me. I'm sending you, your family and Connor limitless love.