All, you've been so generous to us in these last six days. Yesterday, Lee and I stood in front of a room filled with love and spoke for Connor. We will speak for him our whole lives.
I posted my words yesterday. Here are my husband's - spoken with such love and sadness and gratitude yesterday by him in a small corner of Virginia where we gathered to say, "See you later, little man."
Thank you all for coming. I am going to try and get through this and it may end up just me reading. Poor Todd here drew the short straw to come up and take over if I cannot. If I ramble or do not make sense I apologize. I want to be the voice for my Connor one more time.
I want these words to be part of the celebration for Connor. I hope these words help you, who have supported my family for the last 10 years, find some peace and happiness.
When anyone has a child I believe you make those silent promises to give them the best life possible. I know I made them before Connor was born and then certainly after. His first night home he cried all night. I swore I would never bring our baby into bed with us. I buckled at 4 AM and he finally went to sleep. I remember thinking what have I gotten into?
Most of you know I am fairly aggressive person that never walks away from a challenge. It defines who I am as a person. When Connor was diagnosed I felt for the first time that I had hit a challenge I could not beat. There was no answer, no fix, no cure, and it was happening to my son. I have heard so many times over the years from all of you how strong Colleen and I are but I will tell you I have never felt that way. However, being the people we are - we did push on and went after his issues with everything we had.
Connor also decided to fight and fight hard. Although he could not talk, he could speak. The fact he did not use words just meant you had to listen harder. You could always tell when he was happy, sad, sick, and especially hungry. He would ya ya very loudly when it was time to eat.
I have tried over the years to focus on the things that Connor could do vs. the things he could not. He loved his brothers who loved him. He played. He laughed. And he loved just being around his family.
When I said every parent tries to give their child the best life possible I feel we did that for Connor. His path was meant to be different than what we expected but it was no less full of love.
Now I have so many thank you's to give out I do not know where to begin. Our son brought so many people into our lives that we would never have known otherwise. I cannot possibly thank all of you as much as you deserve.
To Doctor Fox at Sleepy Hollow - your care and compassion for our son was and is amazing. My father is a pediatrician and I grew up in his care. Your style of medicine always reminded me of my father and how he took care of me. It was always a huge comfort. Thank you.
To Megan his physical therapist - there are no words, but we love you. He loved you. Thank you.
To his teachers: All of you are the most amazing people who do a job I cannot fathom. The love and respect you share with your students is inspiring. I am honored to know you. Thank you.
To our families: All of you have helped us so much, with helping us carry pain and grief when it started. Then helping us show so much love for Connor. I truly mean this when I say we would not have survived as a family without all of you. Somehow thank you is not strong enough, but thank you.
To Mrs. Christy: On day 1, Connor puked on you. On Day 2, Connor puked on you. We really thought you would never come back. And yet you did. You were Connor's caregiver, his guardian, his protector, and his angel. Thank you.
To Colleen: You are always my light in the dark. I thought I was a strong person until I met you. It is and always will be me and you against it all. I love you.
Lastly to Connor: Thank you for showing me true love. Thank you for all the amazing people you have brought into my life. Thank you for fighting as long as you did. I wanted more time with you but I know you are at peace. You taught me so much without ever saying a word. Rest sweet boy. I love you.