Monday, April 14, 2014

A special request for a special life

My heart is heavy and my thoughts are a mish mash of emotions today thinking about a dear family who has gone through a loss that is difficult to rationalize.
I live in a unique spot, next door to the house I grew up in, on the block where I spent my youth, my teen years, and returned to often. Our neighborhood has gone through the same cycles that so many urban neighborhoods have, as people fled to the suburbs for more? better? I'm not sure, but my parents were very satisfied where they were and did not leave. With all the younger families leaving, the homes with the older residents began to decline with the aging of their residents. As the neighborhood became more transient, regardless of how many people had bought or sold the houses, we still called the house by the names of the original owners who lived there.
That was until Zac and Heather moved in on the other side of my parents. They brought with them the same spirit of neighborliness that had once made our block such a special place to live. They brought with them chickens, and gardening, and bike riding, dumpster swimming, and sharing, and caring, and love. A path is now evident in my parent's grass as we made our way back and forth to each other's homes.
When it was announced that they were expecting their first baby, we were thrilled for them.
When little Roger William was born, he quickly acquired an extra set of great grandparents, aunts, and cousins from our family. His life was filled with love and adventure and the wonderment that only babies can possess. His smiles melted our hearts and we would feel blessed by them. At 7 months, he was beginning to realize that he could reach things for himself, to sit up and stand, and we were excited about the next steps he would reach.
But then the unthinkable happened and he did not wake up from his nap and his beautiful life ended too quickly.
The news was met with shock and disbelief, as I was sure I had misunderstood and the realization that it was true was met with such sadness for all the lives he had touched.
People ask, how? why? and for now those remain unknown. Instead the family wants to focus on the blessings received from such a beautiful life, no matter how short and they want others to focus on those things as well. They have asked others to focus on what they do know, that all of us benefit from kindness.
I'm borrowing the following from one of their good friends as she explains, "Being the altruistic people they are, Zac and Heather have asked that this be a day of kindness in memory of baby Roger. So, even if you don't know the Lytles, do a good deed today or perform some act of kindness in honor of Roger Lytle today. If you'd like, email to let Zac and Heather know what you did. They will read the messages to cheer themselves up when they are blue."
It's not about sandwiches! It's about my life!

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