Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Little Owen: Flying High
Nearly two years after Sommer and Pete received the devastating news of Owen's terminal brain disease, our little guy earned his angel wings last Wednesday morning. I had traveled to Massachusetts and was present for his passing, which was peaceful in the very end but difficult in the days and hours leading up to it. Owen entered Heaven a week ago, and I apologize for not providing the update on this blog more quickly. I know that many of my friends here ask about Owen and were emotionally invested in his life. Until today, however, my ability to put two intelligible words about Owen together on paper was a ridiculous expectation. The week spent in Massachusetts, as well as the past week spent recovering from his loss, has been very intense and at times I have been wholly consumed with either caring for Owen, supporting my closest friends, and then returning home to my own family and figuring out how to continue on with life.
My time in Massachusetts was, as I previously said, intense. In many ways it was the worst of times, but also at the same time it was a week of extremely deep fulfillment and bonding; when looked at from the latter perspective, my time spent in Amesbury with my friends wasn't all bad. I got to meet new people that I never would have encountered, and as we all shared a common goal of serving Owen and making him comfortable, I believe we forged some emotional bonds that may never be broken. I will never forget nurses like Robin, Bronwyn, and Amanda, and I will always be glad for my strengthened friendships with Sommer, Pete, and Sommer's parents Marylou and Tony. Time with Ellie is always entertaining and lovely as well. We cried on each other's shoulders, soothed Owen through some rough times, and reminded each other that something better awaited this little boy who never knew life as you and I do. We stroked his head and told him that if he would just let go, he could run and play in the leaves like little boys should. He could taste pizza for the first time, eat ice cream to his heart's content, and be free of physical ailments. Finally, he listened to us, decided he was ready, and entered the next realm. As Marylou has pointed out, in some ways death doesn't seem so forbidding for us anymore knowing that our O-Ster is waiting on the other side. That little boy, his parents, and his sister have endured hardships that no one should have to face, and I hope and pray for better times ahead for all four of them.
I saw a commercial the other day that immediately brought Owen to mind for me. If you'd like, please take the one minute to watch it. The beautiful message speaks to me about how choosing to love is a risk, but nearly all of us choose to take that risk because of the promised reward that comes with loving another person. Just because we love and lose doesn't mean that we stop loving, and I think that Owen has been a beautiful example of love that goes on and on, even after his presence is no longer here. His memorial service was estimated to include 500 people present, and that doesn't even count people who attended in spirit but could not be physically present. Owen has changed us for the better, and unlike with most of us, his angel wings were completely deserved.
I will love and miss Owen forever. I will always remember the red of his hair, the blue of his eyes, the sweet smell of his head in the final week I knew him, and those final hours of peace before he took his leave for a better place. I will always be fulfilled by the last time I got to hold him so tightly to my chest, with the full knowledge that he was in a better place, and his sweet head tucked tightly under my chin and his little bottom just resting on my own baby in my belly, a baby to be named after him. To an ornery turkey and beautiful, crafty soul: we're sorry it wasn't better for you here, but we can't wait to know you eternally in a place so much better than this life. I will always love these pictures of you:
here. She has an obituary in her most recent post with information about Owen and where to send donations, if you feel so inclined.