Last night I participated in the So Connected Twitter party to benefit Zack’s Dream Room. I have never met Heather Hamilton, Zack’s mother personally, but I have tweeted with her and followed Zack’s journey as she shared it.
Zack Hamilton passed away on March 10, 2011 at the age of 3. He had suffered from several health problems since birth, and fought many, many hard battles throughout his life. To read more about Zack, please check out Heather’s blog at http://tjzmommy.blogspot.com/ .
I was very touched by Zack and his journey, and wanted to do something to help. That’s where last night’s Twitter party came in. Alexandria from Clippo.ca, who is an amazing person and friend, organized a party to raise money to put towards Zack’s Dream Room at the York Central Hospital. There was much chatting, some fantastic prizes and an unbelievable auction to boot. The auction raised more than $2300, and Heather announced at the end of the party that the $25,000 fundraising goal had been met, and then some. The generousity of the Twitter community blew my mind. Here was a group of people, many of whom had never met, coming together to show support for a fellow mom and family. It really touched me.
I was talking with someone yesterday about Heather and her family, and how I thought that it was so amazing that in the face of such unbelievable grief and sorrow, she decided to raise money to help others. I said that I didn’t know if I would have that in me, that I didn’t know if I could even go on if I lost my precious son.
When Q was born, he was hospitalized in the NICU for 10 days, which was an unbelievably stressful and scary time. He was only 4 lbs 11 ounces when he was born, and was in a special incubator with an NG tube and an IV for the first several days. He got bigger and stronger though, and came home just at 5 lbs and 6 ounces. I saw another baby in the NICU have to be rushed to Children’s Hospital by air ambulance because he was in such distress and my heart went out to those parents. I never did find out what happened to that baby, but I think about the family sometimes and hope that he got bigger and stronger and came home to his parents too.
I look at my little Q, who, although he is still small for his age, is now a happy and healthy 2 1/2 year old who is crazy strong and fast and active, and I am grateful. I don’t know the pain of losing a child, or of having one who suffers from serious, chronic health problems, and for that I am grateful.
On the days when he is driving me crazy, and I wish he would just slow down for 2 seconds so I could catch my breath, I think of Heather, and all of the other parents and children who don’t have that, and I count my blessings. And for this I am grateful.