Monday, October 20, 2008

A Day to honor and say goodbye

Did you see a red balloon floating by? Perhaps you wondered why you were seeing it in the sky? Over the last 3 days or so hundreds of balloons have been released to honor a little boy taken too soon. I did not have the pleasure of meeting this little boy but his loss has touched me deeply. His mom was a regular poster on the wonderful worldwide scrapbooking community Scrapshare. Through her posts and layouts I came to know Danny's spirit, his zest for life. He had a smile that could stop traffic.

Danny was a sweet, energetic little boy. Sadly this darling little boy had been feeling under the weather for a couple of weeks, being sick to his tummy and having no appetite. So unusual for a 5 year old boy. Donnann took her little guy to the doctor to figure out this problem. A visit or two and some blood work to try and find the solution to the mystery. On Monday we were waiting patiently for an update about the blood work. By Wednesday a 4cm tumor had been discovered on his brainstem and Danny was rushed into emergency surgery. Unfortunately the surgery caused Danny to go into a coma. By Friday Donnann and her husband Dan were making funeral arrangements.

Danny gave the gift of life to four others. What an amazing thing in the midst of this huge loss.

Those who could dropped everything to drive to Kenosha, WI today to support Donnann and Dan as they said a final goodbye to their little boy. Around the world the members of the Scrapshare community showed their solidarity with Donnann and Dan by releasing red balloons in honor of Danny. Some did it at retreats and gatherings of Scrapshare friends over the weekend, some released them at the time coinciding with the start of the Memorial Mass and others, like myself, waited until their kids were out of school for the day to release their balloons.

This afternoon my three and I headed for a local park with our balloons.
Me and my kids.
The release.
Away they go. I hope that Danny can see them!

David tripped and fell with his balloon and the balloon did not survive so I gave him mine. He did not want to let it go with the others. When he did let it go, he was under a tree. Hopefully as the wind blew through the tree, the balloon was released to the sky.

Our hearts are with Donnann, Dan and Madison, Danny's sister, as they try to find their way through a world without Danny in it.

I am struggling with this loss to our SS family. My own son is so close in age to Danny. I know they would have been great friends. This has brought up a lot of feelings of fear and uncertainty. This is the second time I have been touched by the loss of a child close in age to one of my own. Danny's loss has brought up back memories of the other child, a friend of my daughter's. Life is so uncertain and at any moment our present, our normal could be upended. Hug your kids, enjoy them, don't let life get in the way because we never know what the next corner will bring. It is so easy to get caught up in homework, sports and activities schedules, chores and responsibilities. Be sure to make time for fun because we want them to remember the fun times.

Many of us have intense thoughts and feelings about our friend's loss. Follow the blog train to see what others have to share.

May Donnann, Dan and Madison find peace in the outpouring of love from family and friends, real life and virtual, as they look for a new normal.


  1. Very well written. Thanks for honoring this precious child.

  2. OH man. Losing a child is too close to home for this Momma. :(

    Muffins... you can find the recipe here -


  3. So very sad. Very nice tribute to this precious little boy.