I have found that unfortunately when a tragedy like this happens, people either step up or step out. Those that step up do it in a big way. Todd’s cousin Christina has been one of those people. I’ve always known she was an awesome girl with a big heart, but through all of this I have seen just how huge her heart really is. She has made hundreds of Nash cards to give to people who want to do random acts of kindness in his name. She made car decals and bracelets. She even made a picture book of Nash’s life for us, starting with pictures of my pregnancy and ending with his most recent pictures. I know she does all of these things because she loves us and wants to help in anyway possible, but I also know at the very heart of it she misses Nash. She loved him, and like everyone else, she didn’t get to see him nearly as much as she wanted. She thought she would have more time…we all did. I know it weighs heavy on her heart even though she has never said as much to me.
My friend Natalie is the same way. She contacted me so many times after I had Nash. She wanted to meet him but we never got around to setting up a date or time. She was the one who had the idea of making Nash day t-shirts. I still can’t believe how many people have ordered them. One night Todd had to go out of town, and she stayed the night with me so I wouldn’t be alone. As we were lying in bed, she asked if she could hold the teddy bear with Nash’s ashes. As she was holding him, she said, “I never got the chance to do this when he was here.” I could feel how much that hurt her. I have a feeling that if we have another baby, these two are going to have a big part in his or her life.
Facebook is a powerful thing. Everyone on Facebook has those friends they haven’t seen since high school or people they have hung out with once or twice in their entire life. They may even just be good friends of your good friends. Or people you worked with years ago. When Nash was alive, I posted pictures and videos of him all the time. People would make comments about how cute he was, and that I wasn’t posting enough pictures. His pictures would get somewhere around 80 likes and 30 comments. You could feel how much people were falling in love with him, people that had never even met him. They knew our struggle to have him. So when Nash died, I truly feel that they felt connected to him, like they knew him. I can say with 100% certainty that there are hundreds of people out there who have watched him grow ONLY on Facebook but truly feel they lost someone they loved the day he died. We started getting things In the mail. They were making things for Todd and I with Nash’s pictures on them, he had a highway adopted In his name. We were getting tons of cards from St. Jude’s and children’s hospitals where there were donations made in his name. We were getting jewelry from strangers in the mail with his picture on it and the attached cards would simply say “sent from heaven” or “have a Nash day!” People were writing to me on Facebook telling me how much they think of us everyday and how excited they are for August 9th. One teenager wrote on Nash’s page about how she wanted to get her high school marching band to do something in honor of Nash. People are posting comments on ideas they have to pay it forward and how excited they are to do it. I can feel almost a momentum as we get closer to the that day.
More and more people everyday know our story. I hear how many t-shirts were sold, how we have to make more cards because they are running out of them. Some people are even making their own t-shirts and cards. This outpouring of support and excitement has been unreal. When something as horrible as losing a child happens, people want to help. They want to make it better. We have given them a way they can. It’s very hard for Todd and I to accept help. What we have learned in all of this is that when people are doing things for us, it’s really helping them maybe even more than it’s helping us. They want to try and lighten the blow. They need to feel that they are doing something. They want to help. Every mother who has lost a child dreads their milestone days. Nash would be seven months old on August 9th, and we will most definitely be beyond sad thinking of all the things he would be doing now, things he will miss out on. How many teeth would he have? Would he be crawling? Could he wrap his arms around my neck tighter? He was just starting to be able to do that. He will forever be 5 months old in our minds. We will never see him grow. We will never get a hug or kiss from him. So the fact that we are curious for what the 9th will bring is unbelievable. I find myself almost…excited for that day. Excited to see how many people our Nash makes smile. How many acts of kindness will be done in his name. So if you haven’t already, please join us in honoring Nash…whether it’s opening a door for someone, leaving a big tip at dinner, or buying the person behind you in the drive thru line their meal. The only thing I ask of you is that when you are doing these acts of kindness on August 9th, or any day for that matter, you think of our sweet Nash, smile and say…Have a “Nash” day! I know I’ll be having one!