It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

Nash Bash 2…..the second annual Nash Bash……Planning this years Nash Bash has been a totally different experience then last year. I find myself being pretty pessimistic. It’s almost like a movie you love. It was great, amazing, perfect, everything you could have hoped for. Do you risk doing a sequel and it being a flop. The second of something really is the true determiner if you should continue.  Were people so touched by our story last year, so caught up in the tragedy of it all, that they felt compelled to be there. Now that it’s been a year and a half, will they still be as moved, still as connected? 

I remember reaching out to the girls who help me plan the party. It was something along the lines of, “do you think we should do it again?” Of course it was an excited, “yes!” from all. I was surprised! Planning an event like this especially around the holidays is not an easy feet. All have lives, jobs, obligations. Why would they want to put themselves through the stress? Then I look at their faces and the answer floods my mind quickly as I picture my smiling baby boy. They do it for Nash. Everytime an obstacle came up, I give them every available out. Should we ask Dr. Shumaker to sponsor again? No! He did it last year; we probably shouldn’t be greedy. Should we ask Johnny’s to make pizza? They did 60 pizzas last year. That’s a lot maybe we shouldn’t ask them. Are businesses going to get sick of us asking them for things? The Beauty  of it all is my girls. They play tricks with my mind. They know me well and know how to word things to ease my anxious mind. They said you have to at least ask Dr. Shumaker, his feelings may be hurt if you don’t and if he says no we will find someone else. Well, most know him personally and knew what his answer would be. Deep down I did too, but I felt better about asking. I even asked saying,”don’t feel obligated, we just wanted to make sure you didn’t want to be a part of it.” He laughed and said, “of course I want to sponsor.” The girls took me to Johnny’s for our first meeting. We didn’t even have to ask Sandy, she volunteered to do it again. Most businesses jumped at the chance. Most businesses are repeats from last year. Of course I gave them all the outs I could think of, asking each of them for something and following it up with don’t feel obligated. We won’t be upset if you can’t this year. Turns out I’m not the best salesman, shocking I know. Thank God people wanted to help, because if not, I was making it damn easy to say no. The girls have told me, “who cares if five people show up? It will still be worth it.” To me, it’s so hard. This day is so personal to me and I don’t know if I could handle  it being a bad sequel. I assume people aren’t as passionate about Nash, I can’t expect them to always be so moved by a boy they have never even met no matter how special I personally know he was. To me, if five people come, it will be the answer I wait for every Nash day. Every time I look at his Facebook, preparing myself that it’s ok if no one posts. I tell myself that people have moved on.  We had a good run and honestly, Todd and I received so much more support from our communtiy after Nash died than most people have ever known. People know Nash. They love him.They know he lived and they know he was here. That’s all we have ever wanted. I repeat these things in my head. I prepare myself mentally for that day always. People always surprise me though. They continue to post on his page. They continue to sponsor and donate to his party. Well, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Everyone else is continuing to spread Nash’s legacy. 

Nash’s birthday is bittersweet. I keep myself so busy planning  the event, I barely stop to think of what we are palnning. My son’s second birthday, my son that is no longer here, and another year we missed watching him grow.  The week leading to the party, I’m a mess emotionally and then that day hits and I’m so busy with the party that I don’t have time to breakdown. This year it will be calmer. We have all done this before. I’ll have moments to breathe. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure. What I do know is I have shared every personal thought, feeling and breakdown with all of you. At some point, early on, that was the decision I made to take you all on this journey with me. If the Nash bash is a flop, if five people show, I will still share in those feelings with you. If I cry or breakdown at the thought of my two year old not being there, I will share that with you. I always have this. No one can take that away. It helps. You all help! This party is not just a birthday, but a thank you to all of you for continuing my son’s legacy. This is perhaps one of the hardest days I experience all year. I chose to share it with all of you. Why? Because it’s the one thing that has always helped. I hope to see you all there and if not, I’ll still be here continuing to share my journey of healing after the loss of my most precious boy….Nash. 


4 thoughts on “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

  1. Dear Shelly, some of us did not have the honor of meeeting little Nash in person… but now we have the honor of being part of his legacy and celebrate the day this angel was born! Thank you… see you Saturday!


  2. What? Of course you have to do it! I’ve told my kids and they are EXCITED!! We didn’t even know about it last year, and are so looking forward to it this year. I liken it to the Brad Stone Memorial Golf Outing . . .I think they have done it 15 years or so? That sweet boy died at the age of 12 and it seems like the outing is as strong as ever.


  3. Thinking of you. I feel connected in some some way coming from Au Gres, knowing some of your friends and family from high school. The bigger connection is that I work with mom’s and babies everyday as a labor and delivery nurse. Your story, your son and your ability to share with all of us, prompted me to research and prepare education for our nurses on SIDS and Safe Sleep. Every patient receives the education, brochures and a sleep sack. We are modeling safe sleep on our unit and I know it will save babies. Even if it is only one….you know all too well how important one is. I think of Nash, a baby who is always smiling ,that I never met…each time I have the privilege to educate a new family on safe sleep practices.


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