On How the Fight of One Little Boy Changed My Life.

Baby Corbin McHenry.

He was a blessing from the start. On April 4th he was born. When I had first found his Facebook page, I was absolutely captivated by this precious little human being, his picture was worth 1,000 words & so much more. As I began reading  the posts, first the few most recent. As my day went on, I couldn’t help but want to learn more about this brave little boy. I went on to his page, (seen here) and scrolled to the very bottom. To his birth. To the very post that started his wonderful journey.

Before Corbin, I have never heard of Trisomy 13, a genetic disorder. But his wonderful mother and father, Kara and Shane McHenry, were absolutely dedicated to support, love, cherish and advocate for Corbin every single second they could. They knew Corbin had been beating odds since day one. On each day, Corbin’s parents & grandparents would update all of his Facebook friends (He now has over 477k of them) of what he had done that day, how he was feeling and his condition. Some days he had lots of tests, and other days he was able to snuggle with Mama McHenry all day. Everyday, they would post a picture (Like this one here) with a picture of Corbin on that day, an inspirational quote, and Corbin’s birth date. I can only hope to one day be able to be as strong for my children as Kara and Shane have always been for Corbin. They had rough days, but his mother has held on to hope like no one I’ve met before. She is absolutely phenomenal.

The strength of Corbin’s family had truly shined through. This is a bigger task as it appears, considering Facebook only shows you a glimpse of their everyday reality. I had followed everyday and often have my family & even my boyfriend asking me to read them the “Corbin update” for that day from my phone. I had never met this little boy, and he had touched my life in a way no one else has.

Corbin has taught me to cherish every. single. second. Love every bit you can, forget the fight you had, don’t think of your struggles, and stresses for a few minutes. Just breath. Go outside, see the sun, and the beautiful blue sky. Take in the view. If it is rainy, look at the raindrops collecting in the puddles, look at some greenery, and see how even rain, that can often seem dark & dreary, gives life to so much of nature, and is so beautiful. Corbin had taught me this, a child I had never met, who lives hundreds of miles away. He has taught me to fight, no matter the odds, no matter the battle I am facing. I will be forever grateful for the lessons this baby & his family had taught me.

On day 135, Corbin had gained his wings, and heaven had gained the most beautiful, wonderful angel that had ever existed. Corbin will forever be watching over his mommy & daddy who had always been so supportive of him during his fight. As much as I feel no words I say can comfort them, I can only hope they are able to read this, and have some comfort in knowing the love, support, and prayers that are being sent their way. Corbin has had so much support, because his mother Kara was brave enough to put herself out there in order to share Corbin’s story. All I can say is thank you to Kara and Shane (and Kara’s mom too) for allowing us to see your beautiful lives, and you truly have forever touched my heart. I will always be praying for your family, just like I have for Corbin. My heart is saddened by your immense loss, and my family & I shed tears of sympathy for what you are going through.

Baby Corbin with his cape. He truly is my hero.

Baby Corbin with his cape. He truly is my hero.

On Mike’s Birthday.

Today was one of my best friend’s birthday. Also known as my ex-boyfriend. It would be such a happy occasion, if he were here…

On August 16th, 2011 I woke up just like any other day that summer. Except this day was very different. Something just wasn’t right. It was summertime, after Junior year of high school. We had all finished 11th grade and we were waiting to have our Senior year begin & start preparing for college.

I started my day the same way, bowl of cereal, T.V, Facebook. Oh, the dreaded Facebook…

I couldn’t bare what I was reading. All I could see all over my screen was statuses, wall posts and comments with saying like RIP & You will be missed. What was going on? Was someone sick? Was there an accident? I was shaking as my fingers were scrambling across the keyboard trying to type a response. My friend had just messaged me that one of my best friends, Mike, had committed suicide. No one knew the details, or when or why. Someone had seen a post his older brother put on his wall asking “why did you do this? I love you so much man. Save a spot in heaven for me” I was horrified, that doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt. This can’t be real. I called his phone constantly, ring, no answer, but I could hear his voice on his message machine. Ahh, his voice is on the message machine. This has to be a misunderstanding. Someone got confused, posted something, and the word spread, this could not be happening. Not Mike. No.

I called Robbie, I needed someone’s help. I was overwhelmed with sadness and I was struggling to keep my mind out of the horrible, scary places it was thinking. What could have possibly happened? Robbie didn’t answer. I called my friend Sam, she would know. Mike & I met in 8th grade, we became the 3 amigos for 3 years in high school, always sitting next to each other, and always talking too much. She answered, she saw. She read all the Facebook posts and was also trying to get to the bottom of it. Sam lived in the next town over, but I didn’t care. I needed her now. I was hysterically crying in my room, my older brother could hear me & ran to my rescue, he wanted to know what was upsetting me and how could it help. He was 21 at the time, the 3rd oldest of my four older brothers. I told him, “My friend Mike committed suicide, I don’t know what happened, I just..I don’t know”. He immediately called my mom at work, we are a close knit family, nothing like this has ever happened.

Sam told me Mike was in another state visiting his family, just like he had every summer, neither of us talked to him in a couple weeks. It wasn’t on purpose, but usually in the summers we all did our own thing, I babysat, Sam swam and bowled & Mike visited his family. We got a hold of Mike’s older brother and finally found out… Mike had shot himself August 16th around 5am. A month after his 17th birthday. He would have been 19 today & it breaks my heart. Michael was an amazing kid, with so much kindness and love to share. He was the person to turn to for so many people. He loved his music and his video games. He wanted to become a video game designer. In high school, he took a class to learn just that, I was his test dummy. Mike would text me to go on AIM, and would send me a download to his newest highly-technical-but-not-hitech game he created. Imagine an early version of Snake or Pac-man. Then I’d test it out, tell him how well it worked on my computer then we would play for hours to find out who could get the highest score.

That boy was one of a kind. And I still seem him as just that. I believe that is why there is a little empty spot in my heart, it’s healed, but there is still a little spot that I think could never be replaced, because there isn’t anyone like him. Every so often I see a person who looks similar, and I need to do a double take just to be sure. My heart still breaks whenever I think of Senior year or graduation, because he was supposed to be right next to me. Alphabetical order, which is why we were always in the same classes. I think of him constantly, and I will always miss him. August 16th is fast approach yet again, 15 little days away from my birthday. Another year without him, but I still have so many memories.

On the anniversary of his passing I plan to go to the beach with a balloon with a note for him, I can only wish that it gets all the way to heaven.

I miss you & love you so much Michael. Happy Birthday♥