The events of the last week have left me at a loss for words. The world lost a superhero in Gavin Leong. Many have been following his story for years but even more were introduced to him recently. His battle with health related issues began from day one back on September 29th, 2007. Over the course of his short life, he inspired people with his strength and determination. His ability to beat the odds was miraculous. He constantly surprised his doctors and proved to the world what a warrior he was.
On April 10th, Gavin went into cardiac arrest. He fought valiantly to try to recover but his little body had finally had more than it could take. On April 14th, Gavin lost his battle. Throughout the five days, his mother, Kate, continued to blog and post updates to Facebook about Gavin’s final moments. As I read through her posts, I had to look away or risk a steady stream of tears washing over my keyboard. To see a little boy filled with so much good taken from all of us at such a young age is beyond my comprehension. I only knew of his story for a short period of time but those five days will stick with me forever.
It is not hard to see where Gavin got his strength. Kate documented his journey on her blog and Facebook page Chasing Rainbows. She always believed that it was her job to make the impossible, possible. She was there for Gavin every step of the way and believed in him no matter what the circumstances. Thank you, Kate, for sharing your treasure with us. We have been enriched by your compassion and honesty. Gavin’s dad, Ed, played a tremendous role in his son’s life and is evident by the way Kate described that Gavin would light up whenever Ed would enter the room. From one dedicated, involved father of a special needs child to another, I hurt for you and pray you find peace.
The events in Boston that unfolded and are still unfolding will also stay with me. Allison and I are both from the Boston area and still have family and many friends who live there. We didn't know those who lost their lives or who were hurt in this tragedy but we have friends that do. The bombing was a heinous, cowardly act whose perpetrators destroyed the lives of many families and have now marred a day that remembers our country’s history and celebrates the fortitude of the marathon participants. It frightens me that such evil is alive and well in our society.
Good vs Evil…it is a perpetual struggle. One fighting for life and the other taking it at will. I have to believe that there is a purpose behind all of it. I have to believe that there is a reason we are forced to endure emotional turmoil. Heartbreak Hill along the Boston Marathon is perhaps the most grueling portion of the race and one that has claimed the dreams of many competitors. The feeling runners get as they make it past this difficult part of the course is euphoric and gives them the extra burst needed to make it to the finish line.
It seems this week has been full of Heartbreak Hills. We have had our share in the past with Livy as has every parent of a special needs child. Gavin is a constant reminder that we are all just one seizure or one infection or one case of pneumonia away from losing all we hold dear. Life is a constant hill of experience. Just when you think you have reached the top, there is another one to climb off in the distance. Some test our will to function and even cause us to challenge our faith. Yet many others show us the fantastic beauty that we as a people are capable of creating. Good and Evil will forever share our planet, but as long as we have the Gavins of this world protecting us and giving us hope, we should always believe in superheroes.