I cried on a commercial flight a few days ago. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, unfortunately, and likely won’t be the last. I’ve spent a lot of time on airplanes over the last couple of years and typically I’ll just put my mind on a playlist, then drift off to sleep prior to take-off, but when you’ve got an eager 8 year old little lady sitting next to you ready to get to Disneyland, that’s tough to do.
These moments always catch me by surprise. Most times, I can direct my attention to work, our family or other daily/weekly activities. It’s a grind, but staying in a routine keeps your mind off those things that aren’t at all routine. Then, you decide to give First Man a look on the AA Entertainment offering on your way out to Southern California for a long summer vacation and there it is…the child loss theme that brings all those feelings you’ve been avoiding right back into play. Don’t get me wrong, child loss needs to be openly discussed and those suffering from the grief should have the support to do so. I don’t know how the critics rated the movie, but I enjoyed it, even as I used my beverage napkin to wipe away the tears so no one would catch me and start asking if I’m ok, because as much as I want to say “No” to that question, I won’t most times.
The theme of child loss in this movie and how they portrayed it with Neal (the dad) is spot on. I believe he struggled silently and in his own time, like many of us, but it never went away. Most parents don’t bring it up at all. We don’t talk to those we work with about it, and generally not to anyone about it, but in our own time, we always think about our boy and what might have been. It hurts. I can’t tell you how much it hurts or how much we hate it, and I think we’ve resigned to the fact that it’ll always be there, into eternity, until one day we meet again.
We have made our loss a very public thing with Rhett’s Foundation. In our family, we talk about Rhett and of losing him. We want our girls to talk to us and others about it and we never want to suppress it into some dark corner that goes unnoticed. In fact, the best thing others can do is say Rhett’s name. It means so much to remind us you remember him. I’m sure the same goes for other parents who experience child loss. At least, those we’ve been connected with through these efforts have echoed the same feelings.
This summer has been a productive one for the Foundation. We held our first restaurant fundraiser at State Draft House in Flower Mound, TX, and raised over $5,000! We celebrated Rhett’s 2nd birthday, July 3rd, on the beach, which is becoming a bit of a tradition the last two years. Then, we returned home to finish the planning of our Inaugural Golf Tournament fundraiser, which looks to be a great success. We’ll dedicate an entire blog entry to the golf tournament (which is SOLD OUT!) and have some huge announcements to make on that front very soon!
In the meantime, see below for the latest updates on our progress:
- Continuing to grow our outreach, with over 650 followers on Facebook and Instagram, and added many new subscribers to our monthly newsletter.
- Recently added new partners in Texas Health Flower Mound, Medical City Lewisville, M.E.N.D., Team Mercy, Scared Sidless, Hope Mommies and Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas.
- Financially/Emotionally supported 10 families to date and continued to deliver “Love and Comfort” packages to multiple local hospitals.
We are looking forward to our most active months through this coming September, so keep us in your prayers and help us live out our mission.
Rhett’s Mom and Dad