Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from God
Caiden was a smart, vibrant two-year-old who was the “love of our lives”. He had big brown eyes and gorgeous auburn hair. His smile was contagious, and when people met Caiden, they immediately fell in love with him. Caiden had an incredible zest for life, and lived every day with abundant laughter and pure happiness. He loved trains, reading books, swimming, going to the zoo, but he especially loved his little brother.
Caiden’s eyes would light up when we took him to see trains. He would ask us, every day, to take him for a drive to see trains. Caiden never tired of seeing trains, and we never tired of seeing how happy this activity made him. When he saw a train, the smile on his face was priceless! And when he got to stand on the stationary trains, he was overwhelmed with excitement.
Caiden’s favorite books were the ones whose subject was all about trains. He was always proud to recite the words of the book to the reader.
Each night, after his little brother went to bed, Caiden’s treat was using the computer to view train videos. This was Caiden’s favorite part of the day!
During the summers, Caiden would spend many days at the pool with his family. He loved to swim. On days when he couldn’t go to the pool, he would walk around the house wearing swimming goggles.
Caiden had no fear of the water. He would jump off the side of the pool into the arms of a family member, never caring how much water went up his nose or how much water he accidentally drank.
Caiden always preferred to be playing outdoors. He would spend hours just running, jumping, riding his bike, and exploring. Caiden loved playing football with his grandpa, loved going to the park, and especially loved going to the zoo. Sometimes, he would walk around with a flyswatter and search the yard for flies to swat. He was a typical little boy, with such a playful spirit.
Caiden loved the zoo. He could navigate his family through the zoo, knowing where all of his favorite animals were located. After trains, Caiden’s second love was animals. Enjoying the zoo, through Caiden’s eyes, was a priceless experience!
Caiden had a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh. His heart was full of love and kindness. Caiden was generous with his hugs and kisses….always ready to share affection with his family.
Caiden was also a sweet, big brother. As a typical two-year-old, it took some time before he enjoyed sharing. But, after a while, Caiden loved sharing his toys with his brother, and showing him how everything worked. When riding in the car, Caiden would reach over and hold his brother’s hand during our trips. When his brother would cry, Caiden was the first person to try to calm him down. Caiden had so much love for his little brother, and he enjoyed every minute they spent together.
It was during the last couple months of Caiden’s life, that he started to truly appreciate his little brother. You see….his little brother was at an age where he could start interacting with Caiden.
Today, we always wonder what their relationship would look like. We would even welcome the fighting, the sibling rivalry, and the competition. We know that Caiden’s brother will never experience having a big brother, but we will make certain he knows all about Caiden.
Caiden was a true gift from God, and an immeasurable blessing in our lives. Even though we will not have the pleasure of watching Caiden grow up, we thank God, every day, for allowing us to borrow him for nearly three years. We cherish our memories of Caiden, and we are also grateful that, near the end of his life, his suffering was brief.
During his short life, Caiden taught us more than we could ever teach him. He taught us what it means to be silly and how important it is to just “play” every day. He taught us so much about the true meaning of unconditional love. But, most of all, Caiden taught us the value of living each day to the fullest.
Caiden’s life will live on, even after his death. Three of Caiden’s organs were donated, and transplanted into other children. We are proud of these donations, and know that this last selfless act of generosity would make Caiden so happy. We pray, every day, for the continued health of these transplant patients. We know that Caiden would be honored to have had such an incredible impact on someone else’s life.
Caiden has passed from this earthly life to his heavenly home. We know that he lives in paradise, and this gives us peace during those times when we miss him so much. When our grief becomes overwhelming, this is the moment when we locate those priceless, happy memories in our hearts to make us smile again.
We can never forget the joy Caiden brought to our lives. Caiden’s life meant so much to his family and friends. And now, we hope his death can have meaning for so many more people. As we continue our journey to be a part of finding a cure for childhood brain cancer, we are certain Caiden would be proud of what we are doing to help other children.