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Feel free to share any of these posts. There are no copyrights on any of them, they are for anyone, anyplace, anytime for whatever reason. All of my love, from a man who just simply misses his son, and believes in the decency of people around the world,

**To reach the author of this blog Mike, the best email account is a silly one, but goes right to my phone. Technology is so cool. Its Thank you for reading this blog, and its been such a good project, in that it has helped others and me as well. May you all live life to the fullest, we have no idea when it shall be our last "dance."

With much love, I am proud of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. If you can help them, and families with this condition, please consider donating to them at They are on Charity Navigator, and have done a phenomenal job over the years, on the awareness and research side.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tommy and Balloons

I miss my son Tommy, who died from a seizure in 2009. Today I was mowing the grass, and thought about him at Dulles Airport, with a balloon in his hand. Honestly, I have no idea of why this memory popped up, but I remember this day in the summer of that year. Tommy was five, and we were at the airport with my wife, waiting for her mother to walk through the international arrivals area after a long flight. There was a lot of downtime, and we were sitting in those horrible chairs, that seem to be the same in no matter what airport you are at. They must be "prison industry" type of seats, because your back always hurts, even if you are in them for a matter of minutes.

Walking around I saw a black balloon, with a bright yellow smiley face on it. This balloon was outrageously priced at $5, but I purchased it for Tommy. I knew he liked balloons, but was not aware on this particular day, how much amusement this one would cause. As soon as I brought it over for Tommy, he grabbed the string, and its a good thing the seal kept the helium inside. He kept bringing it down to him, and just howling with laughter. The arrivals section was already noisy, but on this day, the decibel count was a little higher than usual. Yet it was also more cheerful, as he laughed so heartily, and generated smiles among us and others close by. He somehow managed to lick some of the happy face off of the balloon, and just kept laughing, and laughing, and laughing. As I type this, even though there has been profound sadness, this memory is a happy one.

Tommy teaches us several lessons with this balloon. It is to be happy, and enjoy the simple things in life. People around you will be more cheerful, if you are. This is a good, infectious spirit that we should try to generate if possible. I will be back at Dulles Airport this week, to drop my mother-in-law off, and shall be in that same arrival area later in May. Its probably going to be painful, yet I hope to see that same person selling the happy face balloons. If they are there, I'm purchasing another one, and giving it to a child, or perhaps Tommy's younger brother when I get home. You are missed Tommy, but your lesson of happiness lives on, and by the grace of God a cure for seizures will be found. Keep playing with those balloons in Heaven, while laughing and smiling.