Hope you are doing okay this year, bud. I remember your post when Christopher slipped the bonds of earth.Thank you Tabor8Man that's a very kind offer. I'm going to suggest instead that we occasionally encourage one another to reach out as so many on the forum already do and encourage and help fellow shooters as needs arise.
Christopher has been memorialized by the local children's hospital with a hospital room dedicated to him as well as a "teen room" where older hospitalized kids can take their friends to get away.
You've provided the perfect segue for me to share something near and dear to me.
The year after Christopher was born a special charity was set up through Mary Bridge Children's Hospital here in Tacoma WA called TFK (Toys For Kids of Intensive Care Families). Imagine a child with such complex medical needs (think of a hospital bed in the living room of a small apartment) that their siblings, the whole family really, have to give it all up because of the ill brother/sister. Imagine exhausted parent(s) unable to afford gifts or even the ability to go shopping for the holidays. Qualifying families are identified through the hospital social work department and then our TFK team, organized through my dental office working jointly through the Mary Bridge Social Work Department, get to work raising money and getting wish lists to the kids. Then on a selected night sometime before Christmas fifty or sixty volunteer elves spread out at a local store (Target) and spend around $35,000 in a few hours on a Christmas shopping blitz buying gifts from the wish lists. We generally spend around $150.00 on each of the ill kids and each of their siblings. The toys are organized per family and delivered to the homes along with wrapping paper, tape etc.
Unless the parents say otherwise we try to stay anonymous to the kids - we want it to be the parents who get the credit not us. By the time we collate all the deals and discounts we can stretch it to $40-45,000 worth of toys. Since it's inception TFK has raised over $500,000 for families in need.
Imagine a large moving van full of giant labeled and organized garbage bags stuffed full of toys.
Every year until his death one of my most cherished moments was coming home and telling Christopher how many children got Christmas because of him.
Christopher, for his whole life, was was completely paralyzed except for being able to move his eyes and facial muscles. He couldn't breathe or talk, move his head, shift his position, scratch or tell us where he hurt yet he was intelligent, graduated high school and had the most wonderful and ready smile that would absolutely draw you to him. He had a complicated but full life surrounded by those that loved him and a loving and caring nursing team.
I can't even begin to describe the sacrifices these families make. Try never having evenings off to do anything as a family or never going on vacation (my wife, our younger son and I got away four times for two nights and two times for three nights in nearly thirty years).
Slingshots were a serious escape for me for years.
Well, so much for catharsis.
Thank you again. That was very gracious.