Between the ages of two and four, most of Ben's therapies were at a clinic. I spent many hours with Logan hanging out in the waiting room while Ben did his thing with the therapist. It was not a favorite time of my life, but a highlight was meeting one other mom, named Shira, who also had a child with special needs who was also the same age as Ben.
My first impression of Shira was one of awe. She had a laminated card system explaining her son, Cayden, to anyone who cared to know. It hung from his wheelchair and was brightly colored. Not only was she organized and informative, Shira was also approachable and friendly. Having someone to talk to during the office visit made the time go by much more quickly.
After weeks of spending time in an old dark waiting room, we became friends. Now we do not see each other very often, but we have a bond through our children, shared experiences and respect for one another. I truly feel that if I needed something, I could call upon Shira. (She did bring a large group of girls to the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies.)
Cayden was a sweet gentle boy, always with a bright smile and very curly blonde hair. You could not help being drawn in by his charisma. It was obvious from the first time I met them that Shira provided Cayden with every possible therapy and care needed. He had the first computer I had seen for a special needs kid.
We attended Cayden's birthday party and Ryan met Joey, Cayden's Dad, and they hit it off too. Logan played with their younger daughter, Skylar. If we lived closer to one another, I think we would visit much more often.
Then one day, Cayden died suddenly in his sleep. We attended a service the family held at a park. Everyone was given the opportunity to write cards and send up balloons in honor of Cayden.
Joey and Shira are remarkable people and incredible parents. We are very fortunate to know them. Cayden's family remembers this great boy with love. Often, Joey posts photos and thoughts about Cayden on his Facebook page. Shira has decided to write 28 Days of Cayden, in honor of what would have been his 11th birthday on August 28th. It will take more than a moment to read, but it is worth every minute getting to know this family and how they operate with such grace and love in their hearts.