Some of you might remember at Blake’s memorial, a friend surprised us with an unexpected gift (with many of you as contributors) – a celebration tile at Rady Children’s Hospital. While we lived at that hospital with Blake for months, we would walk the hall lined with these tiles daily. I remember hoping that at least some of those tiles were truly celebrating living, healthy children, but we knew many of them were in memoriam. That’s tough to think about while your own child is fighting for his life.
Receiving this gift was so special, and yet also stirred up realizations of now being on the other side. Since Blake has passed, this single square tile really has tremendous meaning for us. We also realized that the next step was our responsibility and it was a hard one: Design the tile. That seemed like a near impossible task. How do you possibly decide what to put on this 9×9” blank slate that represents your deceased child? It took quite a bit of time…plus soon after Blake’s memorial my Mom fell ill, and you know… Covid.
Nonetheless, we were inspired by another gift we received soon after Blake died. We had opened a package from a very talented girl I once worked with a few years back. Without having spoken in quite some time, she sent us a portrait she had painted of Blake. It was and is beautiful. We will cherish it for the rest of our lives, and it currently lives on the shelf in our living room next to Blake’s urn. We decided we wanted to lift this portrait, add our symbolic lizard and include something that represents the positive energy, light and the miracle that is Blake. I think the final design does just that (thanks to my friends and colleagues that helped put it together).
Just recently, we got word that our tile was finalized and installed in our 1st choice location – directly under the elevator buttons in the Rose Pavilion. These are the elevators that we took to the CVICU many times daily, and that Blake rode with us throughout his medical journey. They are the same elevators that our team of heroes take each day at work – doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, staff. We hope that each day they hit that button and wait for their ride to the 3rd floor unit – they get to see Blake’s face and know they are loved, and that they make a difference in the lives of every family in their care. We certainly will forever be grateful to have been in their care.
A sincere thank you to all of you that contributed to this tile, and helped make it a reality. And Rady friends and staff – we hope you’ll keep your eye out for Blake’s celebration tile and think of us, as we continue to think of and celebrate you.
#forevergrateful #ForBlake #gooddeedsforblake