Today a Dream Came True
*it’s hard to write this dry-eyed so please forgive anything that’s not perfect.
The mountains have always been magical to me. Since I first visited at the age of 4 (this is going to come in play later) they have been where my dreams take me. Camping, fishing, photographing and skiing. Year after year and they still have a hold on me. The Rocky Mountains are where my mind wanders when I am day dreaming.
All I knew about the event was that it was for a boy who had been through more than most anyone will ever go through and wanted nothing more than to see a sky full of floating lanterns like one of the scenes from the movie Tangled.
I expected a handful of lanterns. After the hundreds of lanterns floated into the night, my eyes were wet and my heart was happy to know that our town loved this little guy so much. Later that evening I found out the true enormity of his situation:
Jaxson has an enlarged heart, has experienced tumors on his spinal cord and an aortic anuerysm. Endured chemotherapy. Renal failure. Blood transfusions. Lost a large portion of his small intestine. He’s also been diagnosed with Generalized Infantile Myofibromatosis. High blood pressure that threatens a kidney. There’s more but you get the picture. Oh and his body is currently being supported by a system of collateral vessels that he has developed. His system can only support a small body mass. That smile, that laugh and that spunky, little boy has a future that’s beyond uncertain.
Upon reading all of what he’d been through and would still go through, a wave of indescribable pain hit me. My daughter was 4. Perfectly healthy. I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for his parents. And above all, for Jaxson.
The lanterns were on his bucket list, something he and his mom created. Immediately I asked a friend to tell me more about the bucket list. “He wants to see mountains,” she said.
And it was then I decided I had to do whatever I could to help fulfill that wish and show him the very mountains that fill my dreams.
Within days I had booked flights and made preliminary plans, most of which would involve his very own photo shoot IN the mountains. Thanks to Care to Share, his hotel and a car were taken care of. A few other locals chipped in some money to cover food and any extra costs that might come up on the trip.
On Wednesday, my wife and daughter flew to Denver with Jaxson, his momma and brand new baby brother. Jaxson got to see his mountains for the first time with mom Grace, who also experienced them for the first time. We rolled through a meadow, sat on boulders (in Boulder, CO) and crushed pinecones. There were tears. But more importantly there were smiles that never ended and dreams both met and made anew.