Saturday, March 9, 2013

PS I Love You

(This post is a few days late or a few months early, depending on how you want to look at it. Either way it is important to me so please, read on...)

In the traditional sense of the word love, I may be the most naive 25 year old ever but that is okay with me. You see, I don't have an epic love story, pop music love song (containing far too many "baby, oh" lines), not even a love limerick to be shared with the world. Nope, nothing. But my love story is better than any Hollywood blockbuster or chart topping ballad; it is real and heartbreaking.

Logan with his B4SMA Blanket
It isn't a fairytale but it does begin long ago and far away in a land called Arizona. At the time, I was a junior in high school. I spent a lot of time on the internet because, other than precalc, I finished school work pretty quickly and was weeks ahead due to being homeschooled. On this particular day I came across a post on an SMA website pleading for help. The poster had a good friend who had a son who was critically ill and in the hospital. At 6 months old, this baby had already been resuscitated several times by his mother and father. Jennifer, the friend and poster to the SMA website, and I became fast friends. We would email frequently about ways that the hospital could help Logan do better. We also sent Logan a blanket from B4SMA. The blanket was covered in teddy bears with wings. I had chosen the fabric months earlier because it reminded me so much of my sister, Emma, who lost her battle with SMA in 1992. When Jennifer said that Logan's nickname was Logibear, I just knew that he had to have the teddy bear angel blanket.

After Logan was discharged from the hospital, Jennifer got me into contact with Shelle, Logan's mom. Over the next few months we communicated almost daily. I fell in love with Logan's spirit and his family. During the fall of 2005, Logan's dad, Chris, asked me which baseball team I liked better, Mets or Yankees. Being raised in NY one would think that I would have a preference but I really don't like baseball so I didn't have answer for him. I told Chris that I didn't like baseball but I liked the Steelers, knowing that Chris was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He was so excited by that response that he said someday Logan and I would be engaged and married.

Now, I know what you must be thinking. An approximately 17 year age difference is not okay. But it was the real thing. I don't mean that I was robbing the cradle. I loved Logan and he me. Just like a real boyfriend and girlfriend we sent each other gifts and "emailed" and Skyped often.

In February 2008, I was in the hospital recovering from the flu and trach surgery. I was discouraged and just generally unhappy, having been in the hospital for more than 50 days at that point. I received an email with several photos attached from Shelle. (I'll include the pictures below so you get the full effect)

Needless to say I smiled for the first time in days and quickly responded with my own picture (which I can't seem to find, regretfully). In any case, I said yes and throughout the SMA Community we were considered engaged. Logan sealed it with a promise of a ring as soon as he saved up enough allowance.

After over a year of being engaged to Logan, the unthinkable happened. For all intents and purposes it was a typical Monday for me. I slept in, not having class at all that day. Around 11, Brenda woke me up and I instantly knew by the look on her face that something was wrong.

"What?" I asked, not trusting my voice to say anything more. Brenda looked right into my eyes and said the worst two words in the world.
"He's gone."

I didn't even have to ask who, I just knew. Logan hadn't been sick and yet I knew, deep down inside my heart, that he was gone. It was not long after that my cellphone rang. It was Jana, one our SMA friends, calling to tell me what happened to Logan. As I listened I cried. He was only four years old and he was gone. After I hung up the phone, I threw myself into making a video of Logan's glorious life. Shelle and Chris used the video at the celebration of Logan's life.

I never got to meet Logan in person but everyday, he reminds me of what true love is really about. It doesn't matter that we were 17 years a part in age or thousands of miles a part in distance. Logan loved me and I him...I always will. Love isn't about numbers, it is about the signs I get on my worst days or my best or even while writing this post. Logan would have been 8 on the 5th of this month and I still miss him every day.

P.S. I love you, Logibear


MIL said...

I more than love this MJ. I love your side of the love you two (we all) have

Anonymous said...

So very beautiful, MJ. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. I have no doubt you fell in love with such a precious soul. Shelle was the first person to reach out to me after Nicholas's diagnosis and I melted hearing Logan's story. xoxo

Jessica Gustafson