This is not the post I planned on submitting. An hour before my deadline, I was ready to click “submit” on a draft including my now-standard “List of 6.” This week’s theme was going to be sex scandals, riffing off Anthony Weiner and his weiner. I was prepared to send you into your weekend with facts and figures on other male politicians who can’t keep their zippers zipped, delivered with a snarky cynicism.
Then I opened my Yahoo! homepage. I saw a picture of Logan Stevenson hugging his mother, his head tucked into the curve of her neck. Logan’s eyes are open, his expression one of thoughtful consideration. His parents’ eyes are closed, their expressions indicating they are both savoring the moment and protecting themselves from the pain that lies on the other side of their eyelids.
For anyone who spends any amount of time on a Yahoo! homepage, you know that there is a scroll bar across the top that features news stories from around the world. Normally, these stories border on the random and the salacious; they’re featured because Yahoo! is betting that a shark-wrestler or a celebrity’s crooked teeth will appeal to a reader looking to kill some time between one work assignment and the next. Usually, I ignore these articles and head straight for my mailbox icon.
The picture of Logan and his parents immediately captivated me.
Then I read their story.
Their story immediately broke my heart.
Logan will not live to see his third birthday in October. When he was 14 months old, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He had a stem cell transplant in July 2012. In March of this year, he had a kidney removed. Just a few weeks ago, doctors found a mass on his remaining kidney. Doctors gave him weeks to live, and told his parents to take him home. He is spending his final days in his bed, with his family, hugging his stuffed rabbit named “Bun Bun.”
Logan’s parents had planned to marry next summer. When they learned that Logan would likely not make it to this fall, they decided to push up their wedding to this weekend. Logan will serve as their best man. His mother will carry him down the aisle.
The ceremony and reception is benefitting from donations from across the Stevenson’s community of Jeannette, PA. The family plans to celebrate both the union of two adult lives and the passage of one very short, very brave and very touching child’s life. Donations continue to pour in, as friends and strangers alike react with support of, and admiration for, Logan’s courage and his parents’ poignant milestone.
After reading about Logan, there was no way that I could pretend that the 6 things you need to know this week have anything to do with men behaving badly.
The only thing you need to know this week is that there is a little boy behaving heroically. He is living with pain, where my two-year-old is living with Red Sox day at daycare and playing chase with his older sister. He is living in a bed, where your child is living in the wide-open world of summertime fun. He is living in preparation of pending death, where we are living in preparation of upcoming life.
And there he is, cradled in his mother’s hug, looking resolutely, looking serenely, looking quietly off into the distance.
Go into this weekend thinking not of scandal, or politics, or chores or work or fleeting grievances. Go into this weekend thinking of your two functioning kidneys, your healthy blood, your strong bones. Go into this weekend thinking of your joyful wedding, your upcoming date, your movie night at home. Go into this weekend thinking of your children who are getting ready to go back to school, your children who have already planned their next birthday party, your children who can walk the length of an aisle under their own power.
Go into this weekend thinking of Logan’s parents. Go into this weekend thinking of Logan.
Go into this weekend thinking of the person you’d like to hug into the crook of your neck, or who you’d like to hug you into that same spot. Go into this weekend thinking of love.
That, in the end, is all you need. And that, in the end, is sometimes all you’ve got.
Associate Editor Abby Diaz is a mother, wife and lawyer who shares her opinions and her sarcasm while blogging about current events at What’s Left Over. Hailed by readers as “hilarious,” “insightful” and “related to me,” she is sure to cover a subject that resonates with you. Assuming you care about things like life, entertainment, and/or family. If reading full paragraphs is too much for you, enjoy Abby over at Facebook or Twitter.