Kerry Claire Gargan
On May 29, 1991 - one day before my 29th birthday - Lucas William Forman came bounding into this world after an exceptional easy delivery. Weighing in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces, one of the nurses said, "he looks like he has a pound in each cheek!" With a 14 month old daughter at home, we quickly adjusted to life with two babies. Lucas' big sister, Abby, who was just beginning to speak, called her baby brother "Weeky" and seemed to adore our new addition to the family.
While life with two babies was indeed hectic, I was loving it! Two healthy, happy babies, we were filling up our "starter" house, and I had returned to my graduate studies at Rutgers University. On a cold November day, two days before Thanksgiving, my life was forever changed. I left school to pick up the children at the babysitter's house, just five minutes away from campus. At four o'clock in November, it is usually dark. As I got closer to the house, my way became lit by the flashing lights of police cars, ambulances, and even a fire truck. All those first responders were there, trying to make Lucas breath again.
Lucas had taken his last breath. He died on November 26, 1991. We buried him the day after Thanksgiving, on what would have been his six-month birthday. Life did go on, but it will never be the same. As I tell groups when I speak about SIDS, although we went on to have four more babies, a piece of me and our family will always be missing.
As I thought about honoring Lucas 25 years after his death, I imagined being far, far away. Hawaii. Europe. Then reality hit, and I decided instead of running from my memories, I would run FOR my memories. I could think of no better way to honor the memory of my son than by helping raise awareness and funding for SIDS research.
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