Jan 4th, 2008 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

A few weeks ago I heard a song whose title touched my heart. The Smile He Left Behind seemed to capture how Im attempting to remember Cailean these days- picturing him in all his glory with his smile reaching out to all. He continues to be the first and last thought of each day and so many, many minutes in between.

Ive pictured Cailean smiling at various 2007 events. Im sure he was elated at the birth of his second nephew, Chase, last January 26th. He loved being an uncle and looked forward to the times he was able to spend with Dexter. I believe that he was with us at the March Gala held in honor of his Aunt Bernadette celebrating her forty years in Catholic education. Im positive our son witnessed family and friends walking for him as members of the Walking for Cailean Walker group in our third annual participation in the NAMI walk in Boston this year a very wet one. He shared our deep gratitude for those who came from near and far to participate (as well as for those who wanted to, but were unable to walk). We hope that you can all join us this year when the event will be held on Saturday, May 31st. In August Cailean must have celebrated the news that Mariel passed her important dosimetry examination. Finally, he was present with family and friends at the surprise 30th birthday party which Joe planned for Brittany in Boston last month.

Over the year I also think that Cailean was saddened with the news of the death of two of our friends. Linda was a NYC friend and well respected MS nurse who will soon have a building named in her honor at the hospital where she once worked. Our son did not know Linda well, but she was still very touched by his life experience and death. Just last month we lost another friend, Mara Martin, mother of Ryan and Lindsey Albanese. Mara would probably be proud that I call her my most outrageous friend. She was also a good one. Mara was one of the first to arrive at our home the morning after Cailean died and subsequently stopped by on an almost daily basis before she and her family relocated to Albany. She had Caileans picture on display at home and in her office at work; she also carried it in her wallet and told me that she had shown it to a number of nurses she met during her chemotherapy sessions.

These losses remind us again of how unpredictable and fragile life can be and that we should never take anything for granted. As such, we wish to again express our love and gratitude to all those who continue to remember and honor Caileanand the smile he left behind. Love, Maureen