“Always be just a little kinder than necessary” are words I noticed on a huge billboard as we drove through Watertown, MA on our way to participate as part of the “Cailean’s Walkers” group in our fifth annual NAMI Walk on Sunday, May 31, 2009. This quote from James Barrie, author of Peter Pan, struck me as being an appropriate theme for a day in which over thirty people gathered to honor our son, brother, and friend to many, Cailean Walker Sheeran.

The words certainly applied to Cailean, a gentle, kind, funny young man who loved to have fun and make other people happy through his wonderful music, funny sense of humor, and positive personality. On the eve of his twenty-third birthday, I can only assume that all of his attributes would have carried him very far in life and as a husband and father.

The quote also fits Brittany and Joe who opened their home to overnight guests and who also hosted some wonderful barbeques for the walk participants at their home over the weekend. Additionally, it describes those who walked as part of our team, many of whom traveled many hours to be able to join John, Brittany, and me : Ben, Bill, Bobby, Cathy, Chastity, Christine, Dana, Danny, Diane, Dylan, Debbie, Dylan, Erica, Graham, Gillian, Judy, Joe, Kathy, Maris, Melissa, Mike, Pam, Raquel, Rebecca, Richie, Ryan, Tammy, John Sheehan (separate from John Sheeran).

Others were also kind in giving, soliciting, or sending donations, many of whom are already listed as walkers above. Donations to NAMI were also given by: Mary Ehler, Amy Dowd, Anonymous, Nancy Lee, Dolores and Alan Norton, Robert Travis, Barbara Swartzwelder, Brion Travis, Margaret Yonco Haines, and Cynthia Timmerman. We were recently notified of donations given by John and Penny Seekircher and Kathryn Plummer in Cailean’s Name for the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center. There were many others who wished that they could be there; they sent their thoughts and wishes to let us know they would be thinking of us on this heart wrenching, but yet heart-warming, day. We hope to post a group photograph of the NAMI walk shortly.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all listed above and to everyone who continues to remember and honor the very kind Cailean Walker Sheeran.

Happy Birthday, Cailean – you are always in my heart and thoughts. Love forever, and then a day, Mom

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