Avery warriors on.
A number of years ago Lance Armstrong introduced his foundation and almost immediately there were yellow bands on the wrists of people from all walks of life. Politicians, clergy, teachers, athletes, military – it seems that everywhere you looked you would see those yellow bands. I had been working at a bike shop and had followed Armstrong even before those bands came about, so naturally I was drawn to wear one. But my purpose of wearing that band was magnified by the loss of my Grandmother, who passed away after she had battled cancer. I wore that yellow band on my right wrist, never taking it off for 6 years, until just recently when I had to remove it due to an injury that will require surgery. I wore it to honor my Grandma, but also because I was inspired by Armstrong. Like him or not, one must admit he is a warrior.
During the early days of our time in the NICU (I realize that to many people three weeks seems like a short time, but ask any NICU parent and I bet they would say that it is a lifetime. And, it has proven to be one beautiful lifetime – Sienna’s) we met a couple whose son had just been through the same surgery that our girls were facing. On their wrists each wore a blue band and had vowed not to take it off until their son came home. Robin had a strong reaction and as soon as we got home began looking online to find a company to make bands for us.
Because I am a Marine (once a Marine always a Marine) and due to the fact that one of my closest friends (an absolute warrior) said that the first sight he had of the girls was them kicking and chopping into the air, Robin had inscribed on the inside of the bands, “Tiny Warriors.” This was to honor the spirit of the warrior – the warrior who refused to give up. Joaquin has helped keep me going through this hard time, as have many others like him, and his motto is, “Never Quit!” So it was with my daughters, to whom he will always be an uncle rather than a close friend.
Today, Joaquin, Robin and I visited Arlington National Cemetery and made arrangements for Sienna’s memorial service. The service will be Friday, October 08 at 2:00 pm. I feel honored that due to my service in the Marine Corps I can be there when my days are done, and even more so that Sienna can be there. At that sacred place she will be protected and in the company of many of the finest men and women that the world has ever known.
The pink bands that were ordered arrived today and they are beautiful. People local to our area who wish to have one can text and stop by, and all others can notify us via email if you want some mailed to you. Robin and I will be wearing them until Avery Rose is home. We ask that everyone who takes one at least carries it. Please keep praying for our tiny warrior Avery and all of the other children who are in the fight of their lives.
Although we realize that the context of the humbling and breathtaking Trace Adkins song linked below is different because Sienna obviously never had the opportunity to serve her country, we hope that her story of strength will in some small way serve the people who do serve our country. We are deeply honored that she is one of the chosen ones who will make it to Arlington.