by Derrick Lesnau
Yesterday, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin & Central Texas partnered with March of Dimes and the Seton Healthcare Family for a Memorial Service to honor those children that have passed. Families that have lost a child (recently or not so recently) were invited to attend this year’s service at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens in Zilker Park. This was the 1st year that RMHC partnered with the other 2 organizations for this event and it was a great experience for all those who attended. It was a beautiful day with great weather and the volunteers who helped run the event made it special for all those who gathered to remember the lives of their children and the impact they continue to have on their lives each day.
As the ceremony concluded, a mother and father came up to me to thank me for the support that RMHC provided them during their child’s treatment as well as for the financial assistance RMHC gave them to help with costs associated with laying their child to rest. They gave me a big hug as tears streamed down their cheeks and all they could do was keep saying thank you. As I expressed my sorrow for their loss, I told them we were happy to help them during such a painful experience and that I sincerely appreciated them coming up to me. Just like all the other families at yesterday’s event, remembering their child and knowing that they are not and will never be forgotten provided a small sense of comfort in a time of pain that I can in no way imagine or relate to…… I pray I never will know that pain.
To all those families that attended yesterday’s event and to those that were unable to attend, please know that the lives of the children you have lost will not only live on in your hearts, but that the healthcare professionals and those associated with services such as RMHC and the March of Dimes also keep them in our hearts and they will forever impact how we carry out our missions.