It was Friday, May 6th and we just finished a beat down at the Foundry. During the CoT, I asked the Pax to say a prayer for my daughter, Christina, to feel better and to bless her for her Holy Communion which should have been that Saturday. Sadly, those prayers were not answered. 12 hours later, our precious daughter, our Angel, was now in Heaven. She died the day before her Holy Communion and two days before Mother’s Day. Why? Why?! My wife, son and I were in complete shock; filled with questions, sorrow and anger. We could not imagine how this could happen to her…to us. To this day, we still feel that way. We are devastated. My M and I have endured many losses in our lives, but nothing, NOTHING compares to losing your child. We question how we can live each day without her. We question our faith. Why would God take her when she had so many things to accomplish on this Earth with her family? None of this makes sense to us…and probably never will. I did not think we would ever survive a day. However, as of today, it has been exactly two months. Two months of Hell on Earth but we are still here, fighting, surviving and trying to live another day. One of reasons we are here…is all of you. The Pax of F3 and FiA Nation.
Your support has been nothing short of amazing. We have appreciated all the prayers, meals, donations and visits we have received. But the real support has been through the 2nd F, the fellowship. 216 men inspired me to get out of the fart sack for a supportive convergence the Monday after her passing, many from different AO’s. 53 women helped Jager post to her first ever 5:30am work out to show their support. Again, numerous AO’s represented. Numerous Pax were sporting their colors and their shovel flags at my daughter’s wake and funeral in NC. Mooch traveling from New Hampshire to NY just to show me support and to deliver a shovel flag in her honor. Jimmy Olsen flew to NY to be there for the wake and funeral. Raffles. Memory bricks and so on and so forth. And I can sit here and go on and on about each individual’s contribution to my healing or surviving rather but then my message would not get read. All I can say is that I am truly humbled, and thankful that I/we have F3 and FiA Nation behind us because without you all, we may not be standing.
Often times, on those rare occasions I make it into the gloom lately I get asked “what else can I do to help other than prayers?” My usual response is there is really nothing anyone can do…well; I am calling an audible today. And I am calling on the Pax of F3 and FiA Nation countrywide to help us heal, and create a mission to honor our sweet daughter. The M and I know we need some sort of motivation to continue to “live” but more importantly, have a positive impact in the lives of others. In other words, take actions of Christ and of a #HIM. Many of you don’t know our daughter or us for that matter. But Christina (Sweet Tooth) was an amazing little girl. Through all the outcries from friends, family, students, teachers, religious educators and strangers, one common theme that was always mentioned was that she had a big heart which is quite ironic since it was her heart that failed her two months ago. She was the girl that when a new student came into the class, Christina would befriend her. If a student was sad, she would act her goofy self and cheer them up. She was everybody’s friend, seemed like everybody’s BFF from all the cards we received from her class mates…and enemies with no one. She also loved animals, especially cats and often I was influenced to adopt another in need of a good home. She was bright, sassy and had a smile that could light up a room. She loved Minecraft, loved playing Star Wars with her Dad, getting mani/pedis with her Mom. She also loved Spartan racing and F3. She wore her jersey proudly many times when we would hit the trails. She enjoyed F3 Kids workouts even though it interfered with her sleep. She had so much fun at F3 Dads Camp and was so excited to go again this year. I don’t know if we could ever do her enough justice but we are certainly going to try.
To keep her memory living for years to come, we are creating an initiative called Operation Sweet Tooth. Although there will be much bigger and more impactful things to come. However, to begin this mission, I am calling, asking all the Pax throughout all the regions of F3 to have a toy drive in her honor during their respective Christmas parties. I want to help support those children that are sick and scared lying in hospital beds not knowing their fate. I want to provide some sort of peace and or comfort to children, who reside in orphanages without anyone to call Mom or Dad. I want these children to know that a stranger cares about them and that they know there is an Angel looking down over them. But I cannot do this alone…I need High Impact Men and Women to help…so I am asking all of you for that help.
I would need a Q from each region/AO to identify an orphanage, children’s hospital etc that would benefit from our collection and to help coordinate delivery of the items and just share the message of F3, Sweet Tooth and how her parents just want to provide peace or comfort, even if just for a brief moment in time. Below is a link from our local children’s hospital here in Charlotte. There is usually a donating list of items, toys, blankets, stuffed animals that are accepted. You can get a sense of what is needed or wanted by looking at the “Donating to Levine’s Childrens Hopsital” Toys and Gifts.
I have had custom designed shirts available through Mudgear. The links are below. I was informed that the board has decided to share the proceeds with the sales to help fund this initiative…again, truly humbled and honored. I will be working on printed boxes for the collections and hopefully prayer cards to be distributed as well.
This is just one small step, small part my family and I can do to honor our daughter. Larger plans down the road include creating a non-profit organization, continued toy drives, hospital visits, animal rescue events, scholarships etc. That will all be in the works sometime in the future, but we still need time to mourn our baby and don’t want to take too much on all at one time.
“So what can you do to help me and my family other than pray?” Help us help others is now what I will say.
Olive, Jager and Happy Meal