08 Mar Dee’s Greatest Treasure: Meaning in the Midst of Tragedy
March 8th will always be a day to remember because it was on this day that our friend, Dylan Kent, died. There. I said it. He died.
My friend, Tami, introduced his family to ours–not because we had anything in common. We don’t. In real life, we may have never met. But because Tami had a daughter with cancer and Robin and James had a son with cancer and my house was only eight miles from theirs, she asked me to “check on them.”
I did. I drove to their house, and I sat in my car. For a minute. Two minutes. Maybe three. When I finally rang the doorbell and Robin answered it, I had no idea that it would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Dylan sat at the dining room table with his homebound teacher. From their conversation, I gathered that most of his work was incomplete, and she just kept saying over and over “Considering your circumstances….”
His mom, Robin filled me in on their “circumstances.”
I made small talk and dropped off dinner.
It was a pattern that would repeat itself over the next several months. In and out of the hospital, bad doctor’s reports and good ones, relapses, and decisions. Always decisions. I had no context for relating to their pain, and yet our lives had become inextricably connected to theirs. I hung on to every word. I continued bringing food, as gradually Dylan became sicker still, and the home teacher stopped coming, and instead of driving eight miles to his house I found myself driving an hour to wrap my arms around them in a sterile hospital room. We may not have had anything in common, and yet we had everything in common. Love and hope are universal, after all.
On the night of March 7th, I spent the night at Scottish Rite. I silently watched and prayed as the vitals on the machines began to indicate a lack thereof.
No one wanted to acknowledge what we knew in our hearts was happening.
Dylan was dying.
Looking back, it must have seemed odd to them, this person who had only been in their lives a few months sharing such an intimate moment. In some ways, I felt like an intruder, a spectator in a movie that wasn’t about me.
And while his family must go on living, a little piece of them also died on March 8th.
To Robin and James, do you know that even though the past was painful and the present is passing, the future is your legacy–will you allow it to be full of purpose?
To Robin and James, do you know that Dylan lives, not only in heaven, but here, in our hearts?
To Robin and James, do you know that if it weren’t for Dylan we wouldn’t have even dreamed of one day beginning something like Forever We?
To Robin and James, do you know that Dylan is the real “Dee” in Sam & Dee’s Greatest Treasure?
To Robin and James, when we wrote these words, we wrote them with you in mind:
Forever we treasure where we’ve been
Forever we stick through thick and thin
Forever we promise we’ll never give in
Never Never Never Never
To Robin and James, brokenness hurts like crazy. It really does. Your family will never be the same. Thank you for sharing your pain, not only with us but with the world. From brokenness, something beautiful is growing.
Until there’s a cure, We are Forever We.
R.I.P. Dylan Kent.
P.S. Every time you make a purchase at Forever We, we honor kids like Dylan and others (Sydney, Harper, and Kylie) who we’ve met on our journey. We are committed to giving 10% of the purchase price of everything we sell to our nonprofit partners working to bring awareness and funding to this devastating illness. Thank you for supporting us–and them.