Today, and probably more often then I realize, someone somewhere in the world looked at a picture of Everett.
They came across it on Facebook, or on my blog, or found our newspaper article online, and their eyes looked upon my son.
Maybe he was sleeping soundly in a sleeper and knit blue cap, all tucked in with blankets at Sick Kids, before surgery.
Maybe he was wide eyed and curious sporting nothing but a diaper and some monitoring wires.
Maybe he was intubated, hooked up to ECMO, sedated and bleeding.
Maybe the saw the picture of he and I holding hands on his very last day here on earth.
Doesn't matter either way.
They saw him.
They saw him in all his tiny delicateness, they saw his fragility and the precarious nature of his battle.
They saw his beauty, the fineness of his features, his future handsomeness already apparent.
They saw his affliction, they saw what he was up against, and they saw his bravery, and what he was fighting.
They saw him lose.
They saw us break.
They saw him, and us.
Somewhere out there, someone saw my son, and they got it. They felt something for him and for us, and it's a strange but good feeling.
They saw the reality.
They saw the untouched photos, and they aren't pretty. It wasn't pretty.
But, it was what it was.
It was sad, and scary, and filled with panic and desperation.
It was painful, for us and for him.
It was bloody, and messy and complicated and uncharted territory.
It was heart breaking.
It was life ending and life changing.
It was tragic.
It was horrible.
And today, and on many other days I am sure, someone saw that.
And I feel somewhat validated, because I spend a great deal of time feeling like the vast majority of people we know, aside from those who saw it first hand, just don't get it. They don't know what it was. Their minds have cleaned it up, prettied it up, made it nice and neat and easy, but it wasn't. It was exactly what it was.
But here's what else it was.
It was life changing, it was love filled, it was hope filled, it was heart breaking but soul saving, it brought us to our knees in pain but led us to prayer, it was perspective changing, it deepened our capacity to love and to care and to feel. It was crawling over hot coals and coming out on the other side scorched, burned, blistered and bleeding but knowing that we did it, and we could do it again if we had to, and we'd do it again in an instant if we had to. It was bad, but it was good.
But, someone today saw a picture of Everett.
And they pondered him.
They thought about him, and his fight, and our loss, and our broken hearts.
They said his name, either out loud or in their heads.
And that is also inexplicable.
It's inexplicably touching.