Jump to content
TEAM SHELBY FORUM

This is who he was


Recommended Posts

Despite doctors telling us that Ethan’s development would not be typical, he began laughing right on schedule. One day out of the blue he giggled the biggest belly laugh. I ran and got Robbie so he could hear. It was only the beginning of all of the belly laughs. When something was funny Ethan would laugh so hard that he would turn purple and not be able to breathe because he was laughing so hard. Once you found a funny topic you could use it for days to get a good laugh. It was always the craziest things that you told him that made him laugh hysterically.

Camille and Ethan are 19 months apart. They grew up together. Camille used Ethan as her partner in crime. She would blame Ethan for all sorts of things. One day I walked in and Ethan had whiskers drawn on his face. I asked Camille if she had done this and she said that Ethan said she could. She was also very jealous of all the “special” and extra stuff that Ethan had, like that great wheelchair that he had and she didn’t. She always wanted what he had and even had to have her food mashed up with all the extra butter just like Ethan. Camille would always complain that Ethan was hitting her in the back seat of the car. I did not believe her until I looked in the rearview mirror after Camille complained about Ethan just in time to see him smack her in the face. I guess he was getting back for drawing whiskers on his face.

 

Although Ethan could not control much of his world he found ways to show that he was definitely in control. Ethan began kindergarten in a regular class with no assistant. One day he came home with a birthday invitation for a classmate. The name of the student was one that I could not tell if it was a boy or a girl, so I asked Ethan. He told me boy and the teacher told me it was a girl. This set off an entire year of Ethan answering EVERY question backward, 100% backward. Anything that you asked him was the opposite, he was a girl, Camille was a boy, the red block was blue. His teachers were baffled. This went on an entire year. Finally one day he just stopped and answered everything correctly. Ethan was letting us know who was running the show.

Ethan always though scary things were made to laugh at. The scary guy at Halloween that all the kids ran away from was so funny to Ethan. The wicked witch character at Disney world that had no line because all the kids were afraid, proposed to Ethan because she said that he was the only guy who was not afraid of her. Ethan’s sense of humor was always way above his age. The teachers at school had to stop telling each other mature jokes in Ethan’s presence because he always laughed at them when they thought he was not listening. When Ethan attend regular ed classes the whole class would turn around when the teacher told a joke just to see Ethan giggle. On a first appointment with a new doctor, the doctor questioned us on how much did Ethan understand. The doctor then proceeded to sit down on the garbage can and fell over. Ethan cracked up laughing and the doctor said” well I guess that tells me that you understand everything:”

Ethan and Leo shared a bedroom. After they were in bed I could hear Leo talking to Ethan and Ethan giggling. I never did find out what Leo would tell him every night to make him laugh.

Ethan loved the Ellen DeGeneres show. He would watch every day after school with MeMaw. They would dance together and then Ethan would laugh for the next hour. All you had to do was ask what Ellen did that day and Ethan would laugh.

Ethan loved his extended family. Pawpaw could make him laugh with stories of Chief Whitefeather and Jangles Rhienhart. Ethan would laugh hysterically at his stories. When Memaw would try to make him laugh with the same stories she was met with a blank stare, not what Memaw wanted. Aunt Julie, Lydia and Juliette were always good for a laugh. Just watching them argue would set Ethan off on uncontrollable laughter.

Ethan began working with an occupational therapist when he was 6 months old. He continued working with her until the day before he died. Darbi was the first crush Ethan ever had. He was madly in love with Darbi and would do anything to impress her. She was able to get him to do things that we never thought imaginable. She had him feeding himself from a spoon and walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes to collect tips from other patients at the therapy center. Darbi also loved Ethan and would do anything for him. Ethan had the honor of being the ring bearer in her wedding a job he took very seriously. He was 5 years old and was rolled down the isle in a tux. He posed for pictures, smiling on cue and when the photographer called for a “crazy” shot of the bridal party, Ethan played right along and cracked up laughing. He spent the rest of the night on the dance floor, dancing with Darbi and anyone else who would dance with him. He would not let me take him off the dance floor and he would not go home until the party was shut down.

If Darbi was Ethan’s first love , then Sydney was his next. Ethan met Sydney in school and I was told it was love at first site. A friend who witnessed the first meeting said that you could see both of them swoon when they saw each other. They went to dances together, made the Sweetheart court together and would hold hands in the bus on the way to camp.

For Ethan’s 13th birthday we had his party at the WWII museum where we attended “The sound of music sing along”. All 300 people were dressed in costume and sang along to the songs as the movie was shown. Ethan though this was hysterical. Becky Allen was making funny commentary throughout the movie. She even got the entire audience to sing Happy Birthday to Ethan while she serenaded him. He loved that party.

 

Ethan attended his first sleep away camp when he was 7. Rob and I drove him 3 hours away and left him at a camp dreamstreet where only one person knew him. Rob was skeptical but Ethan was emphatic that he wanted to go. After a week of not one phone call from camp we returned to pick him up. We asked him on the way home if he wanted to return to camp next year and the answer was a resounding “huh”. It was so evident that he had a great time at camp because he talked the whole 3 hours home. Ethan returned to this camp for 7 years. It was what he looked forward to all year. The staff told us that he laughed the entire time. Camp Dreamstreet and Krewe de Camp were two places where Ethan could be independent and have a great time among his peers without his parents hovering. The counselors at both of these camps are wonderful teenagers who give so much. Ethan was very blessed to spend time with these counselors who immediately picked up on Ethan’s strange sense of humor and goofed off with him for the entire week.

 

 

 

This just a little bit of who he was as writen by my wife.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a wonderful child! It sounds like you were so very fortunate to have had him for the short time he was with you. I'm so very sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thank you to your wife for sharing those thoughts Rob......it is obvious that Ethan had a very profound positive effect on those who had the pleasure of meeting him and getting to know him.

 

I will continue to pray for your family.

 

 

 

+1000........If there's anything we can do to help ease the pain, please don't hesitate to ask.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Rob and thanks to your wife for sharing this wonderful look into who Ethan was. He obviously touched the hearts and souls of everyone he knew.

 

 

You and your family are in my Prayers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Rob and thanks to your wife for sharing this wonderful look into who Ethan was. He obviously touched the hearts and souls of everyone he knew.

 

 

You and your family are in my Prayers.

 

 

A very touching tribute :cry:

:angel:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sad and sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. It is obvious that Ethan touched everyone he meet and was very loved. He fought his battle couragously and now he is home at peace with no pain :angel: May God bless you all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Robert for posting this and thank your wife for the great words. I usually don't read the long posts however, this one was worth it. It had me smiling and crying at the same time. Ethan has made a profound mark in your life and you have every reason to proud of him. If it helps you ease the pain, please continue to tell us the stories, that's what families do, we listen!

 

Take care, stay well and don't be a stranger..... Sandy and I will continue praying for you and your family.

 

God Bless,

Doug

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am caught up now, I really didnt want to assume by the first post, but I hope you know that there is strength in numbers, and we have your back for anything we can help with. If you need a shoulder to lean on, cry on, or just an ear to hear you out, you will always find it here. Thank you for sharing your wife's lovely and eloquent words. I thought at first it was a passage from a book. Perhaps she should write a book, not just a couple stories! She has very good writing skill. My prayers are with you and your family.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. That was the saddest post I've read in a long time knowing what the end result has just been. But yet I found my self smiling the whole time. You guy seem to have been lucky enough to not only know such a kind soul but also be able to know that he is your son. As hard as it is to know he's gone. Cherish the times he was in your life. It sounds like he brought many smiles to many faces and touched everyone he came in contact with in a very special way

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was great to get a snapshot of who Ethan was!!! As a former school principal, I saw a few students like Ethan and really cherished conversing with them!!!!!!!! They really made my day and I hope I brought some joy into their lives.As parents you must have been extremely proud of him!!!!!!!!! I know he's looking down from heaven with a smile and a huge giggle!!!!!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just knowing that such a young soul has touched your life so deeply - this is what assures you that you had something special. And even know he is gone in body, his spirit and soul will live on with you for the rest of your days. Stay strong for your family, and take care of yourself. Thought and prayers from my family to yours...

GUS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...
...