I launched this crazy Internet dialogue three months ago with a note that began, "life is funny sometimes." It became a stock joke for Maureen, who delighted in mocking my blog entries for being long on lessons, windy prose and allegories and short on vital information about Will.
Three months later, it's still true. Life is funny sometimes. It's also sometimes wonderful, unfair, joyous and tragic. Most of all, we've learned, life is a precious gift.
Today, it's sad. Will Henry Kurth, our beautiful boy and love of our lives, passed on today at 4:20 a.m. at Beaumont Hospital. Despite early hope after last week's surgery, Will quickly regressed. In his final days, Will's pain was so great and breathing so labored that nurses gave him morphine before touching him.
We're heartbroken. Our eyes are swollen from crying. Just when we think we can't sob anymore, more tears come. It seems so cruel that someone so pure and so loved would have to suffer like he did. We feel guilty Will could fill us with such happiness and pride, but our love couldn't ease his pain or help him overcome impossibly long odds.
Like all new parents, we thought Will was a miracle baby after his birth. After 89 days, we know he is. We're amazed and humbled that he's created this network of friends, literally from Washington to Maine, who are bonded only by their love for someone most never met.
It may be a good thing that you never laid eyes on Will. You might not have ever recovered. The kid was a charmer. Nurses from other parts of the vast NICU would make a point to visit Will and gaze at his deep blue eyes, stroke his long strawberry blond hair and ogle his curly eyelashes. A sensitive soul, Will loved music and seemed at peace when he was in our arms. Still, he was undoubtedly a Kurth and Feighan: Cross him at your peril. He'd turn bright red, lock his legs and extend his arms outward like a soccer referee screaming "GOOOOOAL!"
It's funny. Maureen and I were always certain we'd have smart, ugly kids. Will was nothing we ever expected, but so much more than we imagined.
We've always known, deep down, that Will wasn't long for this world. Our inital fear over having a child with disabilities soon gave way to concern for him and hope we could at least take him home. We can accept that it wasn't meant to be, but it still hurts.
We already miss Will a lot, but we're so happy he let us be his parents for three months. He taught us so much. We now know about unconditional love. We have an appreciation for the power, vitality and love of the disabled. We know that a lot of stuff we used to think is important really isn't. We learned about patience and savoring the moment. We learned we have amazing friends and family who have overwhelmed us with their love and generosity. We know how much we love being parents.
Most of all, we think, Will showed us how lucky we are to be alive. So we'll feel rotten for a while, but get back up again and do right by our son by trying to take each day as the great gift it is. That's the least we can do for Will.
So long, pal. We know you're in a better place with people who've always loved you and others who are just now falling under your spell.
Thank you, Will. We miss you.
Note: Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Kaul Funeral Home, 28433 Jefferson, St. Clair Shores. A short service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.