A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a rocking chair with my infant son Will on my shoulder and my three year old daughter Lucy on my lap. We were “snuggling up,” in Lucy’s words. I looked down at their little heads, so sweetly pressed together, and gave them each a kiss. Then, I looked up at the pictures of my firstborn son Andy hanging on our living room wall and started to cry.
Lucy reached up to stroke my tear-stained cheek and said, “What’s wrong, Mommy?”
I replied, “I just wish Andy was here with us, baby.”
She said, “But, Mommy, Andy’s right outside.”
“He is?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said, as she gestured to our back yard. “He’s out there with the dragonflies.”
This summer, the dragonflies seem to be out in abundance. To me and my family, they are signs from Andy that he is always and forever with us. I hope that, when you see a dragonfly gliding through the summer air, you’ll remember Andy too. More than that, I hope that you want to do something to help us stop the disease that took our son from our arms. Since August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to take action.
Starting August 1, we’ll be sharing pictures of Andy, stories about his life, and facts about SMA every day on the Andy’s Army Facebook page. We hope you’ll like the page and help us by sharing its message to spread awareness. Here are some other simple things you can do this August:
- Tell someone you love about SMA.
- Attend one of the many events being held this month by a number of great SMA-related organizations. (You can get details about some of the events in which Andy’s Army will be participating at http://andysarmy.com/what-you-can-do.)
- Reach out to a family affected by SMA with a kind word.
- E-mail a fact about SMA to your family or friends.
- Pin an SMA-related item on Pinterest.
- Share an SMA statistic on Twitter.
- Ask your OB-GYN to offer SMA carrier testing.
Thank you, this August and always, for helping us continue Andy’s legacy and for being part of his army in the fight against SMA.
–Audra Perry Butler