The death of a child has touched us all once again another one of our brave warriors has been sadly taken from us at a very tender age. We have lost another beautiful child one that had a heart and soul to match the beauty of who he was. Clayton Myers the son of my friend Shelby and her husband Tim. Another family has been broken by a disease that just seems to be so cruel and unfair to so many of us. Clayton was a little boy suffering daily the effects of Epilepsy and he is our inspiration like all our children battling Epilepsy. Clayton was fondly known and nicknamed “Clayton the Great” because he is just that a Great inspiration for us all.
I got to know Clayton through his Mother Shelby and the wonderful organization she started in honor of Clayton so appropriately named “Clayton’s Hope”. She is also supportive of my organization the Epilepsy Warriors and that is how I got to know Clayton and he has a smile that could light up the world, he was and is a beautiful soul one that you could clearly see just by looking into his eyes, you looked deep into that beautiful boy and you could see the joy, comfort, unconditional love, peace he brought to so many you saw HOPE. Like I have repeatedly said our children with Epilepsy no matter how mild or severe there circumstances may be truly are no different than any child, they are beautiful, they are gifts and blessings to their family and friends, they love unconditionally, they teach us as adults lessons in life ones that quite frankly we should not need about compassion, about acceptance, about giving spirits, about treating with respect, they don’t judge, they love. The lessons they teach are so amazing and again ones that we should not need to be taught we should already know it. They are the hope we need as parents, caregivers, families, friends to advocate, to teach, to lead so that others will join our cause and be empowered to fight with us for a cure.
Clayton, developed severe Epilepsy after having a virus. He was a healthy, happy little boy full of life he loved to make people laugh, loved having friends and no matter what hardships or health challenges he suffered every picture I have looked at of Clayton he had that smile. I know that smile is lighting the heavens. He was blessed with an incredible family, but they were blessed with an incredible Son, a wonderful Brother and friend to Ashley, Ashton, Corrine & Gabriella, Grandson, Nephew. Clayton Myers was and is hope. Hope for a better future and hope that our children will one day live in a world that we can proudly say they are seizure free and one that epilepsy is no longer a part of their and our vocabulary.
I have had to write this many times that when a child dies, it is one of the hardest things in life to understand. We have lost so many children to Epilepsy or Dravets and again we are looking into the tearful eyes of their parents, and we see one another. We know that without divine help, we could not bear that pain. We think about a precious life snatched away before it was fully formed, like a flower snipped from the stem just as it was beginning to bloom. We question “Why” but only God knows the real answer to that question. But what I do know is that for whatever reason God needed Clayton more right now and that the one thing that is getting me through this new loss is knowing that he is Free. No more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, just happiness and joy probably playing with John, Danny, Scott Jr, Chelsea, CeCe (Cecelia), Adaleigh, Jordan, Piper, Joey, Donna, Eric, Kyle, Ryan, Savannah, Ezekial, Sam, Christopher Adam, Brayden, Joseph, Connor, Dallas, Bradley, Ken, Lydia, Giovanni, Marissa, Lizzy, Tina and having a good time and that puts a smile on my face the way it did from the very first time I saw his precious face and that infectious smile in his photographs. He is another one of our Angels that is going to be with each of us helping us in our cause and advocacy work that we need done to get the funding and research we need to find and get the CURE.
If I can offer any peace or comfort to you Shelby and Tim as its so hard words never come easy and people really do not know what to say I can offer you this. I sadly have offered this to so many other parents who have recently lost a child and I believe in my heart for this to be true. Always remember the good times, their were many, always remember he loved you, he did, always remember that infectious smile, its in your heart beating. Remember that even though he is no longer physically with us he has never left you, he is in your heart and soul, when you look up to the heavens at night and you see the brightest star sparkling like diamonds in the sky that is Clayton winking at you saying “Hey Mom & Dad don’t worry I am doing great, you taught me that” when you see a rainbow after a storm that is Clayton telling you “Thank you for calming my fears and keeping me safe for seeing the beauty in me through my eyes” When you hear the rain that is Clayton telling you “Hey don’t cry you gave me the best of everything, you gave me the best thing a little boy ever needed and that was a family” when you see a butterfly outside or in your garden know that it’s Clayton he is telling you Mom, Dad I am finally free you were their for me always now I can be free to help you give back for all you gave to me. Celebrate his life for their is much for you to celebrate and know that one day you will see him again and what an occasion that will be.
Clayton, thank you so much for touching me and all those who knew and even those that did not know you personally but only through our extended family it was an honor, privilege to know, learn about and love you. You taught us all about fighting and staying strong, you taught us about amazing grace, courage and dignity. You taught us about character and integrity, you gave us the hope we all needed and we will honor your memory every day. Epilepsy will not win this battle and we know you will be guiding me and this foundation as well as your parents and Clayton’s Hope over the years so that we can stop the madness and find the cure. God Bless You Sweet Clayton. This is a favorite song of mine sung by a now 10 year old Gospel Singer she was 8 at the time she recorded this I hope it brings comfort. Give our love to all our Children and let them know we honor, love and miss them every day.
From my family and our foundations family we want to extend our deepest condolences to Clayton’s Family during this most difficult of times. We love you and your in our thoughts and prayers as is Clayton. Gone but never forgotten. God of light thank you for helping to guide us out of the darkness of pain and grief that occurred after the loss of our beautiful children. Now that they are gone every single memory is both precious and holy. Bless each memory we have of our children so that they will continue to live on in our hearts and minds forever.”
WHEN GOD CALLS LITTLE CHILDREN”
When God calls little children
to dwell with him above,
We mortals sometime question
the wisdom of his love
For no heartache compares with
the death of one small child
Who does so much to make our world,
seem wonderful and mild
Perhaps God tires of calling
the aged to his fold,
So He picks a rosebud,
before he can grow old.
God knows how much we need them,
and so he takes but a few
To make the land of Heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult still
somehow we must try,
The saddest word mankind knows will always be “Goodbye.”
So when a little child departs
we who are left behind
Must realize God loves children,
Angels are hard to find.
To read and learn more about Clayton’s Hope or make a donation please go to http://www.claytonshope.org/ and help spread and raise awareness so that we can do everything possible to prevent another loss and another family from being broken apart and forever changed.