A Hero For One Day

I will honestly admit this isn’t easy to write. When it comes to kids dying at a young age, my hands clam up and my heart starts to bounce off my chest. These are the things that make us human and fragile as a species. Untimely and sad losses of young innocent life. Bring me the most cynical person on this planet and if I told them a four year kid died a week before his 5th birthday, they would crumble within seconds. This is a harsh brutal world and as a fictional boxing legend said on screen, it will beat you to your knees if you let it.

ashtonOn Sunday, Ashton Twibell, a four year old who loved superheroes, died when he accidentally fell out of the window of a loft in Springfield, Missouri. The first time I heard this I immediately thought about Eric Clapton’s kid and his death. Twibell’s mother happens to be a friend of two of my coolest friends on Twitter and Facebook, Deana Stoker and Adrian McClure. McClure sent me this story about the horrible tragedy and told me how it hit close to home for him because another close friend had lost a 2 year old at an early age.  This is far from unfair. There’s unfair and then there is downright tragic and Ashton’s death fits right into that spot.

The minute my son, Vincent, was born, my world was shifted into the form of a protector and overthinker. When you have kids, suddenly your everyday life is similar to a secret service agent working full time. Wherever your kid is, you have eyes there in some way. If your kid goes to the store, the location of your kid is put above everything else. Your own body and its health becomes instantly secondary to your kids. When Vin was born, he was #1 priority. There are times where he strays for even a second and I have get myself straight and know where he is at.  Kids don’t care about consequence at an early age, so that’s our job every single minute. We are their protectors.

What happened to Ashton can happen to any kid on any day. The sooner a parent recognizes and learns that, the world is a safer place.  When someone tells your life is about to change upon the birth of a child, they are talking about a lot more than the numbers of hours you won’t sleep. When you become a parent, you are on watch. Seeing the tragedy of Ashton Twibell will only raise my awareness.

Twibell was another innocent kid who had the misfortune to be play right in front of a window screen and when he pushed it out, he fell. These accidents happen every day and all over the world.  According to the article above, 3 million kids a year go to the emergency room for falls and 3,300 of those come from a window.

Today, Ashton’s mom, Danielle, is giving her son a heroes funeral. A Captain America themed burial. As kids(and adults), superheroes are the people we look up to in a time of need and wish for them to come save us. When we are down in life and things get too heavy, a good old story of good and evil can raise our spirits. Today, it’s working as a healing medicine for a tragic occasion of misfortune. In an effort to reach out as far as I could, I tweeted the Captain himself, Chris Evans, to hopefully spread the word. Anything that can help Danielle cope with this unfortunate loss.

If you are on twitter, the hash tag #blueforashton is being spread around. I don’t care if you like or support Twitter. Just do me a favor and spread the word. This is a story that deserves to be read, digested and understood. In the end, a lesson as well that life isn’t a free pass and that it can be cut off rather quickly.

I don’t know Adrian or Deana rather intimately. I don’t know Danielle and I never had the pleasure of meeting Ashton. I can relate to their situation instantly because I have a son who turns 3 in September. This story can affect anyone who has suffered an unfortunate loss. It can hit anyone who has a heart and room temperature blood running through their veins.

Ashton Twibell may have died young, but his passing will not be in vain. We can learn from this while taking a moment to celebrate his life. All it takes is one minute to look around and see any kid playing like there is no tomorrow.

As human beings, we can never be sure if that tomorrow will actually happen. Ashton Twibell would have been five years old on Monday.

Thanks for reading and have a good night,

DLB

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

4 thoughts on “A Hero For One Day”

    1. Danielle,
      I am so glad you took the time to read my article. I can only imagine the amount of pain you are in. When I found out this morning, I felt compelled to write something. I have a 2 year old and can only imagine losing him. I really hope that you keep your head up and find comfort in your family. Let me know if you need anything.

  1. I am Danielle’s Aunt. Ashton’s Great Aunt. Thank you for writing this and sharing your thoughts. It touched my heart. She is a wonderful mommy and woman. I love her and Ashton very much.

    1. Thank you Barbara for reading it. I felt compelled when a couple of Danielle’s friends contacted me. It is a tragic story yet one worth talking about.

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