My life was always good. Worked through struggles when I was young just like everyone else. Married and divorced, then married again. I have worked, partied, traveled and met all kinds of people in my lifetime. Had my first two babies when I was 21 and 22. I believed I had been blessed with the two most perfect children ever! I was lucky to get to stay home most of their lives and Shane and Lilly were the light of my life. But I always wanted more children. By the time I divorced I figured that was just not to be. Then we moved from Texas to Alabama and I met the true love of my life, Kurt. We were together a little over a year when our Arthur was born. I was 36 years old. I was so excited to have another baby and Arthur was an absolute joy. I swear that kid came out smiling and talking! We decided to have another baby so Artie would have someone to grow up with. Twenty-two months after Arthur, we had Wolfgang. I was 38 by the time he got here. Eight days after 9-11. We never expected to have the issues that Wolfie was born with. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We were floored. For the first five years of his life Wolfie went through 3 heart surgeries,and a few bouts with fluid in his lungs. All the while Artie was being pretty much raised by Lilly and Shane and other friends and family. He would spend time with us at the hospital when he could but that was hard on him. Arthur was not one to sit quiet for very long. He was always a fantastic brother to Wolfgang. There are few pictures of the two of them that don’t have Artie’s arm around Wolfie’s shoulder. Once the last surgery was over, we had two pretty normal healthy little boys running around. They were inseparable. Looking back on all those years after, up to the time Artie left us, I am so grateful for the memories I have been left with. The joy I have when my mind allows me to visit those moments is immeasurable. I know now that Arthur was brought to us for specific purposes. One, to be my son. To give me the overwhelming happiness of bringing life into this world. He was here to be a brother for Wolfgang, to protect and watch out for him until the crisis with his heart was over. Most importantly, I believe with all my heart and being he was here to be a light in so many peoples lives. A reminder of unconditional love and understanding. A memory to reach for on those days when things just feel dark. And above all else, to remind us that the joys and love of life are fleeting. We must enjoy these moments and be grateful for the people in our lives. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Create memories not fortunes. Those memories may very well be your life line someday. I know this to be truth.