Susie and Jeremy Crawford 2008 Grin Kid Parent
I have been struggling with this letter since the day we got home from Disney. We wanted to say thank you to everyone, but could not get the words together. At first, I think it was because we were so emotional and close to the experience. However, now I know it is because there are no words that can get out how we all truly feel.
There is not one day that goes by that we don't look at the Grin Kids website pictures or our own pictures of the trip. The experience gave our family something that we had somewhat lost for a while. Hope. Hope that Jack Jack would be viewed as "just one of the boys" or hope that he would be seen as the miracle that we see him as.
When I got the call at work from Diana that Jack Jack was chosen this year, I was in tears and screaming. I called Jeremy at work and my mother, both phone calls in disbelief. I just could not quite get it through my head that our little angel was being given this gift. I have been listening to Ace and TJ for 10 years. I remember hearing about the first trip. When Jack Jack was born, I knew that one day I was going to apply for him to go to Disney as a Grin Kid, but never actuallly understood what came along with it.
While at Disney, Jack Jack was a different child. It was not only magical, but awe inspiring. All of these children were treated as the kings and queens they truly are. There was not a day that went by while there, that you did not see a parent in tears over seeing their child smile ear to ear or hearing them say a word they have never spoken before. We would hold each other and cry over the struggles each child faced, as well as applauding each child for every tiny accomplishment.
This trip also gave the parents gifts that can never be taken away. It gave us a network of families to cling to that truly understand each other. It gave us all lifetime friends to call with good news as well as bad. It gave us all memories of our children at their happiest time in life. Those are things that I never expected, but now know I cannot live without.
There is no way to thank everyone that needs thanking. Of course, our hearts go out to Ace and TJ for coming up with Grin Kids. To Yankee Pete, Guenn and Breeze for giving your hearts and time to us. To Diana, Dierdre and Barb for your tireless efforts and support as well as your endless answers to our many questions.
We want to send a very special thank you out to all those special families out there that made this trip so much more special by giving to our angels. You embroidered bags, water bottles and shirts, you packed sand buckets with toys and candy, you came to the airport to see us off, you donated your hard earned money and love. This trip was a dream come true to all of us. And knowing that there are people out there that see our kids as beautiful and worthy of your time and money made this trip what it was.
I also want to say a thank you to those that have written in about our angel. We had no idea what kind of impact he had on people. He affects us so strongly every single day, but to read that he does the same to radio listeners is amazing. You took the time out of your day to write in about him, and we as his parents, thank you. You put into words what we feel every day.
Thank you all for giving our angel a dream of a lifetime!! He will have sweet dreams for all time.
Susie and Jeremy Crawford
Mom and Dad to Jack Jack
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