By LIZ DAWES
Ten months ago today our bright, witty, kind and courageous 18 year son took his last breath. An insidious brain tumour robbed him of his beautiful life and took from all of us that knew and loved him the chance to experience the joy of his promising young life unfold.
He passed away in our home, with his dad, brother, sister and me by his side. We hugged him and kissed him and held his hands tight and told him it was OK to go, that he had fought the good fight, the best fight with dignity, courage and humour that belied his years. We told him we loved him and would for evermore. I whispered to him that I would honour, cherish and celebrate him every single day for the rest of my life.
I reflect back now, 10 months on and feel it might as well be 10 minutes or 10 years…time has a different relevance to me now. I know Connor has died but I he doesn’t feel dead inside of me. Maybe this is how I am coping but I don’t mind that either. His strong & wise spirit is very much alive within me. I sense him close to me, and while it may sound strange, it’s very comforting. I’ve mentioned this to his siblings, his dad, some of his friends and they agree and feel the same.
Connor was always a quirky and unique individual. He was so bright and clever we weren’t exactly sure how to keep up with him. I kept him plied with books from his earliest days. Trips to museums were at least a weekly event, as he seemed to literally absorb all they had to offer. He was incredibly strong physically but even stronger mentally. He was accepting, kind and non judgemental. As I look back at pictures I now see how beautiful looking he was, but all I ever noticed while he was growing up was his incredibly gifted mind.
Within weeks of Connor’s passing we started the RCD Fund in his name: Robert Connor Dawes. The RCD also stands for our areas of focus: Research, Care & Development. Our talented friends offered their areas of expertise and our kids’ babysitter Marek, now a 28 year old marketing whiz, took care of our logo, website and overall “look”.