I did not know Conner Michael. Never set eyes upon the child. Conner passed away last Friday morning. He was only six months old. Even though I did not know Conner, my gut aches and hurts for him and his family. My way of thinking always seems to be the same when I hear of someone dying. When a great artist dies that still has a lot to contribute to the world I always find myself wishing I had died instead. I felt this way when John Lennon was killed. It seems to me that the world would be a better place with a John Lennon in it than a Bill Clark. I feel that way about a lot of people who die. Some are celebrities and some are ordinary folk. When Alesia Dawn died I felt the same way. Here is a fourteen year old girl just coming into her own with so much promise and so much to give to the world and she dies while I continue to sit here and take up space. Sincerely I would trade my life for a number of other's who have gone on in a flash. Wouldn't have to think about it much. If someone had come to me the night before Alesia died and said "You have a choice, either you or Alesia will die tomorrow" without hesitating I would say "Me, I'll die."
This isn't a heroic gesture at all. I sincerely do not think I much left to offer the world while others have so much more to give. It doesn't seem fair to leave me here going through life on a day to day basis while others go on before me.
No, I didn't know little Conner. I know his grandmother quite well though. We have worked together for thirty years. I know what kind of grandmother she is. She is a great person that cares for every one and does her best to right wrongs in this world. She goes beyond the call of duty in her charity work and in helping those that need help. I have seen her pass these traits to her older grandson. He will grow up to be a good man just by the fact of having his grandmother as a teacher early in life.
I hurt for her. Conner's passing was not expected. They were preparing to go to Jefferson City for the weekend to a convention of the Fraternal Order Of Eagles. Both her and her husband are very active in this organization that does a massive amount of charity work for children's hospitals and orphanages and the like. It seems she is always doing something to prepare to raise money for a charity.
Why did this young child have to die? I ask myself that question over and over again since I found out about it last Friday. This child deserved a life. At six months he did not even know what life was. If only I could trade places with little Conner. I have nothing left to offer and I have become a slow learner in the new ways of the world. My thinking does not always track and I have become lazy in my old age. I do not have the self discipline to do what needs to be done whether in a worldly way or just things around the house. I have to talk myself into running the vacuum in the house and that may take a day or more before I finally do it. I am pretty much worthless compared to new life that is just budding and ready to learn a thousand new things a day.
Conner's grandmother does not deserve this. As good of a woman as she is she deserves to have the opportunity to watch her grandchild grow into a fine young man with many of her values. She deserves to have the chance to teach and to watch the expression on her grandchild when he suddenly "gets it". She most certainly does not deserve the heartache and the pain she is going through right now as I type this up.
No, instead tomorrow she will have to sit and watch her six month old grandson buried in the cold earth. No chance to give the world what he could have given. No chance to prove himself as a decent human being. No chance to marry and procreate and become a father himself. A father that would pass on his grandmothers teachings to his own children and grandchildren.
It isn't right. How many infants die every day though? Too many. They don't know why Conner died. They did an autopsy and declared it was natural causes. Natural causes? There is nothing natural about a six month old dying. He is gone before learning to walk. He is gone before learning to talk. He is gone without the chance to express himself and to discover his own wants and desires for not only himself but for the world.
It just is not fair. I don't feel it is fair to Conner or to his parents and especially his grandmother. Again, If I could, If only I could I would exchange places with this child that was loved so very much. My contributions to the world are getting fewer and far between. I feel like I just take up space most of the time. I sincerely think that the world might notice I am gone but it would get along without me for sure. I don't have much left to give. But these children like Conner who die every day, the world needs them so badly.
Conner will be missed for a very very long time just as Alesia will be and numerous other people who have passed on before they had a chance to contribute fully to the family of humans that we are all a part of.
It isn't fair. It isn't right. It isn't just. It isn't anything except a tragedy.