Friday, 30 October 2015

A place to sit

Hey buddy,

I've just spent an hour crying and I can't stop, so I'm going to write to you.

I watched the first video I took of you. You looked like an alien. You didn't say much.

Then I watched your last video, shaking that maraca for the music man in Orlando. You still didn't have anything to say. You didn't need to.

What I wouldn't give to look into your eyes again.

We're doing a good job of keeping busy without you. This weekend there's an online auction raising money for the Alberta Children's Hospital in your name. Team #dominicstrong has already raised US$34,000, and your mom's going to shave her head next weekend. We both dyed our hair (mom's hair, my goatee) as part of the campaign, and I'll wax my back if we hit US$45,000.

You're not here and I'm still so proud of you. I hope you'd be proud of us. We're doing all we can.

It'll never be enough.

More than the fundraising, we wanted a place to remember you by. Remember the big green belt right out the back gate of our house in Medicine Hat? You never got to play at the little park out there, but we can see it from our deck. There's a structure to climb on and a thing that spins around. I can imagine you laughing on it. And your mom and I would sit on the bench and smile.

We got a new bench put in there today. And a plaque we had designed. It's got a thumbs-up and the super-D logo (that your mom also got a tattoo of!), and reads: "Dominic Rooney; Oct. 12, 2012 - Sept. 3, 2015; Cancer took his life, not his joy; Forever #dominicstrong."

There was also a huge tree that overlooked the area, but it blew down this summer. If they put up a new one in the spring we'll think of it as yours.

I'm going back to Calgary this weekend, but your mom's not coming. We were there a couple weeks ago and went to the hospital to see all your friends. They wanted to let you know they miss you too. Then we saw even more friends at the Light the Night walk for leukemia. They wish you could've been there. And finally we went to Airdrie where our friends raised money for us.

Dom, you made so many friends. And we're all always going to miss you. Mom doesn't want to go back to Calgary because it makes her so sad. I guess I'm lucky, no place seems any worse than another for me.

What are we going to do? Keep pushing forward, I guess. Not much else we can do.

Love you.



  1. Gutwrenching; for me that's one of the saddest posts I've found. I'm sure this is the time where it gets hardest, the rush from the trip and funeral has passed, now real life. In these hard moments - never forget how many people stand behind you. It's true, Dominic had a lot of friends! May you lean on the support from all your friends and family, you two sure deserve great things. Especially all the giving back to the community. Dominic loves the bench, I'm sure, smiling down on you. Thank you for spending so much time inspiring others and giving back. Continued thoughts with your family.

  2. I just got your e-mail through Extra Life, and I wanted to comment and say I am so sorry for your loss. I raised $500 last year and hope to top that amount this year. I definitely will be thinking of little Dominic this weekend. Wishing you nothing but the best going forward.

  3. I just got your e-mail through extra life about your son's story. I personally know what cancer treatment is like as I myself had leukemia. I had ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) and I finished treatment in May this year. I can only try to imagine how you must be feeling and I am so sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of Dominic and all others to have lost their battle with cancer, since I have had that battle myself, while taking part in Extra Life this weekend. I wish you all the best.

  4. got your email through exra life. couldent begin to imagine. but it reminded me to lean on family more and be as happy as possible. i was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. not exactly cancer but auto immune stuff is just as bad. and just as scary. be brave and stay strong. game on for extra life!

  5. I don't know you guys, but I got your email through Extra Life. I have a two-year old son, and I can't even begin to imagine your pain. I'm so glad that you got to make so many memories with Dominic, and I admire your courage and passion more than I can express. You guys are warriors, and I hope that the memory of your boy will forever carry you through.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm going to play in honor of your son this weekend. May his spirit be with your family forever.

  6. A beautiful Bench... still thinking about you.