Four years ago, Caleb was new to this world and we were just starting to come out of hiding from flu season to meet his sweet, new friends. 

Caleb was a very colicky baby but his youngest friends never minded. They loved holding and comforting him by rubbing the crown of his head and telling him it was okay. Caleb LOVED people, but especially babies and other children. I loved watching both the little faces excited to meet him and seeing Caleb's eyes light up in wonder. I wish I could bottle these moments and save them forever. These moments also hurt, because I also know I'm not going to get any more memories like this.

We tried to do our best as new parents, and some even considered us "helicopter parents" who were extra crunchy granola. After volunteering at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center for many years, I had witnessed too many newborns with life-threatening issues after being exposed to well-meaning visitors who swore it was "just allergies." We WERE extremely cautious about accepting visitors. We tried to do everything we could to keep Caleb healthy and comfortable. We used cloth diapers; I breastfed; went to the chiropractor, prepared fresh, organic meals when he started eating solids; made sure he saw his pediatrician for every ear infection and strep incident; kept him home an extra day after those sick days just to be sure. The list goes on and on. However, none of this mattered. Our healthy, happy, beautiful boy was still taken from us and no one knows why.

Through a lot of losses in my life, I really did learn to cherish as many moments as I could together. I cuddled him and neglected the house. We played in the floor with "vroom vrooms" and "flew" like an airplane. I never got tired of chasing him or pretending when he "found" and "scared" me from my hiding places.

I know Caleb is still meeting beautiful, new friends today, just not at all the way we wish. As week 3 of SUDC Awareness month arrives, the goal is to educate at least one person each day with the facts regarding SUDC. 

Please tell Caleb's story, take that lunch date with your friend, refill your coffee and instead of just talking about the weather, show someone Caleb's picture and ask them if they've ever heard of SUDC. Print one of these fact sheets; hang it in your office or bring it to your doctor's appointment with your kids (or share it with a medical professional or first responder). Caleb's picture is second from the right on the bottom. We know it is not always easy to discuss, but if you could share this with one person at a time, maybe someday healthy kids like Caleb will still be here to make more memories with their playmates. 

Since we are sharing facts this week, my fact of the day is that Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood is a category of unexplained death, and 142 TEENS in the U.S. ages 15-19 years left behind their families and friends in 2016 as well. Those are just the 142 who were actually labeled into the SUDC category, so we know the number is probably much higher. Spread the facts and let us know where they are being shared. 

Thank you.