September 7, 2001, my first nephew Ashton was born. He was born prematurely and fought for life in incubation units until he was released. His early disposition was delightful, full of life and seemed quite normal. He was starting to talk. I recall him pointing to a truck and say “truck”. As if it happened overnight, he lost a gleam in his eyes, I never heard him speak again. The doctors were puzzled, he went to all the specialists that insurance would allow until Ashton was diagnosed with autism at around 2 1/2 years. Ashton required a lot of attention, and it was wonderful to see him react in his very special ways.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Ashton. His facial expressions couldn’t be more expressive. Here he looks so happy and content. This picture was taken on March 11, 2006.
It was approx 9:09 PM EST, Wednesday, June 7, 2006, my wonderful nephew of 4 years 9 months disappeared. Within a couple of hours and with the assistance of several counties, police, police dogs, helicopters, paramedics, family, friends, strangers, and neighbors, my nephew was found in a pond, lifeless and face down.
I am writing this to celebrate his very short life.