My 11-year old, Jackson, was asked to write an essay for the General Foundation of Women’s Club’s sixth annual “Spirit of Giving Essay Contest” for sixth grade students in the South County area. The essay topic for this year is: “As a business owner you have a chance to make a difference by donating $200 to a charity of YOUR choice. Indicate what organization you would select to receive the donation, and explain, in YOUR own words, what inspired you to want to make this choice.”
This is what he wrote:
The Flower Within
As we all stand here today, we know that there are so many problems and diseases that need to be cured in the world, but the one that I’m talking about right now happens to have been something close to our family that will effect us forever. I will be donating to the Make-A-Wish Foundation that grants wishes for kids with life threatening diseases. On February 5, 2011, our cousin, niece, sister, daughter, and granddaughter Amber Lee Kingersky passed away from muscular dystrophy. Amber was a very happy, smart, funny, and compassionate 12 year-old-girl. She had a very high I.Q. She loved to take rides on the back of the jet ski, and ride in the sidecar of the motorcycle. She loved laughing, drawing and being around other people. As exciting as she sounds, she lived her whole life never taking one step. Her legs didn’t work, so she moved around and danced in a wheelchair. Make-A-Wish Foundation granted her wish to go to Disney World and that is a memory her family will have forever.
We had so many memorable moments with Amber. We always loved to see her smile! Auntie Betty Kingersky, her grandmother who she called “Beanie” took her shopping the Christmas before Amber passed away. They shopped in every store she wanted to, she picked out her Christmas present, and later went to Panera Bread for dinner. Amber’s father, Michael Kingersky, took her for rides on the back of his jet ski and rode in the sidecar of his motorcycle. Auntie Terry Cafferty made friendship bracelets with her weeks before she passed away, and Amber knew every word to every song Uncle John Cafferty ever recorded. When Amber heard Tim McGraw was doing a concert at Mohegan Sun, she said that she wanted to go, but only if she could meet him. My Dad and his band do concerts there too, so he made a call and got her back stage passes. She got to meet Tim McGraw and have her picture taken with him! Amber loved music.
Six months before Amber passed away, she had an episode and stopped breathing. Her father gave her CPR and started her heart again. She spent a week in the hospital, went home, and got to go to middle school.
Six months later, on a Friday night she was having a happy, fun time with her family. They played games, watched movies, and drew pictures. Amber loved drawing pictures. It was one of her favorite things to do. She wanted to be an artist. That night she drew the most beautiful blue flower that now symbolizes her. Before she fell asleep, she shared a special dream she had the night she stopped breathing with her parents. She said that she remembered running down a long hallway with pink doves flying overhead and saw a beautiful light. She came face to face with pearly gates. Standing there, St. Peter told her “ It isn’t your time yet.” So she came back. Her Mom told her that she was a very lucky person because not too many people get to have beautiful dreams like that. After telling us, we had known that she had seen heaven.
Amber passed away the very next morning. We all had our share of emotions as, we felt sad, confused, scared, and even angry. We were not angry with Amber, but at ourselves including Michael Kingersky, Amber Lee’s father, because he was a mechanic and he could fix almost anything, but he couldn’t fix Amber.
As inspiring as she was to me, the sadness still flows through me and my whole family every day because Amber was as close to knowing an angel here on earth as you can possibly get.
He’s a winner in my book.