It’s not always easy for me to tell kid stories. Far too often, the kids in my stories have had to endure something incredibly difficult — a tragedy or an illness. It’s impossible for me not to make that child my child, not to make their parents’ agony my agony.
I feel a great responsibility, a weight even, to get it right.
Today, scrolling through Facebook, trying to overcome writer’s block on a story I needed to finish, I saw that it was Casper’s birthday. Casper is a service dog with Canine Assistants who works at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
A little bit further down the feed, Stephanie Hardage Campbell wished her son Creed a happy 9th birthday.
As soon as I saw it I began to cry.
The reason I know Casper and the reason I know Creed is because they loved each other very much. I did not know they shared the same birthday.
It makes sense.
I was lucky enough to tell their story with my husband, Children’s photojournalist Kenny Hamilton.
Creed did not live to see his 9th birthday. His mom wrote in her Facebook message, ‘I love you to heaven and back.’
Happy birthday Casper and Creed.