Thank You

This started out as the basic thank you for the local newspaper and took on a life of its own. I am still struggling with the thank you to place in the newspaper but this blog took shape instead.

The family of Connor Powers would like to thank everyone for their continued support after his accident and subsequent passing. (That part I have down without a problem, it is after that things go haywire)

The medical team at Baystate Health, in the PICU, the Trauma Team, The Neuro Team and the Pediatric Team (headed by Dr. Christine McTiernan). The PICU nurses who became extended family for 12 days, coaching us to eat and sleep as well. My special nurse angel Hillary Duda. Without her Starbucks would not have appeared with her morning shift. Her hugs were amazing, they didn’t medically fix anything but they made me feel like my world wasn’t shattered.

Connor’s girlfriend and his everything Jordan Hurlbert. She slept in a chair for 4 days next to his his hospital bed. Holding his hand and talking to him. She was wrapped in a blanket because it was under 50* in that hospital room, because Connor needed to stay cold. Jordan you are the strongest young lady I know!!! Bar none❤️❤️

Jordan’s family: Brad, Shelly & Jared lost Connor too. He was just as much a part of their family as Jordan is a part of ours. We will heal with time, that’s what everyone tells me, right now we are all clinging to each other like life raft survivors.

Mark’s boss John Lamoureux, who was there from the beginning, he was at the hospital before we were. Telling the staff he was Connor’s uncle to get the ball rolling. Staying with us for 12 days, taking us to dinner. Getting us a hotel room in Springfield. Making us go and nap in the “Parent Sleep Room”. His wife Danielle who brought me real Kleenex because Baystate ones made my eyelashes fall out!! They seriously need to invest in better paper products there😝

My boss Steve Keyes who sent my amazing coworker Rachel with a gift basket that was so big I don’t know how she carried it. It had slippers to keep my feet warm and a blanket that I dragged around the hospital like Linus.

Steve himself who came and sat in the waiting room with me and held me while I cried. Connor was my son, but he was also one of Steve’s employees too.

Revered Douglas Belanger who made me see that 12 days of prayer may not have medically fixed the problem. But it made my heart feel better.

Reverend Bob Szafran who performed the hardest service anyone has ever had to. Saying goodbye to a 17 year old whirlwind of a young man. He did it with grace, love and as much humor as allowed. There was no one better to do Connor’s service.

To all the young men who where Connor’s pallbearers:

Steve Keyes & Curtis Warren

Cam Chase & Jared Taylor

Brady & Zack McCloud

Adam Hallenbeck

You all went above and beyond to carry Connor to his final resting place. I know that was the hardest thing that many of you have done and I thank you from the bottom of my shattered heart.

To Bonnie Sullivan & Nichole Gancarz who became #3connorstrong💙. They created basket raffles, brought dinner and even facilitated the students at FCTS to work with Manny’s Appliances to donate a washing machine to us.

To Krystal Finn and her mom Missy who came to the hospital one of the last nights. Connor n Krystal where boyfriend and girlfriend in preschool till 7th grade. Krystal earned the right to say goodbye to him, and Missy held me up and let me cry. I love both of you to the moon and back. My life with Connor in elementary school is intertwined with yours and you will always be part of my heart and my family.

To the students at FCTS, we may have lost a son but you lost a classmate and and a friend. That hurt will be with you for a while. I love hearing all of your stories about him, and all of your adventures together.

To Nancy Purington and her family who has been there for me from the beginning. Who came to the hospital and dragged the boys. Just so she could hug me. I don’t have enough words to thank you. She also brought dinner knowing that cooking was not on the list of what I would do.

To Joni Sessions who held my hand after the funeral and gave me permission to fall apart finally. And I did, like a house of cards.

To the students at MTRHS, he was one of you too, and your grief touches me in ways that both hurts and heals. Connor Strong stickers everywhere, a Dodgeball Tournament organized by Brady McCloud in Connor’s memory.

The love that this community feels for us is outstanding, amazing and overwhelming. I may have lost a son, but you all lost a community member, a student, an employee, a friend, a boyfriend and on and on. The way that you have surrounded us to show us your love. I wish I had words other than Thank You. Thank you to each and every one of you. I love you.

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