Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bram's army

I've reached a milestone, over 30,000 views so I want to do a giveaway to say thank you. Bram is touching many and my friends have commented that they are part of Bram's army. So I'm running with it, will you join Bram's army?

One lucky person will win 50 of Bram's cards, a pendent, and the book that brought me much comfort Heaven is for Real for kids. Warning: the book is Christian in perspective, it brought me much comfort immediately after. It is a children's book, very sweet and simple.


The pendant made by the wonderful Amy Swagman
Bram's cards, great to hand out to friends, family, bank tellers, waiters, and those who might need and extra hint.


So here's how you enter: comment below with you email address and tell me how you're sharing Bram's story, what you've done to stay safe and keep others safe in parking lots, and how you're loving fearlessly. I can't wait to read the comments. I will choose the winner on March 13th, Bram's 3rd birthday. Sending love to all those who are supporting and loving our family through this.



19 comments:

  1. laura.jordan78@gmail.com

    I now carry my son in the parking lot. I have told everyone I know about Bram, and to take care in parking lots. I have always loved fearlessly!! Love you Sam!

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  2. I have 4 boys and I have shared Brams story with them. We are extra careful in the parking lot now, even the 10 year old is holding our hand and being vigilant. I have shared this story with all of my friends and family. I also spoke with a woman in the walmart parking lot whose kiddos were next to her car on the opposite side of her in an empty parking space. She cried as I told her about Bram and agreed hat she needed to be more careful because drivers arent as careful as the should be. My email is tabitharedding@ccs.k12.nc.us

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  3. I think about your family and Bram so very often. Every time we enter a parking lot, especially while dropping off my son at pre school I hold their hands super tight. I also back out very slowly, check, and triple check for children. My son's school has a 5mph parking lot requirement, but few follow it. I'd love to have the cards to pass out to parents. I def. go 5 mph in parking lots now. Your family and Bram are on my mind and heart! dayle.valenzuela@yahoo.com

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  4. braedan04@gmail.com

    I keep close to by my mom side so I don't get hit by a car and keep out a close eye for others, I walk thru parking lots and say "be safe love fearlessly" I have my card with him and have it on my desk and in my room on display.

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  5. Amazing :) I knew you would touch so many. You inspire me. I can't wait to see how others are sharing Bram's story and touching lives.
    As for us, my family has shared Bram's story in stores and parking lots and we've seen tears and people too overwhelmed to do anything but nod and hold their babies tighter and people who have talked with us and said that they too would pass his story on. :) My family has a new protocol in parking lots, everyone holds hands together and we say "remember Bram and be safe" every single time we are in a parking lot. My kids used to run ahead at times or not pay attention, but now we all hold hands every time and Bram's name is our reminder to pay attention and be safe.
    I have been wanting to get some of the cards to pass out, but money is tight, so I wouldn't mind winning some to keep reaching others. But I think whoever wins will do a great job of putting them to good use. Because Bram has made a difference in all of our lives, forever.

    I'm working at loving fearlessly. I have been sick for over a year and spent a lot of time dwelling on all the negatives and worrying about the future.. but I am working to be more fearless and love fearlessly, doing spontaneous fun things with my kids, making every moment count and making memories we can all cherish. I've held my babies tighter and appreciated the little things. I've started taking random unposed pictures, sometimes dozens a day, so our life is captured as it is, my kids for who they are, not just posed and smiling. At night I sometimes sit and look through the pictures on my computer and laugh at silly faces, crabby faces, them sitting on each other or with marker all over themselves or making a mess.. and smile at sweet nursing shots and sleeping faces and the love between my babies. Bram has taught me that life is fragile and we need to live it and appreciate it, every minute. <3
    jamilea81@gmail.com

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  6. I share his story with all of my friends. I am so extra cautious in parking lots. I turn off the radio and lower my window as I leave a parking space, even if cold out, to listen in case a mother yells STOP.. I say "remember Bram" to my own boys right before we get out of the car to be cautious and hold my hand and listen. Loving fearlessly is something I needed to do.. I was so caught up with doing this and that.. cleaning this.. organizing that.. homeschool group class this.. on and on that I had lost perspective of loving my children fearlessly. I love Bram for who he has made me become. I mourn his loss and still feel very angry over it. I applaud your strength. lcaparell.strickland@gmail.com

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  7. Shortlilangelnfl@aol.com

    I have shared your story to everyone I can. I have always tried to stay safe and keep others safe while in a parking lot. I now am more aware that anything can happen and take more time when driving instead of being in a rush. I hug my children tighter every day. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you guys. I love fearlessly by spending more time with my family, being more understanding, and thinking of others. I have thought of starting something similar to Brams Army. I am so very proud of what you are doing. I would be honored to win and if I do not buy some cards or charm like above. Jennie

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  8. I just want to say thank you for being so strong and bringing your story to all of us. It's too easy to forget just how precious and joyous each moment is. It breaks my heart that these tragedies occur to the tiniest, sweetest angels...your son lives on in such a tremendous way. He lives on because of his sweet spirit you have shared with us and because of his mother's courage and beaming love.

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  9. Samantha, you make my heart swell with pride and ache with love <3 I have been "an attached parent"for many years now and have tried to take the time to appreciate and connect with my children each and every day. I fail almost every day. I whine about laundry and dishes and accuse my kids of being thoughtless when they leave an unnecessary mess. I roll my eyes when the baby wakes up to nurse---again. But all along I have tried to stop and rewind and do it better when I fall short. Bram has taught me that those moments ARE the moments of my life as their momma...that those mundane seconds are precious magic. These are the one and only moments of their childhood---never to be repeated or recreated or recaptured. My family thinks of Bram every day. His story has reached us on a visceral level and rocked us to the core. We are not promised tomorrow, let alone the next minute and NOW is the time to hug, to giggle, to let our eyes well up with tears because our heart is bursting with love for them. Now. And now. And again, now. If only holding them hard enough could grant YOU one extra second with Bram.

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  10. I was going to send you an email, but perhaps I'll just post here? I just stumbled upon this blog today, and I'm horrified to hear what has happened to your son :( I feel so incredibly much for you and your family, and I can see the pain, sadness, and anger in your posts. I wish I had something helpful to say and I know it's not even possible to help someone when something this awful has happened.

    My partner and I have a serious issue with cars; it's so unfair that people are expected to walk on the same streets and in parking lots next to machines that are so incredibly powerful... it's a completely unfair fight. Throw in the simple facts of human error, human stupidity, human ignorance... it just seems insane to me. I feel so much sadness and anger that this has happened. Please know this was not your fault.

    My partner and I have been slowly working on a website about cars and pedestrians; primarily about the dangers. I have not lost anyone to an accident but there was an incident in my city when I was pregnant with my son where a woman was walking on a crosswalk and a truck hit her stroller and killed her child. Ever since then, I've been very keenly aware of how vehicles interact in places where pedestrians are present, and I'm disgusted with how they drive. Another issue I have, that I have been rather relentless about is this (http://www.aias.ca/2010/09/driving-lesson-for-vancouver-drivers.html).

    I've been sharing Bram's story today, but not to warn pedestrians, to warn DRIVERS. You guys did all you could do; the driver is the one who should be ashamed.

    My partner's 32nd birthday is the 13th of March as well; now that I know it's Bram's birthday, I'm certain I will think of him forever on this day.

    aiasdotca@gmail.com or whitney.monika@gmail.com

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  11. I have just read your blog today and my heart aches. I am sharing Bram's story, putting down my phone, and hugging my baby tighter tonight. Love and prayers for you and your family.

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  12. Just read your entire story. So incredibly sorry for the loss 'here' of your sweet boy. I have lost 2 wee ones and I know what you mean about changing into a 'different person'. We can not not be forever changed. Hold on to 'Hope' and live one moment at a time... One day you will be reunited!!!

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  13. My heartaches with every word you type. I have shared Bram's story with a few friends and your blog by reposting it to my Facebook wall. I know I hold my boys closer in parking lots now and I am more acutely aware of other vehicles around us. I am also much more cautious when driving in parking lots. I am terrified that even when doing everything you should do to protect your child, this type of tragedy can still occur. I look for little feet on the other side of cars or children who may have escaped the view of their parent momentarily. I watch parents walking through parking lots who are clearly not aware of the dangers and do not know Bram's story. I want to tell them but I'm unsure how to approach them without seeming judgmental. I think about you and your family constantly and my heart breaks for you over the loss of your perfect boy.

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  14. I just found Bram's story a couple days ago but have already posted it to my wall on facebook and shared it with my husband and a couple friends. I'm glad you are getting his story out there and glad to do my little part. I have always avoided doing things that would distract me when driving but now I am even going a step further by making sure that if I have to make a call I try to do it in the parking lot (in the car/parked) so that I am not dialing/talking while driving through a parking lot or anywhere else.

    Living fearlessly, is something that I will continue to work on but it's something your Bram and my friend Stewart (he was killed in a tragic water-skiing accident a couple years ago) life-stories have encouraged me to be active in doing.

    Thank you for sharing your/Bram's story. It's a heart wrenching story that by sharing you are both educating others and encouraging people to be open about their grief.

    quantmlife (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  15. I have also grown an awareness of vehicles. I shared Bran story to my community, and hold my younger children's hands in the parking lot. I ask my older children to do the same. <3

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  16. joanandnancy@yahoo.com

    I talk about Bram at least weekly. My teenage daughters and mom also talk about him. I even heard my 14 year old tell a woman in a parking lot about him, as she was explaining why she shouldn't let her son run free like he was.
    I also hold my babies a lot closer when we're out because of Bram. Charli's feet no longer hit the ground in the parking lot, and I know I'm probably going to hold her like this for a long, long time.

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  17. Godsgirlieforever777@hotmail.com
    Bram has touched our lives and we have never even met your sweet family. Through his life I have been able to love more fearlessly and through his death I've become more aware. More aware of how fragile life is..more aware of how life can change in a second even when doing all of the right things. More aware of the fact that words can hurt deeply if not carefully examined by the person speaking before they are spoken. I have always loved our children but sometimes life gets the best of me and the worst is brought out. Through Bram I remind myself that so many "battles" with my babies aren't that big of a deal. Today my son painted the kitchen chair..as I was cleaning it up I thanked God for the handprint left on it..and thanked God for using Bram and your family to remind me to allow our children to be little. Our older son is a month younger than Bram. He too would stand still in the spot he was told to stand by the car while I would take his baby brother out of the car..I always thought he was safe.. I mean, he is right next to his parents..the ones who would give their lives for him...I can't believe I never thought he could still be in danger. Now I drive more carefully and slowly through parking lots..down streets..everywhere. I don't read that text or answer that phone call..all because someone's Bram could be standing there..obeying his mama and daddy.. I refuse to be that distracted driver. I ache that I have had to use your loss to educate ourselves but am so thankful for the lessons Bram has brought to our attention. I'm not afraid to tell others to slow down..to tell my son cars can not always see him... To love and pray for a family I have never met. Through Bram I have been able to drive more cautiously but also help others to as well...but what I'd thank Bram for if I could would be the way he has reminded me to love my children..to love fearlessly and not take a moment with them for granted. I admire your honesty and the way your family has loved each other through this. We are praying for you. Thank you.

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  18. I have thought about this question for a while now, wanting to be able to articulate what Bram's life has taught me. I know now that I have learned to live and to love with intention. To be intentional as I care for my family, for others, for strangers. To choose to be kind, even when I don't want to be. To appreciate daily things. You have taught me true compassion for the grieving. I appreciate your honesty and even when it is hard to read, I read it anyway. Please know that you are shining a light, even when you are in your darkest places. I pray for you and for Bram and for your family, every day.

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  19. I stumbled on your blog today, and I have been fighting with tears ever since. See, I have 4 boys. I have worked EMS/fire for the past 17 years. I have only seen this horror from the other side, desperately trying to save a little life, but sometimes ultimately failing. Carrying that has not been an easy task. I ache for your loss. Your words paint such a picture of pain, it is palpable. I send virtual love & hugs. I wish I could do so much more for you. I talked to my boys about your sweet son, Bram. We just did talk about the importance of always being very cautious, and always loving one another. Life can change too quickly. In Jan of 2010, I miscarried our daughter Madyson at 13 weeks. Losing her was hard, I cannot even fathom what you are going through. I will light a candle at chapel tomorrow for Bram. I will never forget, not ever. My husband shares a birthday with your son. With love from one Mama to another! eperry1221@gmail.com

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Thanks for reading and loving Bram!