Fireman Kevin, One Year Later

John Marandola-12John Marandola-2John Marandola-12

Photo credits to Josh Street

A year ago today we met fireman Kevin. It was a chance meeting. We were at the Evesham fall festival. My son was in his stroller just a month out of the hospital from his brain tumor removal, and he said to me, “mom, I want to be a firemen!” I instantly sprung into action. My son had never said he had a dream before. It was a moving moment for me. I could see his desire playing out in my mind. I could see him grown up, fulfilling the role of a fireman.

I found the chief of the fire company and asked if a fireman could come out in full turn out gear and talk to my son. They told me to come back in a half hour to watch the jaws of life presentation and they would make sure a fireman talked to John John.

A half hour later we came back and I didn’t see a fireman gunning for us. so, I tapped fireman Kevin on the shoulder. I asked him to talk to john john. That is when I took this picture.

after age 4 fireman john 184

It was the spark of a dream. A real live skin on superhero. As I took this shot, tears were in my eyes. Behind my big sunglasses I was crying in a moment only a parent that could lose their child could understand. It was a dream that might never come true. it was a moment of joy for a child that seemed to have no future, he had created his own dream. Despite the limitations in my mind, he was LIVING.

Let me see if I can explain this. In my mind my child was dying. Slowly. I saw no promise of a future. For him to say he had a dream, I had to react immediately. There was no waiting with cancer. The luxury of time is gone with that diagnosis. I wanted my child to have his moment right then. And he did. Little did I know what door would be opened in that moment.

A woman came over to me. She had been watching my face. She said to me ” I feel like my life has come full circle. Seeing my child with yours.” Fireman Kevin was her little boy. He was all grown and was giving a dream to another little boy.

An amazing relationship was forged that day. A superhero and two mothers found common ground to celebrate growth. It was a day I will never forget. I think fireman Kevin’s pebble is still rippling in our lives. The waves of water continue to lap at the shore and bring love and dreams to a little boy who needs it.

John is a fireman because of fireman Kevin. He is a real fireman. His dream is realized and nothing will stop him from seeing that as his identity.

with much love, Faith


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