Happy Birthday Wylder

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to Wylder,
Happy Birthday to you.

Wylder, we celebrated you today.  We had a most dishes birthday cake just like the one you scarfed down at your first birthday, it was so “yum yum”, and I just know why you loved it so much.  We let 38 of the most colorful and beautiful balloons go free, one for each month you were here in our arms.  Mommy and daddy attached special wishes to the balloons so they could safely get delivered to you.  We went down to Phoenix Children’s hospital and visited with some of your friends.  They are such Warrior’s too.  They loved your books so very much.  It made me feel like a small piece of you will be with them forever and always Wylder, it was so special.  I was proud of your daddy today.  It was his first time back to PCH, and he was so strong.  His love for you was oozing out for everyone to feel, he is so proud to be your dad.  We got to see your best pal nurse rachel … we already know she is an Angel lovey.  We also made sure 100 plumeria flowers went out to sea in Maui Hawaii from us, just for you today … just were  you were  laid to rest last July little one.   Did you see them?  We opened lots of sweet treats from your friends and family today too Wylder.  They all miss you so much too.  We talked about you all day today Wylder.  We always talk about you, but today seemed extra special because it is a day we will always celebrate, the first day we saw your sweetest face.   We ended today, your day, with a heart and a #4 sparkler.  We hope you saw them and loved them very much.  We love you very much.   

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You would be so happy about the number of people who are helping us celebrate you by continuing to share your messages of hope through your new book Wylder.  People are so honored to know you buddy, and show there love and support for you and for us everyday.  We had so many books donated to sick kiddos in the last couple days we are going to hold an entire seperate event for HOPE KIDS nest month, I hope you are glowing here this news. It means so much to us to think of your books, your sweetest messages with so many caring people.  Thank you Wylder for giving us the support system you knew we would need. 

FinalCover copy

You are 4 today Wylder …  4 years old.  Have we told you lately that you are our soul mate?  Daddy and I feel so blessed to know true love, true unconditional love because of you.  Over the last couple of weeks I found myself wondering what you would have wanted for your 4th birthday.  What kind of party would you have wanted?  GI Joes?  Superheroes? Elmo?  Truth is, after a lot of thought, I think you would be into giving back.  That is the the essence of YOU, no matter your age or location, isn’t it lovey?   Helping others, making people smile and sharing your awesome-ness with anyone you come into contact with … well that is YOU.  We would have spent your fourth birthday party celebrating YOU, just as we did today.  I am sorry Wylder.  I am sorry you didn’t get to grow up … but please know what you do everyday is so much bigger.  We could not be more proud that you are our son.  Thank you for changing our perspectives and allowing us to have so much gratitude for life and for you.  Our favorite memories with you are the simple ones, the late night feedings, when you used to smile when you fed and milk would dribbled down your chin and into the creases of your neck, every kiss, every bath, reading books not matter the time of day … there are so many memories.  You are our greatest gift.  And today, YOUR day, your birthday, they day you came into our lives was the best day of our entire life.  We promis to celebrate you today and always … to remember, YOU, the one who makes a difference and the one we love from the bottom of our hearts.  All things are possible in the light of love.  We will feel you in our hearts forever and will see you in our dreams Wylder.  Happy Birthday.  Forever and Always, mommy and Daddy.   




  1. what a beautiful post for a beautiful baby boy. I am so sorry he is not in your arms today-he should have been. I love all of the amazing ways you celebrated him, the hospital and the sparkly 4 are my favorite. I love your memory of the late night feedings-so precious. We are going out for dessert tonight to celebrate him in Cambodia. I think about you, STeven, and Wylder all the time. we love you all so much and are thinking about you extra today. Happy 4th birthday Wylder!

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      Dessert in Cambodia to celebrate Wylder, YEAH! We know you celebrate Wylder in so many ways and we always feel your love and support from wherever your travels have taken you. We hope you feel it coming right back to you from us. Yesterday was a good day, celebrating Wylder. xoxo

  2. Sarah B. says:

    So beautifully written! I have tears streaming down my face…sad tears because Wylder’s should still be in your arms to hold and happy ones because you’re right, Wylder’s is doing so many wonderful things. Glad you could celebrate your sweet boy in such an amazing way, by touching the hearts if others and sharing the love that is Wylder!!!!

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      He really is Sarah, all our beautiful little ones are … and we are so proud, just as we know you are of Jakey. Sending our love. xxoo

  3. Cathy Johnson says:

    Your post is wonderful, Shannon. I so wish for you (and all of “my” NPA mommies) that your beautiful boy was in your arms where he should be. Even though we have never met personally, I feel very connected to you and Steven. I believe that is Wylder working his magic. Your heartache makes me want to DO something to ease your pain. So I will continue to do the only thing I can – continue to work in the ways I am able to help find treatments and a cure. Because I know that the next best thing to having your Warrior with you would be to know that some other mommy and daddy would be spared what you and Steven have experienced.

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      We feel connnected to you as well, Cathy. To so many people becuase of Wylder, so many that we have never “met” face to face, but who we feel love and support from everyday. That is such a gift for our family. That treatment for NPA WILL come … with the support of people like YOU Cathy, and we are so very greatful for that. Thank you for believing and joining this cause that you know is the key to our hearts. Much Love, S xoxo

  4. This post left me both speechless and breathless, Shannon…..I wanted to post yesterday, but I just kept rereading these precious words over and over……the picture of Daddy Warrior Steven sitting with the little girl really personifies Wylder’s legacy…..”keeping HOPE alive always.” I thought of Mr. Littles (as I often do) yesterday, and imagined his little spikey-haired self playing with his buddies in Heaven’s playground…..slides, swings, balloons, birds and frogs…..with giggles and grins as little boys do. Happy Birthday Precious One, Wylder…..you are so loved and missed….keep watch over mommy and daddy xoxoxoxox

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      Thank you so much Leslie. That really was a beautiful moment, Steven is so good with all children. I often imagine Wylder playing in Heaven too, I can only imagine it is a greater place then I could ever even imagine in my dreams. Thank you for your sweetness xoox S

  5. What an absolutely beautiful post – a perfect tribute to a warrior on his fourth birthday. You guys are such amazing parents, and amazing proponents for NPA children. Thank you for sharing Wylder, and your continued thoughts and efforts to keep his wonderful spirit and memory alive for all of us.

    Happy happy 4th birthday, beautiful boy!

    xoxo, Eileen, Brett, Quinn, Colin and Reid

  6. David L. says:

    I visited Maui recently with my wife Cynthia to spend time with family, including Steve and Shannon, who appeared on the beach as a great surprise! However, the reason for my comments has to do with Wylder. Shannon had mentioned on her blog that she had made arrangement to have the flowers delivered and have then placed in the water. Well, that was us. We went to Maui earlier than the others so that we could be there for Wylder’s Birthday. On that morning we jumped into a kayak and paddled out in the direction of where Wylder’s ashes had be placed in the ocean. We had Shannon and Steven’s baggy of plumerias that we had just picked up from the florist. We quietly said our own prayers for Wylder. We also brought about 250 or more plumerias to spread on the ocean. The small, personalize birthday cake that we brought was placed in the water as Cindy lit the candles. With somewhat watery eyes we sang Happy Birthday, shared our own wishes and prayers for the Warrior, as the lit birthday cake sank into the water. We had a feeling that Wylder was right there. We then spread about 350 plumeria flowers on the water for our “Poops” that we brought and Shannon ordered, many of which I picked that morning from the trees on the grounds of the hotel right on the beach near where we sang Happy Birthday to Wylder (with permission from the hotel to pick the flowers, of course.) When we we have a chance to visit Maui in the future I am sure we will paddle out in a kayak and say hello to our Poops. David and Cindy Laffoon

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      I am sure he saw you out in the ocean and loved every second with his Grammy and Papa. Steven and I love all your pictures and videos and I am certain little Wylder James loves his cake very much. We are so happy you were able to celebrate with Wylder out on the water for his very special day, and Steven and I are so happy we got some ALOHA time with you too. Love you both. xoxo S

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