30 December 1999
11:00 PM EST
This will be a rather long message, so I apologize in advance, but there just seems to be so much to say.
Thanksgiving has passed, and so has Christmas. We now approach New Yearís, which marks the beginning of the end of a century,
and the start of the beginning of a new millennium. (Itíll take everyone a year to figure just what it is, but rest assured, the next 2 New
Yearís Eves will be an event not to forget).
For almost 1 Ĺ years, many of you have gathered around to support Megan and her family. There have been many trying times, and
we have all tried to care for Megan and her family as we have all tried to deal with the illnesses and deaths in our own families. We all
try to not think about the finality of death, and look long and hard for the strength to deal with illness. It is hard to watch a loved one
suffer illness,.... it is hard to lose a loved one. I know that many of you have experienced either an illness or death in your family during
the past 1 Ĺ years. If anything, what we have tried to do with this web site, and the postings of updates, is to share some of the values
of life,.... those which are shared by Megan and her family.
We are never alone in our journey through life, although we may often times feel like the burden is ours alone to bear. Sometimes, just
the simple touch from the hand of another can make even the most enormous grief disappear for a moment or two. Sometimes, when
all hope seems lost, the simple words "I am here for you" makes the unbearable burden so much more bearable. Sometimes,
when we are in grief or are suffering, we forget that there are others around who care. Sometimes, when others around us are in grief,
or are suffering, we forget to hold out our hand, or, whisper those simple, comforting words.
In the past 1 Ĺ years, I have watched as many of my professional associates and personal friends have opened up their hearts to Megan.
In the process, they have shared their lives as well. They have told the stories of those around them, their loved ones, and we have all
come together in one common bond. Some of us have actually held each other and cried,..... but the tears were ones of knowing that
someone else cared.
The world moves fast. Iíd be the first one to say that everything revolves around what the business climate dictates. But, what Iíve
learned from Megan and her family is that the world does not revolve around business,.... it revolves around whatever we make it revolve
around. If we all stop long enough to look at and care about those whom we love, the world will revolve around our love and caring.
Iíve been guilty of saying "Thereís not enough time", or, "Iíve got a business issue to deal with", or, "I canít fit
it into my schedule". What I have learned from Megan is: there is always time! Business does not take precedence over loved ones,
and schedules exist so you can spend optimum time with your loved ones. It was a hard lesson for me to learn,..... but this is what Megan
has taught me.
There is never a wrong time to stop and love someone. There is never a wrong time to "smell the roses". There is no business
issue more important that it must be dealt with before the needs of a real person.
As I write these words, the New Year approaches. It hasnít been easy to tell you how I feel about Megan during a yearís worth of status
updates. Itís been like baring my innermost thoughts to the world and the internet. Nothing has been hidden, my emotions are open to all
of you. But, I think back to a night when I was at Hasbro Childrens Hospital when Megan lay open and bare on her hospital bed, with IV
lines and catheters and monitor feeds, and she looked at me and talked about the "Scrooge" video. I worry about my modesty,
and here was a little girl who just "took it in stride" and moved on. Sometimes, the greatest lessons to be learned in life are taught
by the most innocent. I always thought that we learned more as we grew older, but sometimes, when with Megan, I think that the youngest
of us have all the answers, and the older we get, the more we forget what the true answers to life are.
In the middle of January, Mark will undergo surgery to correct the problems due to the initial transplant operation. Hopefully, this will resolve
the internal bleeding and constant pain which he has been suffering from since the initial transplant operation back in January 1999. As for
Megan, the trials continue, and she has recently been in the Emergency Room at Hasbro to check on a high temperature, blood counts, etc.
Her blood counts change with almost every "clinic", and one never knows what is going on. Is she sick? In the process of
rejection? Developing another complication? Has the cancer returned? This is just part of the every-day regimen which Megan and her
family face, and we all breathe a sigh of relief when we hear that everything is under control.
But what I wanted to discuss this evening is the following:
I have often stated that "There is nothing more important than the smile in the eyes of a child".
Tonight, I want to tell you that "There is nothing more important than the smile in the eyes of a child, a parent, or, a loved one".
You see, we have all been here, in whatever way we came. We have all touched, or have been touched by the love of caring. We have
all reached out,.... stopped long enough to see, stopped long enough to experience the smile or laughter of a loved one. Megan is just one
little girl, a small person in the world of billions. But, she is the daughter and sister to people that we know. She is, or has become a friend to
all of us. In the grand scheme of things, this little girl has helped to open up the eyes of many people across the country. She has helped
people to see that there is never a wrong time to stop and look around for those who need our help. She has helped us to see that there is
never a wrong time to stand by our friends. Despite her life-threatening illness, Megan has "carried us" through an experience
which we have all learned something from. She has held our hands, she has laughed with us, and she has smiled. In the most gruesome
of times, little Megan has looked up and smiled!
Megan is a gift. A most unusual one at that. Once upon a time she was just the daughter of Mark & Nancy, the youngest sister to Patrick
& Kelsey. Today, she is a beacon for all of us. She shows us a way of life we had thought passed us by. We cherish each moment, each
smile, each gentle touch. There is not a moment which is not precious,..... and we take this lesson and use it in our lives as we live each
day. Nothing should be taken for granted. Nothing should be ignored. And no one should ever feel like they are alone in their life.
Iíve said a lot of things during the past year in these status updates. Many times, my personal points of view have been interjected into my
comments. It is impossible not to cry when writing these words, but it is a sense of rejoicement I feel knowing that so many people have
been touched by Megan, and have taken her lessons to heart and have shared the love with those around them. That Megan Pin, the one
with the candle, itís not just for Megan,.... itís for all of us. And I have watched as so many people have used it as a guide to how they live
We are never alone in our journey through life. There are always people to hold our hand, and guide us. I am just thankful that Megan was
here to show us the way. There are lots of Meganís in the world. Let us not forget to hold their hands, or, to listen to their laughter, or, to
look into the smiles in their eyes. After all: "There is nothing more important than the smile in the eyes of a child, a parent, or, a loved
On behalf of Mark & Nancy,
Patrick, Kelsey and Megan,
and the entire Hayward & Dourado family,
Thank You so much for caring.
Thank You so much for sharing.
Thank You so much for your prayers.
Thank You so much for the smiles & the laughter.
Thank You so much for being a part of our lives.
Thank You so much for holding our hands when times were tough.
Thank You so much for Megan,... sheís the most precious gift of all!!!
Hereís wishing you all the Best for the New Year!
.....and there are times to keep, memories to hold,
Little girl running through grass of gold.
Daddy holds his daughter high
She reaches up, to touch the sky
Memories to keep,
Times to hold.
But, ... Megan told.