2 years, 2 years: Kennedy’s final hug
Some people know that I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Facebook and viral posts begging to be shared and or liked. I always do my research and I never post posts which you cannot comment on but only share. This post is one which touched my heart and I think it will touch yours too.
Who was Kennedy Ann Hansen?
Kennedy was Jason and Heather Hansen’s little girl who appeared happy and healthy until the age of around 5 years old when she began to have problems with her sight and learning abilities which slowly turned into full blindness, debilitating cognitive abilities and other physical problems. It wasn’t until June 5, 2013 that the family received the devastating news that their daughter had a rare and very aggressive terminal illness known as Juvenile Batten Disease. Kennedy was the only known case in the state of Utah to have this rare disease.
The family created a website and web page on Facebook in order to share their story and that of their daughter, Kennedy. They created the page Kennedy’s Hugs (link below) and an official website (link below) bearing the same name where they could update their personally journey. Instead of mourning their daughter for the illness she had, they instead chose to make it a “beautiful experience for everyone” and they shared the journey with us in hopes that any other parents of children with this disease or other terminal disease, would have a resource to know they were not going through this alone.
It took only a year until Kennedy lost her battle with this decease but before she left, she had a great time with a young man lovingly known as Jaden, whom Kennedy’s father shares the story of “2 years” between his daughter and Jaden. The letter is heartfelt and honest. This appeared on my Timeline this morning after Kayla H. had shared it. I am thankful she did so I could know more about the real story of love which knows no bounds.
Kennedy is unique. She will touch your life. She will carry on a great legacy through Kennedy’s Hugs. ~ Jason and Heather Hansen
She was. She has and she will continue to do that.
“2 Years…” HE NEVER LEFT HER SIDE…..
So many have asked about this Jaden? Is this real or is this just a nice kid giving a nice gesture? What started as a date, turned into an Eternal Bond. One that NONE of us will quite understand but the two of them understand fully.
As Kennedy continued to decline, she was still so adamant that she would marry Jaden in two years after High School and would have 11 kids. They would be married in Hawaii and have a dream wedding and than live Happily Ever After. She told everyone about this and as her time neared the end, she would constantly say…”2 years, 2years.”
Jaden faithfully visited her each week at least 3 different days or more. He would text her, call her and write her little notes. He fully invested himself in her on a daily basis.
He became her rock, her sidekick and her daily dose of medicine as things got more serious. Jaden has and had a girlfriend during this whole journey. But, as time moved on something happened. He began to fall in love with Kennedy in a much different way and so did his girlfriend. Kennedy had no idea about her being his girlfriend and did not need to know. That would have broke her heart. But, his girlfriend was one of Kennedy’s lifetime friends and she took a backseat to a much needed crush that she was absolutely willing to share.
On Memorial Day, I called Jaden and let him know that it was time to come and spend his final time with Kennedy. From that day on, he did not leave her side. She relied on him to help strengthen her and he did. He sat by her side and tickled her arm, rubbed her head and gave her the best medicine she could have ever received. She kept saying…”2 years, 2 years.” He would agree with her and just make her feel so special and comfortable, knowing that there was nothing more that he or anyone could do to save her.
By Wednesday May 28th, he was at a loss. After sitting with her from morning til dusk, he stood up and looked at me and said, “Jason, I wish things would have been different.” I knew exactly what he meant and he than said, “I love her, I truly do.” His love went from loving her as her friend to truly falling in love with her and who she is. This young man was so committed to her and even missed his family trip to be by her side at the end of her life.
By the time Thursday came, she was all but done. She still asked when he was coming and we told her very soon. By the end of that day and after all friends had said their goodbyes, I looked at Jaden and said, “It’s time.” We both knew what that meant and his face almost went white. I took him aside and said, “You need to say your goodbyes.” He knew what he had to do.
You see, Jaden is the ONLY young man that she truly ever loved. She could never see him or know what he looked like, she could only feel of him. When someone would ask, “Why did you choose Jaden?” She would respond….”Because the Holy Ghost told me to!” She was so in love, so in tune and so set on him to be her husband, companion and father to her children. There was no way that she was ever going to let him go.
I put my arm around Jaden and took him down the hall where we had transported Kennedy to her room. I told him that they needed to be alone. For five minutes, I sat outside knowing that this one was going to be tough. Kennedy wailed out and her cry was so sad as they met alone. You could hear the love and the agony at the same time as you knew they were saying their goodbyes. I slowly opened the door and entered the room in time to hear Jaden telling her that she had to let him go, she had to let him go! “No, No, no she was trying to say…” I could tell she was saying, “2 years, 2 years.” Tears were streaming down his face and down hers as well. She could not let go and he literally had to pry her hand off of his. He walked towards the door and said, “I’ll be back in the morning to see her.”
I did not have the heart to tell him that there would be no coming back, I could not do it and it was not necessary. He walked out with his head down and his shoulders sunk. For the first time ever, I saw his heart break. He knew and I knew that if he did not say those words, that she NEVER would have let go.
I ran to Kennedy’s side as she cried and cried and cried. I took her by the hand and placed her head against my chest. I than slowly repeated, “2 years, 2 years, 2 years.” She slowly calmed down and not many hours later softly slipped into Heavenly Fathers arms.
“2 years” will always be a time frame that I will cherish and we will cherish. It kept a little girls heart alive as did Jaden. HARD THINGS were done by this Young Man and he never complained, acted like it was not real or was non sincere. His love for Kennedy was proved through his actions and in many ways, she kept herself alive from loving him. Many have called it kindness, many have called it being genuine and many have called it being nice.
But, what I call it, is LOVE. And “2 years” from now, I am sure we will sit in her room and create as best as we can in our minds the dream she had so poignantly set in her mind.
I cannot take away Jadens pain, or the moments that he had. He spent so much time with her this year, that he could not help but fall in love with her. He took the time to truly know her and in my mind, they will be together forever. Their bond is eternal, their bond is never-ending and forevermore she will live in his heart.
Thank you Jaden.
I would have killed for you to be my son in law.
Love, Kennedy’s Dad
RIP Kennedy Ann Hansen – May 30 2014 – Gone but not forgotten. Here is my hug for you wherever you may be. ((((Kennedy)))
Facebook page: Kennedy’s Hugs – Kennedys HUGS is a Page dedicated to the story and journey of Kennedy Ann Hansen. A perfect Angel brought to this earth who recently was diagnosed with Terminal Juvenile Batten Disease.
Official page: http://www.kennedyshugs.com/
More information about Juvenile Batten Disease: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/juvenile-batten-disease