January 23, 2018

My Birthday Wish: Help Me Help My Friends

May 2, 2010 by · 18 Comments 

Raelynn, Tony and Cassidy

Tomorrow, May 3, 2010 I will have been on this earth exactly 43 years.  My friend Cassidy Anne “Addy” Hurt barely made it 18 months.  Though Cassidy and I never met, she’s a friend because her father, Tony, and mother, Raelynn, are friends.  When I first met Raelynn she was pregnant with Cassidy.  The next time Tony came over to my house, Raelynn and Cassidy stayed home.  Whenever  we made plans to hang out together, so my wife and I could finally meet Cassidy, something always came up.  We were never blessed with the opportunity to meet Cassidy and that’s a shame.

Regardless,  Tony and Raelynn are grieving and need our help.  So my birthday wish is for you to help me help my friends.

I received a call last week from a man named Joe Hurt.  I couldn’t reach my phone in time to answer so I waited until it indicated that I had a voice mail.  When I listened to Joe’s message, I was shocked and remember gasping.  I must have been pretty distraught because my wife instinctively threw her arms around my waist even before the message ended.  In fact, I didn’t wait for it to end; I pulled the phone number from my call log and immediately called Joe back.  That’s when he filled me in on the details.  Tony and Raelynn had put Cassidy down for the night and when they awoke the next morning, their baby girl was gone, a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (commonly referred to among children older than 12 months as Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome).

Cassidy Anne "Addy" Hurt

Needless to say, the entire family is distraught.  Though Joe told me that Tony and Raelynn weren’t taking phone calls, I called anyway, if only to give them a friendly voice to hear when they finally got around to checking their messages.  Today I texted, sending them both strength and love and hoping it would get them through the day or even to the next minute.  But I realized I needed to do more.

My wife and I were at the funeral and it was the saddest thing we’ve ever experienced—a tiny pink casket surrounded by flowers and Cassidy’s toys, most notably a stuffed bear in a small rocking chair; a stirring video filled with photos and music; and finally, the removal of the casket by a small group of pallbearers that included Tony and Raelynn.

When they walked up to the casket, it was the first time I’d seen them since the tragedy.  I’ve experienced pain before—I lost my father to heart disease when I was only 20 and my sister to murder only four years ago—but never have I seen grief like that I saw in Tony’s and Raelynn’s eyes.  Tony is only 27 and Raelynn, 24; much too young to have to experience pain like that.

I realized then that it would take much more than phone calls, sympathy cards, and texts to get them through this.  Knowing how I felt when I lost my father and later my sister, I know it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to try to be “normal” again.  To take on the every day tasks that make up the fabric of our lives; to be able to function at something resembling full capacity without breaking down and curling up into a ball and wishing you could turn back time.

So please help me help my friends, Tony and Raelynn.  An account has been set up in Cassidy’s name and I’d like to donate to that account.  I’d also like for you to consider donating as well.  No amount is too small, so if all you can afford is $1, that’s okay.  If you can’t or don’t want to donate, then you can help by forwarding this message to as many people as you know.  If you have a blog, please consider linking to this article.  If you’re on television or radio or have a podcast, please consider mentioning this cause, if you’re able.  If you have a relationship with God, please pray for Tony, Raelynn, and their family.

To donate, all you have to do is click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Cassidy Anne Hurt Memorial Fund” heading on the right-hand sidebar.  That will take you to the Seamheads.com PayPal account.  All proceeds will go to Tony and Raelynn to help them get back on their feet.

If you have a child or children or have ever lost a child or children, then you know what these two are going through.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather have on my birthday than to lend my support to my friends, and I’m hoping you can help me help them.

Rest in eternal peace, Cassidy.  You will be missed, even by those of us who never had the pleasure of making your acquaintance.

God's Newest Angel


18 Responses to “My Birthday Wish: Help Me Help My Friends”
  1. Chris says:

    As a first-time father of an 19-month old, this is absolutely heart-breaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  2. Pat Norling says:

    My heart and prayers go out to you Raelynn & Tony…….I know what it’s like to lose a child no matter what age they are. My baby girl was 34, but she is still and always will be my baby. I can’t say I know what you two are going through, but from my loss experience, I have an idea. Please seek help as soon as you can. They have groups all over the area and they are a great resource. I belong to a group for Parents Who Have Lost Children, in the Boston area and it has helped me immensley. It does give you some consolation especially being with other parents who are going through the same loss as you are. You may email me, nannypat24@aol.com if I can help in any way. Addy is our new “Littlest Angel” and I will pray to her as I do to my own Angel, Jennifer.
    God Bless and Peace

  3. Sara Tallard says:

    This is such a kind gesture, Mike. I’ve been close with the family for 13 years, as Cassidy’s aunt is my best friend. I don’t have children, but the loss of a child has got to be the worst possible loss. I too struggle with what to do to help. It’s hard, when all I want to do is make it better for them, and I can’t. All I can do like you Mike, is let them know my support is there.

    I love you guys. I’m here.

    You will be missed Cassidy.

  4. Mike Lynch says:

    Thank you, Sara. They need all the support they can get and with people like you out there, they’ll be able to heal that much quicker.

  5. Perri says:

    Wow, this was very touching Mike. Please pass my condolences to the family, and let them know that they will see her again….

  6. Debbie McClellan says:

    I am Tony’s Aunt and I want to thank you so much for this article on Addy. She was truly the bright spot in my heart and I miss her so very much. My heart aches not only for my loss but for Tony and Raelynn. I love them both so very much and would do anything for them. I only wish I could turn back time. Thank you for this very moving article and for being Tony’s friend.

  7. Julie Riewer says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this website. It is a true testimony that reflects the many lives impacted by the loss of Addy. I am Tonys mom. I’ve worked with your sister Rosemarie. Your selfless birthday wish speaks volumes regarding your personal character. Thank you so much for your friendship, prayers and thoughtfulness during this time. My prayers are with your family as I thank the lord that my family has such a wonderful friend in you. God bless you.

  8. McKayla Smith says:

    Words cannot express the pain and loss I feel everyday. I’m Tony’s sister and in the 22 years I have known him I have never seen him as happy as he was when she was alive and never seen him as crushed as he is now without her. Cassidy was my bright shinning star that could always lift me up when I was down. Now that she’s gone I don’t know how to get back off the ground. I never thought I could love someone soo much, especially since we had so little time to get to know her. My arms feel empty because I can not hold her and there is a hole in my heart that until she was gone I didn’t realize she was completing that piece of me. I know deep in my heart that she is a peace and that is the only thing that keeps me going. I love you sweet baby Cassidy, see you in my dreams. Thank you Mike for posting the article.

  9. Delores Rosfeld says:

    Dear Cassidy Anne’s family. My husband and I celebrated our daughter, Jenny Sue’s 29th birthday this evening. The only thing is, she hasn’t even celebrated one birthday with us on this earth. She was born on June 1, 1981 with Trisomy 18, a chromosome defect. She had 3 of the 18th chromosome instead of the normal 2. She also had a heart defect. She didn’t ever smile or do anything. She went to be with Jesus when she was 6 months and 2 days. It was the hardest thing we have ever been through, I know our situations are different, but we want you to know that with God’s help and friends like you have you can make it. I too would advise you to get into a group that is going through a similar situation. We finally did that after our daughter was gone. It DID help to know that others were going through the same thing. We are SO SORRY that this happened to you and your precious baby. She was a beautiful baby. You have my e-mail if you would like to visit more.

    We will pray for God’s loving arms to hold you and comfort you and sustain you in the coming days. Take one day at a time. You can e-mail me at rosfelds@mtelco.net

  10. Crystal Coy says:

    hey i am raelynn’s 2nd cousin and i am so sad, i will be affected for the rest of my life, but will try and be strong for raelynn, when i was at the funeral i was in tears and had to leave for a little while to get it together, i remember when i was little and raelynn used to treat me like her daughter and when cassidy was born i felt like she was my little sister, i read this over and over again all the time and it helps me so much so thank you for posting this, rest in peace cassidy i love you.

  11. Amanda Wilt says:

    Dear Tony, Raelynn, beautiful Cassidy and family. I work with your mom Tony. Julie is such a amazing, strong, wonderful person who has such a huge heart. When I heard of the news, I didn’t know how to approch Julie. It took me a while to be able to talk to her about it. I have a 9 month old boy who is my world. I can not put myself in a place to imagine my life without him. The love that you feel for your child is beyond words can describe. My heart is with you both and your family through this hard time. Even though we have never met, you are in my thoughts every day and will continue to be. I will pray for your strengh and for time to help heal your pain.

  12. Julie Riewer says:

    Dearest family and friends,
    Like Raelynns cousin Crystal, I also find myself returning to your website Mike. While it always brings the pain ever so quickly to the surface again, I feel that I also find strength and an overwhelming sense of love for everyone who has been touched by a birthday wish from a friend (whom as Tony’s mom I now consider family) to help another friend/family during a tragic moment in their life. Cassidy was my first grandchild. My first true realization of how wonderful, short and precious a life can be. Her impact in Tony’s, Raelynn’s, my daughter/McKayla, my sister (Tony’s Aunt)/Debbie and my own life is beyond description. The pain is always there and I feel it will never go away until the moment we are finally with her again. So many personal memories have been gathered and stored in each of our hearts. Memories that one moment will reduce us to tears and the next leave us with warmth and a sense of peace for being blessed to have time with her at all. I’ve struggled with my own loss and how to be there for my son and daughter-inlaw. Even I don’t know what to say…how to behave…how to help. My friends and co-workers seem to see me as being strong yet I have never felt so incredibly weak in my life. It is my true belief that the only reason our family continues to breathe or function (in what ever capacity) is because of the many friends (some old, some brand new) that have poured out their hearts and prayers to us all. You are our strength because without the presence of your prayers, I do not believe we would have made it this far. Curling up in a ball and wanting nothing more than to turn back time has been the only thing that I have wanted since the day I rcvd “my” call while I was at work. The support for our family has been consistent from that moment. So to everyone that has given so much of your heart, prayers and love….THANK YOU for keeping us going. THANK YOU for loving our Addy as much as we have whether you ever had the opportunity to meet her or not. MY prayers and love will be with each and every one of you. God bless all of you and thank you again Mike for your incredible act of kindness.

  13. David Warner says:

    I just came across this article and as a father it moved me as I am sure it does to everyone else, whether or not they are a parent. Sending a small contribution your way.

  14. Donna Parsons says:

    I, too, just came across this article. I, too, lost my little granddaughter last year, (she was stillborn) my son and daughter-in-law were just devastated and didn’t have this outpouring of caring and concern. I’m so sorry but also so glad you all do have this to help you through these next few months. (when, if, you ever are blessed again – please consider getting the book – Celebration of Life – would have been great as a keepsake memory if you’d had one now – if you’d like for me to be able to get one for you, just pm me and let me know how; otherwise, they’re all over Amazon. Blessings to you.

  15. crystal coy says:

    Next month would be addy’s second birthday :) Rest in peace sweet angel!

  16. Rex Hamann says:

    I will hold the family of this grievous incident in my heart all day and all week. I cannot fathom the pain that accompanies this loss. May there be solace in the ripple of the waves.

  17. crystal coy says:

    Happy 3rd Birthday Cassidy <3


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] In honor of Cassidy and her family, the Cassidy Anne Hurt Memorial Fund has been established. Mike has asked all of his friends with blogs to link to an article that he wrote Sunday about his friends’ loss. The article also includes directions of how to donate to the Memorial Fund if you choose to do so. I have included the link here. […]

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