(Gillette, Wyo.) "How do you tell the story of someone's life on a posterboard?," wondered Trish Simonson.
It's the first time since the death of their son Kaden that the Simonson family have gone back through memories of him and really "got to know the real Kaden." The Simonsons were picked as this year's host family for the remembrance ceremony at the Children's Memorial Walkway.
Trish said in her presentation to the gathered crowd that she didn't want to be known as "the mom of that boy who died." Kaden was their son, and deserved to be remembered for that.
And that is the point of this annual ceremony. Residents gather not to remember the accidents, but the children that have been lost in Campbell County. The memorial art garden stands at the intersection of Warlow and Brooks, the site of a car accident that took the life of Madison Scalzo. It's the tenth year that the Mayor's Art Council has helped organize this event, to help those families that are grieving from the loss of a child support one another and celebrate the lives lost.
Trish shared some of their happiest memories of Kaden, who would have turned 17 the week before. He loved fly fishing, sports, and had a superstitious fear of odd numbers. The family also handed out gift bags with things in them that Kaden would have loved, like Skittles and Lego.
They also urged anyone in need of help to not be afraid to ask for help."It's the bravest thing you will ever do."
You can support the Walkway by purchasing a memorial brick here.