One of the things our Pastor-friend discussed with us on the day after, was Purpose. His belief was simple – every one of us has a solitary purpose in this life and that is – To affect another human being. Whether you are in this world for 2 minutes or 100 years, he held firm with the notion that once your purpose has been full-filled you are then free to fly away from this world to the next.

So with that zinging around the back of my brain, he then turned to me and asked me to answer one question for him – If he could bring God before me and I was allowed to ask Him one question – What would it be?


I said, “Well, the obvious question would be Why?” I don’t want the obvious question, he responded.


With tears streaming down my face I barely choked out the word Who?

You’ll probably never know, he said. But with 35,000 + hits on your blog in the 3 months it’s been up, David served his purpose. Someone, somewhere out there has been so affected by David that it changed their life, permanently.

I said, but of course his story has affected people. I get messages all the time, folks donating blood, folks hugging their kids tighter, folks wanting to be a better person. I am honored by the multitudes of people that have grown to love us. He said it’s not necessarily any of those people. Not the people that say they were affected. Because out there, somewhere, is someone sooo affected by the  life-force that was David, they themselves may not even realize it.


Let’s say someone we don’t know, reads about David from someone else’s blog. Maybe my friend Kirsten, with all her posts about donating blood and how much David has inspired her to want to be a better person, has inadvertently caused someone to be late to work.

Let’s say this person was so inspired by Kirsten’s posts that they spend the time, (since they’re late anyway) to re-post on Facebook and one of their friends reads the story of Capt Snuggles.  Maybe that person becomes so enamored with the story that they wind up back at my blog and spend hours reading through every post. Maybe they look up and realize they’re late picking up their own kids from school. So they hurry out the door.

Crap – they left the keys in their other coat pocket. They go back into the house, grab the keys and set out again for their kids school. Those kids are waiting impatiently and climb into the car all loud and complaining.

As this person, who is so far removed from us – has only just read about David and may never come back to follow our journey ahead, as this person leaves that school, they see flashing lights in the distance.

As they get closer, they see the wreck. Our driver looks in the backseat at their children and realizes that if, just that little if, if they hadn’t been preoccupied (reading about Capt Snuggles) they wouldn’t have been absent-minded in leaving the keys in the house, they wouldn’t have been as late as they were, and they quite possibly wouldn’t be alive right now, right this minute.

That’s what out Pastor-friend meant when he said – everyone has a purpose, a solitary purpose to affect someone so profoundly, that once it happens, your time on earth is through.

Do you think that’s plausible? I mean, that sounds all well and good to think, that maybe somewhere out there, David had a profound impact on someone. But I still have to ask Why? Why my son? Why did he have to suffer to accomplish such a feat? Because, let’s face it – these past 5 months have been Hell. Pure unadulterated, Hell. For him. For me. For our family. There’s a large group of people that have been affected by him, there’s no doubt about it – I just don’t understand, I just don’t get why it had to be so devastating.

And for that person out there – wherever you are – you better live the best damn life you can.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Purpose

  1. I thoroughly concur. I have thought this and felt this from the moment my daughter was born (and that was before we even dreamed she was going to die only a month later). The ripples on the pond from that point zero of her last breath have been too obvious and profound and they still occur to this day – 7 years later – when strangers happen across things I have written and shared about her, about my journey with her and what she has taught me, that I cannot deny it. Ever.

    One thing, though: I don’t think it’s quite as defined as “once their purpose is served, then that’s it…. after all, profound people still live and continue to serve/fulfil their purpose. But I do really agree with what your Pastor is saying, in essence.

  2. Jolie

    I agree whole-heartedly. I was explaining the ripple effect to my son one day as he asked why God allows bad things to happen. I used an example of a bank being robbed and a worker being shot in the leg…but it is still the fact that you may never know how many ripples are sent out from Capt Snuggles. And I got goosebumps from this as I had found your blog from Band Back Together, and I got so hungry to read the entire thing that I was running late to pick up my kids from school, and when I got home I finished reading every word on your site and hugged my kids so tight. I would bet for every person who comments, sends notes, etc. there are a dozen folks that are reading and reflecting silently. Your story continues to capture my interest, and I look forward to every email saying there’s a new post. Keep tossing stones in the water, it lightens your load and the ripples are wonderful!

  3. I agree with this too. Whenever I’ve asked myself what it is that I really want to accomplish, the answer always comes down to this: I want to leave a mark on this world. When all is said and done, I want the world, in some way, to be a better place because of the fact that I have been here.
    I don’t know why David had to go through what he did in order to affect someone so profoundly. You are right – that part of the equation sucks, and it’s not something I can even try to answer. I don’t know if there is a good answer.
    Know this, that David did indeed reach many, many people in a giant ripple effect during his time on Earth. That ripple effect is still going – David is going to continue having a profound effect on people for some time to come.

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  5. I see the pastor’s point, but I overwhelmingly feel that the person most affected is YOU. From your words, your thoughts, your courage, your grief. I feel that David has given you an experience that is going to change the course of your life and enliven a part of you that would have laid dormant. I don’t know what that is, but I think it’s going to be pretty amazing. That’s just my gut feeling…


  6. Patty

    I agree with Veronica that David’s purpose could very well have been to change YOU! Before David was born I don’t think you thought much about God. David is now in heaven and I hope that through his life, you will one day be there with him. I hope that through David, you will find the Way, the Truth and the Life. If one person finds the Lord as their Saviour through David’s life, it was worth every second of the eight months he spent here on earth. All of the other ways David has touched people and made a difference will pale in comparison!

  7. The Westminster Catechism says that the “chief end of man” is to glorify God, and I think that’s the ultimate purpose for each person. But I believe we also all have other purposes, too. Some of David’s might have been to get you writing and prepare you for a future career. It may have been to get you in touch with old friends and new contacts. It may have been to encourage or support someone going through a similar situation.

    God’s way of doing things are so mysterious, don’t you think? I try and try to figure Him out, but at the end of the day all I can say is, “You are such a big, awesome God, and because my puny, human mind cannot comprehend you or your ways, I will simply stand in awe and trust that You are good.” (Easier said than done sometimes!)

  8. sharon

    I don’t know why or who but it has made me more aware of how important every single life on this planet is and how the ripples of all our lives intersect and change direction only to intersect again ad infinitum. Thank you for sharing David, for me he is a very precious gift, one I will treasure for the rest of my life.


  9. I have no answer. I don’t think we’re meant to find the purpose in events now. I wrote an article called “My Perspective on Death and Faith” that I submitted to BlogHer but it didn’t get accepted for syndication. I am going to post it on my blog today. I guess it depends on your mood if that was something you wanted to read or not, but that’s how I worked out those big questions.

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  11. Shelley

    I can’t explain either why God allows bad things to happen in the world. But I do have faith that your little guys are up in heaven together. Free from tubes, lines, breathing machines….free. I know they are being cared fo by the greatest Father of all. I attached one of the best songs, I think when it comes to that day. I can’t even begin to understand how you feel, I am just here for someone to listen…a friend. I thought about you all last night and the strength it takes to pick it all back up. God is watching over all of you and caring for you, He loves you. Please just listen to the song and the words behind the music.

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