A lifetime of love

Courtesy of Byron Haseotes
Evangelia Haseotes spent all but nine days of her life in Children's Hospital Boston.

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

"But you are not alone in this … "

Dateline: In Memoriam

"db, we … we are not supposed to bury our children."

I had nothing in me to say when Elite angler Byron Haseotes told me that on the phone this morning.

I am a man of words, simple, short words, and I had none. 

All I had were tears.

Sitting on a green stool in my kitchen, one arm on the kitchen island holding the cell phone to my ear, all I could do was look at the tile floor between my feet.

And watch as the tears puddled in the grout.

And listen to Byron cry on the other end of the line.

Listen as he tried to tell me of a child lost.

Listen to a dad try to speak of a daughter gone.

As the puddle in the tile grew.

" … and you are not alone in this … "

"db, we … we are completely devastated."

I can think of nothing worse than this.  If either of my children go before me, you best buy two coffins because there will be nothing left in me.

I'd be just a shell.

"We knew we had a sick kid db … knew that … but … "

And then comes a long pause … Byron is trying to hold it, trying to talk, trying to reason, trying to have faith.

" … but db, we will never, never be the same without her.  Trust me on that."

I ask how Tiffany, his wife, is holding up.

I never got an answer. He couldn't say the words.

I ask about Byron Jr., his 3-year-old son.

"He's doing OK, he asks where E-V-I is … I’m spelling it because he is here with me and I don't want him to hear her name and get upset … and I tell him she is in heaven holding Grandpa's hand."

" … as brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand … "

Evi, short for Evangelia, spent most of her 16 months of life in Children's Hospital Boston.  Evi did get outside and make it home for 9 days.

Evi did get to see the sky.

"One of the only few times when she was doing well, we took her for a walk outside in the hospital garden." -- Byron Haseotes

 

Evi did get to feel a breeze on her tiny face, did get to see birds fly, see trees, see grass, feel the earth and greet the planet as was meant to be.

But every day of her life she did get to feel what it is that holds this planet together, what makes it more than a blue and green rock floating in space.

Love.

Every day of her life, hours upon hours every day, Byron and Tiffany and sometimes Byron Jr. were there for Evi, holding her, caressing her, talking to her, singing to her.

Loving her.

"db, she was developing, she was progressing, she was smiling, she was … was … happy, you know."

Sixteen months of love.

Love, 24/7.

Sixteen months of the best of what this planet has got.  The best of what this planet should be.  The best of what this planet can be.

Evi please know this, you will be missed, you will never be forgotten, but also please know that during your short time with us, with your family, you got the best of what we've got here on earth.

You got …

… a lifetime of love.

" … hold your hand."

Timshel

Mumford & Sons

-- db

In lieu of flowers, Bryon asked that you please consider giving to Children's Hospital Boston, in memory of Evi Haseotes.  Contributions can be made online at www.childrenshospital.org/tribute  or checks made payable to Children's Hospital Bostoncan be mailed to:

Children’s Hospital Trust, 1 Autumn Street #731, Boston, MA 02215-5301. 

To ensure gifts support 8 South (where Evi spent most of her time in the hospital), please note the gift is in memory of Evi Haseotes when making it online or sending a check.

Byron & Tiffany told me to please tell you thank you, for your prayers and for your support through this time in their lives.

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