Connor White.

Brian was hesitant to permit today’s blog topic.  The funny thing is that it’s not even about him.  It’s about some of my clients.

Now I’m not here to bum anyone out, but I’d be dishonest if I didn’t at least mention how heavy my heart has been lately on behalf of the White family.  Beth and Henry White have sat in my salon chair for years, as have their two young sons, Hayden and Noah.

Some people might frown on a stylist having favorite clients, but this is one of my favorite families that I have the pleasure of beautifying.  Let’s start with Beth.  She exudes kindness, calmness, thoughtfulness and is one of the most “real” ladies (with stunning red hair) with whom I get to catch up on a regular basis.

Then there’s their sons, Hayden and Noah.  Such. Well. Behaved. Kids.  I shouldn’t be surprised at their behavior considering the quality of parenting under which they’re being raised.

And then there’s Henry.  He has got to be one of the most devoted husbands and loving fathers on whom I work my hair magic!  It’s such a joy to see a man think highly of his wife, speak well of her and also be incredibly attentive to his kids.

Hayden was already a part of their family when I met them.  Then I got to see Beth experience her pregnancy with Noah.  But in 2012?  Her third pregnancy and my pregnancy overlapped!  Their third son, Connor, was born in early July.

Without getting into the details, they discovered that Connor had a brain tumor in mid-December.  In spite of having the best care and undergoing surgery and treatment, he lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, exactly six months old.

It just makes me sick.  Absolutely sick.  When I see pictures of their son, Connor, and see that he had that same baby twinkle in his eye that Bennett has… Oh, man.  To think that they had six months to fall head over heals for him!  And his innocence!  To see the pictures with a tube in his little nose, when the only things touching his face should have been their gentle hands, their soft kisses and the warm, sudsy bubbles from bath time…  Seriously, my stomach hurts.

Yes, I have faith.  Yes, I believe in heaven.  But my heart still breaks.  These are painful goodbyes.

Connor’s memorial service was today and they released balloons in his honor.  The family asked that if friends were unable to attend, they’d release balloons remotely and share the pictures.  Our salon took a few minutes to do this together this afternoon.

In lieu of flowers, they asked that – if anyone was so moved – people would make a donation to the Connor Cure Cancer fund.  (That site will also link you to his Caring Bridge site where his story is shared.)  The Whites’ biggest wish is that not one more family would have to experience this tragedy.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?


  1. January 11, 2013

    Heartbreaking, no parent should ever have to go through the pain of losing their child.

  2. January 11, 2013
    Mary kaye

    May God bless little Conner and his family. My heart is breaking for them.

  3. January 11, 2013

    Losing a little one is always heart breaking. What a beautiful memorial tribute. That is the second time this month that someone mentioned releasing balloons. I think I will do that for Heather’s birthday this year.

  4. January 11, 2013
    Heather F

    Suzy, I am so sorry to hear this. Uncle Van’s and my thoughts and prayers go up for peace for all.

  5. January 11, 2013

    The Connor family are in my prayers.

  6. January 11, 2013
    Becca Shaw

    :-‘( Thank goodness for heaven…there is no other way to reconcile such loss.

  7. January 12, 2013

    So very sad indeed. How heart breaking. I can’t imagine their pain. I pray that God sends them peace and comfort. Connor family <3

  8. January 14, 2013

    I am so sorry the White family experienced such horrible tragedy. The loss of children has been far too often in the news lately. These are innocents and should have the wonder of life ahead of them.

    My heartfelt condolences.

  9. January 20, 2013

    Suzanna, you have no idea how much the balloon release and this blog meant to us. You’re one of the best people we know. Miss you and can’t wait to see you soon.

  10. January 20, 2013

    Your willingness to share Connor’s story – not only the pain, but the love of their family, gives Connor’s spirit a way to live on. Cancer took that beautiful smile away, but he helps shine a light on the kind of people, the strength, and the love we want to be for those in our lives. The pain is unimaginable, but, I pray their love is more powerful. It’s already inspired and touched so many.

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