Late this September, during the HFA Gears for Good Charity Bike Ride, I had one of those conversations in life you remember forever. It was with my son’s best friend, Aidan.
About three years ago in elementary school, Benny, our now 12 year old with severe hemophilia, befriended a classmate who had just moved to our town. Aidan and Benny were a natural best buddy duo, having a lot of the same interests and both being built tall and very skinny. It is a friendship that has continued into middle school and, who knows, perhaps they will be life-long friends that are still buddies in old age!
Aidan has become a regular at our house and I tease him that he’s my third son. He has a quiet and respectful style that has influenced Benny in many positive ways and he’s always welcome here. Aidan also has a gentle and generous heart. Nature or nurture’s influence? I have no idea, but I’m certain it is very real.
Click the below video to see a short message that Johnny, Benny, and his friend Aidan made for Kimberly during the Gears for Good bike ride.
My husband and I both wanted to participate in the Gears for Good Charity Bike Ride in September, but one of us needed to stay home with the kids. My husband, Howie, won the coin toss and flew to DC to pedal like crazy with the other riders. He messaged us frequently during the ride and had an amazing time, met many new friends, and felt really good about raising money to help HFA’s Helping Hands Program that provides emergency financial assistance to families in need.
During one stop that afternoon, Aidan asked me what I was doing. I shared that I was trying to ride about 150 miles that weekend in order to support the same ride Howie was doing in Washington, DC. He asked what it was for, so we discussed how the ride was for charity and the money we raised helped families who were having financial difficulties due to their bleeding disorders. We talked for about twenty minutes about what that meant and how most any family can get into a tough time if they have a little bad luck. Aidan knew about Benny’s hemophilia, but now he was asking questions about how hemophilia worked in a family. It was one of the most thoughtful and genuine interactions I’ve had with anyone associated with bleeding disorders in a very long time.
Then, the moment happened where his compassion compelled him to act with maturity beyond what many 12 year old boys are at. He said, “Mrs. Haugstad, I have $5 saved at home. Can I run home today and get it to donate too?” I’ll never forget the sincere expression on his face. He somehow understood exactly how important every donation is that provides support.
The gift of friendship is such a powerful and wonderful holiday treasure. In the words of Henry David Thoreau: “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” It is the meaning behind Aidan’s unselfish donation of $5.00 that touches me. It is the meaning behind the many acts of friendship I have witnessed across this community that strengthens us, our families, our community. I’m so very thankful for amazing people like Aidan in our lives.
To all our friends in the bleeding disorders community, Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
Kimberly lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Howard, and sons, Ben and Johnny.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers