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LETTER: Fitzgeralds thank community for support

Collin Fitzgerald

To the Editor:

On the morning of Dec. 11, 2012, after a tragic accident our 4 1/2 year old son, Collin Fitzgerald, our precious "Nahnah," met the loving arms of Jesus and is now snug beside his sister Zaylee in Heaven. This will be a very long journey, one that my husband and I were petrified to ever have to revisit.

But as Collin's parents, we can only say thank you to this and the surrounding communities. From the first 911 call that was placed that morning, you responded with fierce force, showing so much love and compassion for our son and entire family, and for that, although the words seem much too simple, Dan and I are so thankful.

We want to thank you all for such a tremendous tribute to our son, not only on the day of his funeral, but for the weeks that followed. Through this pain and aching for our son, we still were able to open our eyes to see God's true angels down here. Some had gigantic flashing lights and ladders, many standing tall in uniform, ones that worked countless hours creating videos and running errands, organizing and holding fundraisers, donating countless hours of your time and services, our own doctor did a home visit, so many came to our children's graves to place a kind note or ornament on their Christmas tree, many organized to have shorts made, badges, table decorations, songs, knowing how much our child loved emergency and service workers.

Many, many angels showed up to place their hands on my husband and me to offer support and prayer. Or took the time to send cards or write letters that truly spoke to our hearts on some of our darkest days. You are all amazing.

We have no doubt that God is so proud of all of you for being such good servants to Him and we are so thankful for each of you. Our son had a real love for his Savior, and he and our daughter have taught us this - God is still good, for He is always good.

From the moment Collin's sweet little voice could make fire truck noises and his chubby little hands could push those toy ambulances and police cars around the house, he had an absolute passion for pretend play. Every day Collin was someone else - police officer, ambulance guy, Chris and Sheila the "firefighters," doctor, nurse or Army guy.

Often I would say to Collin, "Let's you and I go do something fun today; tell Mama what you would like to do." Collin always wanted to go visit the police station, fire station, ambulance garage, hospital or armory. Every so often we would show up at one of those locations and I would pray someone would invite Collin to take a look at one of their squad cars, let him explore the back of an ambulance or simply just acknowledge my son, because no one could place a better smile on the face of my child than one of his heroes in uniform saying a simple "hello" to him.

Collin would have been 5 years old on Jan. 29. He was so excited for his birthday, as we had already been planning his party. He had chosen an "emergency rescue heroes" theme. We want to give you the opportunity to bring your children and let them meet the real heroes in their community. Many of whom helped try to save our son's life.

The event will be at Family Fresh Saturday, Jan. 26, from 1-3 p.m. JAD Photography will be there to take pictures of your child with "from the words of Collin" an Army guy, firefighter, police officer, doctor/nurse and ambulance guy.

This is a completely free event put on by the service heroes in New Richmond and the friends and family of Collin Fitzgerald.

Collin will be celebrating his fifth birthday in Heaven this year. The support you have shown for his mama and daddy has undoubtedly been the best gift to our son.

Dan and Rachel (Prescott) Fitzgerald

New Richmond