There are no magic words, no perfect stanza to use when a child dies. My heart is broken for a boy I never met, but who I loved through the first picture I saw of him. The son of one of my dearest childhood friends, he was familiar in a way I could never articulate. Where my girls sparkle, he always seemed to glow. The purest light laced with just the right amount of little boy impishness radiated from each photo. He was four and he lived each minute surrounded in the deep love of his big brothers and his mom and dad.

There is no saying that he lived long enough, because he did not.

The thing he had, the thing that measured greater than the years he lived was the love he had—both that he gave and that he received. And bravery.

Ransom was heroic, always will be.

Ransom Thomas Aquinas Hardesty

May 17, 2008 – March 25, 2013