A Precious Memory Of Daniel’s Last Morning With His Family

306934_232107420247164_737593684_n“On the morning of December 14th, I was walking James down the driveway. It was still dark at 6:20, and we hear little footprints behind us on the driveway. And Daniel had gotten up and realized that the house was dark and empty and that we were on our way to the bus, and he ran down the driveway with his pajamas and with his little flip-flops on so he could hug and kiss his brother goodbye. That’s the only time that ever happened. …

He and I came back into the house, and I said: “Look, the sun’s not even up. You can go back to bed and sleep some more if you want.” And he said, “No, Daddy, now we have more time for cuddling.” So that’s what we did.

We got on this couch right here and we cuddle. Goofed around and played, and then he noticed out that window that the sky was starting to become all red and orange, and the Christmas tree was over there, and he said: “Look, you can see the reflection of the Christmas tree lights in the window with the [sunrise] behind it. Isn’t that beautiful?”

It was beautiful, and so I went and got the camera and took a picture of it. So we have this picture with that window with that Dec. 14 sunrise and just a few little lights of a Christmas tree.

Daniel was big into foosball, so we had some time for some foosball. And then he had to kiss his sister Natalie goodbye, too. Made a point to give her a hug and a kiss goodbye and put her on her bus. …

Then after breakfast we sat down at the piano and I taught him how to play “Jingle Bells,” which he did perfectly, and I just remember looking at his little hands and just thought his little hands were so cute and so beautiful.

Not included in this original piece is how when his Mom was leaving for work, Daniel ran down the stairs with a toothbrush in his mouth to give her a hug and kiss. Jackie and I reminded him not to run down the stairs with objects in his mouth, but we looked at one another and smiled at his eagerness to show his love and affection. Some mornings Jackie was gone before he woke, so we all relished this moment that morning.

Then it was time to walk Daniel into the bus, and almost every morning, we had to play tag on the way to the bus. And it was all this running around, all the way up and running through the lawns, and I asked him, I said: “Do we have to play tag today? Do we have to play tag every day? Can we just hold hands today?” So we did. We just held hands. …”

~ Mark Barden


The First Annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest

529521_4637450536104_1461307430_nThe first annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest took place on Saturday, April 13th, 2013 at MKJ Farms in Deansboro, NY. The event featured a 5K mud run that climbs and falls over the hills of Deansboro, located approximately 15 miles south of Utica. View Photos

The Barden Family would like to thank everyone who came out, participated in, sponsored or volunteered for the Daniel Barden Mudfest. What a great day! It was very moving to see such a good turn out in the name of Daniel. Our family had so much fun and it was a needed distraction. We would like to especially thank the Williams family for all of their hard work, kindness, generosity and hospitality. This event was the essence of what WWDD is all about and we know that Daniel would be proud. We cannot thank all who were involved in pulling this off enough and we look forward to next years event.

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