Aiden Thomas Henderson
One year in heaven. One year without our beautiful boy.
On November 12th, 2019 we said goodbye to Aiden Thomas Henderson, aka Smusherface. He had been battling atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor or AT/RT, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. He was just 20 months old. He is survived by his mother Emily, father Nick, brother Owen, and sister Peyton.
Aiden came into this world and instantly it was like he had always been here. As the third child, he was more like a king sitting on a throne and the four of us were his court jesters there to entertain him. We were all more than happy to be at his beck and call and he never wanted for anything for very long. He was just so happy to be a part of our family and we all wanted to give him the world.
Aiden loved being outside sitting on his red Bigwheel. He ate blackberries by the handful and if you sat down to the dinner table with Rusty’s Pizza you’d better be prepared to share. He loved playing catch, giving fist bumps, and blowing kisses. His favorite book was The Very Busy Spider. His favorite song was “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” and his favorite movie was Moana. We watched it over and over while in the hospital. Aiden was an early talker. His first word was “bird” and I will be forever grateful to have heard him say, mama, dada, Owen, and Pey-pey. He never learned to walk but he was a great snuggler and his head will always have a place on my shoulder.
Aiden was treated at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and from day one he had every doctor and nurse wrapped around his chubby little finger with his big blue eyes and sweet disposition. He handled every poke and procedure with grace. In the evening we would FaceTime with his brother and sister. Even though he was so sick from chemotherapy and infections he always perked up at the sound of their voices. He is the bravest man I have ever met.
Though they are young, Owen and Peyton have taught Nick and me a lot about how to grieve. They never shy away from talking about Aiden and often make him out to be the superhero when they imagine the adventures they would have had together. They miss their baby brother and I can only pray that Nick and I have the strength to guide them through their grief.
In his short time on earth, Aiden taught us many things. One, that Nick and I are a really good team. Two, that we have really good kids. And three, that we are so loved by this community. We could not have made it through this year without the love and support from our friends and family. It’s taken me a year to write this, because how does one write an obituary for their child? How can one begin to put into words this kind of loss? I wish more than anything things were different. I wish there was a way to shelter my older children from this pain. I wish he never had cancer in the first place. But until I can hold him in my arms again, I will be holding him in my heart.
Should you be in a financial position to do so, we ask that you please send a donation in Aiden’s name to the Cancer Center Campaign at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Los Angeles. Please be sure and include Aiden’s name in your donation.