By John Walker, guest columnist
“If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” – Bridger Walker
In January of 2016 my wife Trena, 1½-year-old grandson Bridger and I drove to the hospital so that we could meet Bridger’s newborn little sister. I was a bit concerned at the time that Bridger would resent having to share “HIS” home with a little sister.
My concern was promptly alleviated when Bridger was introduced to his baby sister. Bridger’s small physical body and massive eternal spirit tenderly embraced the newborn baby.
After holding her for just a few minutes it was apparent that Bridger was devoted to his tiny sibling. Each and every time that I suggested to Bridger that it was my turn to hold “HIS” little sister he smiled and pointed to his chest (i.e. the answer was “No”).
As the world now knows, Bridger’s brotherly love was fully displayed on July 9th when he risked his own life to protect his 4-year-old sister from an attacking dog.
At a minimum, Bridger spared his sister from some indescribably horrid injuries. More likely, by and through his selfless act of sacrifice and love, he saved his baby sister’s life.
I must acknowledge that my heart is overflowing with gratitude for Bridger and his profound example of devotion and love. Bridger you are a cherished grandson AND you will forever be my hero.
I am also eternally grateful to God for sending Bridger to our family. He is and has always been a wonderful and cherished blessing to the Walker clan.
My heart is also filled with gratitude for the kind, generous and selfless acts of those who have reached out to comfort Bridger as he does his best to recover from the emotional and physical injuries that he sustained while shielding his little sister.
Thank you so much for the many remarkable rocks, toys, t-shirts and various creative and meaningful gifts you have sent to Bridger.
I know that I cannot specifically thank each and every one of the millions who have prayed for Bridger’s recovery, but please know that I know that your prayers have been heard.
I also extend my sincere thanks to Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, the Russo brothers, Bo Jackson, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, Larry Nance Jr., MrBeast, The Batman of Spring Hill, and Bret Michaels for reaching out to and supporting Bridger.
I greatly appreciate your respective and collective time and energy that was so selflessly expended in behalf of Bridger. You truly helped invigorate and strengthen both his little body and his immense spirit.
My thanks also goes out to the World Boxing Council for awarding Bridger an honorary World Championship, Tom Burman and the UW Athletic Department for your gracious gift, the F-22 Demo Team for your compassionate time spent with Bridger, the New York City Firefighters for the dessert that you shared with Bridger and It’s Sugar for subsidizing Bridger’s sweet tooth.
And to the artists who shared their talent with our family, please know that your many varied drawings of Bridger and his little sister captured my heart.
In honor of all who have graciously reached out to support Bridger, he has a request: On the first weekend of September (i.e. Sept. 5th and 6th), Bridger asks that you devote some of your time, energy and talent in performing a generous act of kindness for a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker or even a stranger. We humbly refer to his request as the Bridger challenge.
Please accept the Bridger challenge.
John M. Walker is an attorney and lifelong Wyomingite who lives in Cheyenne. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org