Rowan Sweeney's father reflects on tragedy, focuses on honoring son's memory 30 days after losing his son, David Sweeney is channeling his pain into several efforts to ensure the memory of four year old Rowan will live on forever. Wednesday, October 21st 2020, 7:37 PM EDT by Chris Cerenelli Updated: Wednesday, October 21st 2020, 7:44 PM EDT
"I'm kind of just still lost," says David Sweeney. The 30 days since he lost his four year old son might as well be 30 years. "I'm still trying to figure out why this happened to Rowan and why he's not here." Many of us can only imagine the type of void such a tragedy could leave in a parent's life. In David's case, it's a pain being tempered by a community brought together in the face of that tragedy. "I just can't describe it, it just feels like everyone has their arms wrapped around me and my family," says David. "Everybody's support, it would put the biggest smile on Rowan's face." And from David Sweeney's pain has come a new purpose. "Waking up every day and getting to do something positive and work on something positive in Rowan's name...it means so much for me and my family," he said. "Rowan really loved parks...Rowan loved to have fun and watch other kids have fun, so this is the best way I could think of to honor Rowan and give back to the community." A fundraising dinner is set for November 1 at The Embassy in Struthers. It's one of several efforts to raise money to build a park - a reflection of Rowan's indominable spirit, a lasting legacy to a life cut much too short. David says contractors, laborers and others have already committed to donate time or resources to help make it happen. There's no specific site planned yet, but he hopes to have it built within the next year. David wants the park to have all-inclusive amenities for kids with special needs or disabilities. "I think that's the only positiveness we're going to get right now," David says. But it's enough to keep him focused not as much on his pain, but on his purpose. "I know Rowan's with me, I can feel him with me every day." David wants to personally thank The Embassy and the staff. More information can be found about the November 1 fundraiser, along with merchandise in Rowan's memory on Facebook by CLICKING HERE. You can also visit RowansMemorialPark.com for information on how to donate to the effort to build the park.