When a little boy named Robbie Ecuyer, who suffers from autism, lost both his parents in May, the only thing that helped him cope with the grief was seeing pictures of rainbows.
Robbie’s mom, Shelly Ecuyer died from gastroparesis and cystic fibrosis on May 2, and Robbie’s dad, Robert Ecuyer, died after a battle with addiction on May 24, according to Robbie’s aunt, Crystal Skawinski. “The first loss, my sister, was hard enough,” Skawinski told ABC News. “He lost his bedroom, his toys, his mom, his dad and everything that was consistent in his life. Robbie is autistic and the consistency in life is what [he is] used to, so all of that was taken away.”
“[Gaining custody] helped pull me out of the depression from the death of my sister. There was no second-guessing. Robbie was mine now and that was that,” she continued. Skawinski said that Robbie loves rainbows, after he was told his mom went “over the rainbow bridge” when she died.
The day she passed, a double rainbow appeared over Robbie’s school and a family member, Erica Toma, snapped the picture. “I sent [the photo] to his father to help make a mental picture for Robbie,” Toma told ABC News. “As you see, one rainbow so strong and another quite vague — another symbol for Robbie to understand mommy was waiting for daddy. Now we find double rainbows all over.”
The rainbow brought a lot of joy to Robbie, so his aunt, Skawinski decided to find other rainbows from around the world. “When he didn’t get a rainbow one day, I just went on Facebook and started asking for them,” Skawinski said. On July 22, Skawinski began requesting rainbows using the hashtag #rainbowsforrobbie.
“It’s raining so Robbie came out to check for rainbows,” she wrote in the original post. “Make sure you send me rainbow pics if you have them!!!!”
Since the post, Robbie has received pictures of rainbows from places all over the world including Australia, Hawaii, Niagara Falls and Taiwan. “[H]e’ll know one day when he’s a little bit older, that all this was for him,” Skawinski said. “The outpour has been amazing.”
Skawinski wants to put all the rainbows in a slideshow with music for Robbie, and if you’d like to send Robbie a picture of a rainbow, please click here.
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[Featured Image Credit: Crystal Skawinski/Facebook]