The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation: Guardian Angel…Raven’s Song

So, when I first decided to initialize this blog I decided that I wanted to share stories of people who not only shined but allowed the beauty within to expand out…something that went past just the surface. So, when I started blogging for the Raven Maria Blanco Foundation I knew that at some point I would have to speak about the wonderful people who have dedicated so much of themselves to this cause.

Let me start by giving you some background on who Raven Maria Blanco was. Raven was a beautiful 8 year old little girl who loved life and her family. As all children must do as one point or another, it was time for Raven to see the dentist.  Well, I’ll let those from the RMBF, Inc. tell you:

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On March 9, 2007, 8-year-old Raven Maria Blanco passed away unexpectedly, leaving family and friends with the challenge of learning to live in a world dimmed by her absence. Raven’s passing was devastating, especially to her parents. In an instant, the world cracked, swallowed joy, and the little angel disappeared. Imagine a room of bright lights, glittered streamers, laughter bouncing off the walls, star-lit ceilings, and music dancing in the air – then darkness and silence, disorientation and pain. There are no words to express the void we have in our hearts. Raven’s short, spirited life touched so many people; we are truly blessed for each and every moment we had in her presence.

Raven died under conscious sedation during a routine dental procedure. The autopsy showed Raven had a blood concentration of 24 mg/L of chloral hydrate — three times the average range — which the medical examiner considered lethal.

After the loss of Raven, her mother Robin clings to her daily routine as a way of somehow maintaining normalcy. She constantly adds items to her to-do list; staying busy is a band aid to the wound that never heals. Robin also helps her other two children deal with the loss of their sister. Raven was the oldest, the one they looked up to. Now when they miss her, they look to the Heavens to feel the sun rays of her heart and the glimmering stars of her curiosity. Robin also devotes her time to making a difference in the lives of children.

Mario, Raven’s father, watched his world crumble after the death of his first born child. He left living, lost somewhere in the limbo of grief. He could not move in the fog. For a little over a year, Mario spent his day’s sitting by his daughter’s gravesite and writing to Raven on her website every day. One day, love and chance gave Mario the strength to pick himself up. Thus begun the RMBF, Inc..

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In all honesty, I can’t imagine a world where my children don’t exist…none at all where they were taken away from me unexpectedly. So to think that this family, still grieving in a pain that never ceases, decided to use the pain of their loss to help others…well I can’t think of a brighter light than that.  RMBF, Inc. is dedicated to the education and advocacy of Pediatric Emergency Preparedness.  Mario and the rest of the family believes that perhaps had the office been prepared to handle the situation his daughter, his angel, Raven Maria Blanco, would still be here with us today. Over the years there has been several deaths of children due to similar causes and the foundations provides resources for Dental Health Professionals, Educators and Parents to become better prepared and aware of the preventative tools available.

While RMBF, Inc has worked extremely hard to get the word out to individuals that can make a change…there is still so much work to be done. So RMBF, Inc. representatives participate in several dental forums and conferences a year trying to advocate their cause. However, never did Mario Blanco think that he would just happen to meet Grammy Award Winning composer/producer Michael “Magnedo7” Crawford and much less that, after telling Raven’s story, Michael would want to write a song in her dedication.  But it did happen! In fact, Michael Crawford’s wife Shameia honored them all by singing it live at the RMBF Masquerade Ball.

Guardian Angel “Raven’s Song” was later re-recorded by the Dream Little Dreamers Foundation as a tribute to all the lost “Angels” of this earth. To read the full story and to hear more about the Raven Maria Blanco Foundation click on the Inspire the Nation, Save the Child Project

Here’s a sneak peek into the live re-recording:

Project Title: Inspire the Nation, Save a Child

RMBF, Inc. would like to offer their deepest thanks and appreciation to all those who participated in this project!

Written by: Shameia Crawford | Purchase Michael & Shameia’s version on iTunes Original Composer/Producer: Michael “Magnedo7” Crawford | Purchase Michael & Shameia’s version on iTunes

Executive Producer: Alisha “M’Jestie” Brooks | Purchase Dream Little Dreamer’s version on iTunes Mixing Engineer: Paul Arnold “The Bodega” Musical Production: Courtney Beard “The Bodega” Performed by: Dream Little Dreamer (see artist names below)

Arielle Hromada Cabell Jones Caleb & Jada Bright “Graesin Rayn” Brownell Kadance & Keshaun Sawyer Hosea “Legit” Sawyer Romel Brown Natalie Moreland Morgan Miller Chardonnay Hawkins Elisha Barnes Marki Mitchell Dontrey Fields “Shaun Strings” Ingram Madeline Smith Tedra Ballard Mercedez McCullers Kirsten Daniels

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Music Legend Etta James Passes Away at 73

Etta James, born Jamesetta Hawkins,  has passed away at 73 years old. She was an American songwriter who, with her beautifully sexy and sultry voice, sang classics such as At Last, Dance with Me, Tell Mama, Henry, and I’d Rather Go Blind. She  is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.

James was hospitalized in January 2010 to treat an infection caused by MRSA. During her hospitalization, her son Donto revealed that James had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, and attributed her previous comments about Beyoncé Knowles to “drug induced dementia“.She was diagnosed with leukemia in early 2011. She became terminal and succumbed to her illness on January 20, 2012, just five days before her 74th birthday, at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California. The man who discovered her, Johnny Otis, had died just three days earlier. (Wikipedia.com).

Rings of Light would like to send her family, friends, and fans our deepest condolescences but her music will live on in the hearts of thousands. She was truly a light in the world of Rhythmn and Blues and Jazz. Live on Ms. Etta….live on!