Oklahoma Mother Channels Grief Into Helping Others

Wednesday, November 28th 2012, 5:37 pm
By: Craig Day

Elly Griffin dropped off a car load of toys at the Salvation Army Distribution Center off 11th Street between Yale Avenue and Sheridan Road.

They'll be given out to families so children will have something to open on Christmas morning.

The dozens of toys will bring lots of smiles, and a special feeling to Griffin's heart, still hurting as she grieves a tragic loss.

With his cute smile and dazzling blue eyes, Corban Lyon walked early and was all boy.

"He was everywhere," his mother Elly Griffin said. "He had so much energy; it was crazy."

The name Corban means "a gift to God."

Corban's mom said her little boy who was so loving to everyone, is now with God.

He drowned on his second birthday in September.

"There's no words to explain a mother's grief," Griffin said.

When Corban died, instead of flowers, his mom Elly asked for donations of toys.

People responded with toys like a tricycle and books, trucks and trains and plastic swords and planes.

"All the little things that he would have loved," Griffin said. "He would have loved everything over there."

The goal is to give the toys to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program so that other children have something to open on Christmas morning.

"If there is any way that I can bring smiles for somebody through my grief, that's what I want to do, because that will make me smile," Griffin said.

It's hard to smile when you're going through such a tragic loss.

"There's always the question ‘why?' There's always the question ‘what if?'" she said.

But another question is: Why not? Why not make a difference for someone else?

Corban has already done that as an organ donor.

His kidneys went to a 56-year-old man in California, his liver to a 2-year-old girl in Texas, intestines to a 6-year-old boy in Washington.

The valves from his joy filled heart were donated, so were the corneas from his beautiful blue eyes.

"He changed lives for not only the people who got the organs, but the whole family."

It brings comfort, but there are so many things a grieving parent misses.

"His endless smile and his giant hugs," Griffin said.

Those kind of giant hugs come from little arms that give you the best feeling in the world.

But a part of her little boy lives on, thanks to his gift to others, and soon, presents to children on Christmas morning.

"To touch others lives, is just an amazing feeling," Griffin said.

Corban's mom wants even more to come out of the tragic loss. You can donate to the YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign in Corbans' name.

It helps kids who can't afford to go to the Y, for things like after-school activities and swimming lessons.