Preston Winslow will forever be a superhero to me and so many people. Preston fought a brave battle against acute myeloid leukemia over half of his four years on this earth.
The night I found out that Preston lost his battle, I could not sleep. I kept thinking, “I know that little angel is finally at peace and he’s not suffering anymore, but why would a child have to go through something like that?”
As I thought about those things and so much more, I kept singing “Peace In the Valley” to myself. I know it was God’s way of telling me that Preston was at peace now and he has his wings and is flying and playing in heaven.
The song would not leave my mind, but I finally fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning, I called Jason Collum (my producer) and told him that I had to record “Peace In the Valley” for Preston. The studio was not booked so we went right in to record.
On my way to the studio I thought about Preston some more. I know he had a purpose for his short time on this earth. He taught me what true bravery was and taught me to appreciate life and the people that I love so much. He taught me to laugh more, to be silly when I want to, and not worry so much about the things that don’t really matter. Preston taught me all of these things and he did that for lots of people. I think that’s what God’s purpose was for Preston. He used his smile to make people everywhere smile.
The more I thought about his little face and his big grin, I decided that I needed to think of a way to spread Preston’s message and that smile of his to as many people as I could. So, I called my friend Kristi Olson and asked her if she would create a slideshow of his pictures with my recording of “Peace In the Valley” when I finished it.
She of course said yes and she went to work with my sister, Lorie Roberts, and Douglas Boultinghouse to gather up photos of Preston.
I arrived at the studio and we started working on the song right away. When Jason and I record, I am in the back room of the studio and he is in the control room which is the front room of the studio. The back room has a window in it and as soon as we started recording, Jason stopped the tape and said,
“I can hear birds on the microphone, maybe we need to wait a minute.”
I said, “No, I want the birds singing on the track. Let’s start recording again.”
To me, the birds were a sign that Preston is in a peaceful place and was no longer suffering. It was a sign that birds are singing all around him in heaven. It was God’s message to me that he was ok and like the song says, he’s up there feeding the beasts from the wild. I’m not sure if you can hear the birds on the track we finished but they are there. They were singing away both days that we recorded the song.
I hope you all will take this video that Kristi, Lorie, and Douglas worked on with this song and share it with everyone you know. When you do, remind them to live each day like it’s their last. Don’t worry about the things that don’t matter and just enjoy life. Laugh a lot and do silly things, and make it your mission to make the world laugh along with you!!
I know one day I will get to meet Preston in a better place and he will probably be Tebowing and smiling that big smile of his. I look forward to meeting you there one day Preston! You are child of God and you touched so many lives while you were on this earth.
To learn more about Preston’s life, visit www.prestonsleague.com. Learn how you can help Preston’s family and others going through this same thing. And please remember the Winslow family in your prayers during this time. May God Bless you and bring you peace in knowing that Preston is now in the hands of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(Special thanks to Jason Collum for producing, mixing, and mastering “Peace In the Valley”. Thank you to Kristi Olson for creating the slide show with Lorie Roberts and Douglas Boultinghouse. )