By Juli McDonald

DEDHAM (CBS) – This weekend, one year ago, was complete joy for Jodi and Jason Bissonette of Dedham — welcoming their baby boy, Thomas Joseph.

“He was just so alert and perfect and beautiful. He was the sweetest. This big belly and those blue eyes,” said Jodi.

But they, with big sister Adele, got less than three months to hold him. He passed away in February.

Thomas Joseph (Family photo)

“It’s awful. So awful. He went to bed and was fine. And just didn’t wake up. You never expect it to be you. Ever. They couldn’t bring him back,” she said.

Consumed by grief without him, the family is now committed to doing good, for him.

Jason and Jodi Bissonette (WBZ-TV)

“It kind of makes me a little proud. He’s doing some work,” said Jason.

This month, in celebration of his birthday, the couple and their relatives have been quietly placing hundreds of stuffed animals at schools and playgrounds with notes encouraging kindness. They’re using the hashtag #rememberingThomasJoseph.

Some strangers have even found the messages and taken them on their travels. In just weeks, the Bissonettes have received emails and tags on social media from people around the world who have seen Thomas Joseph’s face and learned his story. Many include the kind act they performed in his name.

Stuffed animal encouraging act of kindnes in remembrance of Thomas Joseph (WBZ-TV)

“We’re so overwhelmed. It’s so nice. People are so nice,” Jodi said.

His parents say it’s all for Thomas Joseph, who would have made this world better himself.

“I believe it. He was going to be a good kid. If anyone can just spread kindness in this world right now. It’s nice to hear good things and see the good in people. I definitely don’t want him forgotten,” said Jodi.

Juli McDonald


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