Sam tried to wake up grumpy and then the rays of a smile peeked out at me from the blankets covering his head. I had just told Sam the news that his siblings would be arriving shortly. It was a good food day, a great mail day and a stupendous day for visitors.
Mail: Sam received some amazing gifts from some amazing people. The Comic Shop of Wilmington (friends of our friend Rabbi Yair Robinson) sent a box load of comics, super gear, shirts and AMAZING pictures of all their customers in super-garb rooting for Sam! It must be over 100 pictures of Sam fans wishing him health. Sam intends to share much of his wealth with many of the kids here who can use some cheering up. Not to be outdone, Uncle Stock sent a superman snuggie from NJ. I think I laughed for ten minutes straight after picking my jaw up off the floor. Sam's friend Nick sent two amazing Superman books, one a Spanish primer superheroes book! Awesome! And the myriads of cards! Sam received many more cards and photos of all our friends and family garbed heroically in hopes of his speedy and complete recovery.
Thank you to everyone for sending such incredible gifts and prayers. I know I only mentioned a few here, but every item is such a blessing and the countless prayers keep us strong through each day.
Visitors: The day started amazing and just kept getting better. First Sam saw his Ima, siblings and Tante Anne as David, Yael and Solly plowed into his room like a storm to shower Sam in love and kisses. David showed Sam how to play some new games on his iPad while Solly looked for food to consume and things to destroy. They were all glad to see Sam and Sam's face lit up like the sun with his early morning visitors.
Tante Anne stayed while the rest of us headed to OSRUI to drop off David at camp for six weeks and Yael for three days as a sleepover guest with her besties, Adina and Daniele and Gavi. Tante Anne entertained and read to Sam for hours after braiding her hair in preparation. In preparation for what you ask? For Sam shearing said braids in his honor for locks of love. (Guest post by Tante Anne to follow shortly.)
Once I returned from camp, Sam's friend Asher arrived with his parents to hang out. You would have thought Sam was sitting on a spark plug the way he perked up when Asher entered the room. The two boys talked, played card games and even took a walk down to the play room to play some air hockey. Using Sam's mood as a barometer I had Asher stay for dinner to inspire Sam to eat something too. Worked like a charm - chips and a piece of quesadilla later. The boys ate while watching Spy Kids 3, which they loved. Cousin Dan even came in the middle of the movie to see how Sam was doing today.
By 8pm, after everyone went home for the day, Sam could barely keep his eyes open. Yet he had strength left to complain about all the things we had forgotten to do!
Me? I was exhausted the moment my kids walked through the door. Catching Solly while he storms through Sam's room sets my every nerve on edge. It's like stopping a bull in a china shop. It was incredible seeing everyone at camp, but when I returned, Sam commented on the exhaustion he saw in my face. I got some chocolate milk into my system and did my best to recover quickly. It helped having the visitors to distract both of us.
People ask how I'm doing. I'm hanging in there. I use Sammy as my barometer. If he is doing well I'm doing well. If he's fading from fatigue or low counts I worry about him. I am strong when he is strong and when he rests I rest. He's angry that I have to be home as much as I do. I don't blame him. I try to be here as much as possible, but it is never enough.
As we drift off tonight know that our love and gratitude goes out to you all as we float on a sea of your healing prayers and words of love.