He spent almost all of June in the hospital, came home at the end of his first round of chemo for almost two weeks, and then went back into the hospital.
Back then I wrote this:
You know, six weeks ago we came to the hospital for the first time. Six weeks ago, this was a totally foreign place. Everything was new and uncomfortable. Our walls were bare. We had no idea what to expect. We didn't know how to handle things. We didn't know what to do. Sam was a wreck. He hated every minute of it. He hated his pole. He hated walking around. He hated every nurse and doctor and whatever-medical-professional who walked in the door.Obviously, Sam's funeral was held at the synagogue, and we observed three nights of shiva there as well. It's not like we haven't been there throughout all of this nightmare.
And so did I.
Six weeks ago, walking into the synagogue felt like walking into home. When I went there on Friday...it felt odd. Strange. Foreign.
But on Friday night we went to Shabbat services.
And it was so very very hard.
It felt, to quote myself, odd…strange…foreign.
Perhaps it was because I'm relatively unused to being a "Jew in the pew"…and perhaps it was because our Shabbat has been so home-based in the last few months (my kids are definitely out of practice in the attending-services department). It wasn't because the service is different (not that much), it wasn't because the sanctuary has changed (it hasn't) or the people were unusual (a lovely crowd who gave me hugs and love)…
Oh, and perhaps it's because I just miss Sam.
I felt uncomfortable, displaced, and out of sorts…like I no longer belong in my own skin.
And uncomfortable, displaced, and out of sorts are pretty common feelings for me right now. For all of us, I think. We are feeling our way through this new sense of our family. Who are we? Where do we all fit into this new order of things? How do we work around the hole in our family and how do we pick our way through whatever minefields we might stumble upon? We are used to putting Sammy's needs at the top of our list, we are used to timing and scheduling around clinic visits and medicine doses. We are used to choosing our meals based on his palate, which grew more and more limited. And now....?
I will admit, I'm nervous to go out. Staying home feels quiet and safe. The world feels harsh and bright and full of a cheerfulness that I'm not ready to muster. But I can't stay here forever and I've already told Solly that I would take him to the dinosaur museum...an outing that will most certainly be full of Sam-ness.
It's only been one week since we last saw him, touched him, talked with him…
|I never wrote the story of our photo shoot the day before we left for Israel. We used the synagogue as a space, since the weather was iffy. I never imagined photos in the sanctuary, though, just a use of the nice bright rooms and courtyard. Sam had other ideas and insisted on photos on the bima. My fearsome foursome…(with thanks to Martha Abelson for this picture)|
|September 2011 -- all dressed up for Rosh HaShanah -- he called these his "handsome clothes"|