Sunday, February 16, 2014


It's not the first family birthday since Sammy died.
That dubious honor was my own.
But it's the first kid.
Yael's birthday was today, and her party is tomorrow.

She's seven.

Sammy turned seven right after his first set of treatment concluded, after he was declared "in remission" and his central line was removed a week after his seventh birthday.
Sammy's 7th birthday
 It's every little sibling's dream to "catch up" to their big sib, right?

How can it be that eventually...she will, in fact, pass him up?!
Forever 8. He's forever 8.

She's doing quite well. Yael is her own little person, so full of life and so full of joy.
She misses Sam. She talks about him all the time. And sometimes she doesn't.

She included him in her math homework the other day:
Draw a picture of your family from tallest to shortest.
"Can I put Sammy in?"

6 personas en mi familia (with a heart) - six people in my family
I was so blindsided by the simplicity of the question -- that I just answered "of course" without even so much as bursting into tears. Upon later reflection, I was so glad that I didn't cry. If I cry every time she mentions his name or asks me about him....I'm sure she will eventually stop asking, stop talking. And oh, how I want her to talk about him. How I love to hear his name on her lips, how I love to think about the ways that she remembers him. They were so inseparable, they were such a little team.

during Sam's BMT hospitalization
And he pulled away from her first. Almost like he couldn't imagine how life would go on without their partnership, almost like he didn't know how to say goodbye....he definitely pulled away from her. I don't think she fully realized it (what six-year-old would?) and hard this has been.

Today...I couldn't stop thinking about him. How desperately I just wish he was here.
To be annoyed by her birthday. To be irritated that she is the center of attention.
That it's not his birthday.
Even that, I miss.
October 2010
June, 2010 "we're cooling off our tushies!"
March, 2010 - pajamas, of course
February, 2011


  1. Happy Birthday to Yael. I love that she put Sammy in her math homework. And she looks so beautiful in that birthday picture!

    I understand the feelings about her surpassing his age, kinehurah. I mean - I say that with utmost respect and understanding that none of us truly can know the others' experience... but I was just thinking the other day about this. My nephew and Caleb were only 8 months apart... Caleb died over 5 months ago... so, kinehurah, spring Charlie will become older than Caleb ever was. And that sort of kills me. Children are not supposed to catch up with each other in age. It's not right, and it's not fair, and I hate it.

  2. mazel tov to yael and her parents. may you have a very special birthday with your family. sammy is very much in your children's hearts.

  3. Happy birthday Sweet Yael. Have a wonderful day.

  4. Dear Yael,

    Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful party and a terrific year.

    xoxo from NYC,
    ~ Jane.

    P.S. You are right about 6 personas en mi familia. Sammy will always be in your family just as he is always in your heart.

  5. I always find those seemingly simple questions from children to be so heartbreaking, inspiring and insightful. 6 personas en mi familia sounds right to me, too. :)

  6. You children, all four of them, are absolutely beautiful. Yom huledet sameach, Yael! XO

  7. Happy Birthday, Yael!

    -Lorri M.

  8. Happy birthday to Yael. It was very sweet that she asked about including Sammy in her picture. I got teary-eyed reading that.

  9. My Internet is so slow, I apologize for the delay, because I welcome every post of yours. And I apologize if I am intrusive in my remarks. I just want to be with you all, however I can. As Humpty-Dumpty tells Alice, birthdays are fine, but un-birthdays are in endless supply. Sammy died on the Sabbath, so he's always blessing us, even "at rest."