Monday, May 26, 2014


I don't believe that the dead send us signs.

But I do believe that we can read almost anything we want into those things that we see. And sometimes that is enough.

As I was walking into the hospital on Thursday, I looked down at the ground and saw a feather swirling around in the breeze.

Sam loved to pick up feathers that were discarded by birds.
I have quite a few feathers-in-ziplock-bags around the house, since I was always worried about whatever germs those feathers might contain.

So a feather that greeted me at CHW felt like a good thing. Almost like a sign.

And then today, our first time swimming together since Sammy died...a feather was stuck to the pool noodle I chose for Solly (green, of course).

Did Sam send me a sign?
I don't really think so.
But it made me feel just a little twinge of his presence. A presence that is really always with me.

Oh, how we miss him.

Memorial Day weekend will always be a terrible memory of the start of this cancer journey. Sam was in terrible pain over the weekend of Memorial Day 2012, we just didn't know what was going on. I remember that doctors' appointments bookended the weekend -- our regular doctor and an orthopedic specialist. No one knew what was going on.

Last year, Memorial Day was spent in the hospital, and I was remembering the year before.

We are coming into a part of the year that has been so hard for us for the last two years. The "kickoff to summer" will always remind me of these summers that were "ruined" (Sam's word) by cancer. This year, we're planning a "normal" summer. But what does that really mean? Will we ever be "normal" again? It's going to be different no matter how we look at it. It will never be the same.

Summer was always my favorite season. Now it's....sad. Hard. Not what we ever imagined.
And yet, we'll do what we've always done.

We planted our garden.
We play with the water-hoses.
We eat popsicles on the front porch.
We'll take our broken hearts to camp....

We'll put one foot in front of the other....holding each other upright.

Memorial Day, 2008
Memorial Day, 2009
This is SUCH a Sammy face. Memorial Day, 2010
Also 2010 -- at the Milwaukee Zoo
Memorial Day, 2011. Who knew this would be the last time he ever "celebrated" this weekend?
Memorial Day, 2012 -- the only time he swam that whole summer. He had intermittent bone pain...and we hoped swimming would make it feel better. He was game to try...
A smile on Memorial Day 2012....but much of that weekend was spent in pain
Memorial Day, 2013 - in the hospital


  1. So handome. Such charm shining through in each and every picture.

    I wish he was here, shining in person, getting ready for a great summer.


  2. Sherry Mandel, whose son Koby was killed by terrorists in Israel, has many references in her book, "The Blessings of a Broken Heart," to spiritual experiences and "signs" having to do with birds, birds' nests and dreams about birds.

  3. And being held upright by those who love you, and by the wings of your memories of Sam.

  4. Emily Dickinson, "Hope is the thing with feathers."