When your kid has cancer, these things become important. People pull in favors. People make phone calls. And people do amazing things.
Back in the fall, Dean DeBlois, the director and writer of the How To Train Your Dragon movies, got in touch with us through some really lovely connections.
Some plans were made.
But it didn't quite pan out the way we'd hoped before Sam died.
Then Dean made a remarkable and generous offer -- a preview screening of HTTYD2 for us with a special dedication to Sammy. We were so incredibly touched and it was so bittersweet -- to know that we would see this movie that Sam really wanted to see....and to know that he would not. Ever.
Yet we gathered together at the movie theater.
We sent out some invitations, in a relatively helter-skelter fashion.
We tried to make it about the kids, about Sammy's friends who really and truly should never ever have had to attend a funeral.
(A brief side note: I've never "run" a private showing before. It's not like a regular movie, obviously. By starting the film manually, the manager gave me a few moments to address the crowd. With a roomful of his favorite people, Solly was not intimidated by having his mom hush the group. As soon as I got everyone quiet, Solly shouted "Mommy! Sit down and stop talking! The movie is going to start any minute!" Oh how he makes us laugh...)
The movie opened with a very special dedication card which read:
Dedicated to the memory of
whose enthusiasm and courage inspired all of us at Dreamworks
This was met by tears and applause. The love in the room was palpable as we settled in to watch the sequel to Sam's favorite film.
The movie absolutely did not disappoint us.
Without revealing any spoilers or any details about the film, let me just say this:
Sammy would have totally approved.
And his only question would have been: when's the next one coming out?
Thank you so much to Dean, to his whole team, to everyone at Dreamworks who made it possible, and to our friends who made the connections possible. In the midst of our continued sadness, this gave us the opportunity to be together, to share something that he would have loved, and to honor his memory in a really special way. We are immensely grateful.
|Sammy dressed as a dragon|
|For his fifth birthday, Sam had a Dragons and Dinosaurs Party|
|Just to show you how much he loved dragons....yes, we made him this cake.|