He was really proud of the idea of having two special birthdays.
I had imagined a big celebration for this week, heading into his first bone-marrow-birthday. A big bash. A pool party? A carnival? A bone marrow drive? A fundraiser? Sam and I had even discussed the options, the ideas. He was beyond excited for two birthday parties!
Instead of a bone marrow birthday celebration (and don't worry, someday we might actually have that fundraiser carnival on his birthday), we had a different experience.
We dedicated Sammy's gravestone.*
It was a small, family affair.
There were many many tears.
And a few giggles, mostly related to the questions that Solly asked ("Are we going to dig Sammy up, mommy?") or the funny stories that we all told about him (Yael loves to laugh about their card games together).
Did I mention that we cried?
We left pretty rocks that we rescued from the beach and painted. Our sweet young friends-like-family painted turtles.
|Do you like the turtle?|
|This little circle opens up to reveal a beautiful photo of our Sammy. Solly loved opening and closing it.|
But that headstone, so very real.
So very final.
It's not at all how I imagined spending this week. And yet, it was the right thing to do. It was right to take the kids to the cemetery, it was the right time to make this mark on the world for Sam.
That doesn't make it any easier.
Today is 256 days that he's been gone, and exactly 365 days since bone marrow transplant.
Where we were:
One year ago today: a bone marrow birthday
Two years ago today: a short hospital stay
*Jewish tradition has a lot of customs surrounding death and mourning. The custom of setting up a stone or a monument, dates back to the Torah, in which Jacob erected a monument to his beloved Rachel after her death. Obviously, the marker helps to identify the grave and to honor the dead.