Thursday, January 2, 2014

Paper Time

Remember how I said I can't stop time?

I still haven't figured that magic out, by the way. 

But I had managed to avoid it a little. the form of calendar rebellion. 

You see, I'm a digital gal. Except for the one big paper calendar that hangs in the kitchen. It even went with us to RonMac, it was one of the things that helped me to feel like we were creating a home there. Home is where you hang your calendar, right?

The calendar in the kitchen was, of course, on December. 

I kept lifting December to write on January. I kept lifting it to glance at January's schedule. I knew January was coming. I did. I really did. 

I just wasn't ready to turn the page.
I wasn't ready to turn the page on Sammy's last month. 
I wasn't ready to step into January. 
In my kitchen, maybe, it could just stay December a little longer. 

But today my mom came over. And to her, it was just a calendar that needed to be changed. So she did. 

And as she was doing it, I thought to protest. But how could I? She was right. It needed to be changed. It was just a piece of paper. Not a symbol. And that's ok. 

It was time....

I still miss December.


  1. As I read this, I was rooting for December. Which I guess is just another way of saying that yes, I feel that urge.

    (I never use paper calendars, but in the spring, I bought one of those marketed for moms to keep track of everyone in the family, and I wrote on it just for one month before falling on the wagon. It was a month full of good stuff, including the Prom at Sloan-Kettering. Since I never followed through, the calendar is under a pile of other stuff in the kitchen, but when I come across it, I like looking at that month.)

    I read a really great book to Banjo, called "Mick Harte Was Here." - the narrator is a 7th or 8th grade girl whose brother dies. In the book, the family hasn't eaten at the table since Mick died, and the grandma comes and makes them dinner and starts to serve it at the table. She doesn't know where all "their seats" are, and ends up moving everyone around. It gets them sitting at the table again, and none of them have to look at Mick's empty chair. I guess your mom and the calendar is kind of similar. Maybe we need the help of others to keep moving. I don't know. Sometimes it's hard to want to move.

    1. We do need others and because of this blog (and comments), I went to your FB and read your story, Ellen. I hope you see this and know that someone out in Arizona is thinking of your family tonight and of the Sommer's. I pray that knowing there are people thinking of you and your children may somehow ease the burden of thinking for just a tiny second. May you all continue to share your stories, your grief and in time, your healing. We will never forget them.

  2. The generosity of spirit with which you allow us to share your grief astonishes me. Always. I think of you all every single day hoping your entire family can be wrapped in love and comfort. Words fail me. Thank god they don't fail you.

  3. Thank you for these beautiful posts. We lost my brother when he was four. I wish my mother could have known you, read your blog, hoped and coped and cried along with you. May you continue to have support as you love and grieve.

  4. I didn't know Sam personally but read through every blog post and miss him, too. I wish I could say something to help your family but there are now words. It helps knowing that Sammy lived his life surrounded by love from his family, community, and people around the world. I will continue to check back to this blog and am deciding how I want to pay forward for Sammy.

  5. I guess winter will never be the same. I have a "thing" about wearing outfits that had "seen" tragedies. I can never put the same combination on again. We all have these "things."

  6. Here I am, another friend you've never met, crying along with you. I understand the calendar, wanting time to stand still, not wanting to move from the time you last had Sam with you. I would have needed my mother's help, too. I never wanted my Grandmother's funeral to end. The amount of love and reminiscing made me feel she was still here. Keep the calendar, though. It will bring you comfort.

    You are an amazing mother.

  7. thinking of you and your family. may you share warmth and precious time with your children this shabbat. shabbat shalom.

  8. I miss it, too. And him. On your behalf, and on all of ours.

  9. No problem. Put December up again, on the wall, a wall, framed, laminated, why discard it? It's always Sam-time. Digital has no feelings.

  10. Thank goodness for moms who, sometimes without even knowing it, do the right thing. I'm sure Sam noticed you doing that for him too. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. Love and Hugs, Thoughts and Prayers.

  12. May it always be December in your heart.

  13. I agree with Miguel. December has a treasured place in your heart. Have the kids color and decorate that big page...with glitter, superhero stickers, turtles, etc. and have it framed. Sam is always in your heart, and this particular page of the calendar deserves a special place in your home. As always, thinking and praying for you across the miles. Shabbat shalom. XO

  14. Reading of the "things" of others is so healing. When my infant grandson died I came home from the hospital to a stack of mail and newspapers that had accrued over a week while I was out of town working. On some level I just "KNEW" if I could read all that mail and all those newspapers most recent to oldest that when I finished LW would still be alive. I sat for hours, in a cold, dark January night reading frantically. When I reached the bottom of the pile, No more old mail, no more old news -- LW still wasn't alive. Would never be alive again. That was exactly when my heart broke. THAT was when my faith was shattered. THAT was the moment I looked at God and said "WTH were You thinking???"

    I totally understand leaving the pictures on your phone and wanting December to stay on the calendar. It's the little tricks we play in our minds that allow us to put one foot in front of the other.