Saturday, January 2, 2016

Another New Year

Here we are. Another new year.

I couldn't help but spend the last week remembering the new year that ended 2012 and began 2013. Sam was in remission. We spent the day hanging out with friends, going to a soccer game, and I remember a rousing game of Scrabble as we drew towards midnight.

Sam was in remission.
The world felt full of possibilities.

If I had known it was the last New Year's Eve that I would spend with him....what would I have done differently? Sammy died having never tasted champagne. He died without staying up late and watching the ball drop in Times Square. Sam died without seeing the new year 2014. That was his last new year...he never again saw a January 1.

And yet, we turn over the calendar. We start 2016, another year without Sam. I remember writing, as 2014 began, a request for the year to be gentle. I remember that last year, January 1, 2015, was Sam's Hebrew yahrzeit. But January 1, 2016? It just feels a little like we're just moving farther and farther away from our Sam. From that time when he was with us. From the way it felt to hold his hand and kiss his head. I have to concentrate oh-so-hard to conjure up those feelings.

I am one of those people who seldom recalls her dreams. It's rare that I wake up with a complete picture of a dream. But the other night, I dreamed that Sam was in the hospital. The hospital had changed, and things were different there. Yet I knew it was the same hospital, some parts were so clearly recognizable.

And I couldn't find Sam.

I knew he was there, I was looking for him, searching all over, I couldn't find him.

I woke up feeling heartbroken and lost and sad.

Sam wasn't in 2015. And he won't be in 2016.

The world keeps spinning and we keep putting one foot in front of the other. And there is joy and blessing and happiness in a lot of what we do. (And there is the ordinary, oh-so-ordinary, the regular, the mundane, the useful, the practical, and even the annoying in what we do as well. This is real life, and I know it.)

But we know he isn't there. And the hurt never goes away.

It's a new year: I do believe that you can still donate using this link. It's a new year and there are new goals. I'm honored to say that the St Baldrick's Foundation raised a little over $36 million in 2015 to help fund research to help more families avoid blogs like this one. Thank you for all that you did to help with that (great Jewish) number. Let's keep it up together, friends.

December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012


  1. yes. a thousand times yes. </3.

  2. Thinking of you & your family & Sammy as another year begins without him here to see & experience it alongside you. <3

  3. grief, I guess, never goes into remission, but I find Sammy in your blog, and the love I find there is a dream come true

  4. Hi Phyllis, I have never met you in person, but I just wanted to say how much your Sammy and this blog about him taught me. I am currently a second year medical student, and reading this blog over and over again helped me understand how patients and their families are affected by a serious illness and hospital stays and eventually how they deal with loss. I thank you for being so open about your family's struggles. One of your blog posts spoke about how you no longer feel like a resource to other parents- I just wanted to tell you that you, and Sammy, ARE still helping patients; as a medical student who will begin seeing patients on wards in a few short months, I am certain that what I learned on this blog will help me approach pediatric patients with much more compassion for and understanding of their situation.