Did you know that every time Solly walks by your name on the memorial board at the synagogue, he adds a stone? Every so often, I have to go over and un-pile his stones so that other people can use them too. And then he just piles them up again. It's almost like a game we play. Except we don't really talk about it. I just know that he does it. Maybe now he knows that I do it too.
Your name is often on our lips. You'd think that after all this time, we might not talk about you regularly. But that's not true. We bring you up a lot. Sometimes it makes us cry. And sometimes it makes us laugh. Even though it's 2,155 days since we last saw you....
Solly feels like we're withholding information from him. "Just start at the beginning and tell me everything," he said tonight. But I don't even know how to start to tell him about you, to breathe life into the stories that we all lived....how do I explain to him that there are just so many moments that I can't explain - the same moments that every parent holds onto - the moments when it was just quiet, and we sat together, the moments when we laughed, the silly and the sad, the hard and the joyous....how do I explain each moment that made up your short 8 years? I just can't. But I try. We try each day to share a Sammy story with him...because he wants to know you. He will turn 9 this year. And you will be forever his big brother who is now younger than he is. It's hard to wrap his brain around. It's hard to wrap mine around too. Where there once were four, there are now three. It's math, but it hurts my heart.
We'd be registering you for high school. You'd have tagged along on college visits. You'd be planning your 8th grade trip to Israel (and I'd be worrying about sending you off, and checking to see if the doctors had any concerns, and everyone would just be telling me to stop hovering....and I would remind them that I have earned the right to hover over you).
We went out for dinner to your favorite Indian restaurant, like we do every year. I said, "maybe if Sammy was here, he'd want something else for his birthday." But since you haven't grown up, we can't know. So we went for Indian food. Because you haven't grown up.
You haven't grown up. But we're still here.
We miss you every minute of every day.
To make a donation in honor of Sammy's birthday, go here: https://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/1040096/2020 (Yael will be shaving her head at her Bat Mitzvah, so we're getting a head (!) start.)
2nd birthday: Best Shot Monday
3rd birthday: Birthday marathon
4th birthday: This is your birthday song
5th birthday: Five is a big number
6th birthday: Six is Awesome
7th birthday: Lucky Number Seven and Birthday Boy
8th birthday: Little Things
9th birthday: Birthdate
10th birthday: Just Not Okay
12th birthday: Dozen Donuts
13th birthday: I'm Sure