Sunday, November 8, 2020


Today is Sam's birthday, and we've talked a lot about what he would have liked.

Would he still like McDonald's?
Would he still think dragons are cool?
What would a high school Sam sound like, act like, think like?
What would he think about politics, about food, about Minecraft?
What would he think about music, about math, about books?
What would he think about God?

We have no idea. None. 

He is totally frozen in time, as we move forward through it.
Sometimes I make things up. I look at 15-year-olds and I close my eyes and I try to picture Sam in those situations, those stories, those ideas. But it's just make-believe.

I scroll through the old blog posts...and I realize that I keep wondering. I never stop wondering. 
Will I ever stop wondering? 

What would you be like? 
I wish we had been able to find out.

To make a donation in honor of Sammy's birthday, click here or here.

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
14th birthday: Because You Haven't Grown Up

Monday, August 17, 2020

It's the 18th, of course

These last few months have been strange.

For everyone. For the entire world. Everyone staying home, completely scared of a virus, washing their hands, wearing has also felt like deja vu. When Sam was in the hospital, each day felt something like this. A bubble, our own little world, trying to make normalcy amidst something totally out of whack. Our family talked about Sam a lot in the first few weeks of this strange quarantine, more than we usually do, remembering stories of how we kept ourselves entertained and how it felt to learn all the procedures to keep Sam safe. 

I've always thought about the dates that are imprinted on my memory, my heart, my soul. I kept such careful track of everything, we documented each day, I always wondered if the dates would cease to hold power over me. Would I always feel a sense of dread around June 12? Would August 26 be an anniversary that we'd continue to remember? So far, those dates are a little less dreadful, but still pretty solidly a part of me.

And then came the plan to move into college. Yes, it's time for David to launch out of our nest and into the big wide world. He had a couple of options for move-in day, and he chose August 18. "Eighteen, mom! It's such a good number." Yes, David, it is. It is a good number.

And my heart was so full, because the calendar in my brain gave a little ding, a little reminder bell. August 18, 2013 was the date that Sam moved back into the hospital to begin the bone marrow transplant process. But I didn't remind David about the other August 18 move-in day. It was too much to ask of him, to tell him, to hold onto. It's too much remembering, even in these days that we remember so very much. It was too much sadness to put onto a joyous experience (even amidst a global pandemic - that's probably a whole other blog post!). The undercurrent is always there, but I don't need to bring it to the top. 

This is different. It's completely different. We were vaulting into the unknown then, for sure, with uncertain results. We are vaulting into an unknown, yes, but it's not nearly as unknown. Along with thousands who have come before and thousands who are in it with him, we launch....

It's not the same. And I'm so glad.

But it's nice to know that Sam is with us every day, every moment, in our hearts.

First day - fifth and first grade

David was always Sam's favorite visitor

Moving in on August 18