From John, March 31st, 2014:

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. We had a wonderful memorial celebration for Sam at Happy Time pre-school, where “Sammy” the Samasourus (a new playground Dinosaur) was unveiled, and a lemon tree was planted in Sam’s memory and honor. And the cutest little wooden bench, with a memorial plaque, was made by a Happy Time family’s grandfather. And I didn’t even cry.

Ben and I drove out to Sam’s grave recently, while we were in the area. And neither of us cried.
Abby and her friends made a really cool camo-cake and Crabby Patty cupcakes in honor of Sam’s upcoming birthday on April 2. He would have been 9. I loved the cake and the mini-celebration we had. And I didn’t cry.

And yet today, sitting at my desk alone and working, it hit me. Yes, again, like an iron shovel. He is gone. He is not coming back. I cannot see him. I cannot touch him. I cannot hug him or hold his little warm hand. I cannot kiss his cheek or lips. I cannot talk to him and have him talk back to me.

And so today I cried. Because sometimes it hurts so incredibly bad. The cold harsh reality of life without Sam comes up and slaps you in the face really hard from time-to-time. When you least expect it. And you have to just sit there and take it. You can’t fight back against the reality of him being gone. You’re helpless to that past.

I can look at his pictures. I can put little blue M&Ms in a special jar for him and tell him that I saved them just for him. I can talk to him when I feed his goldfish and let him know she’s fine. I can let him know about all the things we’re doing in his honor to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. But he won’t respond back. He’s gone.

During his life post-diagnosis, every time we got to make a wish (when we found a lucky penny or blew out birthday candles) we all would secretly wish for the same thing: To have Sam’s cancer go away and for him to be healthy. This Wednesday, on April 2, I will once again make a wish. I will wish that no other child—no other family—no other community—will have to go through what we have. I will wish for the continued strength for my family and friends to continue the only kind of “fighting back” we can do now: Raising awareness of childhood cancer, working towards a cure for pediatric cancer, etc.

The world can be a cold, harsh place sometimes; but fond memories, family bonds, good friends, kind deeds, warm hearts—and hope for the future—all go to brighten the days and let us keep marching on.

Happy Birthday Sam.

8th Birthday Celebration #1 (friends), 2013

8th Birthday Celebration #2 (family), 2013. As he most loved to be: in pajamas, partially nude, full of joy.

8th Birthday Celebration #3 (temple), 2013

April 1st, 2014:

It probably won’t surprise you to read that John and I are different. At the dedication of the Sammysaurus, lemon tree, and bench, I cried. When I visit his grave, I cry. Before we cut into the camouflage cake, I cried.

I’m not writing these days because what would I tell you? “I cried.”?

This morning when John went to feed Goldie, he found her delicate orange body floating on the surface-lifeless. Goldie is dead. We buried her beneath the rosebushes in the front yard before I took the teens to school.

Rest in peace, Goldie

Tonight my friends, Michael, Phyllis, Rebecca, Eric, Jason and 70 or so of their colleagues will be shaving their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research and to expose their grief. They have raised over $540,000 so far. I will be watching them tonight here at 7:45PM Pacific time.

My head shave with the 46 Mommas is scheduled for July 27, 2014 in Boston, MA. In honor of what should be Sam’s 9th birthday, April 2nd, 2014, I will give $9 to St. Baldrick’s for each donation made to my page through midnight on Sammy’s birthday. In the last week since I offered this incentive there have been 21 donations totalling $749. My contribution of 21 x $9=$189 makes the total for Sam’s birthday $938. The link is in the upper right-hand corner of this page. There is still time to give.

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