On Saturday, it'll have been a year since I got to kiss the cheek and zerbert the tummy of my nephew, Sammy. A year since I smelled his hair. A year since I stared at his beautiful face trying to memorize every square inch before I knew I wouldn't be able to anymore.
Today I choose to honor his birthday rather than wallow in his passing.
I'm not exactly sure how to describe this last year. I can't tell you how grateful I am that I get to have Sammy and his memory in my life. I thank God for him every single day ... while in the same breath cursing the day he left. I talk to him on my runs and I feel him with just the right breeze or the warming rays of the sunshine. A year ago I asked Sammy to visit as often as he could and I smile when I know his spirit is near.
I'd love to say that it's been 365 days of healing and forward movement...but I'd be lying. I've looked at a handful of the beautiful pictures from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep but I just can't do it. I hope Sammy doesn't think I'm a wuss. I feel like the pictures I've saved in my heart are closer to my soul than the ones taken with a camera. But I know, as much as I hate the idea of it, that those moments I've sealed away will someday fade and I'll cherish the physical pictures even more.
For Sammy's birthday, we'll sing happy birthday and blow out some candles because that's what you do for a 1st birthday. It will be a day to celebrate his life. It settles my brain to remember that Sammy's life may have been short, but he got the insanely fortunate blessing of knowing only love. Being surrounded by those who cherish him most and feeling the richness of deep-rooted love is the only thing he knew ... what a gift.
But I'll never stop wishing I could have him back. And that ... I think ... is normal.