Thursday, April 2, 2015

Forever 8

     Today, April 2, 2015, we will celebrate what would have been Sam’s 10th birthday—if celebrate is the correct word to use. Perhaps honor would be a better word.   Whatever words there are to describe the situation, they all fall short. There are simply no words that can adequately describe the emotions felt by a mother or father who has lost a young child. We miss Sam terribly. We miss his smile, his laugh, his charming disposition. We miss everything about him. 

     We will never know exactly what kind of person he would be today, what he would look like, what he would sound like, what his interests would be. We can guess, but we will never know. For us and our memories of Sam, time has frozen. Sam is Forever 8. 

     In the last year, we've done many things to honor Sam: We planted trees. We dedicated a bench and library corner at his school. We collected $2600 in coins from his former school mates. We held several little Lemonade Stands and one really big Luau.   We collected sneakers  Sabrina shaved her head. And we started a Foundation in his name, which raised enough money in its first partial-year to allow us to donate $5,000 to an important childhood cancer research project—Project Violet—in his honor.     

     All these things may seem little by themselves, but together they add up. It’s all a part of our mission to raise Awareness of the problem of childhood cancer  And as you've heard before, we believe that Awareness leads to Funding which leads to Research and ultimately Cures for our children.   

     Tonight we will go out to eat at Denny’s to celebrate and honor Sam. No, Denny’s is not normally what comes to the top of one’s mind for haute cuisine, but it was one of Sam’s favorites. Like everything else, Denny’s was a part of the fabric that wrapped our family and made our kids, especially Sam, happy. If there is one thing we've learned since Sam died, it is to embrace the little things in life; the things that make you happy, that put a smile on your face, that bring your family together. Cooking a meal together; a trip to the beach; a visit to the neighborhood playground; lunch at McDonald’s; a walk on the Bob Jones Bike Path or at Oso Flaco. Together time—embrace it, cherish it, hold on and don’t ever let go. 

     We would like to thank everyone reading this that has played a part in our lives over the years. All of you, in so many ways, have made our lives more fulfilling and helped—if even a little—to fill the gaping hole left in our lives after Sam passed away. We would like to extend an open-ended invitation to anyone, everyone, to visit Sam at his resting place someday. He is at the Los Osos Valley Memorial Park, in the Jewish section of the property. Bring a small rock and place it on his headstone. And help us in remembering and honoring the little boy who loved life and loved people.   

Happy Birthday Sam. 

 John Jeffers, Sam's Dad