Memories 2016

Memories of Sarah – 2016

Today is Sarah’s birthday – she would be 26 years old.  Sarah has been gone more years than she lived and we struggle trying to get through each day while honoring her memory.

Sarah’s memories flow through my head, a recurring video of her life.  It keeps me awake, it makes me exhausted but I am so afraid that as time goes on I will forget; will I forget her voice, will I forget her beautiful smile and big brown eyes, will I forget the beautiful memories of times we shared while she was young?  I can’t forget, I can’t take that risk and so the video must keep playing.   Then, there are the regrets; did we do all we could have done while Sarah was sick?  The experts all say yes but the dad in me wonders why he couldn’t protect his little girl.

Losing a child is a loss like no other.  As a bereaved parent we are almost always misunderstood.  Only those that walk in our shoes can understand and remember that even our “good” days are harder than you could ever imagine.  The loss of a child is a grief that lasts a lifetime, there are no “days off” to not think about it; it glaringly hits us first thing every morning and never goes away. There is no “moving on”, “getting over it” no end to the grief we feel each and every day; it will remain with us as long as we live.  “Parents of an Angel” is a club that we never asked to join but we have been sucked into it and must deal with its pain and heartache every day.   Our family puzzle is missing a piece and without it there is an empty void we will never fill.  The empty chair at the table, the emptiness at holidays all represent a hole in our hearts and time does not fill the empty space; sometimes it makes it worse.

James, our beautiful boy, has grown and gone to a new chapter in his life in a far corner of our great country.  So we miss him too but are so very proud of who he has become.  Losing his sister when he was so young helped shape him to who he is and I believe Sarah is with him every moment of every day guiding him and protecting him.  I’m sure that once in a while he may even hear her voice with a “shut up James” which was so typical of Sarah.

And so, to honor Sarah’s birthday we ask you to remember; we ask you to live your life today – for one day – as if it was your last.  Don’t take anything for granted today.  On average 46 children are diagnosed with cancer every day and many will not survive.  In Sarah’s memory today we ask everyone to pause a moment and think about how sweet life is and yet how short it can be.   Take time to hug someone you love – tell them how much they mean to you.  Especially, hug your children, do something special with them and for them today.  Do it for them, do it for you, do it for Sarah!


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