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4th of July

July 5, 2015
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Yesterday was the Fourth of July. We spent the evening on a neighbor’s lawn underneath a busy sky of light and sound. In less than a month, it will mark one year since Simon’s passing. At this time last year, Simon was staying at the hospital undergoing a slew of tests. We were unsure of what our future held but we agreed that we had a spectacular view of fireworks from our third floor room in the Oncology unit. I was so, so thankful to spend my 10th Independence Day together with Simon, not knowing it would be our last.

Our older two kids are away at Camp Kesem all week. They were accepted to this special camp for children who have/had a parent affected by cancer. There are chapters sponsored by universities all over the United States. Kesem means magic and the purpose of the camp is for the kids to forget about the heartbreak of cancer and enjoy a thrilling week of activities with other kids who are experiencing the same emotions. There has been limited contact with the group but so far I hear they have done archery, a shaving cream fight, a black light dance party, science demonstrations, hiking, ziplining, swimming, crafts, a talent show, rock n’ roll breakfast, and an outdoor movie night. Camp Kesem is such an awesome non-profit organization for the opportunity it gave our kids to unplug for a meaningful week of friendship and fun.

The house has been quiet this week having just the three year old around. I was able to put the finishing touches on the recently finished remodel of my bedroom and bathroom. There are some things around the house that fill my heart with warm memories of sweet Simon. The master suite was not one. Being in that room alone night after night magnifies the loss. My dad is a licensed contractor and donated his time to help with the cost of the makeover. We hated our old bathroom anyway. It had a clear door and you could see straight in to the toilet. Talk about a mood killer! It was outdated, cramped, and in disrepair. It now looks and feels like a completely different space. It feels like the next step. The right step.

Simon’s cousin and her family are in town this week. They have been enjoying the many tourist attractions Southern California has to offer but they have also carved out time to stay up late and chat, as well as get to know Jason. This is the same cousin who was in town when Simon passed and made the difficult call to share the news with me. It seems apropos to have her here – in a practical sense, we all love her company and in a symbolic sense, she represents the continuity of family life. So much has changed in the last year yet some wonderful things stay the same, like committed family love.

Change is hard but holding on to a reality that simply doesn’t exist anymore is harder. Nothing will bring my old life back. I accept that. I will hold on to my memories of Simon fiercely. For the sake of the marriage we had. For the sake of the children. For the sake of all those who loved him. But it’s also becoming time to move forward with the new reality and make positive changes for our family.

Blessings to you and yours.

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