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Hugs and kisses

On this night, 4 years ago, my evening was filled with snuggles, hugs, kisses, songs, and football :)  I had finally been able to get Alex untangled enough from all his lines, etc. to hold him in my arms in the recliner in our room in "The Denton Suite", Room 3, at the Chili's Care Center at St Jude.  He had been so uncomfortable the previous few days that even picking him up was too much for him.  I was so excited to be able to hold my little man that afternoon/night.  I remember rubbing his soft head and singing "You are my Sunshine" to him over and over that night as he watched the Steelers play the first game of the NFL season that night with his daddy.  Around 10:00 I asked him if he was ready to lie down and sleep - he said no, but I got him ready for bed anyway.  I was tired too...Man, if I only knew that night what I know now....I never would have let him go.
The next morning I would wake up and go and sit with Alex while he got his vitals taken.  Daddy went to get a shower.  We watched TV and he fell asleep.  I laid down next to him in his bed and whispered "I sure do love you" just as he was drifting off.  He lifted his beautiful blue eyes up to me and smiled.  It wouldn't be long until he would wake up, feeling sick he said.  I will spare you the details of the next 15 minutes, but we all know how it ended.  No one saw it coming - at least not that morning.  It was so fast I couldn't really accept that it had happened.  Our family was on their way to be with us.  What was I going to say to could I say those words?  Our baby girl Anna, just 6, would have to learn that her little brother would not be coming home.  She had lost her best friend, her playmate.  How could we explain something like that to her??  But her daddy did, and he did a fantastic job.

I don't know why I just went in to all of that.  Maybe I just needed to for my sake.  We don't talk about the events of that night and the next morning very often, for obvious reasons.  But sometimes it helps to talk about it.  For me it does anyway.  4 years later and it still seems like yesterday...

The sad thing is that 46 families every day hear that their child has cancer...and 7 children lose their battle every day.  On September 11, 2009, we were one of those 7 families that had to say goodbye WAY before anyone should have to.  I know there are people out there who get tired of us always "promoting" something we are doing for St Jude.  But I can't help it.  It helps me to help them.  I can't do anything to bring my Alex back, but I CAN help those precious babies who are still fighting for their lives.  Our Remembering Alex event this past Saturday was a great success.  It looks like we raised very close to $13,000.  I am happy with that.  I want to thank everyone who came out and supported us in that.  September is a very emotional time for many reasons, but that day helps to "purge" a lot of the sadness that comes along.  It is wonderful to see the many friends and neighbors who come out to remember our sweet boy.  It really does mean a lot....and it does not go unnoticed.

Sorry to ramble on again...seems like I do this at least twice a year :)  Thanks for bearing with me.  And if there is ever a time anyone wants to ask me about my warrior Alex, please do.  Sure, the tears may fall, but it does my heart good when someone mentions his name.  I hope that never goes away.  I feel like I have forgotten so much already.  I will never know what he would have become, but I can get a sense of how many lives he touched while he was here.  And I guess that will have to be good enough.

Goodnight to my would-be 7 year old, that doesn't seem right.  I love you little man.  See you soon!