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February 4, 2019

Happy Birthday, Samuel!
Today you would be, should be, 10 years old. Double digits.  Two whole hands.  That's a right of passage.
But you are not.  Instead you are forever 8. 
I see other kids your age and it is easy to imagine you right there with them having fun. I'll let my mind wander and think about who you would be and what you would be doing right now if cancer had never touched our lives.  You would be one of those little boys running and dancing across the stage in the theater group all your siblings are in. I'm sure I'd still be finding your latest boat creation floating in my bathtub. Or would they have outgrown the tub by now? You would probably be in the kitchen beside me learning how to make all your favorite foods. 
But you're not.
And I have to stop myself from these daydreams because they make the Samuel-sized hole in my heart ache all the more. However,  I realize that this ache is my reality, but it's not yours.  You are dancing across a much more glorious stage, living a life that makes my imaginings look pale. Though the selfish part of me would love to wish you back so I could bring you one more birthday breakfast in bed and light 10 candles on your cake, the truth is  I never would even if I could. Your birthday party in heaven is so much grander than anything we could ever do on this side of it. We were blessed to share 8 birthdays with you here.   Eight birthdays were exactly what God planned for you. I have to trust in that and hang on to the hope that one day it won't feel like this.  One day God will wipe every tear from our eyes and my heart will be restored to wholeness.  In the meantime, your family is going to enjoy some sushi in your honor, think of you, and continue to trust in God's mighty hand.
Happy Birthday, my sweet Samuel!

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