Friday, August 17, 2018

August 17, 2018 : Kindergarten

I was hard pressed for words earlier this week. It was hard to breathe as I processed the moments that passed. I sat in tears as I assembled the letter board marking this big missed milestone. Arranging and rearranging the letters. Wondering if I should mark this day. But it is an important day. And I finally found a few words to share.
As back to school happens consider those around you. On Monday, August 13, 2018, Sammy, should have started Kindergarten, but he never will. He will never pick out his first backpack. He will never bring home homework or sit at our kitchen table frustrated by it. He will never breeze through it either. He will never miss the bus. He will never forget his lunch box or lunch money. He will never fail a test. He will never make honor roll. Or get an A+ on the test. We will never meet his teacher. The moments of frustration or moments that make us proud will never happen. We miss them all. Our son never finished PreK.
If you know a family like ours celebrate them. Let them know you remember their child. They want to hear their child's name. Send them a note. Donate in honor of their child and let them know. Help them capture their should-be memory, as hard as it is, because they may want to celebrate it. For us, this moment is the first day we were supposed to let our child fly on his own. Kindergarten. And it never came, it will never come for him.
3 years ago Sammy entered preschool. We got one good year of preschool, one year of school memories. He had autism, so we had a plan in place for 3 years of preschool to help him prepare for kindergarten. 5 weeks into his 2nd year of preschool, on October 19, 2016 he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Medulloblastoma. He spent 246 days in the hospital, being discharged June 22, 2017. He returned to preschool last fall, only to relapse 2 weeks into the school year on September 1, 2017 to a terminal diagnosis. He attended school as often as possible, which was not often at all. He maybe attended 30 days total last school year, between radiation treatment, bad days, and our family taking adventures to always remember. He passed after a long fight on April 12, 2018. 6 weeks before graduating PreK. Sammy is forever 6 years old. We have a lifetime of missed milestones to remember ahead. And we pray our friends and family help us through them.