Today was an incredibly full day.  We woke late.. I’d dreamed of Sam who’d been reborn as a vine of some sort that I was trying to trim. I woke up not knowing what the dream meant .. I just know that I was concentrating hard in my dream.. Diane was also woke thinking about Sam .  In some ways we have to relive losing Sam every morning. We spent some time lying there talking about who we hoped to find or make meaning out of Sam’s death… would we becoming more spiritual ? .. .. would we  devote our life to some sort of public service ?… .  both ?  What keeps people from making big commitments like this under normal circumstances anyway?  One of the things we have found so far is that each of the four of us brings different ways to approach our grieving and healing . E.g.:  Diane’s vision brought us the carved stones and the candle circles we have at dinner, Max’s creativity helped us carry Sam’s Celebration at Memorial Auditorium. Gabe organized the party for his and Sam’s friend this week. I came up with the idea of spreading some of Sam’s ashes with fireworks. This week we’ve been working on creating some ongoing rituals to make sure we each remember and honor Sam each day.. and include him in our family gatherings. Right now I make appoint of talking to Sam every time I look in a mirror  when  see Sam’s face on the button I wear. As I look,  I also can’t help noticing how much Sam’s death has aged me.. I see new creases between my eyes which must come from crying.. I also talk to Sam in the shower.. This morning as I showered I also noticed that I was getting more used to the sound of my own crying.. I don’t think I ever heard myself cry as an adult until Sam died.

     As for family rituals,  we’ve begun coming together before meals, lighting a candle and saying ‘hi’ to Sam out loud. We think we’ll also do a small ceremony on the morning of holidays to welcome Sam into the celebration before we begin celebrating.  I have to admit that I am worried about how I’ll manage New Years Eve and New Year without Sam… It makes me so sad to think about it.. One day at a time though. .. I’ll worry about that tomorrow.

      I mentioned that today was a full day…   we had several big events today. It was really our first full day out in public.  It started with a haircut (yes.. I still need to get a few of them on the sides cut)  Deb Mallow donated the money from  my haircut to Sam’s fund.. What a sweetie… We then went to our good friend Mason’s Eagle Scout board of Review. About 100 people showed up at Brwester Pierce school in Huntington to watch Mason get this important award.. I was very proud of Mason.. he’s worked hard for this award. He’s been a regular fixture in or house for years. He’ always been so helpful.. This summer, he and Sam stacked all of our wood.. Mason’s been here nearly every day since Sam died.. and he’s seen that our wood ring is never empty. He’s a really great kid. Mason asked me to say a few words at the ceremony which I did.. it was pretty hard getting up in front of an audience and speaking. It was also strange.. but  in a way nice.. to be in a large group of people who were not focusing on our family .Now that I think of it,  it was really our first public venture since Sam died.

 From Mason’s Eagle board in Huntington, we went wih Max to an organizing meeting for the Voices Project movie.  The Voices Project, which was the creation of Bess O’Brien from Kingdom County Productions. It was a stage musical that addresses issues important to Vermont high school age kids. . Voices toured the entire state of Vermont in 2005  ending in a big show at the Flynn Theater in Burlington.  Max did  a great job playing a homeless drug addict in the play … We were really proud of him. All of us were sad for Voices to end last fall… This fall Bess decided to revive the program and revamp it into a feature film with the help of her husband,filmmaker Jay Craven. . The film will be made this summer in Vermont using most of the original cast. The project still  needs to raise about a quarter million dollars to cover filming. If you know anyone willing to contribute..(Including yourself) please let me know.   Thinking ahead to the filming was exciting.. but also made us sad. We kept thinking of the plans we’d already made for Sam’s summer… Mt  Hood snowboarding camp Abenaki with Gabe, etc. That’s why we find we still can’t project ourselves more than two days into the future at this point.

   We wrapped up the day at  a pizza pot-luck  party at Jen and Tim’s there were a bunch of folks there each armed with a different twist on Pizza. It was rally nice. I think I’m addicted to these large community dinners.  I hope we keep them going.  It was very relaxing over there.. Hannah Deene and Dave from Talent showed up with Adah.. They gave us another check for $340 for the Sam fund from ornament sales and donations  We also gave Hannah some more Sam buttons .. if you need one.. please see Hannah at Talent. One very cool other thing happened at the party..  I was outside waling our 83 year old friend Barbara  back to her house.. On the way back I noticed a cool double rainbow ring around the moon. I told everyone about it when I got back to Jen and Tim’s . Our wonderful friend Hannah T went outside to get a picture of it with her digital camera. Here’s the picture she got with her camera..

Hannah’s always been looking for a sign from Sam…. And here it is….. It’s even cooler because Hannah wears a lock of Sam’s hair in a heart shaped locket around her neck .   Wonderfully strange but true…

   Well it’s late.. and tomorrow’s new years eve… gotta get some sleep.  See you tomorrow. Thanks for the snow, Sam. We love you.


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