It was so painful prior to this nickel spinning, in a toy store, as the song "When You Wish Upon a Lucky Star" played. Last night his younger brother and I watched Pinocchio, and I couldn't help but think, Angelman Syndrome used to be called "Happy Puppet Syndrome." That is of course derogatory now, but in many ways, Tommy was the happiest human being I have ever seen. He just lived life to the fullest, whether it was riding a slide at the pumpkin patch, or playing with Christmas paper. I wish that as a human being, I could be like him, or other children with Angelman Syndrome. They are the best people I've ever met, innocent souls who do not do anything to ever harm another person. Their world is one with laughter, smiles, gusto, and a determination that is hard to put into words.
For five years we were lucky to have Tommy. Even with his passing, and the great sadness that has followed, I still believe in the goodness of people. My faith has been tested, to a degree that I wish upon no one, but I must carry on for his younger brother's sake, along with my family's. That spinning nickel so personified what it feels like, to go through the pain of losing a child. Three years out, and while the anger has subsided, that pang of grief can turn on at the drop of a hat. Anniversary dates such as Tommy's birthday, November 4th, and Christmas are particularly brutal. Sometimes he feels so close to me, in the essence of my soul, and yet at other times he's a distant memory. Yet he is always there, in my heart, and until my last breath I will never stop grieving.
I don't know what lies in the road ahead, other than there are no guarantees. Each and everyday alive is a blessing, and I'm grateful for each and everyone, whether its full of joy or in deep sorrow. It has been a learning experience in many regards, and I see life with a new set of lenses, which can be both good or counterproductive. Yet there are so many, that are among us, who have walked this trail. They have heavy hearts, pain that will never go away, and to parents who have just gone through such a tragedy, my prayers are with you always. You will never be the same. That is a given. Yet much like that spinning nickel, this one with the date of 2003 when Tommy was in the womb, this world is full of possibilities and challenges that have yet to be completed.