Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What was once a bittersweet anniversary is becoming a little less bitter every year

May 15.
This pic is a little old, but it's one of my faves of Sam & me.

For me, this day holds enormous signficance.

On this day, in 1997, I got a visit from my wife in the Free Press newsroom that changed my life forever. She'd driven all the way from Amboy to tell me, because tragic news like this isn't the kind of thing you phone in.

My dad had died, she'd said.

Now what?

The next few weeks were a blur. The next few months were a blur. Eventually I figured how to be a guy with a dead dad. But on the anniversary of his death ... well. Anyone who has lost someone knows there's something about that day that makes everything worse. Somehow the pain from that moment when I found out came rushing back through the ether of time and slapped me around for a few hours. Anniversaries can take an event that happened years earlier and make it feel like it's happening all over again.

Then came the anniversary that took all that nonsense of reliving the pain and put a period on it.

Samuel Robert Murray, my son, was born May 15, 2000. On the anniversary of the worst day of my life came one of the best things in my life. He tumbled into existence mid-day, a free spirit like his father, a perfect little reminder that the circle of life goes on.

I won't drag this on an on with melodramatic prose. Instread, I'll just say this directly to my son: I know you had nothing to do with when you'd be born, but I want to thank you anyway. You'll never know how magnificent this gift was that your arrival gave me. Thank you, thank you, thank you Sam.

Now go clean your room. And practice your saxophone. And don't play too much x-box tonight.

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