In March, my grief counselor had shared with me that my pain in my current path from losing my son, Sam, might be lessened in some way if I could still see how I have a relationship with Sam albeit no longer in the physical sense. I feel my friend since first grade, Robin, has been my guide in this relationship quest as we have ventured out in the month of April on three occasions now.
Robin lost her husband, Jeff, the father of her two children, Erin and Jake, when they were three and six months old. I remember how in shock I was that tragic December 23rd when I found out and I was only able to pull myself together because I knew I needed to be there for my friend and her babies. It has been 19 years now but I remember that Christmastime as though it was yesterday; opening presents Christmas morning and Robin providing a mother’s love in stepping away from her grief to be there for her babies. I never understood how she could do it; I still can’t. And that wasn’t the only loss Robin has faced. In his adult years, her brother died. In his retirement, her dad died. And then just a few years ago, her mom lost her battle with cancer. Robin still has faith though. I hear it when she talks. She still believes. I feel it with affection that comes from deep in her heart. Robin has what I think my counselor was telling me about a relationship with her loved ones lost.
So my grief journey in April, with Robin there with me, took me down the road of mediumship to try and understand what a relationship is with one you love so much and have lost. Our first outing was to see Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium. She is uplifting when you see her in person. And through her, I “saw” Sam again. First in how Theresa described him relating how he passed. Then she came up with the number five which was the month he died in, May. Then by his #15 which was the number he would choose, if he had a choice, for his travel/AAU basketball teams. Then by how much he was involved in his sport. She then visioned a black stone and said that he knew we were doing something very special for his gravestone, a picture. And we are; I had just been working on this the three weeks prior and it was finally coming together. Then she said that when people say, “I’m sorry” that he is there. That is what I most often here after speaking with students and they come up afterwards and say, “I’m sorry. Can I give you a hug?” I’ve always said that their hugs have reminded me of Sam’s and I’m so thankful they asked. As if that wasn’t grabbing at me enough, Theresa then said that he was so thankful for all that as his mom I had let him do personally, and what we had done as a family, because he had a great life. Last, she asked me what Batman meant. I had no idea and so she moved on.
Once home, Ed told me that there was a #1 Batman video game that he was always offering to buy Sam and Sam would always say, “No.” Nick remembered the last amusement park we went to, Great America, and that Sam had gotten a Batman t-shirt with a cape that attached to the back of it with velcro. And Nick had gotten the same t-shirt but in Superman. Then in the month before Sam died, I remembered Sam and I traveling back from a full day of AAU basketball in Noblesville and on 465 Sam pointed out a car that was made up on the outside to look like the Batmobile and Sam was wanting me to get beside it so he could take a picture. Now I knew what Batman meant. A cherished memory for each of us. Thank you, Sammy. I love you.