Some may say heaven has another angel tonight.
Some may say it was meant to be.
Some may say his suffering ended tonight.
We will all say no one should have to bury their child.
I am not a part of this story. I did not know his family except for a handshake and a quick conversation. "You did this project? So did I! You blog? So do I!" That was about it. We exchanged blogs and emails and went our separate ways. I was a silent observer, enjoying the way she wrote about being mother and clergy at the same time. I imagined similar situations with my kids, just a little younger than hers, just a child shy of her brood. I followed and read, though I never responded.
When Sam Sommer was diagnosed with leukemia, his struggle became a struggle for many of his parents' friends and colleagues. They all supported them, watched in waves of hope and desperation as Sam's health showed signs of improvement that went away. Into the hospital and out of the hospital, only to go back again. Treatments and tests, attacks and remission, thousands of prayers going out to the little boy whose name appeared on hundreds of Mi Shebeirach lists.
I am not a part of this story. I never met Sam, but I felt a connection through his mother's words. I felt like I understood the strong little kid who loved Superman and had more strength than any seven-year-old should ever need to have. I watched silently as his diagnosis grew bleak and his time drew near.
Tonight a family lost their son, brother, grandson. A community lost its little superhero.
I am not a part of this story, but I am so entrenched in it that I was inspired to raise money by shaving my head this coming March. I secretly hoped that Sam would be able to see thirty six shining bald heads, inspired by his story, and that he would know how much of a superhero he was.
Sam Sommer taught me that, even though I am not a part of his story, he will always be a part of mine.
Zichrono livracha. His memory and his story will always be a blessing.