Tonight, we will join his parents for dinner. The "memorial dinners"arent something we invented; Peter and his parents have been doing this on Robert's birthday and the day he was born into eternal life for the last 21 years, beginning with that first birthday in 1988 and continuing until now. Chicken Parm... Sometimes at home, sometimes at a restaurant. This was Robert's favorite meal and he requested it often when he was sick. Sometimes it was all he ate. So, tonight, we will eat and remember. For me, it is living through the memories of others; but for Peter, he can simply try and be transported back to his childhood, with his brother.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Please think especially of Peter today and his parents. It is All Saints Day, which is especially meaningful to our family. In 1987, as Halloween became October 1st, my brother-in-law, Robert, passed away from neuroblastoma. This is a rare cancer that, in the 80s, did not have much a prognosis of hope. Robert was diagnosed in 1984 but, thankfully, treatment sent him into remission; of the 50 children in his ward, he was the only one who survived. But, the cancer came back and, after a hard fight, he died at 7 years old. Peter was 9. Not a day goes by that Robert isnt in our hearts. Although he isnt physically with us, he has a very real presence in our home.