You Smile I Smile

You Smile I Smile
Sonshine: My Journey After the Loss of My Son

Monday, February 13, 2012

One year later...

Dear Andy,
I can’t believe you’ve been gone a whole year. The feelings of loss and pain are still there every minute of every day, though a little softer. If anyone had told me it was possible to have someone in your head 24/7 for a whole year, I would not have believed them. I’ve learned it is possible. If anyone had told me it is possible to cry every day for a year, I wouldn’t have believed them. I’ve learned it is possible. I have become very good at hiding it, though, for life must go on.

There came a point when I realized I had a decision to make: I could either wallow in self-pity forever or I could try to make you proud of me. I could make your life count and continue to make a difference.  I am the keeper of your memory. That is a profound duty, and one that I promise to fulfill for as long as I live, as I know your Dad will too.  I continue to heal more every day, and I make a promise to myself each morning to go out and live life to its fullest. I think I’ve come a long way.

Andy, I learned so much from you, but the most important thing I learned is unconditional love. Thank you for that. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, and the memories I hold in my heart sustain me. I’ve learned a lot of important lessons since you went to heaven:

·        Love is the most important thing in life
·        Life is short and not promised to any one of us
·        Every action, thought, and word can be a force for good or harm; choose carefully
·        It’s correct and honorable to put in an honest day’s work, but don’t let work be your life or you are really missing out on much more important things
·        Life rewards action. If you don’t like something, change it if you can; if you want something, and it is an honorable thing, go for it!
·        Things are a temporary high and you can become a slave to them
·        Money is not the root of all evil—greed is
·        You only need enough money to be comfortable; share the rest with those less fortunate because life is unpredictable, and there but for the grace of God, go you
·        We are all our brothers’ keeper. Spread love, charity, and kindness every day, every way you can
·        A baby’s laughter is the sweetest sound on earth
·        Stand up for those weaker than you
·        No one has all the answers; an open mind is a loving mind
·        People are more motivated by encouragement than criticism
·        Judge not, for you do not know the hearts, minds, or life circumstances of others
·        When you hold a grudge, the only person who gets hurt is you
·        A hug is worth a thousand words; share one often; same for a smile
·        Family is more important than gold, power, or glory
·        And this one bears repeating—love is the most important thing in life

Wow, look at all the things you taught me! I’m so proud of you honey, and I hope I can make you proud of me. I love you with every fiber of my being, and I always will. Thank you for the beautiful years you spent with me. I am a far better person for having loved you. Your life touched many others and continues to do so still.  I just can’t wait to run to you with open arms when we are reunited in heaven's garden. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

Your Mom

10/10/88 - 2/11/11 


  1. Beautiful Pam. You are a kind, wonderful, thoughtful, and courageous woman - and I haven't even met you! Your Andy must have been the same as he was your son. May God hold and keep you and Andy forever. Loving thoughts, Carolyn Zahnow

  2. A beautiful post... Macon should be waking shortly and I'll go get him (and tickle him into sweet laughter) with your lessons fresh in my mind.

  3. A beautifully wise post Pam. Remember I walk next to you also. You are never alone. I am here, and Andy is with you always.