Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sam On Head

Gabe has had Sam the dog since he was hours old. My aunt gave him Sam, who came with the name tag of "Samson for strength" and other things but it was a long time ago and I've forgotten the rest of it as really, the only thing that mattered was "for strength" in my mind. I don't know if it was a conscious choice that she made when getting Sam (for strength) but knowing her it was and he's stood true to his name over the last eight years, 11 months and 8 days *gulp*

Sam comes to all of Gabe's "big" appointments with him. Sam has had an mri or two or three, x rays, he's been casted, he's had his "teeth" checked. He is completely current on his immunizations and gets a flu shot each year. He is grimy and matted despite regular washings, his nose and eyes are chipped from being tossed in the air and on the ground and chewed on by a teething Gabe. Sam is the ultimate headache cure; he is put on top of your head when a headache strikes and he magically takes it away. If your stomach hurts, Sam lays on your tummy. If your sister is sick and you don't know what to do, Sam steps in. When Mom has had a bad day and needs a snuggle, SAM to the rescue. Sam was the subject of Gabe's first sentence: "Sam on head" Sam is the subject of one of my absolute favorite photos of Gabe of all time "Sam in a can" Sam is the be all and end all of anything and everything in Gabe's life.

But poor Sam is looking rough these days. This last MRI and IV took a toll on him, he's getting tired and starting to show signs of his age and all that he's been through...and I think Gabe may be sensing that. Sam stays on the bed more often than not now, only touched BY Gabe and only in certain ways. The cats and dog are not allowed near Sam as he probably couldn't withstand a tug of war with any of them. Sam has been the one constant in Gabe's life as he's gone through tests and pokes and prods and general unpleasantness and I dread the day that Sam is no longer able to accompany us to these appointments because if I'm honest, Sam is MY companion as much as he is Gabe's. Friday as I sat in the chilly MRI waiting room, Sam sat on my shoulder as a little comfort measure. Every time I turned my head I caught the faint smell of Gabe and his 100% boyishness. I could see the scratches and chunks out of his eyes and nose that reminded me so acutely of the teething baby I once had.

 One day Gabe was itty bitty and Sam was fluffy and clean and now Gabe is nearly up to my shoulder and Sam is grizzled and worn. I know how Sam feels...I just hope that once Gabe moves on and doesn't need Sam and I to comfort him, we'll have each other to snuggle with, thinking about the little blond who used to need us so so much and is now so independent and amazing. Sam on head...sam on heart.

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