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Tomorrow, Cohen turns ten—double digits.  It is hard to believe that the sickly preemie whom we brought home from the hospital is the boy who stands in front of me today, towering over the other fourth graders in his class by a good head.  We were not sure he would survive at birth—too young lungs and septic infection in his blood stream were almost too much for his little body to bear.  I think those early traumatic experiences teamed with my intense grief during that year of pregnancy made him introspective and sensitive.  From the moment he was born, he took in the world in a different way than the rest of us.  He knew things we did not.

Born five weeks premature on the heels of his sister’s death by just thirteen months, we were never sure again that any of our children would or will survive.

But Cohen did survive and so do Katie Gray and Cameron…We all live on and survive each day. Most of the time we do far more than survive; we live.  We have joy and happiness that abound in our love for each other and the life we have built. We play ballgames, dance, and taste rich foods with abandon.  We blow out birthday candles and top our cake with chocolate ice cream and sprinkles. We fish off the dock and fly through the water in a speed boat, leaving our laughter tinkling in the ocean breeze. We travel, celebrate family gatherings with uproarious hilarity, and meet friends for dinner. Abby often joins in on the fun…appearing as a butterfly or a soft touch on my shoulder or a whisper in my ear. In that our family is as it is, not as it should be. Just as it is. We are David, Kelly, Cameron, Cohen, Katie Gray, and Abby…