Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Sam I Am (vanity)
A letter from Lee Metz | 9/11/2006 | Lee Metz

Posted on 09/11/2006 4:37:59 AM PDT by NonLinear

Hello Everybody,

Over the past 7 ½ years I have written a couple of times to tell you stories about my son’s battle with cancer. I now have one last story to tell.

And I want you to hear it.

This last story begins with a boat. The boat is not much to look at anymore because it has aged a lot since the day it was built. I am sure a boat of this size had a name but I can’t find it anywhere, and it has been painted so many times that the original color is no longer identifiable. By the looks of the bow and stern, it rode high in the water and you get a feeling that it would travel the open water well and return its passengers safely to shore. But it has been many years since this old boat has ridden the waves. In fact, she will never sail again.

In 1989, when hurricane Hugo made landfall in Charleston, the eye of the storm came straight up the middle of the harbor and the devastation was indescribable. Hugo took lives and destroyed property and literally changed the landscape around Charleston. Something else Hugo did was pick up a boat that had a name and a shiny coat of paint and set it on the side of a road on James Island. It will never sail the ocean again and its name is long forgotten. But that boat means something to me. Let me tell you why.

Sam was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia on Thanksgiving Day 1998. I remember sitting in the hospital trying to assimilate words like cancer, blood transfusions and surgery when we were supposed to be home eating turkey and passing plates at an overcrowded dinner table where the din of plates and knives was drowned out by sounds of talking and laughter. Instead of easing back in a recliner to watch a game on TV, my wife and I were watching our son being stuck with needles for a blood transfusion and we will never forget the look on his face as they took him to surgery. Thanksgiving Day has never been the same since.

Because of great doctors and nurses (and a great Pediatric Oncology Hospital) Sam was on the mend in a few months. At some point during this time, when I started feeling hope again and the skies were back to being blue, I became aware of this boat. I know I passed it many times before, but for the first time, I saw it. At some point in the past, somebody wrote a message on the side of this abandoned boat. Perhaps it was a message for a new love or in memory of something special. Regardless of what the message read, it was there so everyone who rode by could see it. It is now used to mark all types of happenings like birthdays, anniversaries and even marriage proposals. Messages can remain in place for less than a day or for weeks. Just long enough until a new scribe or poet comes along with something else to say. I believe people want others to read what they have to say; why else would they put it out in the open like that? But sometimes I wonder if the words are really meant for others or if they are just meant for the person who wrote it. Maybe the only reason to leave a message is so you know you were there.

In the beginning, the doctors told us Sam would be in treatment for two and a half years and he would have to be off chemotherapy for five years without a relapse to be considered cured. One day as I drove past this boat, I realized there was something I had to say, and I made a promise to do just that. I only had to wait seven and a half years.

Over the years I watched this boat. I watched and I waited. I always had this fear that something was going to go wrong, and the opportunity to write my message on the boat would never occur. And then one day a letter appeared in our local newspaper. Town leaders thought the boat had become an eyesore and a hazard. They said it was to be moved from the roadside and demolished. Sam still had several years to go. It was not time! The boat had become something to me that its original designer had not intended. I needed it to be there until I was ready - until Sam was ready. I am not quite sure when it happened, but the fate of that boat seemed tied to our fate.

On May 23, 2001 Sam received his last dose of chemotherapy. While he was on chemo and attending the clinic, we felt a sense of security because we were at least doing something, not just standing by. Now we started to feel the same sense of helplessness as when he was first diagnosed. There was nothing we could do except watch him, and pray. And man did we pray. And so did all of our friends and family and people whose names we will never know. Sam was on every prayer list we could think of and we felt the prayers for him and our entire family. We have always felt the presence of the people who cared for us. That is why you are reading this, so we can thank you.

We thank you for being at the hospital and for watching Katie so we could be with Sam. We thank you for feeding us, for crying with us and for laughing. Do you know what it meant to us when you brought presents for Katie when you visited? Have you ever been thanked for doing nothing? For just letting us be normal by helping us to forget things, if only for a short time. We thank you for that. And thanks for helping us not forget that God is in every moment we live and in every breath we take. You have done something for us just by being a friend and caring for our family. You have made a difference.

With Sam off treatment, fear slowly tried to creep back in our lives. Each bruise that appeared on his legs menaced us. Was it back or did he just fall? Was the fever caused by a cold, or were his blood counts slipping again? What damage was done to his body? What price did he pay to be cured? Some nights never seemed to end and the fear never seemed to leave us. But our faith and our family never left us either and the time slowly did pass. We stayed in our routine and raised our family the best we could. With no hospital visits and daily medicines, we began to feel normal again. I would kiss the kids goodbye each morning as I left for work. And sometimes I would take the long way to work, so I could drive by the boat.

As soon as word got around that the boat was to be demolished, the townspeople rallied together. Letters were written and popular opinion won the day. It seems I was not the only one who cared for the fate of this boat. It was not going to be demolished! I knew the boat would be there when the time came.

The time has come.

I’ve had all these years to think about what to write. While I didn’t think about it everyday, I thought about it each time I drove by the boat. I could write volumes about Sam and his struggles. Or I could write just one word or draw a picture. Whatever was written I wanted it to mean something, even if it only meant something to us. The message may last only a short time, but it does not matter. Someone will see it. I will see it.

On Sunday August 27, 2006, we painted the boat.

When Sam was born, one of the first books we bought him was Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham”. We have called him Sam I Am from the day he was born. He was given life by God and sent here for a reason. And we are thankful for him.

The word “am” is present tense singular for “to be”, or “is”. That’s what we want to say. Sam is. Here is here with us now. No matter what happens, a little boy was born into this world and he was given a name and he is loved.

Sam I Am.

The message is written and the journey is complete - almost.

When Sam went into remission, there was no fanfare or songs to sing. Only prayers said in the quiet of the night as we tucked our family in, all too aware of how fragile life truly is. A small family gathering marked Sam’s last chemotherapy treatment, passing quietly, but forever marked as a day to remember. In fact, we have many days and events to remember for the rest of our lives. But there is one more memory to make and we need your help - one last time.

The time has come for songs and celebration. The last step in our journey is a party. If we could wait this long on a boat, do you think this will be just a party? There will be songs, dancing, good food and a gathering of some of the most incredible and compassionate people in the world. People just like you.

[personal contact informaton deleted]

Thank You! Thank You! Sam I Am.


TOPICS: US: South Carolina; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: celebration; hope; joy; oncology; thankstogod
Sorry to delete the RSVP details, but I don't think my friend Lee is quite prepared for me to invite 200,000+ people to their celebration!
Sam's story is so moving that I had to share it with the FReeper Community. To those of us with family and friends in similar circumstances...stay strong, keep faith, keep hope and most of all keep loving.



If you would care to share in a virtual celebration via this thread - feel FRee!
I'll send Lee a link to it and the occaision will be immortalized!
1 posted on 09/11/2006 4:38:01 AM PDT by NonLinear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Monkey Face; JRios1968; sully777; FriendDownUnder; SquirrelKing; IYellAtMyTV; pookie18; ...

I got this letter from a very good and long-time friend, and wanted to share it with my FRiends online. It's nice to get some good news once in a while!


2 posted on 09/11/2006 4:43:14 AM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

Thank you.


3 posted on 09/11/2006 4:51:59 AM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear
What a beautiful letter from a loving parent. Thank you for sharing with us.

I could bring a side dish? ;o)

4 posted on 09/11/2006 4:57:35 AM PDT by tsmith130
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

That is awesome. God bless Sam and his caring parents. And life is now even more of a celebration for all!


5 posted on 09/11/2006 5:04:29 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Tagline for rent...inquire within)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

God Bless Sam I Am

I would bring green eggs and ham, but I hear he doesn't like them!


6 posted on 09/11/2006 5:32:40 AM PDT by Rte66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

What a beautiful family and prayers to them.


7 posted on 09/11/2006 5:33:32 AM PDT by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

I havenot been able to cry on this anniversary of 9/11, but this post has brought the tears streaming down my cheeks. Thank you God for Sam's recovered health, and thank you NonLinear for sharing Sam's story with all of us.

It feels good to cry with joy and thankfulness, instead of shedding more and more tears for all those who were lost on 9/11/2001. I am still angry about that, so I am glad to hear Sam's story so that I can think of happy news.

May God Continue to Bless and Keep Sam and his family.


8 posted on 09/11/2006 7:12:28 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

Wow! Likewise...what a beautiful reply!

Thanks!

A lot of people might think it's weird, but my favorite song forever, it seems, has been:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Prsise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
amen

Well, that and Ode to Joy (Beethoven's 9th)


9 posted on 09/11/2006 7:32:14 AM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

Very nice, NL!!


10 posted on 09/11/2006 8:21:18 AM PDT by pookie18 ([Hillary Rotten] Clinton Happens...as does Dr. Demento Dean, Bela Pelosi & Benedick Durbin!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear
Would you, could you, on a boat?

BTTT

11 posted on 09/11/2006 10:15:23 AM PDT by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

The Great I AM.


12 posted on 09/11/2006 10:23:51 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: upchuck; SC Swamp Fox

* Charleston Ping *


13 posted on 09/11/2006 7:17:32 PM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Between the Lines
I am Sam Sam I am That Sam-I-am! That Sam-I-am! I do not like that Sam-I-am! Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham. Would you like them here or there? I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am. Would you like them in a house? Would you like them with a mouse? I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am. Would you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox? Not in a box. Not with a fox. Not in a house. Not with a mouse. I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am. Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Eat them! Here they are. I would not, could not, in a car. You may like them. You will see. You may like them in a tree! I would not, could not in a tree. Not in a car! You let me be. I do not like them in a box. I do not like them with a fox. I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am. A train! A train! A train! A train! Could you, would you, on a train? Not on a train! Not in a tree! Not in a car! Sam! Let me be! I would not, could not, in a box. I could not, would not, with a fox. I will not eat them with a mouse. I will not eat them in a house. I will not eat them here or there. I will not eat them anywhere. I do not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am. Say! In the dark? Here in the dark! Would you, could you, in the dark? I would not, could not, in the dark. Would you, could you, in the rain? I would not, could not, in the rain. Not in the dark. Not on a train. Not in a car. Not in a tree. I do not like them, Sam, you see. Not in a house. Not in a box. Not with a mouse. Not with a fox. I will not eat them here or there. I do not like them anywhere! You do not like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am. Could you, would you, with a goat? I would not, could not, with a goat! Would you, could you, on a boat? I could not, would not, on a boat. I will not, will not, with a goat. I will not eat them in the rain. I will not eat them on a train. Not in the dark! Not in a tree! Not in a car! You let me be! I do not like them in a box. I do not like them with a fox. I will not eat them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them ANYWHERE! I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them, Sam-I-am. You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say. Sam! If you will let me be, I will try them. You will see. Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am! And I would eat them in a boat. And I would eat them with a goat... And I will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in a car. And in a tree. They are so good, so good, you see! So I will eat them in a box. And I will eat them with a fox. And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse. And I will eat them here and there. Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE! I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!
14 posted on 09/11/2006 7:26:36 PM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear; 2A Patriot; 2nd amendment mama; 4everontheRight; 77Jimmy; Abbeville Conservative; ...
South Carolina Ping

Add me to the list. / Remove me from the list.
15 posted on 09/11/2006 7:28:22 PM PDT by upchuck (Q:Why does President Bush support amnesty for illegal aliens? A:Read this: http://tinyurl.com/nyvno)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: upchuck

You beat me to the ping. I was busy.....cleaning my glasses. I was having trouble focusing on the screen.


16 posted on 09/11/2006 7:35:22 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Join our Folding@Home team (Team# 36120) keyword: folding)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

God Bless you, Sam I Am and his family.

Wonderful story -- thanks for sharing.


17 posted on 09/11/2006 7:39:15 PM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Between the Lines

Whoops! The formatting held in the preview, but obviously not in the final version...

I am Sam
Sam I am

That Sam-I-am! That Sam-I-am!
I do not like that Sam-I-am!

Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.

Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you like them in a house?
Would you like them with a mouse?
I do not like them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you eat them in a box?
Would you eat them with a fox?
Not in a box. Not with a fox.
Not in a house. Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you? Could you? In a car?
Eat them! Eat them! Here they are.
I would not, could not, in a car.

You may like them. You will see.
You may like them in a tree!
I would not, could not in a tree. N
ot in a car! You let me be.
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I do not like them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

A train! A train!
A train! A train!
Could you, would you, on a train?
Not on a train!
Not in a tree! Not in a car! Sam! Let me be!
I would not, could not, in a box.
I could not, would not, with a fox.
I will not eat them with a mouse.
I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat them here or there.
I will not eat them anywhere.
I do not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Say! In the dark? Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?
I would not, could not, in the dark.

Would you, could you, in the rain?
I would not, could not, in the rain.
Not in the dark. Not on a train.
Not in a car. Not in a tree.
I do not like them, Sam, you see.
Not in a house. Not in a box.
Not with a mouse. Not with a fox.
I will not eat them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere!

You do not like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Could you, would you, with a goat?
I would not, could not, with a goat!

Would you, could you, on a boat?
I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!
I do not like green eggs and ham!
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

You do not like them. So you say.
Try them! Try them! And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.

Sam! If you will let me be,
I will try them. You will see.

Say! I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!

And I would eat them in a boat.
And I would eat them with a goat...
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good, so good, you see!
So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!

I do so like green eggs and ham!
Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!


18 posted on 09/11/2006 7:55:52 PM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: upchuck
!!!!!!!!

NEVER FORGET 9-11,sw

19 posted on 09/11/2006 8:01:29 PM PDT by stand watie ( Resistance to tyrants is OBEDIENCE to God. -----T.Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: SC Swamp Fox
You really expect me to believe that?  J
20 posted on 09/12/2006 6:57:41 AM PDT by upchuck (Q:Why does President Bush support amnesty for illegal aliens? A:Read this: http://tinyurl.com/nyvno)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: NonLinear

To God be the glory!


21 posted on 09/12/2006 7:00:30 AM PDT by gunnedah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson