Dear Sam,

Happy birthday. Cole and I baked a cheesecake for the occasion, with fresh strawberries and blueberries on top. Your favorite. We painted our faces with berry juice and taste-tested every bit of the cheesecake process, like we used to do when we first met. Do you remember?

Yesterday on our morning walk we saw Nanny Henderson in her garden. She was singing Alexander's Ragtime Band, conducting the roses with a trowel. Cole smiled for the first time in what has seemed like ages. It's so wonderful to see him smile. He looks just like you. Sometimes I even think I see you peeking out from behind his eyes.

Did you know that the earth is actually pear-shaped? A Professor Burton came by Cole's class today to tell them all about planets and their shapes and sizes. Apparently Earth is not round. But I suppose you knew that already. You always have liked knowing things about our universe that everyone else thinks is silly trivia.

The cougars won their game today. I know, it's been forever since we've even had a chance, but I think this year we may do better. One can only hope.

I've read your last letter through at least a hundred times, and I will probably read it a hundred more. I keep it with me always, in my front pocket by my heart. Terri tells me I should get rid of it, but I can't. Somehow, if I hold it close, you are still here with me.

I miss you. I think about you every day. Who knew it was possible for someone to miss another person so much?

We're going to visit you now. Goodbye my dearest. I will write again soon.

Love always,