day 9 of 14: Happy Birthday, to my 2 favorite guys.


Today marks the birthday of my two favorite guys, my dad and godson/nephew.



It marks the 4th year where my dad is not with us to celebrate with  ice cream cake.
Another year without him blowing out the candles.
Another year without any new memories.
Another year without the sound of him singing karaoke.
Another year without In-N-Out or sushi Fridays.
Another year without any golf course stories.
Another year without an embrace.
But, what I do have are 23 1/2 years of memories to look back on.
And a nephew who is now 3 years old, sharing the same birthday as his Lolo.
I have 3 years of memories of seeing this little boy grow up.
3 years of birthday celebrations.
3 years of cake.
3 years of the sounds of his laughter.
3 years of smiles.
3 years of hugs.
3 years of silliness.
3 years of my heart being put back to together, by the joy this little boy brings to my life.
Happy birthday, to my two favorite guys ❤




Below is an entry I wrote a few days after my nephew was born. This was taken from my Team in Training fundraising page .

Jul 30, 2011 by Samantha Celera

When my dad died almost 7 months ago to Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, I knew that father’s day, holidays, month/year anniversaries , etc would be emotionally draining. And I was expecting my dad’s birthday to be the same, but on July 24th my dad’s spirit was fully alive and present because my nephew Dylan Gene was born. A day I thought would be filled with sadness and longing for my dad, turned into a day of joy. Dylan Gene not only shares my dad’s birthday, but my dad’s name (Gene), my dad’s facial expressions and my dad’s handsome looks. When my sister announced she was pregnant, my dad was the first to predict so certainly that she would be having a boy. You were right dad! He is an adorable little boy that will constantly be a reminder of you and your great spirit. Looking at him I see my dad, and I find comfort in that. This little bundle of joy is so incredibly loved and I am so happy to know that he shares a birthday with my dad who I love and admire so much. My dad may be gone but his spirit remains.

Losing my dad has been the hardest thing I have ever faced. When he passed away I had no idea how life would go on without him, how I would be able to go through each day knowing my dad wouldn’t be there anymore, how I would no longer hear him singing songs as he got ready in the morning, how I would no longer be able to play a round of golf with him on his birthday, how I would no longer have In-n-out runs with him when he had a Friday off of work, how I would no longer be able to listen to him making up stories as though he knows the name and life story of everyone person we pass on the street, how I would no longer be able to see his smile or hear his laugh. Difficult days arise, but I am managing to get through them. I miss my dad and think of him everyday but I know he is in a better place, and carry him with me in my heart always.