Bittersweet is one of those words whose meaning is painfully clear to angel parents.

Summer can be rough. Max's 10th birthday was on June 30. Hannah's 12th birthday was yesterday, July 13. Bittersweet. Sam's 11th birthday was also July 13. Today is Paul Saxon's Angelversary. A dad that I know celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday, and today the fourth anniversary of his son Andrew becoming an angel. Bittersweet.

Today, we meet, for the first time, a family visiting relatives in San Diego, but who live in  Istanbul. I remember seeing lovely, caring comments on this blog from someone in Istanbul all throughout Max's battle. They reached out to us a month ago in the kindest way, letting us know that they were coming to San Diego and if we could perhaps get together. I love the people we've met on this journey. I hate the price. Bittersweet.

And then, you read something like this (thanks to Nancy Levin for uncovering it)

Octavio Paz

After chopping off all the arms that reached out to me;
after boarding up all the windows and doors;

after filling all the pits with poisoned water;
after building my house on the rock of a No
inaccessible to flattery and fear;

after cutting off my tongue and eating it;
after hurling handfuls of silence and monosyllables of scorn at my

after forgetting my name
and the name of my birthplace
and the name of my race;

after judging and sentencing myself
to perpetual waiting
and perpetual loneliness, I heard
against the stones of my dungeon of syllogisms

the humid, tender, insistent
onset of spring.