Happy 10th Birthday, our sweet Mark!!!
   I wish I could hug you and kiss you today. Instead I am kissing your picture over and over again and pretending that it’s your soft cheek I am kissing and your strong body I am hugging.  I will never understand why you cannot be here with us. You should be in 5 th grade, going to school, playing with your sisters outside. Instead your sisters come to play at your grave site. Maria remembers and talks about you constantly. She misses you so much. Marta who has never met you asks questions, and tells us how much she loves her brother. They both need you in their own way. I cannot explain to them or to myself why they are growing up with out their Mark. I wish time would make this easier, being away from you, but it doesn’t.
It makes me appreciate everything we have, but also reminds me how much we have lost, when we had to let you go. I keep going back to our last days in my mind. The day before you took your last breath, you squeezed my finger so hard with your little hand, and I thought to myself there is no way he is ready to leave me and there is no way I can let him leave.  Little did I know that it wasn’t up to us to make that decision. Your journey was planned out long before you came into this world. You, my son, were always meant to change lives of everyone around you. Your big blue eyes, golden hair,  and brave soul were destined for greatness, way beyond this world. You keep inspiring, giving strength, and surrounding us with love. People that never met you, tell me all the time what an amazing inspiration you are to them.
I love you with all my heart. My soul will always ache for you. You will always remain my baby. Angels don’t grow up, they don’t get sick, they don’t leave. You are my Angel, and will always be my son. I don’t have enough words to describe my love for you or my sorrow that this horrible disease, cancer took you. How is it possible that we have cars that can drive and park themselves, but we do not have a proper treatment for cancer??? Why is it that  the most traditional treatment is to put chemo which is poison in your body???
 Mark, I made a promise to you and to myself. Your death will not be forgotten.You, my son will change the world one day. Your life, and legacy will bring awareness to this disease. I want everyone to understand how important it is to find a cure. Your story will never be forgotten, I will make certain if that. This summer, I had the privilege to visit pediatric oncology center in Ukraine. It was an emotional visit not only because I was reliving our time in one, but because I was back in my birth land, a country I love, which will always hold a special place in my heart. While visiting the clinic, one thing kept running through my mind and that is that I am here and helping these children because you brought me here. Not only are you touching lives in the land where you were born, America, but also in a country that you never even been to. I always say, there are no boundaries for love. No country is far enough, no time is long enough, to keep you from changing the world of cancer.
We love you, our brave soul... We will always love you. Keep smiling up there and keep fighting for us here.
Happy 10th Birthday in Haven, our Mark
Love always,
Mama, Daddy, Maria and Marta
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