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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary Chase Angelo

Believe it or not, it's been a year since Chase earned his "angel wings". He remains on our mind constantly and we know he's smiling down upon us every day.

As the saying goes, time heals all wounds and it's certainly taking away some of the pain; however, the wounds still seem so "fresh and deep" - - it's just really hard to believe sometimes everything that took place.

Fortunately, Barbara seems to be doing well adjusting, although she continues making references to missing her brother. The other day, in one of her school exercises designed to stimulate creativity, she was asked to complete the sentence "I wish..." and she wrote, "I could go back in time 3 years so I could talk to my brother, Chase." I guess it seems that long for a 9 year old, when a huge percentage of her life was spent witnessing her brother's illness.

Anyhow, it's great that she can at least express herself and work through the grieving process... that's been a real focus of her art therapy for the past year and she seems to have really benefited from it.

Thanks to all Chase's Prayer Warriors for the prayers and support! It has meant the world to us!! Despite everything, it's nice having a little Angel shining down upon us...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Chase!

Chase would’ve turned 8 yrs old yesterday and (as with all of our memories of him), it’s bitter sweet. While I know that he’s in a better place, awaiting our reunion, he’s still terribly missed. There’s such a deep hole in our hearts that it’s hard to believe anything can fill it again to make us “whole”. This is clearly one of those situations that only time can help to ease the pain and lessen the depths of despair. The happy memories are always wonderful to recall but are too fleeting and seem to leave emptiness behind.

Despite all of the difficulty in enduring this experience, it’s hard to imagine replacing the time spent with Chase – although it was only 7 years, it left a profound impact on many people and has forever changed us. Thanks to all who remembered this special day and sent thoughts and prayers our way. Hopefully Chase has left a profound impact on your lives as well.
God Bless!John Sammut

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Missing Chase Terribly!

This has been an incredibly difficult adjustment since Chase passed away last September. Although the entire battle was long, grueling, stressful, and exhausting mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, it just kept us going in support of Chase knowing that it was all going to be worth it. However, it was a battle that I never expected to “lose” or have turn out the way it did. Now that the struggle is behind us, the adjustment process never seems to get easier.

Not a day goes by without something reminding me about Chase – a song, a picture, a memory, etc. Most of the time, I’m able to remain strong enough to remember that Chase is in heaven being rewarded and shining down upon us; however, that thought doesn’t always bring enough comfort to overcome the grief, loneliness and sadness. The underlying feelings of loss seem to permeate everything we do and dampen any celebration.

I just celebrated another B-day last week and Barbara did a great job trying to lift my spirits. She’s such a sensitive little girl and I’m sure that Chase is proud of how well she’s doing. Nevertheless, I can usually see that there’s something missing in her life (as with all of us) although she’s doing her best to adjust and minimize the emotional impact. Barbara had her first swim meet this past Sunday and she did great – she was extremely nervous, but I’m sure Chase lifted her up (she remembers that he was such a champion swimmer and doesn’t want to let him down).

I’m looking forward to taking Barbara to Disney for spring break this coming week – the last time we went was two years ago with Chase. We’ll be missing him terribly, of course, but we’ll do our best to remember the good times and continue to celebrate his life.

Thanks for all the continued prayers and support! God Bless!

John Sammut

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas Prayer Warriors

Despite the emotional challenges of dealing with the loss of Chase, we managed to make this a pretty memorable holiday season for Barbara. She had a wonderful time at her birthday party and sleepover – we appreciate all the wonderful messages and outpouring of support.

The candle lighting service put on by The Compassionate Friends was incredibly moving – Carol attended and lit Chase’s baptismal candle while I took Barbara to see Lion King, since we got tickets from friends at the last minute. After reading the program, it was probably a good thing that Barbara didn’t attend the service – it was extremely emotional and heavy, but very therapeutic for all the parents who have lost children.

Barbara has put together a collection of her favorite pictures and memories of Chase into a photo album – it’s so special to flip through and stimulate conversations about some of the many happy times. She’s doing as well as we can hope for, despite having an extremely difficult year. She’s been participating in a weekly art therapy session that is enabling her to slowly express herself and adjust to the changes in her life. Although there have been many sad and disappointing experiences along the way, it’s great to see her remember the good times too and continue to make positive memories.

Thanks so much for all the cards and messages of love and support for our family. Carol did a much better job than I did at sending out Christmas cards this year – I just couldn’t get motivated. We’re trying to keep the faith and believe that many things will be better in the New Year! Thanks again and God Bless!!

John & Carol
Chase & Barbara Ann

Friday, December 07, 2007

Getting Through the Holidays without Chase

We’re doing our best to remain positive and get through this first holiday season without Chase. It’s been rather melancholy, as you can imagine. The sorts of activities that we would normally cherish are very hard to participate in without feeling the weight of our loss and grief. Nevertheless, we have so many happy and positive memories to fill our hearts, we just have to focus on them and lean upon our faith in knowing that Chase is our little angel in heaven.
This Sunday, December 9th there is going to be a candle lighting service held by The Compassionate Friends. The Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries. You can find a location to participate in this service on their website at We will be lighting Chase’s baptismal candle in his honor and we will also be remembering all the other children we’ve cross paths with during this journey over the past two years. We will be joining the service at Paul's United Methodist Church, 620 Romeo St. in Rochester.

On a positive note, we are celebrating Barbara’s 9th birthday today. She has planned a very memorable agenda, starting with an ice skating party for all of her classmates. Afterwards, she has invited the girls to come back to our house for a Hanna Montana party and some pampering (manicures, pedicures, make-up, HM wigs, etc.). She got a karaoke machine and the latest HM music for a mini-concert. Then she’ll be hosting movie night and sleepover… hopefully all will go as planned – pls keep us in your prayers. Barbara’s had a very difficult year and we’re trying to go all out for this to be a very special birthday for her and hopefully a wonderful holiday season that she can use to lift her spirits past all the grief and loss.

Thanks again to all of Chase’s Prayer Warriors for lifting our entire family up in prayer. We truly appreciate all the support.

God Bless!!
John & Carol
Barbara Ann and our Angel Chase

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We Continue to Celebrate Chase’s Life

After Chase’s passing last month, we were surrounded by so much love and support that it was overwhelming. We were extremely blessed to spend 3 days with so many of his Prayer Warriors, during the two days of viewing at the funeral home as well as the funeral service and wake. This was such a beautiful celebration and send off for Chase that it filled our hearts with joy and gave us much relief. There were too many messages and incredibly moving gestures of love to fully acknowledge and respond along the way; however, each one contributed to lifting us all through the process – we are just now getting though all of the cards, letters, etc and we’re receiving deep consolation from each one. We also wanted to mention how grateful we are for the help we received from Auntie Cathy and Sr. Carmela in planning the funeral. There were also memorials of pictures compiled by Cathy Connover and Peter Balanda which were shown at the wake as well as a beautiful arrangement of movie clips prepared by Kay Ponicall along with the incredible send-off of balloons at the cemetery.

We set up the slide show at the wake that included many of the messages that were posted on the blog by Chase’s Prayer Warriors since we were too caught up at the time to review our e-mails. All of your thoughts and prayers were greatly appreciated and helpful in soothing our grief. It truly was an amazing celebration and tribute to our little superhero. We feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to share his journey with so many loving people. We continue to remember the beautiful moments of Chase’s life and cherish the insights that we gained along the way – he touched many lives in many ways and we know he is now our little angel watching and waiting from above.

His memorial card read: Chase Angelo Sammut (May 23, 2000 – Sept 19, 2007). I’ll lend for you a little while a child of mine, God said. For you to love the while he lives, and mourn for when he’s dead. We will shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may... and for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay. But should Thy angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned, we’ll brave the grief that comes and try to understand.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support lifting our angel Chase along the way and our entire family. We are forever grateful and tremendously blessed by you all. We also appreciate all of the contributions to Life Horse in Chase’s name – they have collected over $8K to date and it is making a big difference to this worthwhile cause of providing rehabilitation therapy for handicapped children.

God Bless!!

John & Carol Sammut
Chase & Barbara Ann

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chase Earned his Wings

After a long, grueling battle for over two years, Chase followed his calling to the light to be greeted into the arms of Jesus and receive his angel wings. Over the past week and a half, we treated his port infection once again with a strong combination of IV antibiotics. However, this time his organs couldn’t endure the trauma and his kidneys and liver were starting to fail. Over the weekend, we began getting an indication that he was struggling – he was retaining fluids and the swelling was getting worse. After trying everything we’ve learned over the past few rounds of infections without making progress, last night we decided to have Chase admitted to St. John hospital. They actually administered the same treatments we were using without making any more progress so it became very clear that this was the decision between Chase and God, regardless of anyone’s efforts. His battle ended peacefully this afternoon in our arms and we couldn’t be prouder of our Chaser Boy! He hung in there to the very end and seemed to hold off taking this journey until we were all ready for him to go in peace.

We will be celebrating Chase’s life over the next few days with the following schedule:

Thursday and Friday viewing at Lynch’s Funeral Home on Crooks Rd in Troy from 4-8 p.m. with a prayer service on Friday at 7 p.m. The funeral service will be held at St. Columban church on Saturday at 9:30 am followed by procession to Franklin cemetery and a wake at the Reserve (Big Rock) on Eaton in Birmingham from 12 to 3 p.m.

A trust fund will be established in Chase’s name to benefit Grandivew Farm, which is used to support the therapy of LifeHorse a specially designed therapeutic horseback riding program for terminally and chronically ill children to ride and be around horses. Donations came be made through their website at

We truly appreciate all the dedicated support of Chase’s Prayer Warriors around the world. We couldn’t have made this journey without all your prayers and Chase is now our special angel in heaven. We look forward to celebrating his life and remembering how he touched us all.

God Bless!!

John & Carol Sammut
Chase & Barbara Ann