Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It's just a fact

You'd think I'd be use to it by now, the cards, the mail, that was once addressed to us and now only bears my name & some that have my name and your princess.  Well, it's still a reminder, it's still there, it doesn't hurt as much as before.

Kinda of a silly thought, social media puts together videos of your pictures for the past year.  This is the first year you are not in my pre-made video feed.  It's really just a fact of life, a fact that is still hard to fathom sometimes, a fact that can still bring tears to my eyes even on the best days.

On that same social media site, it brought up a video I made three years ago, not knowing at the time it would be your last holiday season with us.  You're howling with our dogs, God I miss you.  You had a way about you that kept me grounded, kept me from worrying too much, brought the silly back into the day to day.  You kept me from worrying too much, reminded me to let go of the things I couldn't control and just let things happen. 

I remember hearing or seeing something, all happy moments will have a speck of sadness because we'll remember the happy memory and remember you were not here to share them.  I'll never forget how happy & proud I was to see your princess cross the finish line of her first cross country meet, yet tears came to my eyes, both tears of joy & sadness because you were not there to see her. She is such an amazing young woman.  She is funny and getting quicker all the time, just like you.  She loves to read, has a thirst for knowledge and understanding for how the world works, why people make the choices they do especially now with all that is happening in politics.

This is our 3rd holiday season with out you, another fact.  Eventually the number of holidays without you will be greater than seasons with you, I dread that day, that year.  It was only 8 we had as a family of three, and only half of those would be in the memories of your princess.  Facts. 

Memories of you last months on this earth flood my memories.  I remember sitting with a friend in December of 2014, sitting in her living room, a woman I've turned to as a mom, asking her if this was your last Christmas.  Walking you to the car as you took each painful step, your last trip out of our home, a place you would never see again.  I still feel so bad for the words I said to you as we pulled out of the garage, I promised later I would bring you home, I did, but you were in a box and that is where you stay.  You're in a box on our mantle, another fact of life.

I love you handsome man.

take care

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


What is it?  I don't know why.  Will this ever stop, probably not.  Your princess remembered cave time tonight.  You would nap and she would watch a show under the covers with you right next to her.  As I picture that I see her sitting under the blanket, but in my mind she's sitting on your side of the bed, not really your side anymore.  It's now her side of the bed. Maybe I can't picture you there because this mattress that was meant to bring you comfort and relief from pain, never did.

You truly never comfortably rested in this mattress.  You slept in the chair, a lot.  I so wanted to lay next to you, the couch had to suffice. I did lay next to you one final moment, once everyone was gone.  All the tubes were removed, the devices in place to make you comfortable all removed so our daughter could say goodbye, and remember you not with all those tubes, but at peace.  I still remember the moment, saying your name, waiting for that next breath.  Making the phone call to have your princess come to the hospital.  She still talks about diving for rings when you died.  The night before, Friday,  we had our final book group, really just a social gathering.  People came, brought food, we talked, people came to see you.

I remember telling my brother he had to wait before he came in that awful Saturday morning.  I know I hurt his feelings, but it had to be done.  She needed time with me in there just the three of us, one last time.  Finally, after everyone left and decided to go down stairs I laid next to you one last time. Then I had to get up and leave you.

A Saturday five years prior I had to make a phone call, he answered and all I said was "she's gone", then the next call I made was to you, though you already knew because you heard the house phone ring.  There was no removing the tubes for my Dad, she was just gone.  The two people she loved the most in this world were there next to her as she drew her last breath.  I felt so bad leaving her there, all crumpled and tubes every where.  I felt like I abandoned her, there was no sense of peace, she was just gone.

I don't know why this is all flooding back to me now.  I just realized my Mom's birthday is on Sunday, maybe that's what it is.  I do not know.  This all started with your princess missing you something fierce today.  She really struggled tonight, I think when she talked about it she felt better.  I took her pain and tried to comfort.  Here I am talking to you.

I know I should try and reach out, but it's still hard for me to ask for help.  I don't want to be a burden and be selfish.  I don't want it to be about me all the time.  Thanksgiving is also just next week, I sure hope I'm not slipping into a crevice, a place where I shut everything out and enter survival mode, hide in my fortress.  I don't want to be in my fortress, but it's safe there.  I really want to share the holidays, I just don't want to share this misery.

I love you handsome man.

take care,

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

your words

I came across the list tonight.  The list I've been told about, the list that our daughter's babysitter had.  She promised to give it to me, just as soon as she found it after her move.  She's all grown up now, and your princess is more and more grown up as well.  Funny thing, the list has not been found by said babysitter and yet I've discovered it on my desk.  I don't know how it got here, I've never seen it before in my life.  I nearly threw it away, I was decluttering the desk and there it was.

You wrote this list when our little girl was seven years old.  A list of books you felt were important for her to read in her life time, "probably in her last few summers before going off to school" those were your words.

I sit here and read your words over and over.  The two lists of literature. A total of 24 works.  Reading and literature was such an important aspect of your life.

your words still haunt me and bless me all at the same time.

Lists aside, it is a pleasure every day to see her delve into books, to swim in the pages of some great story, or to be able to read aloud to her or to watch as my wife reads to her.  
Reading can be an act of love, one of the most pure. 

I plan to collect these 24 works of literature, hopefully some of the titles are still part of the collection of your books down stairs.  I will make this a gift for your princess along with your note, a graduation gift from her Daddy.  When you wrote this you were thinking eleven years into the future, now it is only eight.  Time does not stop, tragedy, joy, sorrow, excitement, everything keeps going. 

For me it felt like life stopped in 2015, my life did stop.  My life became an existence. I awoke each day and took each breath for our daughter; put one foot in front of the other, let each day start and each day end.  

Today I can say I'm living and not just existing.  Time does not stop and I'm looking forward, embracing each new day, maybe even with a little pepper in my step.  

love you handsome man. 

take care.

Friday, October 6, 2017

another candle

Another candle on the cake.  Actually had a cake this year, homemade from flour, sugar, and all the other stuff you put in a cake.  So much effort for little old me, it was really nice, wonderful in fact.

It's still another candle you'll never see on your own cake, I've surpassed you and there's no going back.  No more teasing you then holding my tongue for the last three months of the year.  I don't want to think about the last three months of the year, they've been challenging these last few years.  I'm focusing on today & remembering the good.

I still remember you trying to surprise me for my birthday, the year I was pregnant.  We're driving almost to the freeway and then you realized you left your wallet.  We get all the way home and you ask me, prego, to go upstairs and get your wallet; because your knee was bothering you. I'm thinking are you kidding me, as I recall I even mentioned something about your pregnant wife, teasing of course.  I knew something was up.  You would never have done that, you practically had me in a bubble those nine months.  So I trudge upstairs, making as much noise as I could, I open the door, SURPRISE!  People were over and everyone was making potatoes, that was my craving at the time.  I even got a Mr. & Mrs. Potato head toy set. 

I'm getting more and more use to that idea you put in my head, I'm not so scared.  I like the pace things are right now.  I even took a pretty big leap myself, we'll see how it goes. 

"If energy can never die then neither can love" 

I'm starting to realize that it's ok my love for you will never go away.  Not giving up on love does not mean I have to give you up in the process, I just get to bring you with.  

I'm getting there. 

take care

Monday, September 25, 2017

I'm scared

I just realized next week is October, another fall, another year.  So many memories have flooded my mind, memories I didn't look for, memories I didn't expect, almost feels forced.  Too many things remind me of you and how well you treated me, how you spoiled me so.  You brought me food at work just to make sure I ate, you use to tell me you'd never seen anyone work as hard; not just at my  job, but at everything I take on.  I've worked hard at this life, existence really, worked hard to be completely self-reliant.  Completed every task from start to finish, no longer part of a team effort.

I've come up with ways to make things easier, make things work.  I've finally come to terms with not always being available to help with homework for our daughter, not always being there for every activity.  I do my very best to attend all I can, I'm there for the big stuff I promise.  I know if you were here you would tell me not to worry about it & she's doing just fine, but you are not here anymore.  If I couldn't be there, you always could.  We would do everything together, from the mundane daily tasks of survival to the spectacular events of a lifetime.

I thought I was ready to keep that promise, I'm scared my love.  Part of me wants to let go, but part of me feels way too vulnerable, like I've shared way too much.  I want my wall back, my safe place, that place where I was alone and hollow.  That place were I merely existed, lived day to day for our daughter alone.  That place where I didn't have conversations, didn't have exchange of ideas.  I don't really want to go back to that place, but it felt safe.

Remembering when I first earned that god-awful title, I had to choose to survive.  There were days I didn't want to survive I just wanted to stop, but your princess kept me going.  She is the reason I am still here.  Now I must make another choice, am I ready to come out of survival mode and enter life?  Leave that place of safety, not retreat back to my fortress of solitude.  I want to, but I'm scared.

I don't remember what we did as a young dating couple, that was so long ago.  I'm not a young carefree woman anymore.   I have our daughter depending on me and our history, all those stories, all the ways you spoiled me.  I didn't spoil you like you did me, but I showed my love in my own way and you knew it was there.  When we were courting it was not you spoiling me, that didn't truly happen until later, it was more you trying to impress me.  Remember those awful lima bean burritos?  Me eating it politely, chewing a lot, "it's interesting."  You looking at me saying "you don't have to eat it, I know it's awful." We joked about that even after all of your years of culinary excellence.
What do I do love?  Do I just take a leap and let things happen? Live life & not give up on love?

You know it's always been so difficult for me to ask for help.  You use to joke that my tombstone would say, 'it's ok I'm fine'.

I keep hearing this song and it reminds me of you.  The best path is not always the easy path, we have to take risk in life to achieve anything.  I'm scared love, kinda like when I sat at that McDonalds on University all those years ago.  I miss you handsome man.

take care

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


It hurts to smile, but not in the way you're thinking.  My cheeks are sore because happiness has entered my life.  Not just distraction, not just an event to keep my mind occupied, to forget the happiness we shared, to temporarily fill the void.  Actual excitement, to experience new things like stick races in the stream.  I have a purpose again, not just to take care of our daughter, a purpose in my life, I'm contributing.  I looked through your posts and so many of your poems, the beauty and feeling is still there and will never go away.  I find comfort that they will alway be there and I can share in my new life.  Two years ago a friend suggested I write stories here to help remember the good, I started once upon a time, but decided to use this forum to talk to you and express what I could, to let out what only I could share with you.  I want to share my stories and remember the good, my soul mate that left this earth, is it possible that can happen twice in a life time?  I suppose anything in this universe is possible. 

88th birthday

You knew well before me.  We met at ages 23 & 24, me always teasing you as older, but I had to keep my mouth shut the last three months of the year.  For the last three months of each year since 1998 you were not old because I was not old.  However, once January rolled around you of course were old and I still was not.  We met in August at Friedrichs World Coffee on University.  You were with another, she in fact introduced us. We became fast friends, discovered we had so much in common.  We shared very similar music tastes, looking at my CD collection there were so many comments and expressions of delight.  "I have that one, I love Enya, that's a great Tracy Chapman song . . ."   When your eyes found my beloved John Denver Collection no so much excitement, the polite smile and twinkle in your eye because you still found me amazing.

In that apartment on the east side I remember you sitting in that orange velour chair that rocked and swiveled and me across the tiny living room on the love seat.  We talked for hours.  Asking all kinds of questions, sharing all kinds of stories.  I remember your biggest fear as a 24 year old, it was to be alone.  I distinctly remember you saying you did not fear death, but did not want to be alone in life.  As I sit here remembering that conversation that very late night on the east side of Des Moines I wonder if part of me never ever forgot that fear of yours and if that's why I made sure you were never  alone during the last weeks of your life.  I was not able to stay as I so wanted to, to spend the nights in the chair next to your bed.  I was only able to do that once, to take care of you as best I could.  Your princess stayed home with family, but that proved to be too much for our little 8 year old.  I had to choose her well being over staying with you.  The first of so many difficult decisions.  I'm channelling Senor Marias, I digress.

Des Moines, you and I became friends.  You knew well before I did that it would become more than friendship.  The relationship you were in was not good and you felt so very mistreated, the coloring of your skin was even a shade of gray, a shade of unhappiness.  You were on the brink of leaving, trying to find the courage and strength.  You said you found hope with me, that life could be so wonderful & you wanted that with me.  I felt just horrible because you were ending something & I felt responsible.  You assured me it was not my doing and the mere hope that some day we would be together is what gave you courage to end the hurtful relationship.  I was not ready to be more than just friends, I felt this horrid guilt and even tried to stay away.  I couldn't though because you were my friend & hurting, trying to get out of a bad situation.  I was there, I listened, I cared, I was your friend. 

You worried about me going home at night because I lived in a rough neighborhood.  The first snow fall, the first time I ever drove in snow you came all the way to my place of work on the east side and followed me home to make sure I got there safe.  You always asked me to call when I got home, a time before mobile phones, just to make sure I got home safe.  You cared for me.  Eventually you moved to my apartment complex, just down the hall, closer and closer we became. 

You wanted to be more than just friends, I just wasn't ready and didn't know if it was right.  You said you would wait, no matter how long it took, you'd still wait even if it was your 88th birthday.  You knew, I don't know how you knew, but you did.  I remember one night we had dinner at my apartment and I actually baked a cake, I even frosted it.  It was our dessert after a roasted chicken from the grocery store.  I bought numbered birthday candles, two candles lit on the cake 88.  We started dating and became a couple.  I suppose the rest is history; so many more stories to share and tell.  See I didn't forget, the little jokes and teases will come back to me.  I like this, remembering the happy past and living again in the present, not just existing to survive.   As someone told me, I will always love you, but I'm keeping my promise. 

take care

Saturday, September 16, 2017

the switch

I sit here listening through the walls, her little ears not knowing I can hear her so clearly.  I hear her rage, her sobs, her absolute anger.  I keep telling me self she is in pain, she doesn't mean a word of it.  It still hurts to hear.

"Life would be better if she died instead of him.  She is so mean, I wish she would suffer and die.  Life would be so much better if she died and not Daddy" 

What do I do?  Do I sit and let her go, do I reach into my bag of tricks and put on the goofy hat be her friend and not her mom.  Is there truly a part of her that wishes he was the only parent now.  I was the stricter of our team, or at least that is what it felt like to me.  I think when we were together I was the strict one, but at times when it was just you and her you laid down the law, or at least that what I was told by Rich.  He comments on that look you could give her and she would straighten right up. 

I decide to let her go and get everything out of her system, pretend the walls are so thick I can't hear every painful word that bellows from her mouth between sobs and tears.  She comes out to check I'm still here, I'm not going any where.  As she closes her door assured I'm still here, I gently rap on her door and she opens and just puts her arms around me.  She cries and cries and screams and I hold her as tight as I can, to fill the empty space.  She tells me she wants to see Daddy again, she wants it to be the three of us again.  She just sobs, tears, and shallow breaths come from her.  I just hold her and silently let her get everything out of her system.  The tears come to my eyes as I see her pain unfold in front of me.  She stops and looks at me and confesses.

"I had some bad thoughts in here, I even said them out loud.  I wanted you to die and suffer.  I'm sorry I had those thoughts and said those things."

It's ok, I just hugged and told her, "I still love you, no matter what you say, what you do, or what you think I will always love you."  I could feel the tension, the sadness, the anger just melt away.  She unloaded all her pain and I gladly took it from her.  Now I sit and try to figure where to put it.  It's ok, I'm the adult I can take it.  It's amazing, it's like a light switch.  She's absolutely fine right now.  She's writing and escaping into her world.  It's ok, I can take it, I'm the adult. 

I am by no means angry with her, I'm just so glad she can get the emotions out of her system, the emotions that hold her back.  I've taken today's pain from her and hope tomorrow will be better.  In my mind I know she did not mean those words, but in my heart I wonder sometimes. 

I do my best to balance the fun and the strict.  To teach the importance of work and play.  I sit here and see the pictures on the wall, a few I've added since you left this world.  She is so much older now, her own little person with her own sense of humor.  You'll never laugh at the funny things she says, that booming laugh when something was particularly funny and caught you off guard because it was so unexpected.  You'll never see her smile so full of pride as she crosses the finish line. We'll never have moments where there is a joke only we understand, the jokes are gone.  No more raccoons in the kitchen, what sad is that I'm starting to forget some of those stories.  The little things we would say, I remember we had all kinds of little things like that.  I'm forgetting the details, I'm so sorry.  I don't want to forget I really don't, I don't know where those memories are, maybe that's where I'm storing her pain.  Underneath all of  her pain she's released and all of my pain are the little stories and phrases we shared. 

I wish there was a switch for me like there is for your princess.

take care

Sunday, September 10, 2017


I've been reviewing and thinking back a bit tonight.  I've skimmed these passages for the last hour or so, time seems to escape me right now, though I've got my best girl to think about.  I just reviewed "hospice time of year" and don't feel that way this year.  I'm not sure what the holidays will bring, but I'm looking forward to fall and maybe even my birthday.  It's not the beginning of the end, or the beginning of unbearable memories, it's the beginning of a promise.  I've come quite a long way in nearly two and a half years.  I want to keep going, want to explore, want to live in love & laughter again. 

take care

Monday, September 4, 2017

don't give up on love

 You made me promise, you made me say it.  You were laying in that hospital bed and you made me promise.  You loved me so much, so selflessly, so completely.  I'm keeping my promise, I think I might be ready.  Now to only feel comfortable enough to share this with our closest friends and family.  Will they hate me, will they disrespect me, will they think I'm dishonoring you.  As for our little girl I must proceed with caution, this is one thing I do not want to get wrong. 

I still love you handsome man, I'm just not giving up.

take care

Friday, July 21, 2017


It's been quite a busy summer my love.  I've noticed that I'm either super confident and I can conquer the world or I'm lost and not sure.  I where my heart on my sleeve yet I'm not trusting of everyone.  I'm living cautiously, just with a little more fervor these days.

Our daughter is growing up, she reminds me so much of you.  Quick witted, a great sense of direction, kind hearted, and enjoys and really needs time to herself, downtime.  I'm doing my best to do right by her and instill the values we would have done together as a team.

I miss you something fierce.  I also miss having conversations.  I miss talking about my day and hearing how the day went for you.  I'm trying to meet new people, to make friends, to make connections.  I'm not the social butterfly.  I'm trying.  I love you handsome man.

take care.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Damn it feels good to be a gangsta"

Wanna hear something funny?  I've started to run again.  Starting over from scratch. That wasn't the funny part.  I listen to my running app as she coaches me when to run and when to "slow down and walk" I survived the first two sessions.  I still have my running play list of music that plays in my ears as I desperately wait for the "slow down and walk" command.  Here comes the funny part... Friday it's just a gorgeous day outside.  I'm out for a run and my music is playing.  My running music has some songs that you won't hear on the radio because they can't play the lyrics on the radio, I know super unexpected coming from little old me.  Any who, I've finished the run and I'm completing the "5 min cool down walk" to get back home.  There are tons of people outside, neighbors visiting with each other, the doors of winter have been unlocked the spring has beckoned us to come outside and greet each other again.  There are families outside playing, a couple sits on the front step of their house and watch as their toddler child plays in the yard.  I'm watching all this new life and reintroduction to the outdoors after our long cold winter and in my ears the next song plays.  "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta" bass thumping and all.  I can't help but laugh as I watch my surroundings in my suburb neighborhood with families playing outside, a senior citizen couple riding bikes,  And everything's cool in the mind of a gangsta.

I had to share with someone, didn't know who.  I miss sharing my stories with you.  I thought of three different people I could relate that story to, but then I thought better of it, might be awkward.  Sometimes I think I need to take more risks and let down my wall, but with that comes fear and anxiety.

love you handsome man.

take care

Friday, April 28, 2017

slipping away

I guess I'm back already.  I don't know why I'm sinking deeper and deeper tonight.  It's been one of those grieve in the shower nights.  You know, when you're in the shower alone and you just silently let the tears come, you want to sob and just let everything out, but can't because those not so little ears will hear you.  She'll be very concerned and anxious that you are falling apart.  Yup, one of those nights.  I don't even know why.  I'm exhausted, but at least I can still fake it in front of her.

I'm forgetting you.  Things you would say are no longer flooding my memory.  I'm forgetting what you smelled like, I know if I open that bottle of your cologne I wouldn't be able to hold it together.  I'm barely making it right now.  I can still imagine how the softness of your cheek met the stubble of your beard.  You are slipping away from me, I'm grasping but there is nothing there.

I've had these moments of "this is my life and it's OK" now I feel I'm back to day one, consumed by the hollow.  It hurts to smile.

Good night,

take care,

I love you handsome man.

It will come

A remarkable speech.  I'm still waiting, but it will come.

So many points he makes that hit home and just absolutely right on.

Today was mostly in the good category, don't know why but changed so quickly.

That is all for tonight.

take care,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

death rattle

Today I did some current education reading to keep up with changes in my line of work.  One section was about end of life therapy.  It really hit me, it talked about the "death rattle", referring to the patients audible breaths at the end of life.  I listened to those death rattles  in 2010 at my Mom's death bed and just two years ago with you.  That is a sound I'll never forget, it's a sound of pain that echoes in my mind.  It reminds me of the pain you endured and the heaviness on my heart when I made those decisions.  The agony of reading to you between those death rattles, playing music, anything I could do to make the last moments of your life bearable.  There were moments when the rattle was so very rhythmic and then all of a sudden there was such a long pause I panicked that you had taken your last.  The moment that pause stopped being a pause and we called your name I'll never forget.  You were just gone.  You're still gone, day after day after day.  I love you so handsome man.

take care

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Thank you

I know how you personally felt about belief and religion.  You expressed your opinions and though we did not agree and it was a very difficult trying time for me that first year you understood & expressed your opinions, you were always respectful.  Once I got over the fact that there was an aspect of our life that we were not on the same page I accepted it and in some respects took on some of your thoughts and truly took your explanations to heart.  It took about a year, but I loved you and respected you so much during our life together that it made us stronger, if that was even possible.  Over these past two years I've struggled to find you in things.  So many say you're in my heart, I'll always have memories, blah blah blah.  A few years ago, wow I don't like saying "a few years ago" to reference a time you were already gone.  A few years ago I saw a beautiful sunrise on our daughter's birthday and I so desperately wanted it to be from you, a sign your soul was still being.  In my mind and my heart I knew it wasn't that case.  We actually had a real conversation, we were driving on Jefferson at dusk, it was during that first year of me trying to accept your position, I said something along the lines of how beautiful the sunset was and how can there not be a God.  You smiled at me with those beautiful brown eyes and that magnificent mind of yours and made your argument appealing to my sense of science.  You were by no means disrespectful to my beliefs and my struggle to accept your beliefs.  On her birthday I knew that sunrise was not you.

Today, Easter Sunday 2017, it's been 2 years and five days since you left this earth, in your opinion you just turned off.  That's what has been so hard for me to accept, that fact that you just turned off and you're gone.  I understand that was your belief in life, and you even said you could be wrong.  You lived a good life, you were kind, intelligent, passionate about issues that effected people's lives.  You called yourself a humanist, you believed in treating others as you want to be treated.  I digress, today Easter Sunday the homily was about faith, atheism, and how when we act with compassion for others that can not just be science.  The homily really spoke to me and it felt like it was for me personally.  I served mass this morning, I was a eucharistic minister and gave the bread to individuals during communion.  As I was standing on the alter during the final prayers this breeze came across and it was so peaceful.  I looked over to the doors, they were open which is very unusual.  I don't think I've ever seen the door opened during the middle of mass.  The sunlight was coming through and this breeze of gentle wind brushed across the altar, I truly felt that was you telling me you are still here, your soul did not just turn off when you took that last breath.  I can't tell you the peace I felt, it was nothing like I've ever experienced before.  Thank you.  I love you handsome man.

take care

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

come and gone

The date has come and gone.  The distraction is over and the reality sets in, you're still not here.  Today was so much more difficult than yesterday.  I didn't talk much today at work, as you so well know that is extremely unusual for me.  It hurt to smile.  Everything the radio played was painful and reverberated the hollow.  I have no desire, no motivation, no energy.  I wish I could just go to sleep right now, I'm so tired.

Your princess has been angry and I get the brunt of it for the most part.  Once she gets it out of her system she is so much better.  731 days down and a lifetime to go.

I counted an RX today, it reminded me of your pain in your last months of life.  It was one of the drugs that had to be increased and increased and increased.  You called it "hydro-mo-fo".  Made me laugh when you would say it, brought tears to my eyes today because it was never enough.

I noticed yesterday the tulip bulbs we planted last fall are starting to sprout some green.  We planted some around your favorite tree and around your princess's favorite tree.  Your tree is the one sporting the green.  That brought so much joy, I wanted to think it was you showing me you're ok.  I know that is just so silly and stupid and you did not believe in such nonsense, but it would sure make me feel better, I just can't allow myself to have that thought.  You would simply say "you planted the bulbs in the fall why wouldn't they come up?"  "Where's the evidence?"

I've also been thinking about what my work schedule has been like.  During the holidays I was at a location that was extremely stressful and I didn't have the down time to fall so hard and crash.  It still wasn't easy, but work seems to help keep me distracted.  Monday was shaping up to be a rough day with all the memories flooding to my mind, again at work I was saved.  I was scheduled at a store that is not to difficult and would give lots of opportunity for my mind to wander and think about the events of two years ago.  I worked with a young man, new to the job, it was his 2nd day.  I needed to pick up much of the slack and that was just fine by me.  The day wasn't too stressful yet it went fast with no time to dwell in the painful memories.

Tomorrow will come it will be a good day.

I love you handsome mane.

take care


Tuesday, April 11, 2017


We moved here as a family of three and now a family of two.  

Spring is here and trying to take hold.  Today we celebrated you, by going to the bookstore, I should say bookstores.  Today is the day you left this earth and as you put it, turned off like a switch.  Just gone.  The last weeks of your life were so painful and so many difficult decisions had to be made.  I've been struggling with that these last few weeks, remembering all the choices I had to make, how to include our young daughter without it being a burden to her.  To keep her innocent and yet connected to you.  I did the best I could as I do today.  She's so much older now and understands so much more as we do with age and experience.  Losing your Dad at 8 is not the experience you want your child to encounter, to use has a reference in these formative years, yet want and reality are not the same many times.  

Today I did not focus on the last day of your life, the people who where there, the every detail, the places we sat, the things we said to each other.  As today went on little things came to my mind.  We saw a man wearing a Barcelona jersey and both your princess & I smiled.  We started the day with some of your favorites, your favorite bookstore, coffee, and lunch at one of your favorite places.  Then we ventured out and made some new favorites for just the two of us.  We went to some places that we did not see as a family of three, we explored and discovered just the two remaining.  

We came home to a kind gesture of flowers, we had to pick them up, a long story, but at the flower shop your princess saw a statuette that belongs to the same collection of the picture above.  We've had the piece on the left for over 10 years, a gift from my Mom who passed away seven years ago yesterday.  Your princess asked if we could get the piece on the right because it looked like a daughter & mother sitting and talking; and it reminded her of our family of two.  

Here comes round three.  

I love you handsome man. 

take care

Sunlight Above the Trees

March 23, 2013

“Sunlight Above the Trees”

a song by C. Shea
with help from R. Shea

I see sun

Sunlight above the trees
Sunlight in the breeze
Sunlight for you and me

When the sun goes down
I fall to the ground
Sun, why did you leave

Then morning comes
And the dawning sun
Wakes me from my sleep

Sunlight above the trees
Sunlight in the breeze
Sunlight for you and me

Day goes by
Drifts into night
I get tucked in tight

On the pond
Rests a graceful swan
Makes me so happy

Sunlight above the trees
Sunlight in the breeze
Sunlight for you and me

your to do list

Here we are, year three begins.  Farther and farther away are the dates and times.

I found this among your saved documents.

April 1, 2010

A to do list for life

See my little girl graduate college.
Make my own salsa.
Master Greek, Latin, and French.
Write at least two novels.
Write one non-fiction book.
Read all of: Proust, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Homer, Saint-Simon.
Learn to read music.
Learn to play an instrument.
Paint an oil painting.
Carve something out of stone.
Design a boat and a house (even if just a crude drawing).
Go to France, England, Spain. Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scotland,
Ireland, the South Pacific, Australia, Hawaii, and Canada.
Sail a boat.
Take a cruise.
Take a journey by train.
Ride in a hot-air balloon.
Ride a camel.
Ride a horse on the beach
Hike to the top of a mountain
Paddle across a lake in the Autumn

I love you handsome man

take care

Monday, April 3, 2017

Nothing stops

April is here.  Nothing stops, days end and then begin.  Sometimes it's hard to remember and other times the details never leave me alone for a moment.  I'm not lost, I stay the course yet sometimes I take a detour just to see where it goes.  A side trip for selfish reasons, a detour for me alone. Sometimes I'm scared I'll lose my self in the detour and not be who I am.

Your princess asked me something today, really made me think about the person I am.  She asked me how I do it.  How do I not show my feelings?  She remembers details after your death, when she was upset, sad, angry, and so many emotions flooding all at once.  She said I didn't seem upset and wondered how I do it, not show my feelings.  I told her it was not a choice, it was like being right handed, it's just how I am.  I told it wasn't necessarily a good thing.  Inside you are just torn up and broken yet outside nobody has a clue and thinks everything is fine.  They comment on how strong you are, how you're doing everything right.  I guess I don't know what to expect, what I want.  What do you say?  It's a journey, a path I must take on my own I suppose.  I don't know how to reach out to people when I'm sad, I don't know how to ask for a hug, it is so incredibly difficult for me to ask for help for myself.

I relive those last weeks of your life when I am alone.  I remember all the details, the decisions, the driving back a forth to the hospital wishing I could just stay with you all the time.  Reading to you as we wait for the staff to take you to the procedure.  Reading to you as a distraction from the pain, searching, searching for the right passages to read, passages you found the most beautiful.

I miss you so much.  I miss who I am when I was with you, I feel that person is slipping away, she's barely recognizable.  She was beautiful, confident, smart, I only know because you constantly told me, made me feel that way, allowed me to be her, encouraged me.

Nothing stops, the new day begins.

take care

Friday, March 17, 2017


Tuesday everything starts again.  I've been thinking about you a great deal I've also been thinking about my Mom too.  Every thing is flooding to my mind, the memories bring back so much pain.  I am so tired, yet I don't allow my self the rest my body and mind so desperately need.  My chest hurts, literally hurts, it's difficult to obtain a full breath of air.  When I move my upper body it feels like my breast bone is trying to escape my chest.  I am so tired I am not making sense.  My fingers move across the keys and the words just come from my thoughts, scattered and everywhere and no where.  Where are you? I'm tired of being alone.  I give up, I will go to bed.

love you handsome man

take care

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The consuming hollow

Hello Handsome
It's been a rough few weeks.  I've been cooking lately, I think you'd be proud.  We're remembering things that happened two years ago.  I can't believe it's been two years, you feel so much further away from me.  Time does not stop and it cycles, so many memories, trying to remember the happy but the pain continues to consume the day to day.  At this moment I feel nothing, except empty and dread.  It's like I'm choking, suffocating on the hollow that fills me, takes the space where the happy memories should be.

I'm moving forward, without you, that causes me so much guilt and pain.  Our little girl is so different now, she's funny and clever and so many things you'll never see.  She loves to read and she is so creative, she's coming up with ideas for books and stories all the time.  I'm doing my best to foster that creativity.

This is not easy, it never was easy, before it was a team effort we leaned on each other we balanced.  It was you and me doing everything together, figuring out what was best for her and for us.  Now it's all me.  There is no team, no reassurance, no sounding board to figure things out.

take care

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

moment to share

I have crashed.  I'm stuck, I can't get out.  I'm struggling and so is your princess.  She cried for 45 minutes tonight.  We told stories, we cried, she felt better before she went to sleep.  I am so tired, but I won't let myself get into bed, I just want to sit here, aimlessly look at social media, I want to talk to you.

You know those jokes we had just between the two of us, there are so many times something would happen and it would be that perfect moment to share that laugh.  I smile and sometime catch myself chuckling, but there is no one who gets why it's funny.  There is no one who gets many things at all.

It hurts to smile these days, I haven't felt like that since shortly after you left this world.

My eyelids are heavy yet my soul is empty.  I shall sleep and hope for a better day tomorrow.

take care

Sunday, March 5, 2017

beginning of the end

It's a new month, a new season is coming.  Spring, new life, the return of growth.  I'm stuck.  I was doing great and having some wonderful days, happy times, laughing, confident.  I'm tired and I've fallen and I don't want to get up, I don't want to keep going forward.  I just want to stay in here.

Our daughter & I were talking about planning for the summer, and she said, "now that we're a family of 2" my heart just fell like a rock, thud.  She is so much older now, so mature, critically thinking, she is so quick witted like you.

I still remember that March day when we were outside, you in the gurney being transported from the ambulance back into the hospital after your therapy.  You just wanted to feel the sun on your face and see the outside.  It's the beginning of the end.  That's what's bothering me.  Spring, new life, bull shit, it's the beginning of the end, the end of my purpose.  I convinced you to be admitted, I convinced you to stop treatment, I convinced you to give up.

It's not fair god damn it!!  I just got through the holidays, the horrid lonely worst time and now the spring brings back the most painful memories.  I have no purpose.

It doesn't matter if I'm here or not, yet tomorrow comes.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

any more

Hello Handsome

I really should be asleep, I'm tired of being alone.  I'm sitting here with so much on my mind, yet I don't know what to say.  I don't want to run out of things to share with you, this is all I have left of you, a mere screen where I just reflect my thoughts and memories, a place to share the actions of the day.  I have nothing right now, just this empty void.

I actually had the energy to cook tonight, it was damn good too.  I'd say even your palate would have enjoyed tonight's meal, really enjoyed it not just saying it's good or giving me the honest husband response of not bad, but truly would have been proud.  I'm still trying to make you proud, I never had to try when you were alive it just happened.  Now I feel like I try and try and just fail.  I don't know.  I do know you don't want me to be like this, but I just can't help it.  You would want me to move forward, but I'm stuck.  Just when I think I can go and take a few steps forward, actually I have moved forward over the past 22 months, it's mostly happened over the last six weeks or so.  I just feel like I'm hitting a wall, I don't want to leave you, yet it's absolute agony to stay where I am.  I don't want to be alone any more.  

I love you handsome man

take care,

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Hello Handsome

I sit here and look up at all your pictures above this screen.  I see you in your graduation picture so proud with your tassels and medals and gold stole showing the world your brilliant mind, a mind I know so well and love so much.  I can't believe you're gone, it'll be two years this April.  I miss you so much.  I'm trying to keep a promise I made to you, maybe now is not the right time and maybe the time will never come.  We shall see.  I do need a release.

I love you.

take care

Friday, February 17, 2017

Excitement is gone

all that energy and excitement for life is gone.  I just want to hide in my room and not be around people.  I want to be by myself.  I'm tired.  I'm in a funk.  I hope sleep will turn this around.

I love you

take care

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


I'm struggling tonight my love.  Today was mostly in the good column.  I've been thinking about something uncharacteristic & very selfish.  More than likely it won't happen, I am who I am.

Your princess was feeling a bit down today after school, we stopped at the bookstore & did homework there.  We picked up her next literature assignment and we chatted and she felt better.  The waves are not has harsh as they once were.  I'm glad about that for her.  For me I almost feel guilty, like I'm moving forward, but part of me doesn't want to.  I want to cling to you, to us, to be that team we were so good at, I'm no good alone I'm trying I really am.  I feel myself sinking again.  I need to sleep.
good night handsome.

take care

Monday, February 13, 2017

I'm ready to try again

May 8, 2014 I made a change in my life.  I realized what was happening to me on a personal level. I was working in a rough neighborhood.  My job was effecting my out look on life and society.    I was jaded and thought the worst of people.  I thought about why I do what I do and what about my job I liked and where I felt I made the most difference.  Upon reflection I remembered my blog post from 2012 about OL.  May 8th I had a meeting with my staff and reminded them that we are here to help others even those that are rude to us.  Everyone deserves healthcare and access to healthcare.  In our line of work people do not visit us for fun, there is a health issue and we're there to help them get better.

May 9th of 2014 my life changed forever.  You were diagnosed with cancer, it festered in my mind and ravaged my soul.  We did not have any details, just cancer.  May 11th, Mother's Day 2014 we got a call and learned it was stage IV lung cancer.  My whole world as I knew it was destroyed.  My reflection of my life and choice to change my actions and live my life with my empathetic actions went out the window.  All I could do was survive at work, thinking about you and our family situation.  I stepped down from my leadership role and moved on to a position where I was not responsible for all the happenings on our side of the counter.

You left my life 22 months ago and I've been struggling.  Last month I wore my Kairos from my senior year retreat to help me in my struggle.  For a while I was wearing it along with your ring around my neck.  It's silly, but it makes me think you're watching or it reminds me of how I want our daughter to act and lead her own life.  I treat others with more kindness because I can.  In May of 2014 I don't think I had the capabilities to act with empathy because I was stuck in my own world.  At first it was constant worry and concern for you and our daughter.  After you left this world I couldn't face the world, it was too difficult.  I focused on our daughter and did everything I possibly could to help her through this devastating time.

Yesterday, February 12, 2017 I was working at the location where I had this epiphany so many years ago.  As a matter of fact I helped OL and showed her a little kindness.  It reminded me of the change I was embarking on way back in 2014, a change I was trying to lead others to make as well. I'm finally at a point where empathy is something I can do now.  I may not be a leader of one team, but I can lead by example in my professional life and I can make a difference to those I come in contact with personally.

I still miss you every day.

take care

Saturday, February 4, 2017


I'm sinking today, I need to soar tomorrow's a big day for our daughter.  Inadequacy is sinking in.  I'm trying my very best truly I am.  Tiredness and poor diet are not helping.  I need to make an adjustment, a change.  I miss talking to you.  I made a pretty funny  joke at work the other day, you totally would have appreciated it.  I'm trying no to think about myself and focus on others, trying to make a difference, even in a small way.  I need to tread water and get back up and just keep going.  Here I am treading for now, we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Love you handsome man.

take care,

Thursday, February 2, 2017

change the world

My shift took me to the first pharmacy I worked when we moved here nearly ten years ago.  It's relatively close to our home and close to where you had your treatments the last 11 months of your life.  The first script I checked was from your oncologist.  Half way through my shift I saw another prescriber's name from our past.  It just hit me, working close to home has it's conveniences and draw backs.  Our daughter will be ten years old in a matter of days, I still can't believe I'm a single parent.

I have found some drive in life, I'm becoming more active with a group I started with in 2013.  I've actually taken on more responsibility with this group.  I'm trying to make a difference in our world, it may not be much, but  I want to be a good example for our daughter.

I miss you so much.  There are so many things I want to talk to you about, so many ideas I want to share, so many frustrations I wan to vent, tell you how I feel so hopeless and powerless, yet I want to save the world.  Only you understood me, knew where I was coming from.  The last few days I've put in the good column, I still look at my wall just behind this screen and see all the pictures I've put up with simple tacks.  Your face, your beautiful brown eyes watching over me.  I miss being part of a team, in a sense our little girl and I are a team now, but it's not the same.  I don't refer to us as team, we are now the Ladies.

The world we live in is so uncertain, now more than ever.  Decisions are being made and I do not like them, they scare me, and it is not the type of society I want our daughter to grow up in.  I'm doing my best to show her what is best, not just talk about it, to take action.

I miss you handsome man.

take care,

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Forward ho

I am so glad the holiday season is over, it's like this enormous weight has been removed from me.  Since October I've been in this slump and just couldn't get out.  My birthday, the year I became older than you, that really hurt, still does.  Then of course getting ready for all the holidays.  I've been working harder than usual, I guess I'm grateful I've been placed at this location for some time, it's very stressful & does not give me time to think of how much I miss you and how empty things are; yet here I am our daughter back to school & me alone with all this time to think & ponder.

During one of my shifts  I was helping a very lovely couple.  They were a bit older and so reminded me of us.  They even mentioned that they made a good team, that literally brought tears to my eyes.  Watching this couple interact in a bland and ordinary transaction at the pharmacy counter & just enjoying each other, laughing, joking, and tenderly sharing a touch of the hands, a simple caress of the fingers.  They were so kind to each other and to me, surprisingly very rare when you work in a retail setting during the holidays.  The holiday season is the time of year when families come together and it has become the constant reminder we are no longer a family of 3 on this earth.

For three months I didn't cook, except for Thanksgiving and the eggplant dish I volunteered to make.  We had lots and lots of take out and delivery.  I feel like cooking again, I didn't say enjoy cooking, still not there.  Cooking is still not my passion, don't think it ever will be.  I made a meal plan at least, so I know what I'll be cooking this week.

Something happened last week, I was doing chores around the house and hadn't put your ring around my neck yet, for some reason I just didn't.  I left it on the chain and put it in my jewelry box.  I don't know why.  It still sits in that box, I didn't feel guilty about it, now as I sit here telling you about it I feel a little guilty.  Please understand I still miss you so very much and love you.  Your ring is a constant reminder of the team I am no longer a part of, the love you gave to me, a love I miss so very much.

2016 is done and gone, I can no longer say "my husband passed away last year" the calendar changed and you are further and further away and I continue to march forward.

I love you handsome man.

take care