Just be there

Can't believe I made this photo 2 years ago today...it feels like our friends were just sitting in our apartment pampering Jen. 
I know it's difficult to know what to do for someone who is facing cancer, but just being there makes a huge difference. Jen was sick but she was still alive; she still wanted to be treated like "Jen."

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College graduate

In 2010, not long after her cancer metastasized, Jen walked across the stage and received her diploma. Jen worked so hard to finish school - Marriage, full-time job and oh yeah, cancer. I was so proud of her. 

When I start to get overwhelmed I think about this and I reach deeper inside to find the strength to keep going. 

Jen NEVER gave  up.

 

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An old friend...

Yesterday I was in a dazed mood...just a bit out of it. I got on my bicycle with no destination in mind and ended up stumbling upon an outdoor show by a band I used to see often before I moved to New York - The Carlos Jones Band. I had my camera and went to the front of the stage. It's been nearly 7 years but Carlos not only immediately recognized me but he also remembered my name, and when the song ended he gave me a big hug. Carlos is a class act and he lifted me up. 

http://www.carlosjones.com/

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Anniversary portrait, 2011

Anniversary dinner, 2011

Here is this week's Tuesday portrait. Jen and I were celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary at a restaurant in Greenwich Village. 4 years...it's hard to believe all that happened in such a short amount of time. Jen was a light in the dark and I am thankful for every second we shared here on this earth.

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No judging, just loving

I remember coming home with my first mohawk...Jen loved it. One of the coolest things about Jen was that she didn't judge - what mattered was who you are. 

The way we saw our relationship was like this - You walk out the door in the morning with your helmet on and life tries to break you down. When you get home there is no reason to need a helmet. We wanted to make life easier and happier for each other.

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The SS Love-It-All, May 2013

Last week I bought a bicycle, my first one since I was a teenager. Today I took the SS Love-It-All out for its maiden voyage. When I got home I thought about Jen and the day she started using a walker. I remember a few months prior to that day when the pain from Jen's cancer put an end to Jen's jogging, which she loved to do. 

Nothing is too small to take for granted. 

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Will you marry me

In October of 2006 I moved to New York with an engagement ring burning a hole in my pocket. On the night I arrived Jen and I had dinner at this restaurant. After we finished eating I got down on one knee and asked Jen to marry me. Jen yelled "SHUT UP!!!!!!" I remember thinking, "I sold everything I own except for my cats and a few cameras...what does shut up mean??"

After what felt like forever Jen put her finger out and I could breathe again.

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Sweet Isabella

This is Isabella Santos, one of the sweetest souls I've ever known. Isabella was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of 2 and sadly she passed last June. Jen and I were fortunate to meet Ib and her family and we all became close friends. Like Jen, Isabella had the gift of seeing life as half full. 
The Santos family is committed "to fight Isabella’s fight in her honor and for all children who are fighting Neuroblastoma." In 2009, the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) was established through Isabella’s parents to raise awareness and research funds for Neuroblastoma. I admire the courage, strength and love it takes for this family to honor Isabella and make a difference for the rest of us.

Please take a look at the website for The Isabella Santos Foundation and if you are moved to do so, please share. 
Thanks

http://www.isabellasantosfoundation.com/video-gallery/