It didn't matter what we were doing, it was always fun. For example, we spent New Year's Eve of 2006 cleaning the pores on our nose with Biori Strips...this is how crazy I was about Jen.
Jennifer and I met on this day, eight years ago...I knew the first second I saw her that she was the one. Jen was so beautiful and strong; she was full of life.
I understand I have to heal and that Jen didn't want me to spend the rest of my life feeling sad, but she knew what this road would be like for me - Jen had been a widow for 10 years by the time we were married.
These days are often the toughest...anniversaries can put things in perspective. We've all lost someone we love. Let's go easy on each other and try to be more understanding on these special days.
I remember flying to Manhattan on October 3rd, 2006, with an engagement ring in my pocket. Jen said "yes," and then we hailed a cab and headed to - our - new home.
Now I look at this nearly finished book and it sinks in that Jen passed, that this is real, and that I have to keep moving forward.
Some days I feel strong; some days I fear the wind will blow me away. But, those windy days come less and less while my memories of Jen grow stronger and brighter.
September 1st is coming fast...I'm excited and nervous about the release of our book.
The book will be available in digital format on iTunes and as a PDF through my website.
50% of the profits of all book sales will be donated to The Love You Share, a non-profit organization I am starting in honor of Jennifer. The mission of The Love You Share is to provide financial assistance to cancer patients in need while they are receiving treatment for cancer. The hope is that by sending a gift card from Fresh Direct (a local grocery delivery service) and reimbursing patients for transportation costs to and from hospital and doctor appointments, The Love You Share will be able to make life easier, even if only for a short time, for someone who is fighting for her life.
The Love You Share has applied to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Donations to The Love You Share are not currently tax-deductible while its application is pending. If The Love You Share receives tax-exempt status, donations received while its application was pending may be treated as tax-deductible contributions retroactive to the date of its formation.
Last night I was looking at this portrait while I listened to "Moon River" (Morrissey's version). It hit me just how good I had it. Jen was so damn cool. She believed in me, even when I didn't. She picked me up when I was down, and never held it over my head. She just wanted me to believe in myself and follow my dreams.
I know I was lucky to have been Loved like this in my lifetime, but it still hurts like hell.
This is one of my favorite photographs of Jen and me. I always admired Jen's ability to see the good things in life even when the bad things were more prevalent. Add this to the lessons learned from Jen...
Twenty years ago my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was 19 years old and did not yet realize how little I knew about life. Ten years ago my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was starting to realize how little I knew about Everything but I still didn't have a clue about how precious life and Love are. Five and a half years ago Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I know.
Along with Jennifer's Love, watching my parents take care of each other is the greatest gift ever given to me.
Having one of those moments when I would give anything to have a conversation with Jen. Jen had a way of understanding; she would listen and never dismiss my problems as being unimportant. No matter what was going on in my life I always knew there was one person who understood. Right now the emptiness of Jen being gone feels like the weight of the world.
Exciting news - I will be releasing my book in digital format so it is more accessible for everyone. The launch date is September 1st, 2013 - our wedding anniversary. I will post updates so please check back!
I've been dreaming about Jen a lot lately. Not sure what it is but I've been feeling like Jen is here with me more often now than ever since she passed. This whole mourning/widower thing is a roller-coaster
This morning I woke up feeling calm. I'm starting to accept that life will have ups and downs and that I just have to focus on staying in the middle.
If you know someone who has lost a loved one don't be afraid to ask how he or she is doing. You may get an answer that is tough to hear, but it helps us.
Our favorite movie to watch together was Talladega Nights, we laughed so much. Will Ferrell's character was named Ricky Bobby. My middle name is Robert so Jen started calling me Angie Robbie.
What is your favorite couple movie??
There are times when it hits me that Jen died. It comes from nowhere and without warning, and it leaves me stunned. People say that time heals but there are moments when it hurts just the same as it did the moment Jen passed.
The summer before Jen passed our family and friends held a benefit in our hometown of Akron, Ohio, to raise funds to help cover our medical costs. Jen and I were in Manhattan so my brother Dave set up a wireless connection so we could "be" there. This is one of my favorite memories from that night.
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.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon visiting my parents in the house I grew up in. This house has also been the only home my mom has ever lived in, save for a few months after she was born. This month mom will be 86.
As I pulled out of the driveway I kept wondering (like I always do when I say goodbye) if I told them everything I am feeling. Did I tell them I love them enough? Have I thanked them for putting up with and raising me...I know I was difficult.
Maybe it's the point in life I am at and the thoughts that come after watching a loved one pass, I don't know for sure. I do know that I cherish every second I spend with my them.
I've been doing a lot of writing for my book about Jen and me. Feels right to sit in Jen's chair...
Jen and me walking, 5/29/2011
After Jen started using a walker part of our daily routine was to go for a walk around our neighborhood. We noticed that people could not resist the urge to stare. I still wonder what they were thinking...
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.
Before I met Jen I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a dad. That all changed as I got to know Jen. I knew I wanted to have a family because Jen would be the mom.
I know it broke Jen's heart to not get this chance.