Eight years ago today

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.

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Brighter every day

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. 

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Book release

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. 

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I had it so good

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.

 

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Gifts from loved ones...

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.  

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Empty

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.

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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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Mom and Dad

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.  

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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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