Letters of Hope Continued…

doing the bestSo it probably seems to many of you reading this blog that I’ve been writing about the same thing forever. This IVF thing is tough. The waiting. The hoping. The praying. And waiting some more. I’m glad I wrote during that time. Not only for how I felt then but for how I feel now. To realize that I can still turn to Gregger. But I can also handle it on my own. I can find the strength. Dig deep. Stand tall. And keep going. Through the toughest days. And, somehow, the sun always shines brightest on the other side. So writing continued to be my savior.

May 28

Dear Gregger,

doing the best 2I spent today with Ashley and Tyler. We went to look at houses. They found a house they love, but standing there I felt so out of my comfort zone. I felt like a fraud. It was like, “What am I doing here with them? I don’t know what I’m doing? Gregger, you should be here, not me. You know the questions. I don’t even know what to ask.” I want to help them, but I don’t know the right way. You would. I kept looking at Ashley. I wanted her to sit down. I wanted her to take it easy. I want to treat her like a china doll right now. I feel like everything is so fragile. I know she’s worried. She mentioned it several times. And then we’d quickly change the subject. She wants to be positive. And as soon as she is, she’s afraid to say so. I know the feeling. It’s so uncertain, and, oh so scary. I know they both want this so badly. And I hurt so badly for them, wanting it so badly too. I just kept wishing you were there. We drove around and looked at other places. I told them they had to have options. I think that place is really out of the question. A little over the top. I think they could find something a little more reasonable without having to put so much into it. It’s hard. You want everything all at once. I remember we did too. I remember looking for our first house. We looked at all of those run down fixer uppers. We thought we could do it, and, in the end, we went with the new. We went in a little over our heads, but it all worked out in the end. Scary at times, but I guess the risks paid off. Or did they? Was it all the risks that pushed you to the edge? Was it the risks that pushed you to work harder and harder until you went over the edge? I don’t know. I think there’s a fine line there. I keep trying to help. But I have to be realistic about this too. I was honest with them. I will seek help from others. Opinions. I won’t make a stupid mistake. I promise.

I kept remembering all day how you used to say to me, “Don’t you dare leave me first. Don’t leave me alone with these kids.” Well you did it to me and now I need your support more than ever. I’m doing the best I can, and, most of the time, I’m holding it together fairly well. But this one’s got me good. So I am begging you, as I do every day, to watch over your baby. Watch over her babies. Keep everyone safe. We all miss you more than you could ever imagine. If we only had one more day to let you know. I hope you do. I hope you hear the messages. I hope you feel it. Because this earth is just a much emptier place without your heart. Your smile. Your incredible being. I know you are watching. I know you are holding her in your arms and heart. Just keep doing so…I love you forever. Until tomorrow…

doing the best 1May 29

Dear Gregger,

I hate these holiday weekends. This day seems to have gone on forever. It’s been filled with some strange happenings. Really strange now that I think about it. First encounter: I was leaving Equinox today, casually talking to some lady about the clouds overhead. She said she missed the sunshine. I said I didn’t mind the clouds. I didn’t want to tell her I look for you in the clouds. When it’s sunny I have no chance of seeing you. She’d think I was looney. I simply told her that I lived in Arizona for nearly 40 years and woke to sunshine most days. This was a nice change. Some guy was walking toward the gym. He jumped into the conversation. “I just moved here from Arizona.” I asked from where. “Scottsdale.” What part. “D.C. Ranch.” We bantered for a minute or so. I decided to ask the big question. So did you ever hear of the Clotherie? His mouth dropped. “It was the only place I ever shopped.” Well, I’m Greg’s wife. And then his jaw dropped. “I’m so sorry. I don’t even know what to say. He was the best guy ever.” Yeah. I know. He was the BEST. I love hearing that. But I already knew it. It was one of your customers. I couldn’t believe it. Here was a guy who drove you crazy, but someone who REALLY knew you. It was drizzling, but I wanted to stand there in the drizzle and hear him talk about you. I wanted to hear stories. I wanted to hear something. But then he had to go. But it was cool. It made me smile for a minute or two. Something that’s been a little rough lately. I’m so stressed. So worried. And then I got in my car and the tears welled in my eyes.

I talked to Ashley and Tyler today. I think I gave some decent advice about the houses. Maybe some things you might even say. It’s hard. You were the one who knew all those things. I keep telling Ashley to rest. I want her to take it easy. I know she is. I wish I could just relax. I just wish I knew. I just wish I knew it would all be okay. But I don’t. So we wait. That’s why I turn to you. Again and again and again. To watch, to hold, to pray. I thought I prayed hard when my little dog, Lucy, was in the hospital, but that was nothing. I’ve never prayed harder for anything in my life. Oh, I would have prayed this hard and a million times harder for you if it would have changed anything, but it wouldn’t. That sucked. I still prayed. I prayed that you didn’t hurt. I prayed that you were okay. I prayed that your mom got you. I prayed that you were at peace. And I prayed that you knew how much we all loved and still love you every single day.

An old friend reached out to me today. We chatted over FB and he told me that in time I need to let you go. Not just for me, but for you. I need to set you free. Is that true? Am I holding you back? I’m sorry if I am. I don’t want to. If I had to I would let you go, but only if that meant you would watch doubly over Ashley and those babies. But that’s not fair. Just a little longer. I’m asking. Please. And when the time comes, please guide me. Because as much as I thought I knew how; I don’t. I love you. Until tomorrow…

doing the best 3May 30

Dear Gregger,

Happy Memorial Day! Well, it certainly wasn’t a holiday without you here. This was my second Memorial Day without you. Now I’m moving onto my seconds. The firsts were hard enough. The seconds seem to be even harder. Lonelier. I’m watching the NBA playoffs. I didn’t watch a basketball game all year. The Suns sucked. You would have been really disappointed. The Warriors are in the playoffs. It’s the 7th game of the series against Oklahoma. Pretty good. I keep wishing you were here so we could watch together. I think you’d be cheering for the Warriors. So I’m cheering for you. The finals will be against LeBron and the Cavaliers. It will be a replay of last year. Not sure who I’ll root for in that one. It would be kind of cool for LeBron to win for Cleveland. I know you never liked him but he’s done a lot for the game. The French Open is on too, but it’s really boring. Federer dropped out. Nadal dropped out. And a few of the other top players. Boring. So I started making an afghan. Something to do with my hands. Something to distract my mind. It always goes back to the same place. I look at your picture. Especially the one of you and Ashley together. I see you holding her, your arm wrapped protectively around her and I hope you are doing the same now. I hope you are holding her safe. Holding those babies safe. I pray every day. Every night. I know I repeat myself, but I so wish you were here.

So Golden State won. It’s Warriors vs. Cavs. Back to back matchup. You would love it. I think. Long time in coming before the Suns ever make it there.

I’ll keep you in my prayers tonight. I always do. I’ll send you my love. My heart. All I ask is that you keep Ashley, Tyler and those babies safe. You are their guardian angel. I do believe that. I do believe you are watching. Listening. And taking care. I love you. Until tomorrow…

And the countdown begins…prayers continue.

To be continued…

Memories Fade and Messages Appear

Memories Fade and Messages Appear Making those Memories Clear

“‘When you wanted to forget everything would return in raw brutal focus. When you wanted to remember the details would slip away like a dream at dawn.”

memories 1I read this the other day and it struck a significant chord. Wham! Straight to my heart! Some days I struggle to bring the memories to life. I fight with my brain. Bring it in. Clearer. Clearer. I can’t see it. Focus. I don’t remember. Frustrating. I want it etched in my mind. Every detail. I don’t want to forget. I want to see Gregger. Every part of him. His eyes. They sparkled every time he looked at me. Gleaming with a touch of emerald. His beautiful bald head. Took me ages to convince him to get rid of the fuzz. I loved his baldness. Sexy. Sweet. Just like him. The stubble on his cheeks and chin. He could shave in the morning and have stubble by noon. Poor guy. He hated it. I loved it. And his smile. The smile that lit up a room. The world. Reminding us to be kind. Loving. Gentle. Good. The smile that emitted laughter. A giggle that turned into “hee-heeing” and “weeeeee” until tears rolled down his cheeks. Eyes squinted. Belly laughter. I miss that. The details.

memories for blogThe first year was easier. Fresher. As time passes, the picture fades. The edges fray. I fight to keep it intact. But will I be able to hold on? Paint the picture every day? I don’t know. It scares me. Just the other day a beautiful gift came my way. So unexpected. An incredible blessing. I opened the back pages of my FB to send a private message to my sister. Something silly. Inane. But, as I did so, I noticed something I’d never seen before. Something about messages to “accept.” I clicked. Had no idea what I’d see. I thought it was these weirdos who kept trying to “friend” me. Widow status. It attracts all kinds. But this was different. A few names I knew. A few I didn’t. I started clicking. One after the after. Messages about Greg. Dated: September 2014. Words from the past that I needed today. 

“Whenever I stopped by Greg always took time out of his day to talk with me. He treated everyone like that. For me (as I’m sure it is for you), this world is a very different place without Greg in it.”

“Although I knew Greg only for a brief time, he was always very generous to me and imparted many wise words. More than talking about work, the last thing I remember is him telling me to enjoy my kids and reminding me how quickly they grow.”

memories for blog 1The words imparted the same message. His kindness. His generosity. And his love for family. The last message shocked me most. Yet comforted me in the strangest of ways. From a “stranger.” Someone I’ve never met. Someone I’ll probably never meet. But she was there. On the beach. That very day.

“My family was with you and your family today and witnessed your tragic loss of your husband. I just want you to know that we are so sorry and we are lifting your family in our prayers. I am sure that words can’t fill this wound but we are saddened by your great loss today.”

She found our name. Found my name. And took the time to send this special message. I am forever grateful for these words. Two years later. They melted my heart. Maybe even more than had I read them back then. The words would have been mixed with so many others. Today it brought the focus back. The memories. Of strangers. Hugging. Holding. Praying. Compassion. Love. In a world filled with hate, anger, and violence, this moment was anything but. Strangers gathered. But in that moment we were all one. I will never forget. And be forever grateful.

These words reminded of memories I’ll never forget. The man who was loving, kind, generous, supportive, warmhearted, and selfless. My Gregger. Memories etched in my heart forever.

memories for blog 2

Celebration and Survival

Celebration and Survival

”The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

life is a giftThe days and weeks leading up to August 30th were tense. 2 years. You’d think it’d be easier. No. I was anxious. Emotional. Restless. Stressed. My stomach was in knots. My body ached. Anticipation. It does all kinds of crazy things. The BIG day. What would I feel? Would I break down? Could I handle it? AGAIN? The rush of memories. The flashes. Ugh. I just wanted to close my eyes. Wake up on August 31st. But that wasn’t real. That was an escape. And as others told me, the anticipation was far worse than the reality. So true. I survived. Survived. Celebrated. And realized it was all okay. Another year. We made it.

We celebrated what was. Celebrated what was to be. But, most of all, celebrated the day. The now. The being together. The present. That’s what mattered. Family. Sharing. Love. Gregger was with us. He always will be. We saw him in the clouds. We heard him in the ocean waves. We saw signs. We knew. And we smiled. A celebration of life. And all the beautiful gifts he gave to us. His legacy. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be patient. Be forgiving. And, most of all, love with all your heart. So we remember. And carry on…


Gregger Pitti-Uomo-June-14-606

Here We Go…Year 3

gregger 1c

Dear Gregger,

Two years. Is that even possible? It seems like the blink of an eye. And then it seems like an eternity. So much has changed. So much has stayed the same. The one constant. You aren’t here. And I miss you as much as the day you left this earth. My heart still aches. I thought it would get easier. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t. I keep going. I live. Parts of me are even happy at times. But I’m empty. My soul is empty. I just can’t fill that void. I don’t know that I ever will.

I haven’t written for a long time. It was too hard. Too sad. I didn’t want to expose myself. It was easier to hide. Smile. Pretend. And cry behind closed doors. Everyone has their cards. Their issues. Their crap. So mine is mine. I own it. How was this year different? Reality hit. You weren’t coming back. No more celebrations. No more hugs. No more holding hands. No more conversations. The first year? I muddled through the motions. Made changes. Adapted. Held on. But now? Time just passes. Days blend into each other. And then what? Where do I go from here? I don’t know. I feel stuck. My life was with you. My feet were planted. Grounded. And now they’re not. I’m drifting. And I want my feet back on the ground. gregger 1b

The move was good. Some thought I did it too soon. No. It was good for me. It was right. No regrets. I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m building. But it’s slow and steady. You gave me the framework. And I’m so grateful. I’d be flat on my face without that. I’m not. I’m standing. I’m strong. Stronger than I ever believed I could be. Thank you. But year two. It’s been a struggle. Stress. Sickness. Anxiety. Loss. Without you. Alone. That’s a mountain to climb. But I’ve survived. That is success.  

Year three? Who knows. I believe it’s a year of Hope. Happiness. Rebirth. And lots of love. For this family. We are ready. Arms open. Bring it on.

But for today, August 30th, we remember. We remember the loss. The love. And you. A beautiful blessing to all of us. We honor you. The incredible man you were. Husband. Father. Son. Brother. Friend. Humanitarian. The best of the best. Your smile. Your kind, giving heart. Your gentle soul. Forever missed. Forever loved. Forever etched in our memories.

Pitti Uomo June 14' 606


02.05.1954 – 08.30.2014.

Happy Birthday Gregger!

Scan 14 (1)Happy Birthday, Gregger! #62! Today we celebrate YOU! Not the life you lost. But the life you LIVED! The love you shared. The joy you radiated. Your smile. Your laughter. Your grace and humility. A son. Brother. Father. Husband. And friend. Everyone’s friend. Those lucky enough to cross your path loved you. Minutes, days, years, or a lifetime. A shake of your hand, a smile, a kind word. You touched peoples’ hearts. You left a mark. So we celebrate YOU.

2012…We celebrated at Dominick’s and went to Old Town to party with the young folk! What the heck were we thinking? I don’t think we lasted very long. Our ears couldn’t take it! But we laughed. Loved. And cheered.

2013…San Diego. Park Hyatt Aviara. Food tasting for Ashley and Tyler’s fabulous wedding! Didn’t get much better than that! Until…

DSC_05982014…#60! I will hang onto this memory. FOREVER! Our last birthday. Best one yet! In forty years I never pulled off a surprise. Much less a BIG one! But I got you. And I got you good. After lying in a hospital bed for a week, you never suspected I’d be up for anything, much less a party. Your “real” birthday was quiet. No big shebang. You worked tirelessly at home all day. Orders. Ryan stopped by before work. I felt guilty. I didn’t want you to be disappointed. But I knew what was in store. The weekend. I made your favorite dinner. Chicken parm. Baked potato. Jamesons. Dairy Queen. Quiet night. But it was good. Better was yet to come. We had a “date” night Saturday.  Old friends. Great friends. I needed your car. You loved when I drove you to work. I knew that wouldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t. More time to be together. Lucky me. I was a wreck. This day seemed like forever. We got to the restaurant. I could barely control my shaking hands, much less my trembling heart.  We headed back, hand in hand. You were ready to watch the Suns game. I’ll never forget the shock when you saw those bleachers stacked high. Friends and family shouting, “Happy Birthday, Gregger!” But the surprises didn’t end there. First Ashley and Tyler. Jeff and Keena. Your bromance, David. And my sis, Suzy. Overwhelming. Love. Joy. A celebration of YOU. It was time. Little did I know that 7 months later I would be “celebrating” your life in a whole different way. This was good. Great. We danced. Laughed. And just let go. We Had Fun. You even said, “This is the 6th best night of my life.” I wasn’t offended. I knew where that stood. And 6th was GREAT. It ranked right where it should. Behind births and weddings. I got it. You were so right.

DSC_0672So now I continue to celebrate YOU. The YOU that makes me smile. Makes my heart beat a little bit faster. And makes tears fall when I try holding them back. My soulmate. My best friend. Thank you for blessing me with your love. I can only hope you felt blessed with mine too. Happy Birthday, Gregger. With Jameson’s in hand, Cheers to you my love! You made this world a better, brighter, happier place. And today it is sparkling! I love you!


merry christmas gregger

Merry Christmas Gregger!

xmas 2Merry Christmas Gregger…

I know it’s technically not “our” holiday, but being in retail, we waited for this day all year long. The END of the holiday season. A day off. A family day. A day of togetherness. Happy times. Laughter. And love. So much love. So we celebrated. The joy. The blessings. And us. We loved playing Santa’s elves from the beginning. Do you remember our first Xmas? I have visions of those presents piled around that hideous plaid couch dancing in my head. We were like two little kids. We woke up early in the morning. We couldn’t wait to tear those packages apart. And my dream gift that year? A pair of Frye boots! Light tan with the buckle on the side.  I was cooler than cool thanks to you. You always were the best Santa! 

xmasI miss everything about those days. The simplicity. The dreams. And knowing that we had a lifetime to be together. Or so we thought. This has been a rough holiday season. Tougher than last year. Last year I was pretending. I was muddling through. This year is all too real. I’m reminded over and over that you’re not coming back. Christmas music brings me to tears. But I keep listening. I want to feel the joy. The spirit. I sing along. And the tears escape. It hurts. You aren’t here. And I want you to be. I miss you. Holiday cards? Families. Like we used to be. Everything has become a “used to be.” No longer what is. I loved our holiday cards. One of my favorite parts of the season. A time to share our beautiful family. But now I just open the mailbox to receive cards from others. It makes me sad. Facebook? I should cut myself off. Holiday parties. Festivities. Joyous occasions. Sure, I’d be fighting you to stay home, but one party with you? If only. Couples shopping. Holding hands. Our time. Choosing the perfect gifts. Schlepping from store to store. Filling the trunk. But oh what a wonderful night! And with your schedule, it was usually just one. The spirit of our season. Each year it was the same old, same old. “Smaller holiday.” And BIGGER and BETTER it would be! Today? All I want for Christmas? The only thing I cannot have.

i'm finePeople ask, “Are you ready for the holiday?” I give the perfunctory, “Oh yes.” Or (with a tilt of the head and a quieted tone), “How are you doing?” And I simply say, “I’m fine.”  I appreciate the gestures. The wishes. People don’t know what to say. They are just being nice. And I am grateful for that. So, “I’m fine.” But I’m not. I’m not ready. Not ready to wake up alone. Not ready for you not to be here to celebrate with us. Again. And, no, I’m not fine. I’m an emotional mess. Inside. But I smile. And get on with it. Because it’s better that way. I fall apart in my car. In the middle of a workout. My kitchen. My bed. But outside? I’m fine. Really? I just miss you. I wish you were here. And I hate the fact that you aren’t. But even worse, the fact that you never will be again.

So now that I’ve been a total Scrooge, it’s time to turn that around. I know I’ve lost the BEST part of me. The BEST part of my life. BUT! And that’s a BIG BUT! That’s truly the BEST PART! I was lucky enough to have the BEST for almost 40 years! I was blessed with you as my gift.

  1. I learned to love myself. If I couldn’t love me, how could I be true to others?
  2. I learned to be strong in the toughest of times. (Well, all but a few!)
  3. I learned to appreciate moments. To appreciate life. And to recognize my blessings.
  4. I learned that being a part of “two” takes love, commitment, compassion, understanding, patience, and communication.
  5. I learned to stop. Be silent. Be okay with me.
  6. I learned that gratitude is the greatest gift. It gives back tenfold.
  7. I learned that love so grand, so great, and so full NEVER goes away. You may be gone, but our love will be here forever. I see it. Feel it. And hear it. I know you are here.

So today I am grateful. For our family. Our life. But most of all for you. I hope you are celebrating with all of your family. Cheers! Happy Holiday! I Love You!

xmas 3

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing everyone happiness, peace, and a day filled with love…

greg eveloff

Gregger’s Legacy…Today It Begins

The grand poopah!
The grand poopah!

I’ve started writing this post over and over again. I’ve gone in so many different directions. But the same thing keeps coming back to me. I am overwhelmed with the abundance of love and support that overflowed on Sunday for Gregger. Facebook messages, texts, phone calls, collages, and more. It was endless. It is still coming. But the messages had a common bond. And that’s what keeps coming back to me.

One message stated, “ When someone like Greg leaves us, and because of his special personal magnitude of impact in all our lives, it’s like trying to fill a huge universe black hole. So incredibly vast and infinitely impossible to fill!! A true testimony to a spirit that changed all our lives for the better. Thanks, Greg, for making me a better man.”

This was the universal message. His compassion for life and family. The impact he had on so many lives he touched. He never said anything. He never let anyone know when he “did” anything. It was subtle. He was quiet. But he did it. Big or small. And he obviously left his mark on this world.

kindness gives (1)We can all do it too. Imagine this world if we could all leave such a legacy behind? So for one day, two, three, a month, a year, let’s try to live like Gregger. Let’s share his legacy. Be kind. Compassionate. Listen. It’s the simple things.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

  • Smile at a stranger, just because.
  • Let cars merge or enter the freeway or busy street- stop road rage.
  • If the person behind you at the grocery store has one or two items, let them go ahead.
  • Hold the door open for a few people to walk through.
  • Give up a parking space. It’s not worth the fight.
  • Fill out that survey for a Target or Best Buy employee. It takes a few seconds and means the world to them.
  • Help a mother with a stroller, an elderly person with their groceries.
  • Send a friend a card, just because.
  • Compliment a stranger on their dress, shoes, or smile. It really doesn’t matter as long as it’s sincere.
  • Give a hug.

There are hundreds of little ways to make a difference. To do the right thing. The good thing. This is what Gregger did EVERY DAY. This is how he touched people. This is why people are reminded to live just a little better. Be good. Do good. Live good. That is the legacy I think of when I say his name.

So today begins the “Gregger Chain of Goodness.”

Reach out and touch…with your heart, your words. You never know what someone is going through, but a kind word can make a world of difference in a person’s life. It sure made one in mine. 

kindness gives


Thank You

DSC_0077 (1)I’ve made it through the worst of times. Death. Firsts. And now it’s time to say “thank you.” I  need to divert from the blog for a bit. I would not have made it here without YOU. Family. Friends. Strangers. You helped me reach this road. You’ve been by my side on this journey. A journey that continues. A journey that looks toward the future instead of looking back in the past. I will always remember. I will hold the memories in my heart forever. And you have helped me. You have supported me in ways I never dreamed possible. You have given me strength when I thought my world was falling apart.

Someone asked me the other day, “Are you overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support?” How is that even possible? At the beginning I felt alone. My best friend was gone. There will always be an empty space in my heart. But thanks to you, I don’t feel alone anymore.  People ask, “Where do you find your strength?” I find it from YOU. All of you. Family, friends, and those I’ve never met but touch me every day. You embrace me with your kind words. You touch my heart when I touch yours. It comes full circle. When I hear I am giving others strength, it makes me stronger. When I hear I give hope, I know tomorrow is a brighter day. Positivity is a magnet. It attracts goodness, kindness, compassion. We give, we get. Thank you.

I thought this anniversary would be the most difficult day since August 30th, 2014. But thanks to you, I’ve approached it with new life. I thought long and hard about my choices. I could spend the time being sad. Grieving more. Or I could celebrate Gregger in all his glory. Celebrate his life. His loves. His passion.

To those I’ve never met but am so grateful for: The messages. Email. Facebook. They are so heartwarming. I want to reach through the airwaves and hug you. I want to touch your hand. Thank you for touching mine. You have no idea. I hope we can meet someday. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Truly.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

To my friends: I hope you know who you are. I wish I could name each and every one of you individually. Some of you have been around for years. Some of you came back into my life. Some of you I recently met, but you are my dearest friends. I would not be here without you. Supportive. Loving. Kind. Messages. Phone calls. Checking in. I am so grateful. 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

IMG_2071To my family: From day one. You have been there for me. I remember calling my mom and dad. Screaming. Sobbing. They were in the parking lot at Costco. But they stopped. And they have stopped every time since. My brother, Michael. Waiting outside my garage. Would not let me walk into my house alone. My sister-in-law, Cindy not far behind. My sister, Suzy, always there for me. And all my other siblings. Larry, Ellen, Linda. My nieces, nephews. Extended family. Salt Lake City. Always there for me. Always. A phone call. An email. A text. Whatever I needed. Never too early. Never too late. Thank you.

To my kids: No words. I am so blessed. Where would I be without you? Lost. In more ways than I can imagine. You have let me cry. Laugh. Share. You walked with me through the toughest roads. We’ve walked the roads together. And we will continue climbing mountains, forging valleys. Holding hands. Wrapping our arms around each other. You are my rocks. There are no words of thanks. But I know it’s not necessary either. You each have a piece of your dad in you. Even you, Tyler (I know you are reading this.) His courage. His perseverance. His integrity. His compassion. And, most certainly, his heart. I would not be here today without you. Thank you for giving me strength every day. To smile. To laugh. To move forward. To live. I love you. We will be okay. Because we always have each other. IMG_0945

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”

one more day

One More Day

Dear Gregger,

If I could have just one more day and
wishes did come true,
I’d spend every glorious moment
side by side with you.
Recalling all the years we shared
and memories we made,
how grateful I would be
to have just one more day.
Where the tears I’ve shed are
not in vain and only fall in bliss,
so many things I’d let you know
about the days you’ve missed.
I wouldn’t have to make pretend
you never went away,
how grateful I would be to
have just one more day.
When that day came to a close
and the sun began to set,
a million times I’d let you know
I never will forget.
The heart of gold you left behind
when you entered Heaven’s gate,
how grateful I would be to
have just one more day.

Scan 8Writing right now is hard. My mind is a mumble-jumble of emotions. And then it goes blank. I think about all the things I want to tell you. I think about where I was. Where I am. Where I’m going. It’s scary. I want to talk to you about it. I want you to tell me everything will be okay. I’m doing the right thing. I’m making the right choices. But you can’t. I want you to meet the new people in my life. My friends. You would love them. Amazing. Kind. Compassionate. Supportive. The kind of people you could hang with.

I want you to tell me you’re okay. I want to know you didn’t suffer. Are you at peace? If I know that, I’ll be better. Not okay. Not the kind of happy we had. But better. I made it through the firsts. There were so many. I never realized. They were tough. So hard not having you here. You’ve been my sidekick for 40 years. It’s like half of me is missing. How do I keep going without you? I wish you could tell me. I know you would have the answers. You always do. You always did. You were so smart. You didn’t think you were. But you were. About everything. I’m standing on my two feet because of you. You know that, though. And I bet you’re smiling. Punching those fists in the air. Cheering me on. 

2015-01-10 15.33.41I want to tell you about the kids. They are amazing. Each and every one of them. You would be so proud. They have each accomplished so much this past year. It wasn’t easy. They missed you. They miss you every day. I want you here to share the joy. We waited for these moments. Talked about them forever. Or so it seemed. And I’m so sad you’re missing it. But you must know. I believe you do.

Scan 70I’ve decided to celebrate YOU. No sadness. No mourning. No tears (if I can help it). I’m going to believe that is what you would want. Smiles. Cheer. Remembering the good times. So many. That’s what I want to do. That’s what feels right. Share the love. Share the joy. Share the good times we had together. I miss you. And I will love you forever. My heart is yours. If only I had one more day…

the first ten seconds

The First 10 Seconds

DSC_0058 (1)I have relived the events of August 30th so many times in my head. Rewind. Replay. I want a different ending. I don’t get one. I want answers. They don’t come. I heard the other day that within the first 10 seconds you have five immediate reactions to tragic news. I believe I experienced every single one.

Flee – Run away. As fast as I can. This cannot be happening. If I run, escape, it will not be real. It is a movie playing out on the shore. Someone else’s body. Not my husband’s. Who are these people wrapping their arms around me? Let me go. I’m okay. I can go back to my chair. Soak up the sun. Listen to the waves slapping the shore. Peace. If I run, I can hide. If I hide, it will be okay. But then I open my eyes. And see it is real. And I have to stay. I have to see. I have to believe.


Embrace – Hold on. To Greg. To Ashley, Ryan, Tyler. As tight as I possibly can. For the moment. Forever. Do Not Let Them Go. If I hold on tight enough, it will be okay. If I hold on tight enough, he will breathe. But he doesn’t. So I hold his hand. Cold. Getting colder. I hold it for as long as I can. And then they make me walk away.

Anger – Raging. Mad. You can’t do this to me. You can’t leave me like this. Alone. Come back. Now. You should have taken better care of yourself. I told you to rest. I told you not to work so hard. I told you I was worried. You should have listened. It’s not fair. But life is not always fair.

Sad – Devastated. Lost. Endless tears. Waves that keep hitting me over and over again. Harder and harder. Heart Aches. Pain. The sadness is overwhelming. I fall asleep. And suddenly awake. Terrified. What if he was in pain? What if he knew? The tears flow. They won’t stop. I’ve never felt such sadness. Will it never stop? Will it ever go away? This hurts. So bad. Go away. Sometimes I’m okay. And then it sweeps  in like a raging storm. It’s possessive. Stronger than me. I can’t win. So I let the tears flow. Until there’s nothing left. Because really, that’s all I can do. IMG_1383

Find a Solution – Why? Why does God take good people when there are so many bad ones left in the world? I search in my mind for things I’ve done wrong. Was I being punished? No. I need to be real. Rational. Sane. This is not part of someone’s will. Nor retribution for past behavior. It just is. But I need it to make sense. It never will. So I need to focus on how I can carry on the legacy of a man who deserved to live. A man who stood for goodness, kindness, honesty, and integrity. Maybe this is my purpose. If so, I must do it the best I can. To honor him. His memory. That is the ONLY solution. The ONLY answer. Be good. Do good. Live good. Love good. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

“I’m Free”
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took God’s hand when I heard the call;
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that place at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah, yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, God set me free.”
― Harold S. Kushner