Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bad Day 4 and Counting

First of all, I have to make a few corrections from my last blog. I do have another single friend Nick that I forgot about, sorry Nick. Second, I really do need to correct what I said about Reese's school. His two teachers, especially his main teacher, have been absolutely amazing. I was referring to other parents and not the teachers when talking about people not reaching out. The administrative staff has been equally supportive, so I did not mean the school hasn't been great. At Nate's school because Hope volunteered their much more often and we've done a lot more birthday parties because of the older age, I had many more parents approach me and help us out. Thinking back on it since my last blog I was being unfair. None of the parents there really knew us very well so I should not have expected anywhere near the same support from other parents. We are so lucky to have the two schools support us the way they have, because I'm not always able to keep up with everything (i.e. the bills are still sitting here but I promised myself after our 3 games today I'm getting them done).

One more quick item from the last blog. I received a long and very sweet anonymous post that I loved. There's no restrictions on length by the way as you can see by my long drawn out seems like it's not going to end run-on sentences---well you get the point. I cannot respond directly to anonymous blogs, so if you just don't want anyone but me to know who you are please e-mail me at home ( That one blog response helped more than you know.

It's 5 AM on Saturday morning which used to be "my time." I used to get up at this hour or earlier and run, work, clean house, or do something productive while everyone else slept. Today I just want to sleep more (I am still sleeping more than I ever have in my life and feel like I can't get enough) but I can't stop obsessing about Hope. I never normally remember my dreams, but lately I remember way too many and they are almost all about Hope. In a couple she's still alive so when I wake up I'm crying. In the others she is at her worst towards the end and I just have the powerless feeling I used to always have not being able to help my own wife or children. That feeling really sucked to put it mildly, and now my dreams bring it back. Why can't I just dream about Tina Fey like everyone else???

Since Tuesday I have steadily declined and can't shake it. Here's a recap of today, cried on my way to drop off the kids because Billy Joel's "Only the good die young" came on the radio, cried while sitting at my desk because a co-worker who is very sweet sent me an e-mail checking in on how I was doing because I know they can all tell I'm just not me, found drops of water all over my silk shirt from tears when I got up (I said the bathroom sink faucett exploded on me --- by the way the shirt was the last ever time Hope and I went shopping together on our way back from the Moffitt Center in Tampa), when we got home after I took the kids out to eat I got out of the Jeep first, followed by Reese when he says "Mommy got out of the Jeep before me Daddy because her spirit is skinny so she can do that" and I just lost it all over again. Both boys just hugged me as I sobbed in my driveway uncontrolably. I did the same thing one more time when I got in the house before I finally just put a movie in for the kids. I thought about a dozen people I wanted to talk to, but then just didn't feel like talking in the end (and I never don't feel like talking for those that know me). Yesterday was my brother's birthday, and I didn't even call him because I just didn't want to talk to anyone and we talk multiple times each week. My mom is even up there, but I didn't have it in me.

Sorry new blog record for even me recapping my TGIF experience with ramblings and run-on sentences (I know Anna is squeamish every time she reads one of these --- my almost PhD sister-in-law and more importantly long-time friend). Many of you asked me how it went with the grief counselor. It was the first time I spoke to anyone and I really didn't get much out of it except that what I'm going through is normal. She gave me a list of 50 "normal" symptoms and I got to pick the ones that best fit me. I was good for about a dozen if memory serves. She did ask me a lot of good questions to get me talking, but there were no break-throughs. I did find it interesting she was very worried that I was mad at God.

Now I know I'll stoke some emotions with this one and I do believe in God, and I believe God created life. Long before Hope ever got sick I never believed that God had a master plan for everyone (I believe you make your own positives or negatives in your life but no one entity is in control), I don't believe God could possibly listen to every prayer and respond to all of them, I don't believe our culture that has many variations on God is any more correct then the 100's or 1000's of other versions of God exist across this earth (except for the terrorists, I really don't like their version very much), and I don't believe if there was a just God that did listen to prayers and control lives he (or she --- that was for you Mom) could possibly allow the horrible things that occur everyday on our planet that most of us ignore because it drags us down while we sip coffee in our SUV's and complain about the weather. Don't worry I'm not judging, I'm right there with you most of the time. The horrors in Africa, the middle east, China, and even that homeless guy I never give money to because I don't want to encourage him to possibly go by more liquor. So no, I'm not mad at God at all as I don't think he/she did this to Hope. Humanity brought this on by screwing up nature, but that's our human nature so there's nobody to blame. I'm sad, but I'm not mad about Hope's death. Wars have waged for centuries over different beliefs in Gods. The reverend that conducted Hope's celebration told me that God has never once written a single word. Makes you think...One of my all-time favorite comedian lines was talking about warring over different beliefs in God is like saying my imaginary friend is better then yours. While I think that's strong he makes a good point.

Speaking of homeless, Hope once in Tallahassee saw a homeless man pandering on a street corner. Rather then give him money she ran to a grocery store and bought him fried chicken, a sub, and a soda. She tried to give it to him and he knocked it out of her hands and said I can't buy booze with that!!! That was back when we had no money but that was Hope's heart, and we ate fried chicken and a sub that night.

So all I basically learned was that I'm acting normal and to try and feel my feelings as much as I can. I'm certainly doing that much more then I want to at this time. I have felt very cold for the last 4 days, my heart aches for Hope when I have the dreams and the kids talk about her, and the rest of the time lately even with the kids I feel so lonely, so very isolated and alone. I know I'm not as we have the best friends and family a person could ever Hope for, but I just can't shake it. This is the start of day 5, hopefully the tallest of the three Florida Wisemen is on the mend. The good news is Kevin Garnett is coming back for the Celts, we signed Stephon Marbury, Ben Wallace is hurt for the Cavs (I would never wish ill on any player but I'm not upset he's hurt), and the Pats signed Fred Taylor today. I'm going to try and get some sleep and not dream about Hope, man I never thought I'd say those words...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bad Day

I can't explain it. I tried to figure it out all day. I tried to get out of it all day. I just couldn't shake that feeling between you're not sure if you have food poisoning, a hangover, flu symptoms (even though I never get sick - Hope hated when I said that but it's true), or did someone just kick me in the balls (excuse me, I should use language appropriate for a church like penis so as to not offend others) repeatedly when I was distracted? Maybe it's that ghost the kids always see but I never do that spanks me when they're around (although Reese to this day still tells me as we're winding that game up that it was him all along like he thought he completely fooled me).

The only thing I can figure is that yesterday I was talking to a friend (I don't know if that friend still reads these so I"ll keep it at that). Anyway I hold this friend in the highest regard but started thinking that I basically do not have any single friends at all (except the Mozz and Jen) and all my friends are married. I started thinking that married friends' wives in the future won't be as comfortable letting their husbands go out with me, their husbands wanting me to go out or be too close with their wives, and I have impossible standards that are unfair to any woman --- Hope and Tina Fey! I only thought about that for a few minutes but that's the only thing I can figure that's brought me so far down so quickly.

The last few days have been incredible. On Friday I had over for dinner Reese's new best friend from school who I found out had a sister exactly Nathan's age. The mom was divorced and was the only person in Reese's entire school that pulled me aside and talked to me about Hope and offered to reach out. The kids got along amazingly well, played all night while we just talked and the conversation at times really helped me seeing what I'm going through via a divorce where the other person is still around making you crazy at times (see how lucky I am?). Before we knew it 11:30 PM hit, the older two kids were out cold (Nathan had peed on the couch unfortunately for the first time in about 4 years), and the younger two were still going strong. They finally left around midnight so we had some tired kiddos come Saturday morning.

Sat morning brought Natedog's basketball game and he scored 5 points (the team's total was 14) in what was a classic Celtics vs. Lakers match-up. We scored with about 10 seconds to play but the ref called it off because the Lakers fouled us (typical evil Lakers type of blatant foul and cheating). We don't have free throws except at half-time so surely the game was over. Instead all my amazing coaching (okay we gave it to the best kid and told him to just drive and shoot) drew up the perfect play and he scored again to tie the game with 2 seconds left. It ended in a tie but more importantly to the kids they all got ice cream sandwiches and Capri-Suns afterwards. Game 4 in the Finals last year was almost as exciting.

We then went to Orlando and stayed with Dan and Amy and their two boys that are 7 and 3. We went to Universal Studios, the Mardi Gras parade, and our first ever venture to Moe's Southwest Grill (Welcome to Moeeeeee's!). Moe's was surprisingly good and since I love The Usual Suspects and Fletch I was right at home ordering. Excuse me, my car just hit a water buffalo, may I borrow your towel? The Kyser Salsa was especially good. If you've never seen either of those movies or it's just been a while, get your Celtics 2008 Championship DVD first and then these two movies. You'll thank me, it was back when Chevy Chase was funny --- no really for those of you 25 or younger.

We hit the Orlando Science Center the next day which is always incredible including my all-time new favorite exhibit called Grossology followed by a 270 degree, 8-story movie about the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon that you just felt like you were inside the movie and even got sea sick a bit. Grossology had a kids play area that you climbed in the mouth, slid down the throat into the stomach, and then crawled through the colon and rectum only to be pooped out at the end. I guess that means my boys are like corn, oh nevermind. Next it was off to the pair of guns that shot boogers into a giant nose. When the nose filled up with boogers it would sneeze them all out and then you would start all over again. I was looking for a giant finger to help the poor nose out but could not find one. That was followed by a scientific analysis about the tightness of the anus and what kinds of fart noises you would make. It went on and on like that and I was just glad Dan and Amy were there to watch my boys because I don't know if they were even in the room. I don't care how old you get, boogers and farts are always funny.

We then ran home to have a cookout with some friends we had been missing for quite some time and of course our incredible neighbors. They were going to have both boys over for dinner tonight to let me catch up on bills and work but Reese got sick this afternoon. I knew it was real because he said he did not feel good enough to play with Lindsey. Until now, Lindsey was the only way I could get him to eat some foods (by the way Lindsey you now have 27 favorite foods), behave or you can't see Lindsey, take a bath because Lindsey likes a clean boy, don't pick your nose because Lindsey doesn't like that, clean your room because Lindsey likes that in a man, etc. It's nice to know things never change with men, just use a woman and we'll do just about anything.

As usual instead of paying bills, applying for Hope's life insurance, getting work done, cleaning the house, or just relaxing I'm blogging. I do love your feedback so please post me messages. Reese is still sleeping and Nathan is next door so I better get some work done. Lindsey doesn't like it when I don't pay bills (okay that was kind of creepy). I still haven't really talked to anyone but I did finally schedule an appointment with a grief counselor from hospice on Thursday of this week. We'll see how it goes. I keep being told I'll get angry and ask why a lot but I really haven't felt those feelings much at all. Who knows what's normal and I've never actually been one to follow the normal paths. I just blinked and got kicked in the balls again, or was that just Erin's casserole I ate earlier today??? I miss you Hope, tomorrow has to be a better day, it just has to.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hope's Celebration

It's been a week since I last blogged, mostly because I'm overwhelmed all the time between work, the kids, bills, daily household duties, our last minute trip away, and the kids activities. I'm coaching Nathan's basketball team which has 2 more weeks to go (by they way he absolutely loves it and during practice and games is one of the few times I do not think of anything else) and his soccer begins this week with Reese's soccer the following week. Of course I'm trying to coach all three, but as I said it's my one and only few times where nothing else in the universe matters but the kids playing and having fun. Last game I even bribed the kids in the 4th quarter that if they passed the ball 5 times and everyone touched before they scored I would buy them ice cream after the game. They passed like crazy and almost scored 3 times. After the game the parents were amazed so I fessed up and next game I'm bringing ice cream sandwiches for them enjoy.

The last 5 days I spent in TN with my Bro and his 3 kids. It was an incredible break we needed so badly. Durant and Courtney (Dennis' brother and his wife along with Christine & Carolyn with boyfriends in tow) brought dinner Friday night (thank you again) but it was kind of strange. I love seeing them and we always have fun together because like Hope we all love games (we played Apples to Apples for hours on end) but they never once asked me about Hope or even mentioned her passing. (It was the first time I had seen them because during Hope's celebration because Durant was recovering and could not travel).

I wasn't going to go to TN at all but the greatest neighbors of all time (and I will put them up against any neighbors --- Fred and Betty with the Rubbles, the Duke's with Cooter albeit long distance in the country and downtown but the best mechanic around, Brenda and Brandon Walsh on 90210 with Steve Sanders and David Silver when they weren't at the Peach Pit, Norm and Cliffy (who will ever forget the Thanksgiving episode of Cheers at Carla's house), Jerry Seinfeld and Kramer (we were just talking about the man hands episode this weekend), the Jefferson's and Harry Bentley, Quagmire on Family Guy, and Ned Sanders on the Simpson's to name a few) gave us 3 free buddy passes on anywhere Southwest flies. So we were able to get away like I've wanted to for so long with no worries, almost no money, and just be with my brother and his 2 kids. The 6 wisemen tore up Knoxville for one weekend and the Laser Tag place will never be the same (by the way my name was the Guns for obvious reasons and I came in 18th out of 20). Thank you Beth and Rich for making it possible, taking care of Mocha, getting our mail and newspapers, helping me with home decorating, washing a quilt, so many meals, and always being willing to share a bottle or many more of wine.

For the first time since Hope's celebration I received the DVD of the recording at the church. It's not 100% complete as it cut out during Ann-Marie's speech. Thank goodness because after that was only Kurt ragging me like crazy and Ann-Marie talking about how she stole my credit card. Obviously it was emotional, but I did take 3 things from it --- 1. Will brought the house down with his raw emotion and love for his sister; 2. Hope's Dad does have a mono-brow; 3. I might go to hell for saying penis and vagina in church but anyone that knows me should have warned them ahead of time. Valentine's day was difficult but not nearly as tough as our anniversary. For some reason I can't explain I just lost it today at the airport with the boys in an O'Charley's restaurant as I cried my eyes out for no reason. Another family of four was sitting near us so I can only imagine that's what upset me. I was on edge since early this morning because I had a dream that Hope was alive and ran up to me and kissed me. I guess the perfect storm set me off but the DVD was the icing on the cake.

I talked to Ann-Marie tonight and she helped me along and that was after Rochelle came by with Nathan's Valentines he missed because of our trip, Glen called me to go out this week, Whitney e-mailed me, Hope's brother John and Esther sent me the DVD, Dan Neal offered for my kids to throw out beads on one of the floats at the Mardi Gras celebration at Universal Studios, and my neighbors came over and shared some wine (that was all between 5:30 PM and 11 PM). We are so blessed with family, friends, neighbors, and the kids schools I could never thank everyone enough. It's 1:30 AM and I'm have 2 kids to get to school along with multiple days worth of work to catch up on (that's of course ignoring the past due bills I need to pay on a bank account they want to cancel because it's based on Hope's SS#), and not to mention the short people living with me still.

I don't know what is normal, how to be normal, but I love that tonight I was not the main drama when I had my neighbors over, I talked to Ann-Marie about everyday life and not just Hope, and when Rochelle came over the focus was on the boys and not the drama of the last 8 months. I think that is progress, I'm slowly moving forward with the closest loved ones I have, and some day I won't always feel bad for not always feeling bad. I still have that sick feeling in my stomach most of the time, but now I think it's more Kurt's cooking over the weekend then just Hope. Rewatching the DVD of her celebration was tough, but also a way to restart over if that makes any sense.

I will always love you Hope, I love you like water, but I now understand I can't always feel bad for not always feeling bad. The boys and I had a great weekend thanks to my neighbors and brother, thanks for helping us feel normal again even if I had weak moments. They will reduce and we will continue to improve. I love you Will for your raw emotion for your sister and my greatest love at her celebration, you are my other brother along with Kurt and Scott.

Thanks to all,
Just Jake.

P.S. Many have asked me why Just Jake? It started because I always used Hope's e-mail address and sometimes people thought it was Hope being obnoxious and sarcastic instead of me. I finally had to start signing off so they would appropriately get mad at me instead of Hope. And of course compared to Hope, I will always be "just Jake". No one will compare to Hope.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies

As I have said many times in the blog and explicitly during the Hope celebration ceremony, it's the little things I miss the most. I know my neighbors read this so please don't think I don't appreciate the thoughtfulness of making oatmeal cookies because I do and I really enjoy them, but they always remind me of Hope. Most people that know me that I know know that I know that you know I don't like sweets at all except homemade oatmeal cookies. You guys have made them 2 or 3 times now, and I enjoy them so much (I am chomping on my 4th one right now by the way). They just remind me of Hope because she did not make them much, but always on my birthday and normally once or twice more each year. She loved to see my face when I smelled them or first opened up the container she put them in. I was almost as happy as when I open a new bag of potato chips and suck the first breath of air out of the bag. I do it like I'm on Mars in Total Recall trying to suck in my first breath after being on a planet with no oxygen. Maybe I should not tell everyone such things as it always embarrassed Hope. Who doesn't love chippers more than any other food???

I shed a tear today when I got cash out at Publix, our bank code is something that reminds me of Hope. How pitiful is that? I still can't go through her clothes, night stand, closet, remove her shampoo, soap, toothbrush, brush, or anything else from the bathroom or shower. I have no idea when or if I'll remove my wedding ring. That seems like the ultimate step and I can't imagine when I'll be ready to take that on. I will only sleep on my side of the bed. I still think she's in bed sometimes when I go to bed late at night after she normally would have been sleeping. I dream of her like she's still alive. Valentine's day is coming and if I see one more sweetheart advertisement I think I'm going to explode. I was going to hit my brother's place in TN with the boys over his birthday weekend at the end of the month, but now it turns out it's Nathan's last basketball game and first soccer game that Saturday. So then I thought I'd do it this coming weekend just to get away from the house and not be here for Valentine's Day but the flights are not working out. I have to pay an extra $120 to leave when I want and the only flight back that is not $300 extra leaves at 10:45 PM getting us home around 1 AM. I still have trouble making sound decisions so this is driving me nuts about what to do. Somebody just decide for me so I don't have to think anymore!

Friday night we had between 30 and 40 people at the house as a thank you to so many that have helped us with meals and everything else. I never anticipated so many people and the pizza place took over 1 hr 45 min to show up with about half of our order. Needless to say the kids and everyone was starving. Thanks to Tom Wood running to the pizza place himself and a whole lot of alcohol most people survived the evening without too much permanent damage. The only real victims were Whitney's liver and mental health, and my hands and neck as I had orange and blue (Gator colors for our northern readers) written in Sharpies all over them. Do you know how hard it is to either wash them off or cover them up when it's 75 degrees in Florida???

On Saturday it was off to an amazing party at Roo's house for Nolan's 4th birthday party (although he always tells Reese he's 5 just to annoy him) with a bouncey house. Any of you that have ever seen me at a kid's birthday party know I can't pass up a bouncey house. After most of the kids left I went in with my two and Whitney's two (Kylie and Logan) for what seemed like long enough for a whole other birthday party. At one point my last ever present from Hope, the Father's Day necklace, broke from its chain. For some reason it just devastated me so I rolled out of the bouncey house right away and told the kids they looked tired. I felt like I betrayed Hope by breaking the necklace but I was doing something I loved and that gave me time I wasn't thinking about her. The whole thing just made me feel guilty for having so much fun but at the same time I know that's exactly what she wants me to do. I still haven't talked to anyone about all of this so it's just bleeding out on the keyboard. Sorry, I have no control.

I want to get out of here but don't where to go. St. Augustine with the boys, Sea World or Disney for a day, TN next weekend with the odd flights to see my brother, ditch the kids and hit the Bahamas with my brother, go to the Keys with Jon/Tina and all the kids, and Roo/Man-Marie and I have been talking about renting a cottage some place to get away. I caught up finally after months of struggling with past due bills and doctor notices and now they are piling up again. I have to cancel our bank account because it's under Hope's social security number but it's the one we pay all the bills and I just lost my credit card. The bank calls me daily and I just say I'm too busy to come by. How long do I think that excuse will last??? Actually it's really not an excuse, I feel most of the time I can't even breathe between basketball, work, kiddos, home, bills, and trying to keep up with all types of correspondence.

Now I feel like I'm bitching about how many people care and help us, when all I really want to do is thank everyone for the amazing love and support we have received. Almost every blog response has said to screw the thank you cards, and right now they collect dust next to the answering machine (yes I'm still living in the 80's with an answering machine). Actually it has Hope's voice recording so as long as it works I'm keeping it. You can still call her cellular too and get her voicemail, I'm not sure if I'll ever get rid of that. I wish someone would just give me directions like I was making a casserole in how to feel, what to do, or just give me simple rules like this is right or wrong to feel, you should react this way, or best of all on this date you will feel like your old self. So far, nobody has the right recipe I've seen.

The only exception is the oatmeal cookies, they remind me of Hope, I feel more like she's here when I see, smell and savor their taste, and I think I'll go have my fifth of the night right now. What's better than Shirah and oatmeal cookies? The Spurs beat the Celtics today making my neighbors happy while we grilled out here, and they left the oatmeal cookies which made me happy and I still feel guilty for feeling happy most of the time. The good news is that every bite and every smile I feel less guilty since January 7th. I love you Hope and I think I will always feel a little guilty you are not here to enjoy everything with me, and that will never change no matter how many oatmeal cookies I eat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Anniversary Hangover

I don't think I realized how upset I was yesterday for our almost 12th anniversary until I re-read my blog last night after getting multiple e-mails with a much different tone then in the past. By the way I do love all the blog comments, e-mails, phone calls, cards, visits, etc. as they keep me from being as lonely. Some challenge my beliefs, some are just entertaining like all of the problems I found out about, and some are just heartfelt e-mail hugs that I always appreciate (I think Rachel has set a new world record for e-mail love --- sorry Brad). I think I just hit rock bottom last night, hopefully like the market, Michael Phelps, and the Celtics after their 2-7 west coast trip. I know I can only improve upon yesterday and am already feeling better today. I lost my credit card over the weekend and suffered through Sunday, but overall it was really a great weekend.

My Aunt Lois and Uncle Cliff stayed with us from Mass and we had a great time. They already had a Wii at home so they were able to play with the boys while I actually got to do things like go for a run (do you know how hard it is to be able to do something so simple when you can't leave the kids alone in the house?), take care of some things around the house, and visit some friends. Saturday night I was able to connect with a friend I had not seen since junior high school with Roo, Janeen, and Steve. Sunday I just felt nauseaus (Roo how do you spell?) all day, and really starting getting upset in the evening. You would have thought with the incredible showing from FSU alums (Dockett, Boldin, Cromartie, etc.) and a great game it would have improved things but maybe it was that Conan O'Brien commercial that really did me in.

Today I had 3 people out sick in my group, spent 90 minutes at one of our banks with death certificate in hand trying to get on the kids' bank accounts, on Hope's IRA, and instead of just making me the primary now on our joint accounts I have to start up all new accounts. It's ridiculous, so now I have track every check and wait until they are all cashed before switching everything over followed by throwing out the hundreds of now useless checks we already purchased. I also met with the attorney that did our living will and trust and had to go by the funeral home to pick up some thank you cards they forgot to give me before. By the way, I want to send thank you cards to everyone and some day I'll get to them but right now I feel like the last jelly donut at the table with Oprah, Rosie, and Roseanne with everyone trying to get a bite at me while being squeezed to get the jelly out. I don't have a fighting chance to get to such things.

The most important thing is that the boys are good, and I think I need a vacation from being off work for most of 2.5 months now. Maybe getting out of Melbourne for a bit would do all 3 of us Wisemen some good, as long as it's south of the Mason-Dixon line. I'm still a yankee (actually Red Sox) at heart but I can't take the cold anymore. The last winter we were up north in New England Nathan got pneumonia and Reese was on a nebulizer (I have not idea how to spell that word either). So those of you keeping up with the blog still, you are helping me with comments and e-mails and it is incredibly helpful for me to be doing it. I don't talk to anyone about Hope and I'm not sure why. I almost did the other night when I was with Erin (a co-worker) but for whatever reason once again decided against it. Maybe I'll be more comfortable down the road. By the way we were at Chili's where I had a brush with greatness, I sat next to the table with the knee-brace lady from the "you paid too much!" commercials. Those of you outside the Brevard TV market won't know that reference but I guarantee the rest will.

Hopefully the market, Celtics, Kurt Warner, and I are back on the way up finding our groove again. Once you bottom out there are only brighter days ahead. I think that's what I've got ahead of me and I'm looking forward again. Don't ask me what I'll be doing but at least I'm looking down the road. HOPEfully that will lead the 3 wisemen back to daily happiness, eating chocolate cake for breakfast like they did Sunday more often, another Celtics banner, and my favorite phrase of the Spring that pitchers and catchers are reporting. That's when we Red Sox fans once again spring to life with dreams of CC Sabathia exploding while eating fried chicken buckets and A-Rod (or A-Fraud as his teammates call him according to Joe Torre) getting a venereal (again no idea how to spell, Rochelle?) disease from Madonna. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom here in sunny Florida, and I think my hangover for a day is over.

P.S. I have to thank my cousin-in-law Joe (he played guitar and sang at Hope's celebration closest to where we were sitting) one more time for probably the most heartfelt, helpful e-mail I have received to date. I admire Joe for more reasons then I could ever describe herein (except for his 4 lazy do-nothing children), and for him to share his own experiences just on the off-chance they might help me while I know he's going through work and Mave issues just blew me away. Thanks to all the Joe Plumbers (I mean singers) out there that are loving and supporting my family through this. We are getting stronger every hour and every day will be better then yesterday. We miss you Hope!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Know I do the blogs for myself, no other more self righteous self-involved reason. They help me, not much else does except the boys, and I absolutely don't care if anyone thinks I do them for attention or anything else. If you think that, read something else. I really don't care.

Today was the worst day of my life, I've never missed Hope more, it should have been our 12th anniversary, I felt alone although I was with friends and family all day, not even fried pickles tasted good which tells you I was hurting. I'm tired, I'm tired of not feeling right, I'm tired of feeling guilty, I'm tired of thinking I should do more but I don't know what more I can do, I'm tired of feeling guilty when I feel good, I'm tired of not feeling good enough, I'm tired of feeling guilty when I'm hard on the kids, I'm tired of feeling like I'm not hard enough on the kids, I'm tired on not being sure of what I'm doing all the time, I'm tired of not getting enough sleep or way too much, I'm tired of feeling dependent on others, I'm tired of people being upset because I don't ask for enough help, I'm tired of all the phone calls and e-mails but hope they don't slow down because they keep me going, I'm tired of making plans but at the same time that's all the keeps me going, I'm tired of work but I miss it so much, I'm tired of crying all the time but trying not to do so all the time, I'm tired of being short with the kids when they need more love and patience then ever, I'm tired of feeling guilty of not working more when over the last 9.5 years I've put in more soul than Jim Baker on a telethon weekend, and I'm just tired trying to keep up a positive front. It's not that I'm not positive, I'm just tired of showing it up front all the time. I love you hope, happy 12th anniversary, and please know that I'll never be tired of you, just tired of the fight to keep my body and soul from being with you. I love you like water...

Happy Anniversary

Over two hours ago was the start of our 12th anniversary. At the time I was out with Rochelle, Janeen and Steve, and an old friend from elementary and junior high Anna. It's cold here for us (sorry for the rest of the NE), we went to a couple of bar/restaurants, and then came home for a fairly unevnetful night. So here I sit at 2:22 AM, numb as I normally feel. I obviously miss Hope, the boys miss Hope, we talk to her every day, but for the most part the long hard feelings are gone. We still cry once in a while, but they are fewer and further between. We know she is with us, but every day feel like we have moved on a bit more. I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow at brunch at my Mom's house with Aunt Lois, Uncle Cliff, Papa and the boys, but I hope it's not sadness and I don't think it will be.

Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday, and a milestone in our amazing relationship. If she was here, we would have probably been with the boys in the morning, and then gone off for the night on Sunday to watch the game together (so she could watch the commercials) until we came home Monday night. After all we watched the NBA playoffs in both NY, CA, TX and Quebec in the past. She always put up with me, no matter what the circumstances were.

The NFL will crown a new champion tomorrow, The Boss will play music, and I will rejoice in 12 years of marriage to the most amazing saint of a woman ever imagined. Our marriage is not over, we will not forget, and we will all 4 be together forever as a family. I know you love me like water, as I love you like Tom Brady (in a manly way---not that I haven't noticed how good looking he is?!?).