Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whew! (And Relay for Life Reminder)

Whew, we've been busy like you wouldn't believe. Since last Friday we had Natedog spend the night at Gran's while we had a houseful and a sleepover for Reese's buds from school including parents, Saturday morning two soccer games, lunch with Mom and some friends we had not caught up with in a while and then all back to our house (Jon and I had a bet that the beer we drank at the restaurant could not be as cold as our kegerator and we had to verify as it took a few more just to prove our point, what was the point again?), we finally kicked them out and another friend came by unexpectedly with three boys (including his golf cart so I was flying solo at the house getting some yardwork done while they were all off) and they played for hours on end before a quick dinner, baths, bed, and then our neighbor Lindsey came over and I went out late with some friends.

Got home around 4 AM, woke Lindsey up and walked her home, boys were up at 7 AM (movie time for 90 minutes while I tried to sleep but apparently Reese was looking at the TV the wrong way, or touched Nathans' pillow, or Nathan was breathing too loud or...or...or...), then off to a friends house for a pool party late morning, I stayed and then ran some errands, and then mid-afternoon and evening followed up by 40 plus friends/kids at our house for our entire Relay for Life team. The kids and I loved every moment of it (one of my neighbors told me yesterday that they're thrilled to live across from the party house as long as they keep getting invitations) and while sleep is just a memory or something other people need things are going great.

We had an incredible time at the Relay party except for a broken light all the kids got along amazingly well, our team has surpassed $15,000 thanks to all of you, I surpassed $6000 even more thanks to all of you, and it was all through small donations. The love and support we have received has been overwhelming. The event is this Saturday, it's 24 hours so even less sleep is coming, and there is still a couple more days until Friday if you still want to donate. No high sales pressure, please just do what you want and can afford because we are all in a difficult financial time right now. The link for my personal page is:

Thank you just does not cover how grateful I am to all of our friends and family helping us so much and now donating to help all of mankind (and womankind too which personally are my favorite between the two except for two young boys) because everyone has been affected by cancer in some way. Now the horrible rumors swirling about at the 'fun'raiser on Saturday about me dressing as a woman are greatly exaggerated and since I've been assured no one would be so disrespectful as to bring a camera or worse video I'm sure there won't be any stories to tell post-event. Stay tuned, I honestly don't know what I signed up for but apparently my team has honored (I think they might be leading me on with that honor crap) me with Mr. Relay, which apparently includes either a Joe Dirt look (classic flick enjoyed by all rednecks or those that just know some --- right Rachel?), 80's rocker (who doesn't love huge hair, I can't wait until that comes back and I'm teasing the boys' hair and buying hair spray by the gross), or cross-dressing (it's Saturday night and that's my regular thing so this one is no big deal). I was a cheerleader once for Halloween (starting to see the pattern aren't you --- no that was not me wearing Hope's pumps while weeding in the yard Beth and Rich!) wearing fishnet pantyhose and every single hair was individully sticking out through the holes. My friends kept just pulling them out until I started bleeding. Good times, good times and yes I've spent a lot of time talking to my psycho-logist about that night.

Great segway opportunity to get me out of my crossing dressing fantasies, I had my 3rd psycho appointment today. The pleather was great, I didn't lay down so I wouldn't fall asleep, no porn music for the 3rd straight time, and I'm cured again. I really do feel great after each appointment so far and I hope that continues (she tells me it's perfectly normal for me to wear Hope's pumps doing lawnwork, as long as when I wear the pink boa Hope won for being the largest 'fun'raiser years ago with the matching pumps and nothing else just in the house I'm good. The neighbors just let out a Whew! bigger than mine after last weekend).

We had two minor recent times the boys were individually upset about Hope, but we talked both through and they were quickly over. They're truly doing incredibly well, we still talk to her every night and at other times too. We tell her the favorite part of our day, kiss and hug her picture goodnight, and know she's with us all the time. I think for Mother's Day we're going to Disney for the first time ever (can you believe I've never taken my kids to Disney World?). We go to the other theme parks all the time but to date never Disney (sorry Dan I'll be cheating on you skipping Universal). My mom's out of state because she wants to be with her son she loves more instead than me (see even on Mother's Day you still have to feel guilty Mom) so why not hang out with the richest mouse in the world. Robin Williams had a great stand-up routine where he talked about what Mickey Mouse is like to a 2-year old, a 6-foot fucking rat (his words) and his baby screamed. He said Goofy always sounded like he was having an orgasm and does anyone know the difference between Goofy and Pluto (actually the last question is mine, I didn't steal that from Mork from Ork --- he's infamous for stealing other comics' jokes so I don't mind using two from him).

I'm still not balancing work and home stuff well enough but that's because I'm putting everything into the kids first. I'll get the balance, just time and paying more late fees is all I need. Whew, I'm exhausted but in a good way. Think about us on Mother's Day, we'll be in a fantasy world together with the boys' mommy on a day all mothers should be honored. We'll just be doing it with an orgasming dog and a 6-foot rat (alright Maria I just can't leave it alone, I know that is your ultimate fantasy as well). Saturday will be about survivors and curing cancer for future survivors, please give if you can and join us for an amazing celebration of life. They will be honoring Hope in some way and the boys will be with me there some of the time. Terrible segway I know, but Tina says the more typos the better Anna. I don't do spell check because things like "the Hoff" and orgasming don't show up. I also don't go back and read them all the time because these things are just way too long. Who can take that kind of time out of their day??? I love you guys for reading but I do this for my own sanity and healing, hopefully it can help others along the way. Whew! You're done with this one...

Monday, April 20, 2009

My First Funeral

The title sounds like a sitcom, but definitely wasn't funny or entertaining. I went to support my friend Lane at the first funeral since Hope passed away (I skipped out on one only a week earlier because I just wasn't ready yet) and it was quite an experience. It was the day after my last blog, and if you read "DISAPPOINTED!" on my last blog you could see the day before wasn't a good one. The service was at a beautiful piece of property right next to a 100-acre parcel that I've been working on for almost 3 years so I knew it well. The church was gorgeous, people were lined up like they were selling Hoff tickets in Germany trying to get in (as Norm McDonald would always say during his incredible tenure as the news anchor on SNL, Germans love David Hasselhoff).

That reminds me of a Jay Leno interview I saw once with the Hoff. He apparently had a pay-per-view concert once and it just happened to be the same night as the OJ chase (same night as the Knicks and Spurs championship game too but that is not really part of the story) so he was complaining that no one watched his PPV becauase of the chase. That's it, everyone knows they wait until after the concert has started before they purchase it on PPV. I die a little more inside thinking how someone so great with Knight Rider and Baywatch on his resume can fall so far. Now he's just one of the most downloaded Utube videos in his drunken rant on the toilet. Thank goodness nothing like that would ever happen to some of our other favorite actors like Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Johnson, or Robert Downey Jr.

I was off to the side visiting with Pasquale and Sam (Lane's son and husband) before realizing I better get in line. By the time we were getting close to the church they stopped having people sign the guest book and were just ushering us in around the sides. Just then Lane comes up, gives me a huge hug, and says we have chairs along the front now so come sit with us. Despite my penis and vagina speech during Hope's celebration, I am not the most comfortable person in churches like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (one of my all-time favorite dumb lines from a movie because not only was it a dumb line but it was the only line delivered in the whole movie by Michael J. Fox in the Secret of My Success with a mid-western accent and he was supposed to be straight from Kansas as Brantley Foster --- He was one upped though by Kevin Costner in Robin Hood whose accent kept coming and going for absolutely no reason throughout the entire movie).

Speaking of Costner, Bull Durham might just be the best all-time sports movie behind the Rocky series (you had to know that was coming if you read my blogs or just met me, even once) and I got to see Durham Stadium when I went up to visit with Will and Anna. If you're looking for a birthday present for me (or Mother's Day or Thursday) I'd love a Durham Bulls baseball hat. The season hadn't started yet so I didn't get to see the Bull or the get a free steak target in the outfield but next time I visit I'm hitting a game. I can just picture Nuke Laloosh (I'm guessing on the spelling Anna) tugging on his garter belt (now I'm picturing Tim Robbins wearing it so please find something I can stab my brain with to get that out of my head) saying to himself, don't think, don't think, while he goes out and throws a three-hit shutout.

So now my Mom and I are in front of the front row pew (the one for the immediate family) and about 10 feet from the podium. The service was absolutely beautiful and moving. Lane did two readings, her husband one, and they had a cellist (or celloist) that totally blew everyone away. I wish I could play a cool small instrument like that, drums, organ, or a grand piano, you know something you can easily take with you places. All I can start thinking about is Hope who never met her brother Ezra but knew Lane well would just be there smiling with open arms to accept him no matter what his past demons were. I just lost it, right there in the front row, crying my eyes out while I kept looking back at Lane and her parents holding it together perfectly. If I wasn't in the front row I would have bailed early but just couldn't without making a scene. I just sat there blubbering like when I was a kid and watched my brother Kurt palm a tailpipe on a motorcycle with both hands and his skinned just starting burning off and he couldn't let go (Tina the extra run-on sentences today are for you and just to see if Anna will lose it because in one of my last blogs she was the one suggesting I just switch over to men --- she does have a good point, we are a simple species and even after all my years I just don't understand women at all). I was absolutely helpless and inconsolable. I'm sure anyone that could see me was wondering who is this crybaby that sits in the front row, in front of the immediate family, and is crying while the sister and parents are cool as a mullett in 1991 in a $70 rental tux. Now that's cool!

For all of you that always wondered what the hell was Hope thinking by being with me now you know my secret, it was the mullett (thank you Joe Dirt for keeping the dream alive --- by the way I hope that movie was just the launching platform for an up and coming actor that I think the sky is the limit like Deniro or Pacino by the name of Kid Rock that acted his ass off in that movie while driving around a rocking Camaro). They had a powerpoint presentation and reception after the service but I just had to get out of there. Lane, I was so amazed by both you and your family's poise throughout all of this and just know if you ever need anything we're here for you. The service was absolutely a perfect balance of grace, beauty, love, and honest and I was honored to be there.

Ann-Marie (Hope's best friend that I just have always deal with and for some unfortunate reason Hope assigned her to watch over me) lives down the road so I went over to her house afterwards. She lost her dad a little while before Hope and had warned me the funeral could be extremely emotional. A couple of glasses of Sangria including killing the bottle I gave to her for her birthday (could tell because the top of the bottle was still indented from where I had dropped it --- see I like to leave my mark, not quite like Bill Clinton but a mark nevertheless) coupled with a good friend helping me got me out of the funk. Coop, her little son also helped as there's nothing like kids to get you back into what's important. We played (Coop and I that is), took a bath (Ann-Marie and I that is), and reminisced. Thanks Man-Marie for being there.

I am obviously dreading Mother's Day. Reese's class is practicing songs that they plan to sing, they're doing crafts with pictures of them with Mommy, and having a Mother's Day tea the Friday before. When they were practicing the Mother's Day songs he went off by himself and was upset/crying a bit. It's going to be hard, I think I'm going to pull him out of school that day and do something fun. I probably need to plan something for Mother's Day too that will be a great distraction. Any single Dads out there up for a day of debotchery with just the boys? Too bad my brother doesn't live closer. And to my Mom, I love you and we won't forget you either.

Since then things have gone better this week. Our weather has been gorgeous, both kids had soccer, we had an incredible 'fun'raiser that was a great success on Saturday night, and our Relay for Life team named after Hope is doing well. We raised over $1200 on Saturday night, I got to meet a lot of great new people, and Tom thank you for letting me borrow Judy for a short period that night. Next PTO meeting I'm making martinis. On Sunday this weekend we've got about 40 people coming over for the Relay team according to someone's estimate, and tomorrow night Reese's Pieces is having all his favorite buddies over from his school which we've never done while Natedog stays at Gran's. We're staying busy as always, and I know Whitney that I can't be alone with myself. Never have, I'll have time for that during my final nap. I've got to get a couple of short people off to school this morning, and that reminds me does anyone want to buy a Jeep or Durango?

I survived my first funeral with a little help from my friends, now I have to keep moving on by eventually going through Hope's things and consolidating vehicles so Andrea will stop making fun of me (older people tend to be overwhelmed by anything 3 or more so I understand Andrea why you tease me about it --- by the way if you have car trouble with a back-up vehicle you won't miss that dinner rush at Morrison's Cafeteria at 3 PM). I did not get through Hope's stuff before the community yard sale as much as I wanted to, but I'll get there. I am using both towel racks now, that's progress.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


This is a classic line from a Fish Called Wanda. That is one of my all-time favorite comedies that I got to see with my Dad when I was visiting Mass as a kid. Those that know me know I don't have much of a relationship with my Dad but watching this movie with him stands out as one of my best memories. I love Monty Python and it included some of the cast and much of their humor, but Kevin Kline stole the show. As Otto he played the perfect combination of a moron, thief, sex crazed lunatic, he was very bad with the Italian language and driving in Italy, and most importantly don't call him stupid. If you've never seen the movie rent it now, you won't be disappointed. There's a great scene after they had stolen a bunch of money that they came back to the getaway and it was all gone. All he did was jump in the air, kick the wall, and yell out "DISAPPOINTED!"

He was hilarious in In and Out as a gay man and in Soap Dish as a soap opera star way, way, way past his prime (you will never forget the gig he had in glorious Florida in the retirement home), great in Dave (he played the President as a non-politician perfectly but if only he got the girl and she wasn't Sigourney Weaver), and who can ever forget his stab at dramatic acting in the wife-swapping turned murder movie Consenting Adults. The ultimate fantasy turned into a murder plot, and you're the accused. Anyway tonight I have only one point, and that's that I feel like Otto right now when he found out the loot was gone that they had stolen, "DISAPPOINTED!"

I had a bad night but tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe I'll rent A Fish Called Wanda after I get back from Lane's brother's funeral. It will be my first since Hope passed, please send me strength. Per my last blog, please shoot me an e-mail or post a comment if you read this. I'm dying to know who is and I've already found a few people I would have never guessed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

'Fun'raising for Cancer

That's my new phrase, 'fun'raising! Nathan's school renamed their Relay for Life team after Hope's team the last few years "Hope for the Ta-Tas." I was a little suprised a school would use this name, but mostly honored. The love and support from both the kids' schools has blown me away. No way we get through this as well without both of their support. I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the team and as it turns out the only male member (I am going to leave that reference alone for the respect I have for Hope's family --- but that probably won't last too long knowing me) so I get to hang out for 24 hours with a teamful of hot mom's (there it goes already). That gives a whole new meaning to the 'Fun'raising I'll be working on (no Maria there is not a petting zoo that night --- one track mind on that one). So here goes my sales pitch:

If you're reading this blog you either knew Hope, know me, or stumbled across it googling train humping, the Hoff fan club, or just a normal day seeking out Kelly Kapowski references. Sorry no pics on this blog, just literary references. Either way the reason this blog continues to exist is honoring my wife and helping me deal with her untimely passing. I would not do it if it didn't help me every time I sit down and just blurt out my feelings. Well, this cancer 'fun'raiser Relay for Life is to try and help families not go through the torture that mine did.

I use torture because that's what it was for 7 years during our battle. Every time we thought we had it beat, we thought we had the right treatment or formula for improvement, we thought we had the right attitude, we thought we had enough love and support, we thought we had enough energy, we thought we had enough strength, we thought we had enough time, we thought we had enough treatments, surgeries, the right combination of medications and rest, every time we thought we were one step ahead of cancer the fucker came back stronger! The last time was 6 hours before Hope's 36th birthday, in the ER after months of absolute suffering where she admitted many times she would have committed suicide but she did not want the kids or me to find her, two days after a Thanksgiving that was harder on her then most of her treatments, we got the news that it had taken over her tongue, her jaw, her lymph nodes, and her throat. There were no more treatments, formulas, attitudes, love, energy, strength, time, treatment, surgery, or medications that would get us through one more battle.

I haven't cried in many weeks about Hope, I have fought back the tears the few times I could feel it coming on during different conversations. I am crying now just reliving this like I did that night in the ER to make a point. I put myself out there for myself but also to help others. This disease can be beat, but it will take time and money to research and prevent it for future families. Please help me help future families from going through what we had to. Everyone has been touched by cancer, especially if you are reading this blog.

I have 2 ways you can help right away. First, please donate to my Relay for Life team where every penny goes toward fighting cancer via the following link which will take you to my home page:

There you can donate if you are able to. Now I know we are in the most difficult of times right now but understand every dollar helps and the more people that can donate a dollar adds up quickly. If it's easier please send me a check made payable to the American Cancer Society to my home address and if you need it e-mail me ( Tell you what, if you read this blog please e-mail me no matter what just to say "hi." I would love to know how many people actually read this so please if you are reading these words e-mail me the simplest of notes or just tell me you think I'm a horrible writer like Anna.

No. 2 (for the locals only): River Rocks (formerly Chowders restaurant) is on US 1 in Suntree, on the river just north of Suntree Boulevard and Rotary Park, and has been completely renovated over the last 9 months so that you would not recognize it anymore. The menu is so much improved you won't believe you are eating from the same kitchen, and with reservations anyone eating from 11 AM to 10 PM (so you can do lunch and dinner there) that mentions the Relay for Life will have a portion of their bill donated toward fighting cancer. Please call 321-757-7200, extension 3, for reservations and don't forget to mention Relay. In addition to that, we are trying to fill up the private party room with all of our friends and families. We have it reserved at 6:30 PM so let them know if you want the party room versus a regular table. We can get 40 plus people in there and I've been known to buy a round or two from time to time so don't be late.

In addition to that if you have kids, Planet Kid is donating 100% of their proceeds to Relay and they are located in suite 103 at 3600 Wickham Road about halfway between Post and Parkway by the Grand Meadows Bay subdivision entrance. It's drop-in childcare for $25 per child or $35 max for multiple siblings. Space is limited so call ahead at 321-259-7529. They will have pizza, snacks, drinks, and much more.

I had my second psycho appointment today. My psycho-logist has read my blogs so she knows I'm an absolute nut job. Luckily she had not read the last one about my impression of what they do or at least she did not let on. There was this sexual tension the whole time where I could tell she wanted much more than my thoughts (okay I completely made that up but why can't I live in a fantasy porn world?) or maybe she had a donkey in the hallway (okay Maria that's all you get so you can stop reading this blog now) but either way we somehow got past all of that and I was cured again today. I felt great afterwards, once again relieving many of my concerns and just talking about different feelings. I am paying out of pocket for something completely intangible but it's so far the best money I've ever spent. Don't tell her, she may raise her rates on me.

I know this from our sessions: 1) The kids are doing great and that always comes first. 2) My feelings including the guilt on many fronts are normal and everyone deals with grief differently so I'm not ready for people to pay an extra dollar to go into the tent to see me at the county fair quite yet as the next freak show. 3) Her couch is too short for me to lay down on. 4) Pleather is suprisingly comfortable and feels like the real thing, or is it? 5) The Princess Leia chained to Jabba the Hut in Return of the Jedi fantasy is normal but it appears to be inappopriate to request acting it out at our session even though I had the Luke Skywalker black glove pretending to have a robotic hand and was ready to show off my light saber (okay Hope's family probably should have stopped reading this a couple of paragraphs ago). 6) There is no timeframe or formula for getting over losing the love of your life and mother to your children no matter how many stupid jokes you attempt but that everyone grieves differently and that I am 100%, no question about it, different. 7) The boys will always come first (see no. 1), unless of course that Swedish bikini model nanny comes through and then they're a close second.

Please help us fight cancer if you can. Please help other families avoid what we have had to endure in the future. When I think back to what we went through it amazes me our kids are doing so well, I'm even functioning at all, and with all the daily help we needed we still have any friends left or family that still talks to us. I will always be indebted to all of you as your love and support is probably the only reason we have survived as a family of three wisemen. Lane, I will see you Friday, we all love you, and we will try not to bother you too much but know that anything you need anytime we will be there. I know I speak for my family but also all of our friends from MI.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Two Tragedies and a Salvation

It's no 3 weddings and a funeral (which by the way is the only movie Hugh Grant was funny in --- not that Notting Hill wasn't funny but because of his roommate and not Hugh --- and is an all-time late night classic you just can't turn off) but since my last blog we have had two tragedies within 3 days of each other to our loved ones. First is an old dear friend Lane that tragically lost her brother and almost both of ther parents in the most bizzare and horrifying way possible. Her dad is still not out of the woods yet and Lane just know we love you and so do so many others. The fact that her parents are still alive is a tribute to law enforcement officers and their unbelievably quick action. Lane, we will be there Friday and I know that you know that I know that you know that if you ever need anything our entire family is here anytime. Anything! Anytime!

My favorite Lane story, she now lives like a hippie in Oregon and visited us last fall when she was in town. We were at a resort beachside because we had my brother and others in town when Lane shows up. I hadn't seen her in a while so she handed me her baby Pasquale over the fence and then walked around through the lobby. By the time she got around I had handed Pasquale off and we were catching up. She was going on about hippie life in OR and how Pasquale had never eaten anything that wasn't natural such as breast milk, home made baby foods, organic juice, etc. Just then I turn around and my step-dad is holding him while he's downing a Yoohoo. Welcome to the Wise family Lane! By the way later that night I caught him eating pizza. Just one more time the Wise family ruined someone.

One of Reese's teachers was involved in a horrifying accident that she was the driver and it killed her teenage daughter while her husband is in a coma with a tough chance for survival. She is one of the sweetest most caring people you could ever meet and her tragedy is unexplainable as bad things happening to good people go. My favorite story of her is that every year they have a trike-a-thon fundraiser and she rode around the entire school the morning of on a tiny tricycle with a jester's outfit on. That just got everyone into the spirit and if you've never seen thirty 4 and 5 year-olds riding bikes and scooters you're missing out. Our love and positive thoughts go out to both families. Both of these events make my family's situation look like a fairy tale. If these two stories and Hope's don't tell us anything, it's appreciate the moment. I feel like I'm able to do that right now with no hesitation, not planning much ahead but sucking the joy out of every moment as much as possible in the now. Seize the day, one of all the best ever movie quotes from Dead Poets Society. If you're not inspired by that movie you're dead or a robot.

Speaking of Robin Williams, who would have ever thought Mork from Ork (you had to love the cross-over episodes back in the day like when Fonzie was on Mork and Mindy or when Mork was hanging with the Cunninghams) would come up with Good Will Hunting? Of course it took place in Boston and one of the best scenes in the movie is when he's talking about missing game 6, yes THE GAME 6 when Carlton Fisk hits the most classic shot in sports history while he willed the ball into fair territory, and he didn't mind because he met his wife that night and we later learned she had passed away. He had absolutely no regrets for one second with his wife, and talks about her farting and not knowing it at night. I feel the same, minus the farts (Hope did fart for the record but it was only bad when she was pregnant). I'm as big of a Red Sox fan as they come, but I'd give up game 6 that year, 2004 or 2006 World Series game for just 5 more minutes with Hope when she was healthy.

I had a friend recently tell me they wish they could fast forward a year. Now there were many reasons behind her wish that did make sense, but I just could not let that slide. I would like it too at times to know how I'll be feeling, see if I can move on, and for so many other reasons but you just never know what the next moment could bring you. I told her not to wish for such things, enjoy the moment, and everything will fall into the right place but to most importantly enjoy the journey, don't just wait for the ending. Now I also promised a salvation in this blog.

I had my first psycho appointment about 10 days ago and I walked out of there feeling like I was cured. All my guilt and worries that had been piling up, she helped me understand and explained to me. I felt like Oprah had been lifted off my shoulders, and I'm just not a big enough guy to be carrying her around. My next appointment is in a few days, but the progress we made in one session blew me away. It also turns out we have a mutual friend that we are both close to which was really crazy, but that is a story for another time. Just in case you've never tried therapy, yes they do have a couch that was quite comfortable, plenty of tissues around, and unlike the porn movies I am used to (not animal porn Maria, no donkeys walked in) nobody was naked the entire time. Who knew?

I haven't blogged in a while because we've again just been too busy. I'm on 2 months now not watching any TV at home basically. I'm not sure why I still have Brighthouse at this point. You always get punished before and after any vacation, and our trip to NC was no different. We had a great time though, the boys were great, we loved seeing Will and Anna's house, hanging with them, and we even had enough time to get to the very cold beach to see a friend from Florida. We missed the wedding we went up for so for that I apologize to Hope's dad and family, and Amanda I will make up for it in the value of your gift that's on it's way. The whole beach trip was impromptu and could not have worked out any better. When I'm not in mixed company, ask me about the drunk bus we went out in on Friday night. I think we got home around 5:30 AM and if there any pictures Anna will pay you to burn them. Really she will.

We got home last Monday night late to begin the boy's Spring Break. Judy took the kids on Tues when I got back to work, I took off Wed for a fun spontaneous day in Orlando (we went to the Hotel Portofino at Universal to meet a friend we could never find but ended up at their pool for hours before taking a boat ride to City Walk and absolutely having a blast), next day was the beach, followed by two days at Nana and Papa's while I actually got some boy time off from boys. I was able to get some things done at the house, go out with friends, and pretended to be an adult (actually more like a college freshman but that was the fun of it). My mom just got back from 10 days in Ecuador right before we went to NC so she had barely seen the boys in 2 to 3 weeks. We had Easter at their place and now we're back home relaxing as all of us try to get ready to get back into the work and school grind (although we are about to go next door for some dessert). Speaking of my mom she is infamous for leaving the world's longest voicemails. You ever leave one of those voicemails you just wish you could suck back through the phone? I'm going to invent the voicemail and e-mail suck it back in machinerator. It will need a cooler name though like the ohshitsuckitbackerator 9000 or something like that.

Now that I am cured after one therapy session the world is my oyster again. I decided not to do the community yard sale next weekend because I just could not get myself to go through Hope's stuff yet. I am slowly making changes though like using her towel rack, calling the bedroom and our master bath my room instead of ours to the boys, not feeling as lonely at night anymore especially when the kids weren't here, and I put a stool in front of her sink along with the boys back-up toothbrushes so they can get ready with me instead of only in their bathroom. I am still wearing my wedding ring, don't know when I'll be comfortable taking it off. I still have her stuff in the shower, haven't gone through her night stand, closet or purse, and am reconsidering doing the teddy bear and blanket with her old clothes. I am not trying to make this place a Hope museum, but at the same time make sure the boys always know who there mommy was. Reese may not remember without my prompting, and they need to know they had the best mommy ever.

I was even talking to Will (Hope's brother) about the future a bit on my trip. When I do decide to start seeing women again do I want to take on a divorcee or otherwise single mom with children (that's how I grew up in FLA and to say it was a challenge is the understatement of the century), single woman with no children but might want some (I am not sure I'm ready to start up a new family again), or just hire an 18 year-old Swedish nanny and be done with it. (Yes Katarina, I'm ready for my third massage). I grew up with a remarried family and to say it was difficult would be like saying Sam Mallone on Cheers only kind of liked women. By the way, a combination of he and Norm are still my idols. Dare to dream kids out there, dare to dream. All-time two favorite Normy quotes were Woody asking what are up to Mr. Peterson and Norm responding my normal weight if I was 8'-10" tall followed by "It's a dog eat dog world out there and I'm eating Milkbone underwear." That's right, I can't remember my ago or my kids middle names without some prompting but just test me on any Normism.

Back to the grind this week, school, normal work schedule, and groveling for donations to Relay for Life. I'll be sending out a separate blog on that one. My two friends went through hell over the last week, I only understand a little bit of how they feel and would do anything to help them. I would give up almost anything for 5 more minutes with a healthy Hope, but I feel good most of the time now and have no regrets. I know I keep saying that but I think that's the only way to move on in a healthy manner. I love you like water Hope, I will always love you, your boys love you, and I think my salvation is coming full circle. Now if only the Red Sox can get some better starting pitching and Kevin Garnett will be healthy for the playoffs, that would be my next salvation.