Wednesday, September 22, 2010

10 Years

I guess I don't recall ever being able to think about a decade as a block of time as I clearly as I can now. Ten years ago this month, I met this girl from Massachusetts with a kind of funny accent...I can blink and see a trillion images of her and I through our ten years; or 8.5 as I need to remind myself many memories.
Soon I will have been widowed longer than I was married. Weird facts like that pop into my head too often.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Almost 14 Months....

I made it.
The first of all the days of the year without her have passed.
I am happy; perhaps the happiest, or at least the most content with myself, I have ever been. She has left me with gifts that are beyond anything I could have ever imagined. The gift of knowing how precious this is. The gift of being able to forget about everything I thought was stressful. The gift of sharing it all. The little angel I have on my shoulder and the other right down the hall sleeping blissfully....

Not a day has gone by without thinking of what I had. But I am so grateful for what I have and how my experience has helped me grow into the person I am today. I only wish Amanda knew the new me and how much of a role she played in what I am becoming. I am eternally grateful for the people in my life who have stood by me. I am really excited about the new people entering my life who are giving me hope...

Randomly, the only tv show I watch is 24, last night on 24 - at the end, Jack's girlfriend is killed. He lost his wife in the first season of the show. Anyway, I watched as the doctor came out of the operating room - Jack looked up and the doctor didnt need to say a thing. I flashed right back to that moment that was my reality....when the doctor walked in and didnt need to say a thing... Jack walked in to the room where his love was, as I did....he cried, he gave her a I did. Excepy this isn't a tv show or movie.
Last night I cried for the first time in a really long time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

One year ago, I was spending one of my last nights in the hospital with Amanda before she became outpatient and we "moved in" with my parents given their proximity to the hospital.
Our days went something like this: Wake up around 6am when the nurse came in to take Amanda's vitals, call the NICU with our secret code to see how Gianna was doing (we were in two different hospitals), walk to Dunkin soon after for my iced coffee, get breakfast, log in to my pc to try to work for a few hours before chemo at 10am, get a "pass" to take ourselves to the NICU to spend lots of time with baby and then sometimes even go out for dinner. I was recently telling someone the story and they were shocked to hear it all happened in less than 5 weeks. Normal life one day, you have cancer, check into a hospital now phone call the next, Gianna born 3 days after that 10 weeks early and Amanda gone a month later. Really. I cant stress enough how weird everything seems. I'm really trying to figure things out and luckily I have Gianna to keep me plenty occupied and amused but.... I've been overloading myself with "stuff" to keep me busy; work, mba, baby stuff, going out etc etc but am I just delaying something? Who knows. Progress is a weird thing. I had a lot of random live feeling flashbacks not too long ago; I described them to someone really close to me as nightmares, except I'm awake and they are real...
I want to write about the last day we had together. But not today...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2008

Ironically, today x-mas eve, when going through a chest drawer to find some clothes for Gianna I discovered some cards Amanda and I had exchanged.

The card that most touched me is the one I gave her last year. We had no idea that in less than a month our world would be completely different and that in exactly 60 days she would be gone...
Inside, I wrote:
"My favorite Christmas gift now and forever is knowing that you share my life with me"
Our first Christmas in our new house and our last as just the two of us. Thank You for giving me a family and making me realize what really matters more than anything in the world. Making you happy makes me complete and I hope I can do that everyday forever babe. The new adventures of us are about to begin and I cant wait to share them with you! Love you always, Me.

I am at peace today and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Im glad its not beginning to feel a lot like Christmas - 60's in Dec is pretty nice! I thought this entire time around the holidays was going to be really tough but so far its all okay. I knocked down one more class toward my MBA that just finished. Gianna has been so fun to watch and play with over the last several months. Crawling all over the place, getting into everything she shouldnt, crawling up my leg to get my attention...she's so f'n cute.
I've wanted to write so much so many times but never end up doing it anymore. Why? I dont know....some of it is really dark and some of it is really really great. I think I have surprised myself at how far I've come from just a bunch of months ago. Scary to think its almost been a fact I'm already planning Gianna's 1st b-day. Weird year. Feels like a century ago.
I see a new life forming for me and am curious to see what 2010 has in store....
Be mindful of all the moments you have with your loved one. Someone once said "I've had my moments, I just wish I had more of them."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Came across this picture. It gives me the chills more than any other. This is in the doorway of the church where we were married. Ill never forget the other picture in my head in this same doorway. It was the end of the funeral - I remember the pallbearers exiting the pews first and carrying Amanda toward this same door. It was March 2nd and there was a big heavy snowstorm. I remember stopping at the exit with them to the side and the casket directly in front of me and the doors opening. It may have been the most beautiful thing I ever saw. The way the snow was coming down - blizzard like, with Amanda right there - my hand on the casket and a vague ray of sun kind of sneaking through the clouds lighting up this picture that formed right before my eyes. There was a significant pause or at least it felt like it - where I really just looked in fucking awe at what I was seeing. It was so bright and dark. People all around to my sides were just a blur. That will forever be in my head as the last time seeing Amanda. What a grand exit to Heaven she made...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Someone I recently met, who has been so tremendously kind, helpful and a really good friend to talk to, found this online and I had to share it because it really does a phenomenal job explaining many of the things I feel:

Cancer killed my wife. I am not going to let it take any more from me. While I am alive I am going to live - make every effort to have a good and happy life. I've got more misery than I want or need so I am going to take every opportunity to be happy when I can. She wanted to live, wanted to have the chance I have got and I honestly think it would be disrespectful of me not to at least try and make the most of it. I've been taught in a way that I'll never forget that life and happiness are liable to be taken from us at a moment's notice and my response to an unfair universe is to be happy in spite of it.
It's not that I have 'moved on' or 'got better'. I am not looking to forget, recreate or replace my wife. I still miss her, I still cry, I still talk to her, look at photos of her and think of her all the time but I am carrying this with me, accepting it as part of who I am and asking the people who care about me to do the same.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

6 months

Haven't posted in a long while but I thought I would today for the six month mark of Amanda passing away. I think about her all the time. I try not to drive myself nuts anymore by dwelling on her death like I did for so long. It sucks, yes. Worst thing in the world for me, yes. Nothing I can do to change it, correct. She wouldn't want me to be miserable like that. And I dont want to feel like that forever. For sure the hardest and darkest six months of my life. I've never felt such intense feelings of loss and such disinterest in pretty much everything. I hope things improve from here - I have a somewhat better outlook now. Still lots of grief to deal with and lots of awkward moments. Lots of secondary losses pouring in - ie symbolic losses, changed and lost relationships, etc which developed as a consquence of her death. Day at a time~

Gianna Rose is 7 months old and a little over 15lbs. She eats what seems like as much as me - she really really loves food. There isnt one thing she has tasted that she hasnt "demanded" more of...
She's starting to "chat" a lot more frequently and her pretty smile and gorgeous blue eyes always put a smirk on my face; just like Amanda used to...

Monday, June 22, 2009

These pictures are from the Ferrari show in Hartford on Fathers Day. Gianna was showing me what kind of car she wants when she's a bit older~Met a really nice couple that let Gianna lounge in the front seat of their Ferrari so I could snap a few pics! Thankfully she didnt puke, poop or pee as she has been known to do at inappropriate times in the past. She's at my in-laws tonight and I miss her!

Im getting real anxious about my house. It should be officially sold any day now which means I have get my ass in gear and start packing and figure out what the heck Im going to do with everything. Its very odd to walk in there. Ive only been there 3 or 4 times since Jan - but everything is so perfectly normal and calm in there. Pictures on the wall, clothes in place, just everything as it was...Like nothing ever happened. What life was like not that long ago. It really looks like a snapshot frozen. That was supposed to be my last move! Ive moved 5 times in the past 4 years. Im sick of moving~

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wow - Its been a month since my last post. Back to work - trying to get back into the swing of life but I feel oh so foggy still. My life is generally chaos but I think I'm used to it ~and it helps that I have so so many great people in my life that are there for me when I need them most. Especially my mom and mother in law ~I'd be totally fucked without them! So Thank You Momma's - I Love You both dearly. The one good thing I can say is that after something like this happens you kind of lose all stupid fears/stresses of anything going wrong in your life. Whats the worst that can happen when the worst thing possible has already happened, you know?
Today would have been our 2nd wedding anniversary~never would have I imagined what was in store for me that perfect day in 2007. It doesn't get easier as most may believe; instead it gets to be a gentler kick in the junk - but only sometimes - many other times it still feels fake - like no way that really happened. Seriously. But the reality is people dont tolerate those negative thoughts. They want you better. Your supposed to mourn your loved ones in x amount of time and then be normal again. Just the way it is. Maybe for them, but not me...maybe its the widowed in my twenties thing. I don't know how to deal with death either - you kinda just have to figure it out when it happens to you and I guess that what I'm doing. Writing online helps. Maybe for some its church, meetings, loneliness, partying, getting into another relationship or a combination of everything, etc. Try not to judge a person going thru something like this~everyone will have their own way and they need to (as long as their not really harming themselves-then you absolutley should help). I dont want you to think Im depressed ~I mean, obviously a bit, but Im doing okay ~more like sluggish and not all there~ I hang out with friends and family, spend time with my little princess, drink maybe a bit more than I should sometimes, and just try to figure out a bit more about life and how to be a good dad. I need to figure out who I am without Amanda~very difficult when I spent my entire adult life with her~ I'm, in a weird way, excited at the unknowing adventures that lie ahead. Our lives were so planned out and everything we worked so hard for was just coming all together. We were at the very beginning of what was supposed to be our lives as grown ups. Make no mistake, we absolutely enjoyed ourselves and spoiled the shit out of each other during the last 9 years and I have not one regret along that journey. That love we created will never go away~
But now ~never, ever, have I been walking so blindly. But it feels good to not have a plan for once. God has a way of saying fuck you and your plans. You can work really hard for money but it will never buy the time and true happiness you gave up. Make someone else happy - that's worth more than a couple bucks/stress. There is obviously a message in that and thats life~keep the important things, the really important things, at the top of your list. Dont sweat the stupid shit that we all stress about everyday that in the grand scheme of things are meaningless. And dont wait for a catastrophe to realize what's important. Let them all know it. All the time.
And lastly~a pic of Gianna holding my new license plate up~think of that Pink Floyd song...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gino chillin' with me at work, Enzo stealing my coffee, Amanda with some pretty parrots in Maui and a picture of the moon from the top of the Hyatt in Maui...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wish the bottom picture was real...but pretty cool what a talented photographer can do today with photoshop. Gianna was baptized on Mothers Day. It went really really well - she did great and looked beautiful.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Times goes on but it doesnt change what is or make it any easier. I want more of whatever chemical my body was making that made me feel nothing for a couple months. I took my ring off for the first time last night and put it on my nightstand without really looking - when I woke up I grabbed it and noticed that I had put it on a tag from a pillow or something that said "void if removed" - nice eh? Am I married? Legally I suppose - but I dont feel single either...and widowed WTF a 27 year old shouldnt be.


You can see how Gianna really feels about the Irish Bib! We fed her cereal for the first time - she sucked it off the spoon...funny shit.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Its been 60 days since Amanda passed away. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday others it feels like it was 10 years day at a time I suppose.

Gianna is 3 months old and is doing great. She got to spend the weekend with her other grandma and had a great time while I played golf and drank too much in Marthas Vineyard with my father in law. What a beautifully perfect 70 degrees it was out there...

Some pics of Amanda and I on top of Mt Washington

Friday, April 24, 2009

Relay for Life Event

Follow the link below to "Amanda's Pandas" team and, if possible, make a contribution to this great cause. Thanks to all my family and friends for setting this up and participating.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello, Im Gianna Rose and I have a fancy bracelet to show off! I also wanted to show you the special treat I made for my daddy this morning!!!

Consider yourself lucky that I didn't post pictures of what came out of my mouth after dealing with the above!

Monday, April 20, 2009

One of Gianna's first big smiles and a picture from our helicopter ride in Maui

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Check this group out:

What a great group of people I met yesterday at their annual dance competition.

One of my good friends knows someone on the board and shared Amanda's story. They decided to make a generous donation to Gianna's college fund. I got to see lots of cute little ones in dance costumes and cant wait for Gianna do the same!

It was very ironic in that there was no mention of dance when my friend was talking about Amanda. I found out that this fund raising corporation was founded by a bunch of dancers in the 90's...the same time Amanda was in her prime of dancing - Dancing was Amanda's favorite thing to do and she was most certainly there with Gianna and I yesterday. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Such a good mommy! Amanda got to spend lots of time like this with Gianna before she passed away. I miss those eyes and that smile so much.

Today is a big day for Poppa Gino and Mr Enzo - our persian cats. It was a tough decision to make but I put them up for adoption because I felt awful about neglecting them for these past few months. They loved their mommy. I was laughing out loud in the middle of the night remembering what Enzo used to do to my wife. Enzo had what I would call a "hair fetish" - my wife would be reclined on the couch with her hair hanging off the back. Enzo would storm down the hall into the family room, leap like a horse and attack Amanda's hair hanging off the couch - she would get so pissed at him! I would crack up and then she would get mad at me too! He would jump into bed and sleep on her pillow right on her hair. He would drag his toys all the way from the basement up to our bedroom on the top floor of our house and drop them on Amanda's hair in the middle of the night as a gift. But she loved them dearly. They are going to a really good home with two kids to keep them really busy. They will be missed but it is for the best.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So we took Gianna for some professional pics today and the photographer wanted her butt naked for a few pics...I knew that was asking for some trouble! So Im holding her and feel the inevitable warm feeling on my arm - but just a few drops so I hold her out and the photographer gets down to wipe it off the floor when Gianna is directly over the ladies head...Wanna guess what happened? GOLDEN SHOWER!!!! I was dying laughing...poor lady, well at least it wasnt #2 all in her hair!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another good one: "It's not other people's job to understand you; it's your job to make yourself understood."

Funny Quote of the Day - "If you saw someone you knew drowning, would you ask them to call you if they need anything?" 

Dont anyone take that the wrong way - its just funny how many say "call me if you need anything" I got a kick out the line above and hope you do too.

Looks like Gianna is gonna be a shot drinker when she's older. I started her reflux medicine today and the doc said it tastes like peppermint schnapps - she loved it!

Pics for today are Amanda on my old Gixxer and a picture of us when I had hair!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just want to give a special thanks and hello to all my fellow widow/widower buddies from our favorite forum...your all so helpful!

College Era Pictures...
Im in the process of putting together a young widow/widower support group in the Hartford, CT area since none currently exists. I've had someone say "Why dont you join a divorcee support group, they suffered a loss too." I said FUCK YOU (in my head) and decided to start one for people that didnt lose someone because their marriage didnt work! So Ill post details once I get there...


Cool Picture

Pictures say more than words right now...and this one is really cool.

Best Day of My Life

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello Everyone

I was inspired to create a blog after hearing and then reading about

I'm Dan, a 27 year old father and widower as of 2/25/09. My wife Amanda was my world for 9 years. We met in college and were together ever since. Amanda was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia out of the blue when she was almost 7 months pregnant this past Jan. Baby Gianna was born a few days later at 30 weeks gestation weighing 3lbs 3oz. Amanda began chemo but passed away from a terrible condition called necrotizing fasciitis on 2/25. My world was turned upside down on 1/18 when she was diagnosed - what happened on 2/25 has not become my reality just yet...

I have tremendous support from family and friends but wanted to post about My World.

Gianna is now almost 3 months old and weighs almost 10 pounds.