A Happy and Thankful Life

A year and a day later

Yesterday was the year anniversary of John’s death. Here are my thoughts…

I’m thankful for the kind words that have been sent my way, for a friend that spent the day with me being very far from where I was last year, for having just enough something to get through the past year and few months. I’ve been told the future isn’t easier, just different. This is not a “new normal” that I asked for. This is what I was given. I’ve been shoved into a club that I never wanted to join.

But in this “new normal”, I have seen the best from people, and sadly, the worst in a very small number of people. I have met people that have been where I’ve been and understand. I haven’t been at my best this year. I’ve been far from it. I’ve lost who I am and I’m trying to get back to her. I may feel broken and not strong but I’ve been blessed to have the support and love from the people that matter the most to me. I may not say it enough, but I am thankful.


Sidenote : Don’t place your judgements or “what I would do” expectations on someone else; you don’t know how you will handle such a situation until you are in it. And even then you can’t judge. Every situation is different and as long they aren’t hurting themselves or others, how someone decides to grieve is okay. Grief will also manifest itself in a very strange ways. It is a very personal and individual journey.  


A year – letter to John

Last June 24th was a Friday. I was terrified that you would be alone and hated leaving you. I was encouraged to tell you my wishes….that you wouldn’t try to spare me or protect me by passing while we were away. We had been through so much together, as a team, that I didn’t want you to be alone. I wanted you to be in a loving and calm place – to be surrounded by people that loved you. Thank you for honoring my wishes. I hope I was able to honor your life and spirit in a way that you would approve.
Learning to live without you has been hard. Harder than there are words for. We have great friends and family that have been so supportive and have carried me through the hardest times. But they aren’t you. There is this massive John sized space in my heart and life that can’t be filled. I’m not sure why I post to your page…but I have these words that I need to share and I hope you know how much you are missed and loved. I would love to hear you yelling over PS3 at Larry one more time. To hear you debating some political or military subject with your dad. To see the love you had for your beautiful nieces and my silly nephews and niece. To hear your calming words and voice of reason when I am stressed. To watch another Yankees game with you. To see you play with the kitten you waited so long to get. To have one more hug and kiss and hear “to infinity and beyond plus one.”
I know I’m not the only thinking that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. You were going to be one of the 40%. My only hope is that what the hospital learned during your treatment, and afterwards,  has the potential to help future AML patients. Something good has to come from all this pain. You are missed. You are loved.

7 years

‎7 years ago today, it was a Wednesday and Titanic was at COSI. I was wearing a period dress and a hat that didn’t fit through doorways. You were wearing a security uniform. I didn’t realize that the new guy I passed while entering the Grand Staircase room would change my life. I don’t think you realized it when you almost walked into the wall. It’s a bittersweet day but I’m trying to remember all the laughter and joy you brought me, and our friends and family. We planned our future together for so much more than what we had time for. I’m so very thankful for the time we had but hate that we were robbed of our future because of leukemia. I miss you and love you.

catching up

I’m thankful that I was able to spend so much time with my kind friends in May. They allowed me to live in the now and not the past or grief.

As I get closer to the one year mark, I’m thankful that I pulled back on my blogging last year. Reading the emails I sent to family and the few posts I wrote brought me right back to the intense pain I felt at the time. The survival instinct that surrounded so many of my actions.

Yesterday I realized that it had been a year since John’s dad arrived to be there for him and to help support me. Things happened quickly after that. I posted a stream of thoughts on John’s Facebook page. I’m thankful for the kind words and support that were left. We are not alone in missing him.

I’m thankful that I decided to take the time to get my hair trimmed. Have 1-2 inches gone make for a new and lighter feeling after such an emotional evening.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to surprise my oldest nephew this coming Friday. For different reasons, we both need an escape from normal life and the chance to scream at the top of our lungs. I can’t imagine a better place to do that than on a roller coaster.

I’m thankful that while the spoken word often falls me, I can still get my thoughts out in writing.

Last June – note to John

Last year on June 5th, your dad arrived in Columbus to see you – to be here for his son and to support me. On June 11th, your mom and oldest nieces arrived to do the same. I knew what was happening but couldn’t fully accept it. It’s been more than a year since you were home with me. It’s been more than a year since you entered the hospital for the last time. It’s been more than a year since you la…st teased me about something silly I was stressing about. It’s been more than a year since I’ve heard you yelling at Larry over the PS3. It’s been more than a year that my heart, and our friends and families hearts have ached. It’s just not fair. 33 years on this earth weren’t enough. There should have more. We needed more time. You are missed and loved.