Saturday, April 6, 2013

Running for Andy

Hi all,

Once again, its been awhile.  The 2 year anniversary (the word 'anniversary' just doesn't seem right) of Andy's death was in early February. As its been another year, it wasn't as if we forgot it, but more like we worked through it.  I find that I miss him most for the big events (holiday, births, Opening Day) and am still amazed how that aching feeling sneaks up during the mundane day to day activities. 

All in all everyone is good, we continue to live, to have fun and grow, and to remember Andy in various ways.

A few weeks ago, we had a blizzard here in Massachusetts. (And then a few days later, more snow, and the a few days after that, another foot... you get the idea about NE winters).  sWe were lucky in that we had power throughout the storm, so we hunkered down inside for 24 hours or so while 3-4 feet of snow built up outside. 

At the end of the blizzard, I was struck by a few things that I saw.  There's always beauty after the storm.  For me, I got to see my 7 year old stepdaughter showing my 1 year old son the snow - which was well over his head out the door, on the porch.  It was awesome to see her holding him, showing him the snow, and the wonder on his face, the happiness on hers. 

After a few days of shoveling, on Sunday evening, we had a beautiful sunset, with all the glory of a cold fresh NE day lighting up the woods and hills of snow around us.  At the end of every storm the sun comes back.  It's true of recovering from a death as well, everyone recovers in their own time and manner.

And then in mid March we welcomed a little girl, Lorelei Marie, into our family.  We're thrilled, and it is awesome to see Nicholas, Maggie and Ian light up to have another little sister/ cousin in the family.

Of course, these are the times that I miss Andy most.  He'd had loved being an uncle.

Our family friend, an older sister for Andy and I growing up, is running the 2013 Boston Marathon in Andy's memory, and in honor of our Dad who's on his 4th bout with prostate cancer.  This is the second time she's run for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) team, the first being April of 2011 shortly after Andy's passing.  In 2011 she raised $12000, and in 2013 her goal is to raise $18000 for a total of $30000 over the two runs.  Details about her fundraising can be found on her personal donation page here:  We'll match the next $300 in donations made today to Jamie's run.

If you live in the Boston area, Jamie has organized a really cool fundraiser today in Framingham.  She's hosting an auction and autograph session at CJ's Northside Grill, 911 Edgell Road in Framingham, from 300 - 500 PM.  Steve Grogan, former NE Patriots quarterback will be on hand to sign memorabilia for $15 an autograph, with all proceeds going to DFCI.  There will be free ice cream for kids, a live auction for Celtics tickets, Red Sox tickets, autographed sports memorabilia, and a 50/50 raffle.  A portion of the proceeds of food purchases during this time will also benefit DFCI. As today is Saturday, there's also a classic car show going on today.

So! Please visit her site, and donate, and I'll match the next $300, and if you're around Framingham come on down and we'll see you at CJ's Northside Grill.  It's a beautiful day for just this type of family event.

Hope all are well -



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

37th Birthday

Hi all,

It's election night in America, a pretty exciting time.  Best guess is that as I type this most of you are tuned into the ongoing coverage - I can hear it in the background downstairs, and I'll head down in a bit to watch as well.

I always get excited to vote.  It's incredible that we have this right - millions around the world don't - and I love seeing everyone participate.  Today when I walked in to the polling station I was met by an older volunteer from the League of Women Voters, offering to tell me what district I was in and where in the gymnasium that voting station was setup.  A high school girl aligned me in the right line for our street, and then another retired volunteer checked me.  It really does make me proud to be an American and to have the right to participate in our electoral process, no matter the outcome.

All that excitement aside, today I didn't think much about the election.  Tomorrow is Andy's birthday - he'd be 37.  It's hard to imagine him still not here with us.  So today I thought about Andy, and tomorrow I am sure I will as well, more than usual.

I tell you what I would want - "4 more years", even 4 more months, good months with Andy.   Time for my son, step daughter to know their uncle.   Time for Nicholas to have with his father, to see Andy with his son.  Time for my parents to have with their son, time for Jen to have with her husband.  Time for all of us to have fun with Andy.

But I can't have them, so I have the memories and feelings that pop up, creep back in every once in a while.  For me, one of those memories was this morning.  Ann mentioned that she had taken Maggie to the polls in the past as we walked by parents with their children with them.  Later in the day I remembered Andy and I with my mom at a polling station in Framingham, years ago.  Mom is not the of the "tall" stature; while we were walking into the booth, a volunteer came racing over, demanding to know what we were doing... She thought we were three kids - sans parents - trying to vote, and that made Andy and I laugh.

A lot has happened recently to honor his memory.  Jeff and Sarah Brockett ran the Marine Corps Marathon in DC a few weekends ago, joining a team from the Lung Cancer Alliance to raise funds and awareness for this disease.  Its what we did last year as Team Andy - this year, through injuries and attrition, and scheduling issues, only Jeff and Sarah could participate, and they made us proud.  If you'd like to contribute to their efforts, you still can by going to Sarah's website.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month.  LCA is hosting an event a week from tonight, Tuesday 13th November, in the Prudential Center to call attention to this disease.  I'll be participating as part of the NE chapter of LCA.  Heather Unruh of WCVB is hosting, and the Pats' TE Rob Gronkowski will be a guest of honor as well.  The informational fair starts at 630 and the vigil starts at 730. I'd love to see any and all old friends of Andy's come by if you can.

More information can be found here: Shine a Light Boston Vigil.  And if you're not in the Boston area - there are 90 vigils planned nationally this year, you might have one near you; check out the LCA Shine a Light listing.

So tomorrow, while we're all recovering from this election, have a beer or toast to Andy and wish him a happy birthday. 

Happy Birthday Andy, I love you and miss you.

Take care all.