Showing posts from 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Well, let me just start by saying the obvious: this was not a good year.  Okay, you knew that.  I don't want to belabor the tragedy of this year and wear the cloak of grief again.  I've worn that enough.  I've worn it out.  I hate that cloak.  A new friend of mine told me that too often we try to rush through grief.  I don't think I rushed through anything.  My son and I can attest that there have been far too many difficult periods. Rather, I want to dedicate this Christmas letter to thank the people that reached out and helped Rob and me this year.  From the very moment that tragedy struck and Sherri was taken from us, friends, family and long lost acquaintances reached out to help.  The outpouring has been and still is astounding. To my parents, brother and sisters, nephews and nieces.  You dropped everything and you came to sit through the vigil as we waited to hear about Sherri.  I will never forget the compassion you showed to Rob, Emily and me that day and co

Hopyard Nights

I've seen post traumatic stress syndrome.  He sits across from me at the Hopyard Ale House in San Ramon at least once a week for the past 4 months.  He makes very funny observations and he has very funny tales.  I think most of the time he just laughs at my embarrassing behavior as I constantly misunderstand what the server is saying to me.   He's engaging and very interesting to be with.   But he also doesn't sleep and he has other serious manifestations of stress.  I can't imagine the utter shock and convulsive agony it was to find her.  I wished so much that it hadn't ever happened and I wish even more it hadn't happened to him. We talk.  We talk about plans.  We come up with party ideas.  We talk about his friends and his school plans.  We talk about girls he likes.  We talk about girls he should like.  We talk about his writing; he is an excellent writer.  We talk about current events and films we've seen. We talk about Sherri.  We work through it,

Stockholm Syndrome

You know, my last blog post was a very heartfelt, emotional catharsis and I expected my next post to get back to the observational absurdities that typically fill these updates.  I'm not quite there yet.  I literally cried every day for 6 weeks after Sherri passed away.  Now I cry randomly.  They say crying is good for the spirit because it helps you release the emotions   They say you feel better.  I'm not so sure.  I do know that it's not every day, so I guess that's a sign that things are trending in the right direction. I'm in Stockholm.  That's Stockholm, as in capital of Sweden, not Stockton, as in the arm pit of California.  Minor apologies to anyone from Stockton.  It was sunny today, which is totally appropriate for a Sunday, and every Stockholmeo was outside taking in the sunshine like worms coming out after the rain.  I had flown in this morning and after I checked into the hotel, I decided to take a walk around the center of the city.  I walked for

And so I write

They say that life happens while you're making other plans.  In my last update, I wrote about Bob and the letter his wife Leah had written.  At the time it broke my heart to read her words about Bob's terminal cancer.  I couldn't imagine the pain she was enduring.  I still can't imagine her pain but on April 6th I got my own dose of life's fateful twists.  I apologize to those of you who are learning about this just now.  On April 6th my wife Sherri passed away from a unpredicted brain aneurysm.  And just like that, a beautiful life has left us and the world changed.  The memorial service was beautiful as it was traumatic.  Our children, Emily and Rob, delivered incredibly heartfelt eulogies for their mother and I couldn't be prouder of them.  We each wrote letters to Sherri and included them in the service program.  Mine is posted on my blog .  Every day since has been a fog of tears, confusion, anxiety, lack of concentration, sleepless nights, compassionate

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

Dear Sherri, "Well done, good and faithful servant" That's what the card said on the flowers that arrived for you. As soon as I read it, I was overwhelmed by a deluge of tears and sobs. As soon as I read it, I knew it fit you perfectly. Of course you would have recognized immediately where the verse originated; I had to look it up. Sherri, you are a woman of uncommon generosity, boundless love and unwavering faith. The stories people recounted over the past few days confirm that statement. People that know you are amazed at your kindness and all of them miss you dearly. We met under the most awkward of circumstances on Halloween night 31 years ago; I thoroughly embarrassed myself at Ken and Liz's Halloween party by hovering over you and trying to get you to remove that full length green sweater to reveal the risque "I Dream of Genie" costume underneath. You would not relent even though I tried every trick in the book to get you to take it off. After

We Have to Stand Up for Each Other

"We have to stand up for each other" Not the typical opening for my blog updates but I thought it was so poignant, I had to use it. My friend Kaval wrote that to me after I sent my last update about Bob's fight against non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It couldn't be more true. I was talking with my friend Sven about life, the universe and relationships. Sven was talking about how the movie Up in the Air really hit the nail on the head with its theme that life is richer with friendships. It may seem obvious, but all of us get caught up in the chaos of everyday life and we may lose sight of the temporal nature of friendships. What Sven and Kaval so simply illustrated is that you have to treat friendships like treasures and part of that obligation is, as Kaval put it, "you have to stand up for each other." Which leads me to fighting cancer. We all know someone that has fought cancer. Not necessarily a blood cancer, but we have friends and loved ones that have fought
Here We Go Again My alarm went off Saturday morning, February 27th at 5:15am. I could hear the wind blowing the rain against the window screens. I saw by the thermometer on the window, it was 48 degrees outside, definitely hypothermia conditions. I wasn't supposed to be doing this. I had started a new job two weeks ago; the economy is dismal; I wasn't planning to participate in Team in Training this year. I just didn't have the time or energy to do this. As with many plans, life seems to get in the way. Earlier this month, I learned that my friend, former co-worker, and fantasy football league compadre, Bob Norling had a recurrence of the non-Hodgkins lymphoma he had been treated for last year. Similar to leukemia, lymphoma is a blood cancer. Bob has two early teenage kids and has been married for 15 years. Bob is an excellent systems engineer, he races motorcycles, he isn't too good at fantasy football (at least not in the DLFC league), and everyone that knows