Sunday, April 19, 2015

So here I am

     One day after having a funeral for Aimee and I'm still numb and can't believe this has happened.  That little girl that I held from day one of her life; that little girl that I spoiled rotten; that little girl that I took to get her ears pierced against my sisters wishes (and SO many other things); that little girl, my little girl.  Gone.

     The service was beautiful and the funeral home was filled to standing room only and a large overflow crowd in the lobby.  She had so many friends and was loved by so many.  Wayne was able to come and I am so glad.  He needed to be there to say goodbye to his sister.  I spoke at the service and tried to do my best to make her proud.  Although that was never hard to do.  She loved me so and was always so proud of even the smallest of my accomplishments.  She was my biggest fan.  My whole life it's been Uncle Jeffrey this and Uncle Jeffrey that.

     Even though it has been a week, I can't imagine tomorrow without her, let alone the weeks, months & years to come.   I hope Joe has found her and has welcomed her into his arms.  I'm sure he has a million questions and knowing how Aimee could talk, she will have a million answers.  Hold onto each other, Joe & Aimee.  Create new memories that you can share with me when I get up there to see you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Another Loss I Never Imagined

I was awakened this morning at 2:41 a.m. when my sister called my cell repeatedly trying to reach me.  I had fallen asleep with the TV on and the volume was masking the ringing, but eventually it did wake me up and I answered.  The news was something I had never really imagined.  Aimee was gone.  That little girl that was the light of my life for most of my teen years & twenties, was no longer here.  I will not go into details of her death on here due to privacy for my family, but we are shocked, overwhelmed, confused and incredibly sad.  My sister & brother in law, Aimee's brother Wayne, along with Aimee's daughter, Sara, are in desperate need of prayers and loving thoughts.  This is going to be the roughest thing any of them have ever gone through.  I don't really know how to help them as I am feeling as if my already shaky foundation has crumbled and caved.  That may sound melodramatic but I don't know how else to describe it.  Things that I thought I would never experience seem to just be happening.  If anyone had said to me just 5 years ago that both Joe and Aimee would be gone, I would not, could not have believed them.  But here I sit.  Typing on this random blog of mine.  Bleary eyed from crying all day and having no sleep.  Exhausted but unable to find the strength to will myself to go lay down.  The mind tricks that I have employed over the last 5 years to occupy my brain when I go to bed seem inadequate tonight.  Aimee's death has sent me right back to 2013, and then even more.

I have the text message from her from yesterday at 1:37 p.m. wishing me a Happy Birthday and saying I was the best Uncle in the world and telling me she loved me.  I thanked her and said I Love You.  I am so glad I did.   Regardless of anything else that may have been going on, I hope and pray that she understood just how much I loved her.

I miss you my little girl.  You will always be my first niece, the one that danced to Madonna with me, ate really hot salsa with me, loved me no matter what.  No judgements.  Your pain in all it's forms is over.  No more surgeries, no more fears.  Rest.


Joe- Aimee is there with you know.  Give her grief like you always did because deep down she really liked that and she loved you with all her heart.  Look over her, take care of her.

Friday, April 3, 2015

And then it was April

March just went by pretty darn quick didn't it?  Well, it did for me anyway.  Work, work, work...and a cold, cold, cold.  My days were in the office, my evenings were on the couch and in bed.  I did manage however, to go to the gym a minimum of 3 times per week every week but one.  The one week when my cold was the worst, I just couldn't get myself there.  I didn't need to be spreading germs in excess anyway.

But that is not the purpose of this post.  Mind you, I'm going to complain, but not about being sick.
Today's topic is having to avoid television shows & movies that I would have previously enjoyed.  Why do I avoid, because of either subject matter or just language.  It's not that the subject matter is offensive or the language is offensive.  The subject matter and the language is not adult in nature.  The subject matter and the language is not interesting.  The problem is, the subject matter and language is personal.  I'm sure that sentence is vague and no one has any idea what I'm talking about.
Some TV shows I've pretty much given up on all together.  A prime example is Greys Anatomy.  Granted, it isn't the show that it was 5 years ago, but it still has some quality plot lines, characters, and is well acted.  The only problem is that in practically every episode there is a cancer patient, or a dying patient.  Why is that a problem, well it inevitably puts my head and mind where it doesn't need to be.  Back in the moment.   This isn't limited to medical dramas either.  Very innocuous things that would normally not even be noticed by other people, set off things in my brain.  Example:  This week's episode of "Scandal".  One of the plot lines was a murder that had happened 15 years earlier.  The wife of the deceased had just died, and Olivia is hired to prove that the wife was the one that murdered her husband and not the man that was found guilty and has been in prison awaiting a death sentence.  The scene is Olivia talking to Huck and she says, "Mrs. whatever died yesterday very suddenly from pancreatic cancer"... - and there went my head, back to the moment.  A perfectly good, entertaining episode of Scandal, ruined for me.  I continued watching, cancer wasn't mentioned again, but my brain stayed in the thought.  But it doesn't have to be so specific to pancreatic cancer, or even cancer at all.  I was watching the movie "We Are Marshall" recently.  I have seen the movie several times.  I know it's sad.  I knew when I started watching, that it deals with the death of so many people.  I was prepared.  When the plane crashes, it's a moment, but it was ok.  What got me, made me change the channel was the one happy moment.  The assistant coach that was supposed to be on the plane, but switched with another coach to drive to make a recruiting visit with a high school player at the last minute, drives up to his house in the pouring rain and his wife comes running out, seeing her husband alive when she thought he was dead.  The reaction, the expression on her face and the emotion exhibited.  Her husband was alive after all.  That moment got me as my mind went to, why isn't Joe's death a mistake?  Why couldn't I walk outside to see him standing there and feel that relief?  Silly I know.  So I changed the channel.

I'm rarely go to movies unless I have fully researched the plot.  IMDB and Wikipedia have become my new best friends to research and make sure someone doesn't die of cancer in the middle of things. Or if someone looses a spouse.  Or if someone makes a reference to a loved one dying.  It's hard to be spontaneous about entertainment these days.  Always on guard.   To be honest, it's practically impossible.  So I avoid.

Of course this is Relay for Life season, so my brain for the next two months is fully ensconced in cancer.  I'm a bit slower this year in my fundraising.  Not because it isn't still as important as it always has been, but I'm trying to not obsess as much as I have in the past.  I will still send out requests, I will still attend fundraising events (I am really looking forward to "Home Brew for Life") and I will of course be in attendance for the entire event on May 29-30th.  I owe that to Joe, to myself, and to so many others.  If you would like to make a donation to support my efforts, the link to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life site is here:

Ok.  I've rambled enough for a Good Friday morning.  Time to bathe, get ready for Stations of the Cross at PGUMC and then dinner with the boys.  Have a wonderful Easter weekend folks.  It's a 3 day weekend. WooHoo!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

... and then things mellow out,

... a little.  But not enough to say I quit.
Wow.  The last 4 weeks have been ones for the record books.  Between the weather (snow, ice, and general nastiness) and my boss at work being first out of the country for 10 days and then a week later at a conference for 5 days, I'm pooped.  Couple that with an increase in gastrointestinal issues and I've not been in the best place physically and mentally.  But, I am doing one thing right.  I'm back at the Y a minimum of 3 times a week so at least I'm not sitting on my butt (ever widening butt) all the time.  The proximity of the YMCA in Raleigh to my office is just too good to pass up.  I can be there in less than 5 minutes after leaving work, so I couldn't rationalize not going any longer.  But geez, I don't remember it being this difficult the first time.  I'm sure I'll get back to where I was though.  Rome wasn't built in a day and after not doing much of anything for nearly 10 months, I can't expect to be able to do my previous hour of cardio with a snap of a finger.  I am back up to 50 minutes though.  My plan is to hang at that level for a couple of weeks and then shoot for the full hour.  No reason to pass out at the Y.  That would be embarrassing.

Today, Saturday, will be a slow one.  Yesterday I started coming down with a cold again, and this morning I am very congested with a head cold.  So today will be a couch day with some laundry thrown in.   I need to change the bed linens and maybe mop a floor or two...but only maybe.  That seems a little labor intensive.

Need coffee

Monday, March 2, 2015


There comes a time when you just have to say,....


...and then just decide that it isn't worth the hassle, the headache, the work, the hurt and give up.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

What a week....

What a week.  Ice, snow, sub zero temperatures and my boss on vacation.  As I close in on a full month in my new position, I hesitate to say that I actually know what I'm doing.  While I'm not in panic mode all day, I'm not fully comfortable in the new role just yet.  What I can say is that it is busy, busy, busy...and we are still in the slow time of the year.  Hopefully I will be in full comfortable mode by the time we are in the heart of spring market.

Upcoming: Relocation training for all team members; 2 members of the Relocation Department will be off to Palm Springs for conference; CBA annual awards conference (in Fayetteville of all places); Jury duty; colonoscopy - and all that before mid April.

Add to that the decision I've made to start dating again and spring could be very interesting.  Oh yeah, you heard right, dating.  No real prospects on the horizon but if the opportunity presents itself, I think it's time I give it consideration.  Don't you?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It Really Is Official This Time

After 2 delays it is now official...well at least the announcement will be on Tuesday.  I am the new Corporate Relocation Manage for Coldwell Banker Advantage.  Corporately relocating buyers and sellers that come through the Coldwell Banker Relocation Department will now be my responsibility. I am headquartered at our Raleigh Corporate office and cover all our offices in the Triangle, Lake Gaston, Goldsboro, Clarksville, VA, Fayetteville & Southern Pines.  That's a wide swath of NC folks!  I've been working 1 day a week in Relocation since December and then once January came around, twice a week.  Originally I was told my start date would be 1/5/2015, but then it was moved to 1/15/15 and now 1/27/15.  However those are just the announcement dates.  I've being doing the job full time since 1/16.  Since I was replacing someone, they needed to wait until that was all settled.  The agents in my former office (Chapel Hill) do not know but will find out on Tuesday the 27th at our  scheduled business meeting.  The owner of the company will be on hand for the announcement and he's asked me to come into the Chapel Hill office to say goodbye.  It will be a bittersweet moment I'm sure.  The folks there have been a huge part of my life for nearly 9 years.  They've seen me through ups and downs including all of Joe's cancer treatments and then the aftermath of his passing.

I know I will miss them, but this is an extremely good opportunity for me and at my age, a chance for advancement can't be passed up.  It of course also means that I will be working in Raleigh full time and so the extended plan that I've had for the past couple of years to maybe move over to the Raleigh area seems much more likely.  I don't imagine I will do anything this Spring as I'm not sure I can't take a job change and a house change all at one time.  I have quite the learning curve to adjust to with the job and just with one week under my belt, I can tell it can be very stressful at times.  I don't need to compound that just yet.  At least not unless the perfect condo/townhouse appears in the perfect area in Raleigh!  This piece has fallen into place so with just a little more luck, maybe the housing piece will work out too.  Lord knows I'm due for a change in fortune, a change in my life, A CHANGE!

I am really excited about all of this and I hope those of you still reading this will be happy for me.  Hey, I'm writing about good news.  How long has it been since I've done that?  Have I ever done that?

I hope everyone is off to a wonderful 2015.  Mine is looking up!

"And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." 
                                                                                                                                    - Meister Eckhart