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Friday, March 26, 2010

All content has been moved to Andrew's "official" site, please visit it:   Andrew's Site

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And the New Year begins ....

The stake was driven into the ground at midnight (10 p.m. actually since, as expected, we fell asleep before midnight). New Year’s Day was spent as expected … but …a change had permeated the atmosphere. Yes, I had to work on it for a while but I did manage to be upbeat and positive.

Indeed, this will be the year that I lick my wounds, put on my big boy pants and go after my personal recovery. Time to enact the five ‘R’s: Regroup, Reinvigorate and Rebuild, Resurrect and Reconnect. .. And .. the big ‘M’ – Move on. As I said before, I know now that I will always choke up when speaking of Andrew, that I will always tear up when picturing him in my mind's eye. BUT, always I will also thank God for the time Andrew was with us - significant in that I know now and in spite of earlier postings, that I do believe and I do have faith even though only God knows why (no pun intended). And no, I will never understand why Andrew was taken but I realize now that I don’t need to understand, just to accept and have faith.

So, this WILL be the year that we survive and thrive.

It is now twelve days in and so far, so good. Finances are coming together again – I am far from out of the woods but at least I can see the clearing now. The issues dealing with our grief are pretty much behind us. The family interactions are beginning to return to normal, albeit slowly (I must admit though that there are aspects that I wish would not return to normal).

I can now look back with clarity of thought and recognize all the good that was there, mixed in with but so totally overshadowed by the bad. In the past 6 months (since Andrew’s admission to the hospital) we have been the recipient of the most incredible outpouring of support and friendship anyone could ever expect.

I regret that we were so “in shock” as to not see it at the time and that I will never be able to adequately thank all the people to whom I owe so much.

There simply are no words.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve, 2009

SO …..

It is New Year’s Eve, 2009….. and I have never before looked forward to the new year as much as I do today.

Not that tonight will be anything special, in fact it will likely pass with barely a notice from Eleanor and I. We will likely Fall asleep around 10 (oh, can you stand the excitement ?) wake up at midnight long enough to wish each other (and the kids if they are awake) a “Happy New Year” and then fall back asleep.

But tomorrow morning…I can’t wait… a new year, a new beginning. Nothing will really change, I will probably work around the house, pay bills, catch up on paperwork BUT the attitude and perception will be different. It will no longer be the worse year of my life;
  • NOT the year our son died
  • NOT the that I lost my Florida condo
  • NOT the year that I accept the likely loss of my other CT property
  • NOT the year we needed counseling to get through our grief
  • NOT the year I hit a pedestrian

 But rather, it;

  •  WILL BE the year I regroup, lick my wounds and rebuild my financial life
  •  WILL BE the year I reinvigorate my “career”
  •  WILL BE the year I resurrect my entrepreneurial plans and efforts
  •  WILL BE the year I reconnect with my kids after being absent fronm their lives during and after Andrew’s illness
  •  WILL BE the year I move beyond the reminders (but never the memory) of Andrew
It will be the year I stop questioning (my) GOD for all that has happened and instead pray for an understanding of why it happened and the wisdom to use the experiences to batter myself and the lives of my family.

It will be the year that we survive and we thrive

The stake gets hammered into the ground at midnite … stay tuned

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is behind us, now for New Years

Well, Christmas is finally behind us and it was a very strange weekend. Although we decorated the house , it was mostly for Annie and AJ, and if not for that you would not have been able to tell it was a holiday.

Annie and AJ spent Christmas eve and most of Christmas day at Allison's and then at friends. They wanted to and we agreed since the events of this year were likely to overshadow any joy and we don't want them impacted any more than necessary.

El and I spent the weekend like we would any other day. Fell asleep around 9 on Christnmas eve and spent Christmas day doing odd things around the house.

It was a tough night and day, really tough.

A bright spot however in an otherwise really bad Christmas though was that we had dinner and visited with my aunt and uncle and their daughter. It was so "normal"  to be with family and not talkor think about Andrew. I am so glad we went.

Saturday and Sunday were spent finishing up the move from the (now) old house. I still think nieghbors are sneaking in at night and leaving stuff there - this just never ends.

But I reached a benchmark of sorts. I quickly ran out of room for things with the (now) new house being smaller and only a one car garage, and the garage filled quickly mostly because Andrew's bed and other paraphenalia is in it.

I found myself cursing the bed ... and immediately fell sad at the thought that this bed that had made it possible for Andrew to live home all those years was now just an annoyance could I feel that way ?.
Maybe I am just finally accepting everything.

I need now to get through New Year's Eve. We never really did much on New Year's Eve to celebrate but this year will be even less in the way of physically partying .... BUT ... I am mentally and emotionally celebrating like never before at the passing of 2009. January 1 is my stake in the ground, the day when I can say this lousy year is behind us.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

So here we sit on the brink of Christmas Day, 2009.

This is the year that my life, and the lives of my family, has been shaken to the core. Almost everything I ever feared might happen has happened this year but somehow I and my loved ones, excepting Andrew, are still standing.

But we will survive and even prosper.

This year began, already bad for a lack of work in 2008, and went horrible with another period of downtime followed by a cut in income. Like everyone else, asset values tanked and net worth dropped. Florida became a total drag as the tourism ceased to exist and my management company “grew” itself out of existence for the non-McMansion type rentals. And then we find out that our condo association has been screwing us (owners). Then, just to pour salt in the wound, the industry for which I spent the better part of three years building an application for – my shot at being an entrepreneur – basically ceased to exist in central Florida.

Second quarter began with suspicions that Andrew might have a health issue and progressed to a confirmation that there was indeed an issue and numerous tests to determine what it was.

Mid year kicked in with my tenants announcing that they would be moving at the worse of all possible times. A time when my rental place, which used to be one of (on average) 6 in Hamden, was now one of more than 100 as every homeowner in financial straights attempted to rent their homes in a shot at saving them from sale / foreclosure.

Mid year progressed as Andrew failed to recover from the surgery done to correct his suspected issue.. And as much as this little guy tried to hold on to life, and in spite of the prayers of more people I ever realized I knew, the mid year period ended with his funeral and unimaginable grief.

And so we come to the end of the year ……

Since Andrew’s death, my family has all but fallen apart. Issues in dealing with grief have overtaken our “normal” lives (as if anything is normal any more). The turmoil that accompanies these things has all but alienated Annie and AJ – who had already pretty much lost the parents they knew when Andrew went into the hospital – from us (I do understand this as much as it hurts) . Allison has moved to another town (albeit close by, she is no longer down the street), I am in process of losing Florida (it’s current value is 1/3 of the mortgage) , we have moved into our first (smaller) house to escape reminders of Andrew and to “save” that house in case things get worse , and just to end the year on a high note, I hit a pedestrian the other day when she ran out in front of me from between two stopped cars. Oh yeah, and I broke a tooth this morning.

So how exactly am I still standing ?. What purpose was there to any of this? Can anything else possibly happen ?

I take solace in knowing that Andrew is not suffering and is in that “better place” we all believe in. I believe that, as Allison so eloquently said in Andrew’s eulogy, “that Pepper (our Dalmatian that he loved and we had to put down two years ago) will once again meet you in joy and devotion at the door, waiting to be pet; that Nana, having guarded you for these intolerable months, will take you in her arms and call you “darlin’.” That the grandparents we never met will talk to you of Mommy, and that Grandpa Shaw will still be the only one allowed to call you Andy. That this better place I keep hearing about has a vast library of Disney movies and Stitch dolls and Gameboys that need no batteries.”

I choose to believe that the possible (and the probable) loss of property and/or it’s value is too make us realize how little property really means.

I must believe that the grief issues will bring us all closer and make us stronger, both individually and as a family.

I have no choice.