If Only.



We were supposed to be leaving for Hawaii today. When Dave’s doctor gave us the “3-6 months” speech, Dave wanted to go big. Immediately he suggested we take the kids and go to Hawaii for two weeks. Stupidly, I thought we should wait until after Grant’s end of year exams. We should have left the next day.

Dave’s doctor was supportive of the trip up until one of his last appointments. His bilirubin was starting to rise and the edema had started in his legs. Dave brought up Hawaii although I am quite sure he already knew what the recommendation would be. It is the only time in the last year that I can remember him being truly angry. He was so frustrated that in the midst of all the crap he was going through that the trip wouldn’t happen. Insult to injury. He wasn’t upset for himself. He just really wanted a big, blow out, memories to last a lifetime, trip for his family.

I am thankful for the amazing trip to California we had earlier in the spring. Dave also fully enjoyed every minute of his trip to Chicago in late May. But I know that I will always wish that I had been less the practical me and more the spontaneous Dave. Eventually the kids and I will take that Hawaiian vacation, and we will bring a bit of Dave with us to scatter in the Pacific. But, of course, it won’t be the same. We won’t be able to duplicate his brand of fun, but we will do our best to try.



7 thoughts on “If Only.

  1. Mrs. Tremaine
    I was driving home from the rappahanock yesterday where I took Diana to a conference . It was a world away & I had a long drive. All I could think of was Mr. Tremaine and it made me so sad. When I think of the personal stories being shared in your blog & on the petition I can’t even put into words how great a human being he was. No, I cannot imagine what you are going through when I , a person who knew him only through my conversations feel this bad, but there are many others who recognize the void he left . We are going to do everything to put his name on that school..you can count on it.

  2. Hey there…it’s easy for other people to say you can’t live thinking of the “if only’s” — there was a reason you didn’t go to Hawaii and chose instead to stay in your own backyard…your own home. You may never know the reason, but there is one. Hawaii will be there for you when it’s the right time…and Dave will be there, too — not the way you originally planned which is hard…but maybe in the form of some orange coconut waiting to bonk you guys on the head just to get a laugh…xo

  3. I have been reading your blog for awhile, praying for you and your family, and weeping alongside of you. I do not pretend to have any idea of what you have been experiencing this week and last, but please know you remain in my prayers! Your blog today is a strong, strong word on living today, and I thank you for sharing such private thoughts. I am a “type A” planner and often need to remind myself to enjoy today instead of wasting too much time planning tomorrow:)

  4. Hi Mrs. Tremaine,

    I have been teaching in FCPS for 14 years. Dave was an assistant principal at Westlawn and left just months before I arrived. The teachers there talked fondly of him often, especially one ESOL teacher who became one of my closest friends. Throughout the next decade, his name would come up in conversation at school about the wonderful things he did and how kind he was. Many would say, “Do you remember when Dave was here?” Sadly I would always say no, but I feel like I know him because his name has been mentioned throughout my entire tenure at this school! Now we have moved on to other schools, and my friend still talks about him. She forwarded me the sad news and I began to read your blog. What a loving and kind man. I am sorry for your loss and just want to let you know other people (like me) are thinking of your family and your husband’s legacy lives on. I didn’t know him personally but thought I should share how others talk kindly of him. Arms around you and your sweet family.

    • Oh, Robyn, I would have made the same practical decision you made. Many moms would have. But of course you can’t beat yourself up over it. Look forward to taking the kids when the time is right, and indulge yourselves in everything that Dave might have enjoyed. The trip will serve a different purpose for your family, but it will still be a special time.

  5. Robyn, I am just like you and Enid (comment above), I would have waited until my son’s exams were over….not only would I…I have done it…..I agree with Enid, don’t beat yourself up….I know you wish you could have a do-over and be taking Dave to where he so wanted to go….but you will get to Hawaii with your kids…it’s what Dave would have wanted for you all……What a wonderful wonderful idea of scattering a little bit of Dave where he really wanted to go….You are right, it won’t be the same at all….but it will be a special special time…I don’t know how you feel at this time, but I bet it sucks…just know we are all still praying for you and the kids…keep posting…xoxo Lisa

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