It’s Monday Again

Over the weekend I posted this picture on Facebook with a caption that said something like “some days are better than others.  today was a good day.”


The picture got quite a few “likes” and some very kind comments.  It really brought home for me the idea that people want us to be okay.  You are all rooting for us to have good days.  And we do.  Sometimes a good day means we did something extra fun or special.  In the case of Saturday, Parker and I went for pedicures and later that evening I went to see a very entertaining play with my friend, Alex.  I loved spending time with both these special people.  But that isn’t really what made it a good day.

The reason that I considered it a good day is because I felt really connected to Dave all day.  I always get my toes painted a shade of dark blue.  I am not sure why, but it is always my color preference.  Saturday I decided to get them painted orange as a good transition from summer to fall and also as a nod to my man.  It is a little thing but just something for me.  

Later while watching the play, I realized that one of the actors was from a show that Dave and I watched together called The Wire.  I was quietly flipping out because I knew that Dave would absolutely love that connection.  We were addicted to the show and this man played one of Dave’s favorite characters.  Of course, my initial response was “Oh my gosh, Dave is going to freak out when I tell him.”  And he definitely would have.

When I got home, I was reminiscing about Dave and decided to go and look for his wedding band.  He had to have it resized years ago when he broke his finger.  Over time his finger returned to its normal size, and the band was loose.  One day he was wrestling with Grant in the tv room, and it flew off of his finger.  We moved the bookshelves and looked all around but couldn’t find it.  I was telling my friend, Anne, this story a few weeks ago and she suggested that I look on top of the bookshelves.  Sure enough that is where it was.  Dave always wore his wedding band.  When he lost this one, he even got a replacement, but it wasn’t the same.  This one has been worn so long that the engraving I had done all those years ago is nearly worn away.  We searched high and low when he lost it, and I swear we checked the tops of the bookshelves but I guess Saturday was when I was supposed to find it.  

It has been 12 weeks, but it was really comforting to feel like he was still here with me on Saturday.  It was a good day.




Day 20 – Herndon Elementary School


On the first official day back to work, a colleague sought me out during our yearly bus tour. She wanted to give me a hug and some words of encouragement. She told me that I had the support of everyone at HES, and she wanted to be sure that I knew that. This person has gone through unimaginable tragedy so these words coming from her were very powerful and meant the world to me.

The first couple of weeks back to work have been much harder than I anticipated, but I have definitely felt the support and caring of everyone. They have excused my random tears, memory lapses or just my general being “off”. I feel very lucky to work with people who care so passionately about kids and their jobs but also for one another.

I wanted to say a special BIG, HUGE thanks to some amazing women who have also supported us through Dave’s fund and also the fund set up for me and the kids. Some of these women I have worked with for several years, some I have only recently started working with, and some I have taught their kids. 

Ann Godden, Joy Stets, Susan Miller, Karen Kranyak, Evelyn Breitback, Shermin Sirajudin, Marci Britt, Pam Galyean, Susie Doak, Caitlin Sansonese, Cheryl McGovern, Meredith Mani, Aimee Eliason, Kelly Horne and Mona Samaha

Thank you so very much. I appreciate you all so much. Our HES family is truly special.




Day 19 – Winnie

We said goodbye to our Winnie last night. To say that this is insult to injury would be a massive understatement. Having witnessed the last days and hours of Dave’s life, this wasn’t in the same ballpark, but I am crushed for the kids. They should not have to go through this right now. No matter how I sugar coat it with talk of Winnie going to be with Dave, it doesn’t change the fact that this just flat out stinks.

In my effort to focus on the positives I want to say that I have incredibly strong and brave kids who made the right decision for Winnie even though that meant heartbreak for themselves.

Winnie, go be with Dad. You were a sweet, sweet dog.




Day 18 – Finding Good


Thanks to the generosity of my friend Lori’s friend Heather, I spent Saturday with my friend, Pam, at the Virginia Tech/William & Mary game. We had a great time catching up during the drive to Blacksburg. Before heading to the stadium, we met up with my friend Tracie’s daughter who is a sophomore at Tech this year. As we stood in front of the bookstore, the ROTC cadets marched by which was an impressive sight indeed! There were young men and women marching in unison coming from different directions as far as the eye could see.

During the game, when Tech scored, the fans around us were all high 5ing each other. The guy in front of me turned to me with both hands up in the air. I shook my head no and smiled. He wouldn’t take that for an answer and said, “C’mon. High 5 me!” I didn’t want to be a poor sport so I went along with it. The guy next to him excitedly put his hands up for a high 5 too. The third guy looked at me like he smelled bad cheese and said, “Did you go to William & Mary?” Haha! It was a totally different experience to watch a game at a school where football is a BIG deal. The energy of the crowd was lively and fun, the marching band was entertaining, and there were even girls twirling batons of fire. You don’t see that at Zable Stadium.

On the drive home I mentioned to Pam that on any road trip, Dave always wanted to eat at Cracker Barrel. So in his honor, we made a late night stop. The good news is that I got a jump start on my holiday shopping.

photo photo

Yes, that is a candy corn scented candle.


When I got home, I checked the fundraising page to discover this –


I don’t know if I will ever stop being in awe of the kindness and generosity of others. This is a gesture that I will surely remember for the rest of my life.

On Sunday, we did some tidying up around the house, animal maintenance and bill paying. I reached into the pocket of a purse looking for something and discovered $80. I have no idea how it got in there but what a nice surprise! A few of those $20s ended up “filling the boot” as our local firefighters were out in force this weekend.

Yesterday as Parker and I were running errands, I was feeling a little melancholy. It was Monday. It was around 1:30PM. I was looking towards the sky secretly hoping for some kind of little sign. The stereo was shuffling songs from my phone when this came on –


This won’t really mean anything to anyone except the five of us, but it was definitely a little wink…. “Jodie quit. Jodie got married.”


PS Here’s the link one more time just in case you are interested.

5 Things – 11 Weeks Later

1.  I have managed to keep all the animals alive and kicking. The extreme algae situation in the fish tank is finally under control. Remember when I said that crickets were the line I wouldn’t cross? I lied. I have been feeding your bearded dragon 25 large crickets every 3-4 days. It’s totally gross, but I do it. The vet says that Winnie is on “limited time” so we are doing everything to keep him comfortable and happy. I have been telling Parker that I like to think that when he goes, he will somehow end up with you. After all, he was your boy.


2.  PopPop has been doing lots of driving with Grant. I have been doing some too, but I have to admit that I liked it better when you were in charge of the permit to license phase. You were always more patient and calm with this kind of stuff.

3.  I have been carrying your wallet and watch in my purse since the hospital. I changed purses this weekend and slipped only your watch into the side pocket. It is comforting to me to have a little reminder of you with me all the time. I left your wallet in my old purse. Baby steps.

4.  Sometimes I start to think about you, and I force my mind to shift to something else. 11 weeks is a long time, and you are starting to feel so very far away. There are times that I can’t let the memories come because it is too hard and makes me sad. I miss you every day, and I still can’t believe I won’t be able to feel the comfort of your arms around me or see your grinning face looking at me.  I’d even take a spat over something stupid just to have another minute with you.

5.  I am trying to stay positive and look for the good every day. Some days are easier than others but so far I think I have been able to find something to be grateful for each and every day.  I hear your voice in my head cheering me on and reminding me that it’s going to be okay.

I love you and miss you so much.