In case you aren’t on Facebook, just wanted to share today’s status. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
i am thankful today and every day for my kiddos. they are the kindest, smartest, most tenacious people i know. when life handed them a big fat lemon, they not only made lemonade but they threw it in a frosty glass with a swirly straw. i think i most appreciate their ability to find the laughter no matter what else is going on.
Last year we celebrated Dave’s 50th birthday with an orange tinted party at the Torpedo Factory. In his honor we ate, drank, karaoke’d, and danced the night away. I believe we appropriately paid tribute to his zest for life and his desire to “put the F in FUN”.
Today should have been his 51st birthday. I had some ideas as to how we can remember him this year. Maybe tackle a few…
- The first one is an easy one – wear some orange.
- Turn up the stereo/ipod/Sirius and blast some Van Halen. or Barry Manilow. or show tunes.
- If you have “a few sodas” after work, raise your glass in a birthday toast.
- The kids and I are huge proponents of random acts of kindness. We don’t set out planning to do something, but we try to keep our eyes opened to opportunities. Maybe someone will cross your path today who could use a kindness.
- If you are planning on doing some end of the year donating, allow me to share two worthy causes –
Camp Kesem – https://donate.kesem.org/checkout/donation?eid=54867
There is an option in the drop down menu to donate to a particular chapter. Parker went to Camp Kesem at College of William and Mary but any of the camps could use support!
Dave Tremaine Memorial Scholarship – http://collegeaccessfairfax.org/donate/
I think it is easier to donate through the paypal link than to navigate the CFC site. College Access Fairfax will send you a receipt for your donation which is tax deductible. (Double win!) Our plan is to give out at least four scholarships this year with the option to go up to six. NOTE: You can indicate that it’s for Dave’s scholarship in the “Add Special Instructions” area.
Finally, last year at Dave’s party I shared a quote from RENT. This year I think these lyrics from WICKED best express what I want to say.
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend.
Happy Birthday, babe. Wish you were here.
PS In case you never got to witness it firsthand, here is a picture of Dave in all his karaoke glory with his partner in crime, his sister.
A year ago, I was taking it easy after a pulmonary embolism knocked me off my feet and landed me in the hospital for five days. At the same time, I was polishing up the final details for Dave’s party. When I look back at that time it seems a long, long time ago.
2015 me is wondering how the hell I survived.
Apparently, there is a protective cloud of sorts that settles over your life after a traumatic event. We went through the motions. We worked and went to school. We celebrated occasions. Through the numbness, we trudged forward. A year later that cloud has lifted and we are left with the unfiltered, stark reality – (as I read recently in an article shared by two of my closest friends) “Our spouses just keep being dead.”
This fall has been hard. More difficult in many ways than last. It is not that we haven’t made progress. I don’t cry every day. I remember the funny and the good more than the devastating and the end. But I am tired. And it is hard being an only parent. And lonely. I avoid being around couples at all costs as it just reminds me that I am not part of one any longer. I am short on sympathy. And judgmental. At the same time, I am aware that our story is NOT the most tragic. I just have to turn on the news to realize that.
So, warts and all, that’s where I am. I am dreading the birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas season while at the same time aware that we will be making new memories and enjoying time as a family too. A very strange mixed bag of life.
Dave’s birthday is Friday. I have some thoughts on how we might honor him on that day (or any day, really). Perhaps if you knew him or were touched by his story in some way, you will check back on Friday.
PS Here is a link to the article I referenced, if you are interested.
Samantha’s friend, Sam, is in a fraternity at CNU. He shared this story with her.
I was sitting at dinner with Parker and Grant and read this to them. I got really choked up and teary and they didn’t quite know what to do about it, but we talked about how amazing this is. I hate that he isn’t here to finish the work he started (not to mention being here with us), but I am grateful that he is remembered and that there are kids out there who honor him. And I am very grateful that Sam’s friend shared this moment with us.