Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday was 11 years since Donnie and I were married. I awoke that morning 11 years ago praying that Hurricane George wasn’t coming our way. I think it was the first time that they ever did contra flow out of New Orleans. Traffic was a mess. But in the middle of all that chaos,I was surprisingly calm. I knew that I was right where I was supposed to be.
When Todd took my arm to walk me down the aisle, my eyes filled with tears. All I could think was “oh great, I’m going to be a blubbering mess all the way down the aisle” Todd looked at me and said “I got a C note, we can go to the casino and forget all this mess” He made me laugh. I found out later, he told Donnie the same thing. He’s such a funny boy. As I walked towards Donnie, the way he looked at me melted my heart. I had never been loved so much by someone. As we said our vows, Donnie choked back the tears. It’s kind of funny that he cried thru our first wedding, I cried thru our renewal. I guess we couldn’t both fall apart at the same wedding.

As we danced to our fist song and Donnie held me it was one of the most precious moments of my life. The feeling of being exactly where I was supposed to be. It was 10 years before we would have the opportunity to dance to that song again.

For over 10 years I was proud to be Donnie’s wife. I am so blessed for the relationship that we shared. We had our ups and downs as all couples do but even when he made me so mad that I wanted to throw something at him, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. But here I am now, trying to find my way without him. I would have never thought on that day 11 years ago that I would be where I am today without him. I miss him so much and am still lost without him most days. But, I know that he is with me in my heart and I will always carry him with me, wherever I go. Along with the memories and lessons about life and love that he taught me. I was so lucky to have him love me the way he did. I am thankful for every day that we shared together and will miss him the rest of my life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

As I sit here today on his birthday, I feel drained. I cried all the way to work today. I have tried to recall every memory, every smile, every fight I ever had with Donnie. I am scared. Scared that I might forget some of those memories. How could I? I don’t think I could but it feels like so long since I have seen him and I miss him so. I don’t want to forget one moment that we shared together. I want to keep them all “on file” so I can go back to every one of them and remember any time I want to.
It feels as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

I am trying to have good memories and celebrate Donnie’s life and the life we shared together but it is so hard. Every memory makes me so sad cause I miss him so much.


I left work yesterday and went to the cemetery to see him. I sat and talked to him for a while. I cried and told him how much I miss him and how I am so scared that I will forget memories that we made together and that I didn’t want to. I told him that I want to find a way to be happy again. I love him and I miss him so but I can’t stand the hurt. It’s so hard. I have to find a way to be able to deal with the pain and do what I have to do to find happiness in my life again. I told him how I don’t know how I am supposed to do that. I asked him to help me. He was my strength when he was here, he made me feel like I could do anything. I am still trying to draw my strength from him and how much he believed in me. I went home with the intention of crawling into my bed and pulling the covers over my head and crying all night. The pain was unbearable.

I went home and took at bath and got ready for bed and for whatever reason I noticed the home movie cassettes on my dresser and decided to hook up the video camera to the tv to watch. I watched home movies of us as a family all night. Probably 4 hours. It was sad but at the same time it made me feel so much better. I have missed him so much, I miss seeing him, hearing his voice.

It was so good to see him WELL. I know he is well now and not sick anymore. I want to find all of those good memories that we had and hold onto those. It’s not that we didn’t make precious memories in the last 18 months, but I don’t want to focus on the sick memories. I want to remember and cherish the “life” that we shared together. Our carefree days when we still had forever and weren’t living on borrow time.

I can’t say I didn’t cry watching the movies but they were a comfort to me, they made me smile and several made me laugh. There he was, young healthy smiling and joking Donnie. The Donnie that I fell in love with. He was there looking at me and talking to me and smiling and saying I love you . In a way, he was giving me strength to go on without him. It was good to see him. I have missed him so.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My dear sweet Donnie,

I can do nothing but think of you today. Today is your 45th birthday. Oh how I hate that you are not here with me. It’s been 163 days (23 weeks) since I saw you last. It’s been longer than that since you were actually still here with me. It seems like an eternity has passed. I know to some people it doesn’t seem like so long but every hour with out you, to me seems like 10.

I still have days that I am angry that you are gone. It just isn’t right. It just wasn’t supposed to be this way. We fought so hard. YOU fought so hard. I only wish that there was something more that I could have done to keep you here with us. I would do anything I could give you another day

We all miss you so much. The kids are doing the best that they can to do what they are supposed to do. Justin is determined to do the best he can in college because he wants to make you proud. I know you are. Caley still looks for you. She still misses you . As I watch her grow it makes me sad to know what you are missing with her. I can just see you there playing with her and making her giggle. I am sad to know that she won’t have you her with her as she grows but I know that you are watching over her. .

I know what I am supposed to be doing or should I say what you wanted me to do and I hope you know that I am trying. It’s not easy without you and you told me that it wouldn’t be. But you told me that I was strong enough to do this and make it thru
That’s what drives me to keep on going without you. It is so much harder than I could have ever imagined. We had so many future plans that we won’t get to share.

But I am thankful for every day that we shared together. I am a better person for having been loved by you. Thank you for making me feel so special and worthy of your unconditional love. Thank you for supporting me even when you didn’t agree with me. Thank you for teaching the kids by example what true love is and showing Justin how a man should be. Thank you for being the kind of man that people admired. Thank you for fighting so hard for me. Thank you for worrying so much about me and what it would be like for me without you and trying to help me get thru. Thank you for all of the sacrifices that you made for our family. Thank you for being my confidant, my best friend, my soul mate , my partner and my love. Most of all thank you for being YOU and loving me the way that you did. You were an amazing and special man and I was lucky and honored to call myself your wife.

Happy birthday my love until we meet again

Always and ForeverI love you Robin

Monday, September 21, 2009

It’s still so tough. I miss him. That void is still this huge gaping hole in my heart. I get so overwhelmed by it all sometimes. I look around and wonder “how did I get here? How did it get to the point that I am sitting in the cemetery talking to Donnie?” +

I’ve been angry lately. I want to stomp my feet and scream at the top of my lungs that it just isn’t fair. He deserved so much more life than he had. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

There are days that I think that I am making so much progress of getting myself together and then there are days (or weeks) that I seem to be falling apart again and it is discouraging to me. I often wonder if I will ever have a new normal. Will I ever have a time that I am not so sad? Then part of me feels guilty for even wanting that. Part of me feels that my grief is my connection to Donnie. It is a vicious roller coaster and it isn’t a good ride. Somebody stop this ride and let me get off!!

I know that every “first” without him will be heartbreaking. My birthday was hard. I worry if my birthday was so hard, how will I handle his birthday Wednesday? Or our anniversary Saturday? Then the girls both have their birthdays the following week. It’s going to be a tough month. I sometimes wonder how I will ever make it thru all of this! I just don’t think that I can.

I am glad that I was able to get away with my friends for my birthday. We smiled and we laughed. There were even a few brief moments that I found “me” again, just not as many as I had hoped for. I found myself thinking of Donnie a lot. I must have thought 100 times “I need to tell Donnie that”.

How in the world am I ever going to find a new normal?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I have been talking a lot and thinking a lot lately about finding “me” again. I have brief moments that I do feel like myself again. But at the same time, I think of how this whole experience has changed me.

I am not the same person I was 2 years ago when Donnie got his diagnosis. I am very different. So here I am again searching for me and my new normal. Who am I? I am a well spouse and a caregiver. My life hasn’t been focused on me in a very long time. How do I know who I am anymore?

I have changed. I am more tolerable now of people and less judgmental than I was before. I have learned that you don’t know what someone else’s struggles are. Even if you can’t see them, they could be fighting their own demons. I learned this of how people judged me throughout Donnie’s illness and still judge me today.

When Donnie was sick, people judged me all the time, good and bad. Some people thought I was so strong while others judged me for being to weak. “Donnie looks fine” Or “ he will beat this” and “you shouldn’t be negative” or things like that were said to me. I wasn’t being negative, I was afraid. I was terrified. Although I tried to remain positive as much as possible, I was afraid because I knew what lay ahead. No one else “knew” it. But Donnie and I both did.

You can’t imagine how awful of a feeling that is for 18 months to know that your husband and love of your life is dying and there isn’t a damn thing that you can do to stop it. Think about it, 18 months, every day, I was faced with the reality of knowing that I was losing him. I felt so helpless and my life felt out of control. We were fighting a battle that we could not win, even though no one else chose to see it. I have heard so many times since Donnie passed. “Wow, I was shocked!! I thought he would beat this” “He seemed to be doing so well” All of these people knew he had stage 4 cancer. They just didn’t want to see it because Donnie put on such a good front so they chose not to accept the truth.

I admire Donnie so much for the battle he fought. He never complained or asked “Why me?” He accepted his diagnosis and impending death with a courage that I could never do. He made the choice to LIVE everyday of life that he was given and not let cancer take away the precious memories that he had left to make. When most people would be wallowing in self pity and staying in the bed and being sick, playing the victim and afraid to fight, Donnie got up and he went to work and he got up and played with the grandbaby. He played golf, he spent time with me and the kids. He took advantage of every moment that he had. How many well people can even say that? We tend to think we have unlimited tomorrows and we put off things that we shouldn’t. Like spending quality time with the people that you love and letting them know that you love them. Donnie lived his life and especially his last 18 months with no regrets. I can honestly say that I lived those last 18 months of his life with no regrets either. We seized every moment and every opportunity we had. I am so thankful for that. How many people can say that?

People still judge me every single day. Some fault me for mourning Donnie for so long and how much I still cry over him. Some judge me for trying to continue to live without him. And I won’t lie and say that all of those judgments haven’t hurt me. They have. But I can say this, I have learned that it doesn’t matter what those people think of me. It only matters what I think and how I feel. I am ok with the person that I am and I’m trying to be. I am ok with the choices that I make. They can’t possibly understand what I have been thru and still go thru everyday. Donnie’s illness and death changed me so much and made me appreciate every single day that I am allowed here on this earth. As hard as it is to move on with my life without Donnie, I have to. I don’t want to waste any of the precious moments that I have been given.

It’s easy to sit in judgment of me and say what “you” would do and how “you” would act. It’s easy for you to sit and say what you think that I am supposed to do. I can’t fault people for that. I understand because I have judged people myself and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t. We would all be lying if we said that. But these people who think that they know what I am supposed to do or how I should act, haven’t been thru what I have been thru. They haven’t experienced the helplessness out of control life that I have led for 2 years now. They can’t possibly understand. Even the people who love Donnie can’t understand. They think about Donnie from time to time, some even daily and they feel the loss of him in their lives. But they all have lives that didn’t include Donnie. But what they can’t understand is that I feel that loss every single minute of every single day. He was my life and my love and my partner and my best friend and I feel that loss every moment of every day. When Donnie died, my world was turned upside down and it completely stopped. While everyone else around me kept moving forward, I was left standing here alone, wondering, “what do I do now?”.

The people who judge me are obviously not people who love me. The people who truly love me want me to be happy and find “me” again. They don’t judge me for the days that I lie in the bed and cry all day nor do they judge me for the days that I find my smile again.

There are so many times that I think that I will NEVER be able to have a somewhat normal life again. I think that I can NEVER get over losing Donnie and honestly, I don’t think I ever will. But, it was pointed out to me how far I have come since losing him that even I didn’t realize. After Donnie died, I lay on the floor and screamed and I begged God to take me too. I wanted to die with him. Nothing else mattered because I hurt so badly. I just wanted it to stop. I didn’t care how. I have never felt pain like that before. Nor do I ever want to again. I guess I have come far. Although, I still hurt every single day and would give anything to have him back and I still cry buckets of tears over losing him and the battle he went thru, I ‘m not wanting to die with him anymore. I get up everyday and I want to enjoy my kids and grandbaby and cherish the moments that I have with them and my friends and family. I guess I have come a long way. Maybe one day I will be able to remember Donnie and smile again for what we have shared and not hurt and have my heart break remembering him. I want my memories of Donnie to be happy and not painful. Who could fault me for that?
I am leaving on Thursday to get away with my 2 very best friends in the whole world. I am hoping that on our trip, I have moments that I find “me” again. I can’t imagine what I would do without them. I know that they would never judge me and only want the best for me and they know “me” better than anyone else but Donnie. They are my “sisters’. Although we are not blood related, it goes so much deeper than that. I know that they are always here to pick me up when I fall and cheer me on when I make steps going forward. I don’t know what I would do without them. I would have never made it as far as I have if they weren’t by my side.

With their help and all the other people who love me, I will get there. It hasn’t been an easy journey, nor do I expect it to be an easy journey. I can only hope that I come out of this on the other side, stronger than I have ever been and a better person for the wear.
I keep hoping it will happen and knowing that I will get there. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week or next month or even next year, but I’ll get there. I just need to keep on trying.