measured in moments

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My apologies for making you all wait it out. Its hard to be here right now. I want to honor my soulmate and at the same time am struggling hard to get out of cancerland and on with the business of living. Single parenthood has its ups and downs but I am so in love with my little man that its worth every exhausting minute. The other kids I love equally but they are easier (they can talk) and Andrea did such an amazing job raising them. I have been busy taking care of as much stuff as I can before I go back to work 3 days a week. Some moments I feel free to laugh with friends, other moments an overwhelming emptiness washes over me. I’m sure it is the same for the kids. It manifests itself in different ways with each, but I know them so I see it. Being a widow is strange. It is not being single. Being the widow of someone as well loved as Andrea makes me feel both like royalty and totally untouchable at the same time. To a certain degree this is true ( I did a reality check with a few close friends and they agreed.) Grieving, I think for men seems to intensify you baser needs. I feel guilty for being that cliche. I guess I miss being held at night the most. Andrea was my true love, so much so that I got the words true love tattooed down the backs of my arms shortly after meeting her like some decoration of purpose or saying I believe in true love. Cancer is so hard to go through with your lover. The loss gets deeper as you go but you need to make it ok for your partner. Loss of breasts… People would say “they’re just breasts” in trying to help. As if I shouldn’t feel loss over this. They were beautiful breasts and as a husband they were often quite comforting. The loss continues and one by one things that I love about my wife disappear. Probably the hardest was the last 3 months with the growing need for pain killers. I began to miss her before she was gone. This was not the woman I fell in love with although enough of her shone through that I was still madly in love. Now that she’s gone I feel a little bit empty and scattered. The familiar doesn’t always comfort me in the way it used to. I guess I equate it with loss. When I step outside my social circle I don’t have to talk about cancer if I don’t want to and that is nice. I am starting to focus energy into taking care of myself again. This is something that I did little of in the last 6 months. I have to be doing things now that are healthy for me so that I actually have something to give the children because I feel about empty now. It would be nice to be on speaking terms with God again. It’s not that we aren’t talking its just that my understanding of God got a little rocked in the long hours of Andrea’s death and is now in flux. It is what is and I’m really hoping not to get 100 spiritual advisers on the comment list. I hope this still helps people out there. I’m no punk rock mommy.

66 Responses to “measured in moments”

  1. Chani says:

    I wish you peace, Kelly.

  2. elesha says:

    Your relationship with god is just that yours, so as you said it is what it is and only time will tell what will happen in that department. I think your amazing for what you have done and will continue to do with all 6 kids. just remember to lean on those around you and if you need help ask. 6 kids is alot.
    If hanging out with people who you dont have to talk about or think about cancer with helps and makes you feel about of the world again then thats the right thing to do right now. There is no right or wrong way to grieve its just one day at a time.
    Elesha

  3. Heather says:

    Kelly,
    Thinking of you and sending you thoughts of peace and love.

  4. elesha says:

    I just wanted to add one more thing. If being on here is to hard now then take a break. mabey your friends could do some posts and tell some Andrea stories and give you some breathing time. Or just put and brb and come back when or if you feel like you want to .
    Elesha

  5. Nicci says:

    You deserve to take care of you now. Follow that inner voice inside of you. There is no right way. There is just what you and your family need. Much love to you all.

  6. Kathy U says:

    Kelly,
    No, you are not Punk Rock Mommy, you are Punk Rock Daddy.

    I have followed Andrea and your family’s journey on this blog. I once told Andrea how I thought I was a pretty open minded almost 60 woman and then I admited that I was skeptical about Andrea just because of the name of her blog. Punk Rock just isn’t my cup of green tea. How short sighted I was! Andrea was an incredible woman and Kelly, you are an incredible guy. You and your kids have enountered one of those “life defining moments.” You have been forever changed by Andrea’s illness and death. Life defining moments allow you to define or re-define or refine yourself. Andrea gave you that moment, now run with it!

    Kathy from Washington State

  7. RD says:

    I first learned about Andrea a couple of weeks ago, just as she passed away. Better late than never, but I sure wish I’d run across her website earlier. What a life well lived! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers and I hope for peace and comfort for each of you. I can only imagine your loss. Take the time you need to recover and get your bearings. I look forward to reading about your journey as you feel you can or want to share. Blessings to you and your children.

  8. I read your words and they are exactly the same words spoken by my mother during the aftermath of my dad’s death–a harrowing year-long battle with cancer that took everything we loved about him away from us, one by one, before finally taking what was left, 16 months ago.

    Be easy on yourself and what you’re feeling–you’ve been through the unimaginable…there will be no “right” way of moving on or healing.

    A friend of mine told me after my father’s death that grief will be your “constant companion”. Time just doesn’t heal some wounds. I do get some comfort in living my life and raising my baby in a way that honors him and would make him proud.

    You and your family are in my thoughts. Lots of love to you all.
    xoxo

  9. Lindsey says:

    Kelly,

    Your whole family is in my heart and mind all the time right now.

    I lost my best friend (not lover, but best friend) just over 4 years ago. There are days, that it is still so damn hard. But there are days that are peaceful. And very recently, I fully “got” what they say – that pieces of her live in all of us – it’s so true and it’s been my biggest comfort so far. Hold tight to the gifts she’s given you and pray like hell through the days that are so damn hard.

    We’re here for you.

  10. Juanita says:

    I agree. You are Punk Rock Daddy. And an extremely awesome husband, father, guy. Those kids are so lucky to have you. I’m sending you all the vibes of peace and comfort I have.

  11. jamom says:

    Kelly, I am very glad that you posted. Do what you need to do to take good care of yourself…you’re in my thoughts.

  12. deezee says:

    I am so touched by the honesty of this post. To have found such love and then to have it grabbed from you…

  13. Someone who cares.... says:

    No, your not punk rock mommy ,but I can tell you kelly you are ” punk rock daddy ! ” I check this site often to see how you are all doing, and appreciate your honesty, and willing to share with us all your pain . I think from this whole experience you should counsel other men/ woman whom are going through the same and be able to provide them with the knowledge you have gotten from this . I am a true believer that something good does come out of something bad, you just might not see it yet. Just let yourself heal on your terms from this all . I am glad you have clay, and the rest of your children to keep you occupied as well and you are all in my thought’s and god bless !

  14. Julie says:

    Kelly my friend, I agree with the person who said that your relationship (or lack thereof) with Gd is between the two of you and no one else.

    Please don’t write to sooth our pain – only do it if it feels good to you. You are what matters now. Please let your readers know what we can do to try to lift your burdens.

    {{{HUGS}}}}

  15. Renee Khan says:

    Kelly, you are right you are no punk rock mommy. But you are a tattoo daddy who was punk rock mommy’s partner. And what a partner you seem to be. You are amazing too.

    I feel scared reading your post. I guess mostly about the losses and the death at the end. I know it is about you and Andrea and your family but I can’t but help put me with my family in the equation.

    Kelly, thank you so much for writing, you offer so much.

    Love Renee

  16. Tammy, WV says:

    Kelly
    I was so glad to see your post but I agree that you should only do it if it feels like the right thing to do. We will always enjoy and appreciate the things you write but we also realize how hard this must be for you. Take time for you & the children. There is no certain way to heal or deal with death. It’s okay to feel the way you do, only you & God know your relationship.
    You may not be Punk Rock Mommy but you sure were one heck of a husband for her and she loved you whole heartily. You were there through good times & bad, indeed you honored your marriage vows! Andrea would want you & the kids to celebrate her life.
    May God bless you and give you strength to get through this difficult time.

  17. Ed says:

    Kelly and Company,
    I can’t imagine what you are all going through. I can only make up a story about it. If I can be any help to you all, let me know……..Ed

  18. Jeanine says:

    Thank you for your honesty, and it is a big encouragement, by the way – because this is real life and real life is hard. I have never met you or Andrea but I can tell you have amazing strength and character.

    Grace and peace,

    Jeanine

  19. shari says:

    Kelly
    Maybe the time has come for you to take care of yourself. You have been grieving Andrea for a year since this diagnosis. It has been a long road. Maybe it is time to shutter the blog. I think everyone would understand. I think we know how this story is going to turn out anyway….the children will continue Andrea’s legacy and go on to do great things. You will raise Clay to be a wonderful, healthy boy with a bit of Punk Rock thown in and Kelly, you will eventually come out of the haze of cancer with the ability to see the wonderful relationship that you built with Andrea in action, through all of the children. I am not saying there isn’t going to be hurt and sadness along the way but the strength and beauty of your relationship will help you through. If this blog is too hard and recollection to painful we all will understand. You need to do what is best for you and the kids. I think the blog community will wish you the best. On the other hand if the blog helps you and the advice strenghtens you, we will be here with you every step of the way….

  20. Angela says:

    Kelly,

    I don’t know you, your children, and never had the blessing to know Andrea, and although I’ve never commented before, I have been following along with your family’s story for a few months. I want to say I’m sorry for your loss, though those 2 simple words could never do justice. I want you to know from an outsiders prospective, there is an overwhelming sense of love and beauty the resonates from this family. I see God in your children and in your love for your wife. I see God in your struggle. I don’t have any words to help your grieving, and though I realize it is hard, I see that it is a blessing Andrea is not longer struggling and she is at peace with God. I recently lost a loved one to cancer as well, and know the grief that floods the heart when they finally cross over into the next world. As far as your relationship with God, I know how hard it is to understand sometimes. But just from reading her words, I know that Andrea’s soul was too big for this world, her heart held too much love, and though I don’t know why God chose to take her, I know she is at peace, looking down on you and her children with a pure love we couldn’t possibly understand. I believe your relationship with God will renew itself as your heart begins to accept life again. I am praying for you and your family, what a truly amazing family you are. My heart goes out to you all. I wish you peace, may God bless you.

    “Death leaves a wound that no one can heal,
    Love leave a memory no one can steal”

    Angela in St. Louis, MO

  21. VTKim says:

    > from a total stranger. Hope you can feel all the positive energy so many are sending your way. Hang in there, buddy.

  22. groovyteach says:

    Always take care of you first. I can tell you are such a strong individual—peace and prayers.

  23. Rob says:

    You’re all Daddy and no sugar. I know that’s not what the cool kids mean by it, but you’ve had a shit-ton of responsibility and you’ve had to be there 24-7 for your partner. You’re doing the right thing taking care of yourself. If you don’t, you have nothing to offer.

    See you shortly,

    Rob

  24. leah says:

    dude, still hear for all of you!
    take your time and take care of yourself!
    much love AND respect!
    ~leah

  25. Aimee says:

    I don’t want to be one of a hundred people who leave meaningless and annoying messages about your spiritual state, Kelly. But, I also don’t want to just ignore it either. Our spiritual state at any given time is so important to our health, and is a part of “taking care of” ourselves. First of all, I wanted to tell you that although you think you are “not on speaking terms with God right now”, He’s still listening and still speaking. Have you ever seen the movie Saved? My very favorite scene is when the teenage girl finds out she is pregnant, and as she is walking home, all alone, she stops in front of a church that has a large cross on it. She stands in front of it, looks up at it, and says, “shit”, and then after a pause she says, “fuck”. The reason that is my favorite part is obvious- sometimes we stand at the foot of the cross and that is really all we can say. You will be strengthened through this, and your spirituality will be deepened.

    As for the sense of loss (and especially the breasts part), boy oh boy, you know I can relate to that one. But you’re going through loss on an even grander scale. My husband’s manager just lost his wife to brain cancer. He’s always telling my husband that he “doesn’t have it as hard as we do” because we have kids at home still and their kids are adults now. But I think in some ways, now that she’s gone, it is harder for him. He comes home to an empty house. Although going through cancer treatment is so hard with kids, I really think for my husband’s sake having the kids around is a good thing.

    Hey Kelly, if you ever want to even talk single dad stuff, we have a friend who owns a studio here in California, and like I said, I would be more than happy to put you in touch. He is also a single dad.

    Thanks for putting yourself out here.

  26. Maureen says:

    You continuing to update us on your life gives us all hope that we can someday be as strong as you in times like these. Your amazing grace through this whole process has taught me things that I thought I would never understand. Your voice in this blog has been just as moving to me as Andrea’s was.

    It is funny that you are asking the readers for spiritual advice, because the impact that your family has has on me is just that…spirituality.

    Thank you over and over again.

    Maureen
    Akron, OH

  27. Nat says:

    I’m going to echo what many have said, but there was only one Punk Rock Mommy and no one expects you to fill her shoes. Just be you, take care of you and the kids, and every thing will work out in the end.

    It’s ok to grieve, it’s ok to feel lost and out of place, and it’s ok to miss her. Just be and feel.

    Lots of love to all of you.

  28. Stacy S. says:

    Kelly…
    You are in my thoughts and prayers as always!

    Stacy in Wisconsin

  29. Margie says:

    Kelly, I only found this blog a couple weeks ago after Andra had passed. I went back to the beginning and read all of what has been written. I just wanted to say I’m so sorry for all you and the kids have lost, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My heart goes out to all of you. About your terms with God, we all have to work out our own relationship with Him. And I think what you are going through and feeling about that and everything else is probably pretty normal. And that is a good thing. You will go through the loss, step by step. And you will make it. I believe that with all my heart. You are too strong not to. Seems as if Andrea is still there, helping you somehow. Take things one step at a time and do what feels right and makes you feel better, for the long run. I hope I haven’t stepped out of bounds, especially since you don’t even know me. Just take care of yourself.

  30. that girl says:

    sending love. breathe deeply.

  31. bendagen says:

    Kelly,

    You and your wife are the most honest people I’ve ever encountered. Thank you for being real in this plastic world. It’s a beautiful thing.

  32. Amanda says:

    Kelly,
    I Lost a child 7 years ago, My relationship with God was turnd upside down I was so angry at him, but you know a year ago I let him back in and realized he never really left he was just waiting for me to breathe again. And now it is even more beautiful than it ever was. Hang in there, you can a will do it when you are ready.

  33. kyle says:

    Kelly
    My heart is with you. I don’t know if I have commented before but I have been reading this blog for a few months. You are truly inspiring- both you and Andrea and all of your children. I lost my fiance 4 and a half years ago to cancer and can understand just a miniscule part of what you are going through. I will not lie and say that time heals nor will I say that life will go back to normalct. Life though will enter a new normal. Whether that new normal involves God will be a very personal decision. One that I am still working through. One that many widows that I know work through on a daily basis. I wish you strength on this journey. You are on the minds of many and I hope you will keep writing– not for any of us but for you. Also if you have not discovered it yet there is an online community of young widows that can be extremely helpful. I know they helped me. http://www.ywbb.org sometimes only people that have gone or are going through this can completely get everything that you are thinking. Much strength in the days ahead.

  34. Rachael says:

    You are not Andrea, you don’t need to be her! We like you just the way you are. I wanted to wish you love, and peace in your struggles with religion. I know that I would be thrown for a loop in that department if I’d been through what you have. We don’t mind if you’re not around that much – obviously life, you friends, your kids, and taking care of yourself are the most important things.

  35. Melinda says:

    You are not Punk Rock Mommy, nobody expects you to be, but we can all agree you are one Hell of a Man.
    Godspeed my friend.

  36. Sister_Sunshine says:

    Kelly,

    I just found this blog today and I wanted to leave my condolences on Andrea’s passing. I worked as a hospice nurse for 10 years so I knew step by step what you two and your kids were going through as I read through this entire blog from beginning to ending.

    I understand what you mean when you say your relationship with God is in flux due to this experience. I’ve felt that way many many times.

    The only advice I can give is to be honest with your friends how you are feeling, they will understand and give you the space you need to grieve. Time does help with the pain, but your wife will always be a part of your life. Keep living and teach her kids how to live again, in honor of her memory..

    I will keep you in prayer.

  37. Jenni/Rat says:

    You are Kelly, you are wonderful, I was amazed at your presence of mind only a few days after Andrea had passed. As we talked about your brood, and your vision for continuing to raise them, your clarity and wisdom amazed me. I felt distinctly that you were a strong man coming to terms with losing a strong women. The fact that you were so quickly able to articulate your wishes/plan for your family was astounding. Andrea was no dummy – she knew who she chose as a partner, and you are still that partner she had such faith in. Call us. we are here when you need us. August is empty and slow, and all about family, all of you…

  38. alaina says:

    Kelly,

    Words alone cannot convey my feelings to you and the love I feel for Andrea. I read your words with tears in my eyes, just as I would when I read Andreas words. I miss her, her voice and sharing this damn battle with her. CANCER SUCKS, ugh. : ..(

    She talked to me on more than one occasion of her great love for you and the children. Near the end of her life, we talked about you raising the kids, she seemed at peace with it all. For me, this is one of my greatest sadnesses, to know I may not see my children grow up, to be a part of their growth etc. She would tell me that their was beauty in knowing what was Gods will and accepting it. Im still not quite there spiritually, I dont have that understanding yet. I suppose Im a work in progress. But, I learned so much from her, from you all. I have never known someone who spoke and could put into words every feeling I was having. I cant imagine how much you miss her Kelly. You are in my prayers. Love, alaina

  39. I wish I had found your family before July 5. I think the world of everything you are doing. God Bless you all. And please know that you are doing Andrea a great honor with every little thing you do.

  40. maire brandon says:

    You are human Kelly, you are struggling as we all would, you are wonderful and fine! Don’t sweat anyone else’s words or judgments….God alone knows you, your heart, your pain and your needs…it’s all good my friend. You don’t need to explain or ‘justify’ or apologize to anyone on this earth. Nobody understands the depth of your aching…we all ache but we’re all different, so don’t worry about it, just deal with it however you must, and as you say, “Get back to the business of living”….you know it’s what your amazing wife, herself would say. She lives on in you now, and the children…this is our legacy as parents on this earth.

    God bless you~

    maire brandon

  41. Linda Conley Soffer says:

    I agree with many of the previous comments. I appreciate how hard it is to experience your strength when you feel so empty, but like the sun on a cloudy day, it is still there, just obscured for the moment.

    Hug the kids a lot. Schedule time to embrace your sadness & emptiness. Find little rituals that keep you connected with the love. I am thinking of how your “new normal” will change again when you move into the new house, when Alec leaves, when school starts. Try to take a moment each day to get through the clouds to feel the joy that is there today. Every day will be different.

    Thank you for continuing to share your experiences with us with honesty & courage. Peace to you as you navigate your path of grief.
    Linda

  42. MaryLeigh says:

    I lost my dad to cancer and understand the blank, gaping feeling of loss. But I know that your pain will lessen and you will realize that the best way to honor Andrea is living how she would…be a fearless badass and just rock life. She really wants you to smile again. Just own life, and enjoy everything that it brings. You have so many people who care for you. Just embrace this strange existence we are given! 🙂

  43. debi says:

    Kelly, I think knowing that she was leaving the family with you was a source of great peace for Andrea. I think that because ,whenever I read anything you post I feel that peace too. I love you, debi

  44. Helen says:

    Wow. Tears flow every time I read the blog. But I agree with previous comments that you should only do this if it what YOU want to do. I think it is a cool idea to let others in your circle post stories if they feel up to it. Your priority right now is to focus on yourself and the kids and to start to get feel for what your new life will be like. Andrea is there, she always will be, not physically but in all of you and all around you. And I envy you and Andrea for your love story…beautiful. If only we could all find our soulmates even if for a short time on this earth.
    Peace, hugs, and lots of love.

  45. Kelly's Mom says:

    Kell,

    I feel what you are going through. You describe it well. My heart hurts with you. I remember feeling the empty hole left when your grandpa passed away, and wondering how that emptiness could be so heavy. It took some time, but the weight did become lighter. The space in my heart that my father occupied, I now perceive as a golden light. I think that light is love. And though I still hurt from his loss, it comforts me. Your experience may be different, but I hope that something like that comfort will come to you in time.

    I am so proud of how you stood by Andrea and are standing still for all the kids. Taking care of yourself is a must. And paying attention to their needs too can help to keep you from being too immersed in sadness. I trust in your wisdom to help you find your bearings and regain your balance. Be patient with yourself.

    I hope you find some solace from the comments on this blog. There are so many hearts that care for you. Bill & I are here for you, too. We are looking forward to being with you again soon.

    Love, Mom

  46. Nancy says:

    Helen said it perfectly.

    “And I envy you and Andrea for your love story…beautiful. If only we could all find our soulmates even if for a short time on this earth.”

    Andrea didn’t lose the battle – how could she of, when she got the ultimate reward of going to be with The Lord. Not to mention, she lived & loved to the end. She left knowing all would be ok with you & the kids.

    Take your time Kelly. Thinking of you daily.

  47. Christine says:

    Kelly,
    Everyone grieves at their own pace, and I don’t have anything to take away that deep sense of loss. You are going through a very difficult transitional period, and I thank you for sharing some of your inner soul with us. It can be therapeutic to sit down, and write out how you are feeling. And, the wonderful children that you have around you, are her gifts of love to the world. I wish I had the chance to have met her, I think I would have really liked her.
    I wish you the best of luck, returning to work. Getting back into your daily routine, can seem surreal, at first.
    I lost my mom to cancer, 10 years ago, this month. I remember that deep feeling of loss. There was so much that she missed out on. And, it took me a very long time for me to accept her passing. I remember it all too well. I know that she wasn’t my spouse, my one true love, but, she passed away when I was only 29, and expecting her first grandchild. I never expected to have children who didn’t have a Grandma. But, 10 years later, I share the memories of my mom, the stories. Memories and stories never fade, and help you to remember your loved one, in happy and in sad times.
    When you are ready, you can choose to share your stories here, or not. Take your time, and do what feels right for you. Until then, love those kids, and enjoy your time together…

  48. Roads says:

    What a wonderful post, and I can relate to everything you say. What’s important to me is how well you put across in very few words much that is difficult to say about widowhood, from a male point of view.

    About the space in the bed, reminding you of where you cuddled your warm tender woman, all through the night. On the miserable focus which grief can bring to the most basic of needs. And (not least) about the memory of breasts.

    I agree that the grief is made more intense, and not less, by the fact that you lost a part of Andrea to her pain medication, some time ago. I can understand that remark perfectly. And so what if you’ve lost your religion right now? Because quite honestly, almost anyone would.

    Time will do what it will, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Best wishes and much admiration to you all, from London.

  49. imstell says:

    Kelly
    I have heard others who have cared for terminal loved ones express those same feelings of loss preceing the loss. None has ever spoken as eloquently nor with as much feeling as you have in this post.

    I know men who have buckled under the immense pressures and stresses of watching the woman they love waste away and pass before their eyes. I saw some of these men leave in their inability to handle thier grief. Others retreated emotionally, leaving thier spouse alone in her journey.

    Not you, Kelly. You stayed with Andrea. You gave her your heart, soul and physical being. One hundred percent, and then some. You loved her more each day for all the days you wouldn’t be able to love her in the future. She knew that. She felt it. She drank it up. And she gave it back.

    The proof of the man is in the fight.

    There is nothing left to prove, Kelly. I know how sad I am to see the link to PunkRockMommy on my homepage, knowing that I will never again click through to find a fresh post from my friend. I’ve struggled every day with not deleting it. Perhaps it is time for a fresh break for us all. God, and Andrea, know that you deserve one.

    Stella
    Mothers With Cancer

  50. Gift of Green says:

    Your words are just as powerful – it’s why I keep coming back even after Andrea is gone. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do…for yourself.

  51. ByJane says:

    Kelly,
    You have to do this in your own way and on your own terms. It is astonishing how much you are willing to share of yourself here. I feel privileged, and I will also more than understand if a time comes when you need to stop. We all will. Anyone who has endured the loss of a loved one KNOWS that we all grieve in different ways and at different times. The truth for you is to find yours, willy nilly of what you thought it might be, it should be, or Andrea wanted it to be.

  52. joshua says:

    you are making a lot of great decisions, my man.

  53. martha says:

    Kelly, you may find that you have to give up the blog to heal. If you do decide to do that, it’s ok.

  54. elizabeth says:

    As I read this entry I am reminded the most of my own loss and the time afterward. When someone you love so deeply has cancer even though it is devastating you soon rally around them. Your whole life has purpose.

    And this goes on for months or years. All your energy going toward living with them through the ups and downs. Above all else you are living: fighting, side by side this horrible disease that is threatening your loved one’s life and your dreams.

    When it is over it is like being the survivor of a terrible holocaust. Not only do you need to heal from a tremendous loss but you must reenter the world anew.

    I walked around like a zombie. I felt on tilt, sideways. I had been through something that would forever change me. I had experienced something at a young age that most people my age did not experience. I was ahead of them and it would take many years for them to catch up. My hope of course was that no one would ever catch up. But that is not how life – and death work.

    Andrea was amazing and beautiful. We were out of touch until my son told me what happened. My heart hurts for her. She will miss so much that was so important to her.

    And for you, I’ve only come to know you through this blog. You seem to be an amazing man. Andrea was very fortunate to have had you. I am deeply happy she did. She deserved you!

    I remember the day, when I was twenty five years old, that I found out my mother was terminal. When I told my boss he said, “I hope you will go through this in such a way that your life will be better for having experienced it.” It was the best thing anyone said to me. I offer it to you in love and gratitude.

  55. Michelle Wienke says:

    Kelly and family,

    Your mom said it best “Be patient with yourself”-you will slowly, each day recover a bit of yourself-while still loving Andrea and raising the kids.

    I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers for your continued strength and love of those around you, and those, like me, from afar.

    Continuing to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers-more than you probably will ever now-

    With love and Blessings-
    Michelle

  56. Lacey says:

    I don’t know now, and (selfishly) hope to never know your pain. But I do wish you the best in everything you do – both for yourself and your children. Please know there are people from around the country praying for you.

    – Lacey

  57. Deb says:

    Kelly…what a testament to you, Andrea and your family that there are so many loving souls that comment back to you. I’m sure it is a huge source of comfort to know so many people care….when I lost my sister, mom and dad, it would have felt like a soft blanket enveloping me to feel all this love surrounding me!
    I’m sure you’re learning that loss and grieving are processes….the loss is immediate, but the grieving takes a lot longer. It sounds strange but when my sister died from cancer my first reaction was relief….relief that she was free from suffering. Of course then that quickly turned to my grief in missing her. And everyone experiences it differently…it’s a very personal thing. What might be “normal” for one person may be completely different for another. You NEVER stop missing the person, rather you just get kind of used to the feeling. It’s not a distinct uphill journey, rather there are highs and lows….you’ll be doing pretty well and then some little thing will hit you and feel like you’ve been punched in the gut, you’ll miss her so much. But you’ll get through it and past it and more and more you’ll remember with a smile and not tears.
    Sorry to ramble on so much….take care, Kelly….
    Deb in AZ

  58. SB says:

    Relax, I’m not a spiritual advisor. I know from losing my dad and having my own ongoing issues with God that one of those is the last thing you need. I’m also not going to say that I know what you’re going through – as I was grieving that was the LAST thing I wanted to hear. No one but you knows what you’re feeling.

    I just want to say that I admire your strength throughout all of this; it has definitely shown through both in your previous postings and in the fact you’re keeping this blog going while now single-parenting six kids.

    I also admire that you truly, deeply love Andrea. I know a lot of guys, and some women too, who would’ve bailed out the minute things got difficult, but you stuck by her to the end. To me that is the ultimate sign of true love. And I think you can really honor her by carrying on her spirit. No, you’re not going to replace her when it comes to the kids, and you shouldn’t expect it to. Just continue to instill in them the same values she did and help them to remain strong – even if you’re falling apart inside.

    But without a doubt no one is stronger than Andrea. I’m just now having a chance to read the blog even though I found out about it back in the fall. It’s truly inspiring and at times very moving. Though it makes me feel kind of petty about how I react to and deal with things (like complaining for two days about an earache). And in a way I feel like I’ve learned from reading this.

    I’m a fellow Fishtowner and had always heard about Andrea and the benefits. I’ll spare you the excuses as to why I could never help. But I will apologize. Your family is blessed with some truly wonderful people.

  59. Laura says:

    I’m glad you’re still here, talking to us. Take good care.

  60. Denise says:

    Heh Kelly,

    I didn’t know Andrea at all but I felt so rocked by her death. I stayed away from the computer for about a week after because of the emptiness I felt when I turned it on, and I couldn’t visit her site, as I did, for months since I found out that I too have breast cancer. I was dx last November.

    I too just had a mastectomy (June) and I can relate to your words about breasts. It appears to be the last taboo. People say things like, Oh well I’m sure you’re so glad to be alive, yeh, I am glad to be alive but I was doing fine before this all happened. My own private joke on it is that Paul McCartney married an amputee, but she still had a full set of tits!

    Keep trucking Kelly. We love you up here in Ontario.

    Denise

  61. nobody really says:

    I had gotten to your site from another’s who after surviving also wants to move forward out of “cancerland”. I was grateful to have the flip side, the after they’ve passed on view put into your own words. I think there are many who while they know what is happening to them, they also worry what will happen to their loved ones when they are gone. So thank you for putting it into words, your one male lost your lover view. I know it will bring solace to many others while it sits on the comments no matter if you do move on. You and she will be helping others for as long as the words stay “out here” for any/many others who have to walk where you’ve alreay been. So thanks for taking the time…all of it, it’s always about time isn’t it.

  62. jacquie says:

    kelly

    what you give us is truth and honesty

    some of it is so raw that i hurt for you and your family
    but all of it seems necessary for any kind of healing if possible
    please keep writing as you are truly honoring andrea and your children and also helping us that are going thru cancerland and anxious for our loved ones.
    thank-you for sharing this horrific time with us..as it can’t be easy
    jacquie

  63. Kelly says:

    Hey Deb,

    Thank you for putting things into perspective for me. While I have never felt a personal loss of this magnitude, I have certainly been in tuffer spots in my life Kelly had to learn stuff the hard way) and with much less support. I realize that people die every day and often the family is left in ruin either emotionally or financially. Its hard to tell an 11 year old girl who’s mommy just died “you’ve got it pretty good kid” but in fact, we do.

  64. Just came across your (Andrea’s) blog today. What an incredible post. You are such a devoted husband and father and I am touched. God bless.

  65. nancy says:

    She was a dynamic beautiful person and the world will miss her.

  66. nancy says:

    she was dynamic and beautiful and the word will miss her