SUNNY CARNEY
After a courageous 10 year fight battling Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Carney, of Plum, passed peacefully on Saturday, November 3. She was married to her devoted husband, Mark; and was a loving mother to Austen, Logan and Nolan; daughter of Patricia Jennings and the late James J. Jennings; daughter-in-law of Dale and Dottie Carney; sister of Judy Phillips (Ray Jr.), Lynn Pesta (Teddy), Michael Jennings (Vicki Lynn), James Jennings (Sue), Joseph Jennings (Elizabeth), Sheila Fortes (Jim); sister-in-law of Craig Carney (Julia). She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, and was a true friend and inspiration to many.
In addition to being an inspiration to family and friends Sunny inspired carcinoid cancer patients across the globe through her blog, and then her book "The Sunny Side of Cancer. She spoke at numerous cancer events locally sharing stories of her journey which led her from Basel, Switzerland to all of the top Carcinoid Cancer specialists here in the states. She was an advocate for better diagnosis of the disease and for insurance coverage of treatments. She fought with grace and dignity, never letting the pain inside challenge her faith or diminish her love for life.
Memorials may be made to "Carney Family Fund", c/o S&T Bank, 2190 Hulton Road, Verona, PA 15147.
Friends received Monday 7-9 p.m. and Tuesday 3-8 p.m. at Unity Community Church, 215 Unity Center Road, Plum, PA 15239.
Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Unity Community Church with Rev. Frank Deluce officiating. Arrangements entrusted to CHARLES W. TRENZ FUNERAL HOME, INC.
VIEW GUEST BOOK Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


After over a decade of suffering from Carcinoid Cancer, Sunny Jennings Carney has decided to fight back. She has currently undergone two proven treatments in Basel, Switzerland and is planning to return for two more. She is also planning on going to Houston, Texas for a six month period to undergo experimental treatments that look promising but are not FDA approved. She has exhausted all the FDA approved treatments here in the United States and will not accept that this is all there is for her. She has dedicated her fight to help others understand this rare cancer and to find successful treatments in the United States. Her strong faith in God and will to never quit has turned a 6 month life expectancy to over two years presently.

Below is an entry that was written by Sunny's husband Mark when she had her third bout. To become updated on her journey please enjoy her posts.

Please check back for updates and event information.

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147


Sunny's husband Mark tells their story...

A mother of three boys, a daughter, the baby sister to a large family, an aunt, a godmother to several, a trusted friend, an outreach volunteer, a business owner and my wife. Sunny Carney lives up to her name every time someone speaks to her; she is beautiful both in and out. She has been my biggest motivator, my rock and my inspiration in tough times, my biggest fan in good times, and most importantly my best friend. Told 14 years ago that having children may not be part of our future because of ovarian cancer, she kept the faith, and is a wonderful mother to our three sons- Austen, Logan, and Nolan. She is always ensuring that they know the Lord, love of life, kindness to others, hard work, and occasionally when to "shape up".

Her boundless energy, healthy lifestyle and positive attitude are infectious. She has served as president of our children’s PTA, organized committees that benefit those who are less fortunate in the community and led drives for those who have been caught up in unfortunate situations. She has done so much for others, usually without letting anyone ever know, I could not begin to list them. Her strong faith in God and modest upbringing has given her a sense of giving that only she can explain. When she successfully started her own photography business, she also started a non-profit division photographing family portraits for area families fighting cancer. Her friends say she is amazing and she simply shakes her head and wonders what all of the fuss is about.

Her mother, sisters, brothers and large extended family will tell you she is the one you can count on to lend an ear when needed and never judge. She was raised by her loving mother and father who was the warden of the Allegheny County Jail and actually spent most of her childhood in the residence connected to the jail. At a young age she witnessed more of life’s tragedies and obstacles through her neighbors, the prisoners, than most of us can imagine.

Although all of the aforementioned is remarkable it is not what makes her truly special. Sunny is a two time cancer survivor and now is currently fighting for a third time. After beating ovarian carcinoid cancer and undergoing serious surgery for carcinoid tumors in her right lung just three years ago, the carcinoid tumors returned in her lymph nodes, liver and bones. The size and proliferation throughout the liver of these tumors mandates immediate chemotherapy in four treatments over the next few months as well as monthly octreotide treatments. These painful treatments will hopefully stop the growth but are not a cure. There are numerous tumors in her spine, her skull, her hip, her leg, and her shoulder...all in the bones and she will wait on potential radiation to fight those.

What my wife has is Carcinoid Cancer Syndrome, an endocrine disease which is rare and spreads from organ to organ. As of right now the only known treatment for remission is administered by renowned clinics in Europe. However the treatment is not covered by our insurance. Our doctors have encouraged us to start raising money and matching grants could follow. Her lead oncologist strongly believes that Sunny would be a prime candidate to be a voice to get the message out regarding carcinoid cancer syndrome, bring this treatment to the United States and encourage approval from the FDA. Without this treatment, the tumors most likely will continue to metastasize in other organs and her fight will be ongoing. Sunny has set up The Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund to support her treatments. She believes that once she beats this cancer she can make a difference to others also suffering from Carcinoid Cancer.

Mark A. Carney

Sunny Carney Carcinoid Cancer Fund
C/o S & T Bank
2190 Hulton Road
Verona, PA 15147



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sometimes U Just Ache More Than Others....

Sunshine...I LOVE U...its been a little while since we had one of these "on-the-record"...talks...I know you have not been far...and that's good...you know what is said daily between us in certain moments stays between us...but I had to let you know that we are doing good....great in some aspects...and yes moving forward...but that doesn't mean that the hurt still doesn't haunt me and the man-childs...learned a new term for the experience of this process...triggers...as you know we had to put your little buddy down...the old Beagle...wow...that was so much to deal with...so much more than a pet...he was such a part of this family...such a link to you...and so sudden...and bam...and had to make that call again...damn....except this time Nolan insisted on being there...and I know he had things to work through...and its so hard to just open up but we did our best as we always do....


But once again....the house is void...no more pesky under my foot Beagle every time I hit the kitchen....no more little buddy even now as we talk for me to reach over and rub his ears....as he would by now be having one of those dog dreams....muffled barks at some imaginary visitor...content in his bed....now when the garage opens and we come in...no greeting with a shoe...it just sucks...but we go on...we move forward....as we always do...


Had two funeral homes to visit...two more triggers...I don't want to revisit them because there is still fresh grieving I guess would be the term and having been numb like that once....I don't want to trivialize the Foley's and Dugas losses....they hurt...and going to those things....I keep sunglasses on now...and yes I know you hate me for that....take them off I can hear you say...but I can't....I don't want to let the world in at those things....because my world was you...and I had to stand for hours and hug and kiss and shake hands with your casket like right there....and the video stream....sorry...but I don't like those things....but I go...right thing to do....and we move forward....as we always do....


And so much happening...I know you would be so proud of your boys...they only became my man-childs after...when they were forced to grow up way to fast...way to young...so yea...your boys...they rock...and they each have done so well...excelling in all areas...it really has struck home recently as Ace gets set to head off with the team to Florida....how you know how hard he worked after his knee surgery...and rehabbed...and now so excited...and how your dad played the game...and how well...you get it...its been unspoken...you are with him...and Logan...actually registering for classes next year that are tough and will challenge...he finally is getting it...that fierce determination you always had....and Nolan...still the sensitive one...and who for the first time in years has no sports going on right now to distract....so he is doing his best....he his really kicking some ass at the guitar....but I can tell...comes home from school now and seems lost as to what to do...restless...like his mother...


And then its March Madness time...you never really cared for this time of year....but tolerated it...and of course the replay of the famous Laettner shot to beat Kentucky....the night we walked back into the apartment and there was Jibs...and the replay...."the greatest finish in NCAA tourney history..."...and we had gone to a play for your class at the Playhouse....forgetful play....unforgettable how smokin hot you looked that night...but you felt bad...I loved Duke at the time...stupid Laettner sideburns...etc...but I would have gone to that play again the next night if you had asked....but you didn't....and every year....we got to relive that night....cuz they always show that replay....


And new show on that I know you would love....and not having you to just lay on the couch with and share it....some people just have no clue....and its a frickin shame...but having had the clue...its hard to not have it at times....but we move forward....as we always do....


So please don't think we or I am all in a funk again....or this is big pity thing....that is not the case...things are going well...we are moving forward...but that doesn't mean that the essence of what we had....or the love we shared...or the bonds we forged...that doesn't mean raw emotions aren't triggered at times....still learning that...but its a good thing....and I would never trade my life with anyone...because that would mean I never would have got to love you...and you made me feel like I was on top of the world...just by being you...and that is something that can never be taken from me...that feeling....


So yea....I ache...but move forward....I will always love you....


ME



























































Monday, March 3, 2014

Moving Forward With Closure

Sunny I Love You...and that will never ever ever stop....You are a part of me....etched somewhere in the deepest part of my heart...the sound of your laugh buried in the recording that makes up my life...the twinkle of those beautiful green eyes seared forever in permanent marker...There was and will always be a Sunny and Mark....


But since the last post I have continued to sort out this concept of what moving forward means and
I think I may have finally grasped it....I always had felt guilty when people, meaning well of course....would say "well Sunny would want you to be happy..."


We both know they were right of course....but when you are still moving on....not moving forward that is the last thing you want to hear....I WASN'T READY TO BE HAPPY....but it makes a lot more sense when you are ready...so I get it...Its not as if I could love you any more....or you would love me any less....I get that...


But I want you to know that our journey has formed in me whatever will happen next....just as it has with our amazing man-childs...I don't know what the next part of my journey will be....but I can honestly say I am looking forward to it....our story is written...no editing...nor would I want there to be...


From the way you looked in Jamaica...a bronzed Irish Goddess....to walking Shadyside's halls for hours hoping to get you to go into labor...to traveling to Basel and having the two of us...just the two of us....to rely on....the late nights when you just needed held....the way you fought for all of us....from that final moment when I realized you had moved on...and the thumbs up you gave me...so many laughs...so many good times....so much dignity in how you lived and so much you taught me about what it means to love...


Thanks....


This is not easy for me to say...here...and you know that...but I am ready to be happy again...whatever that means or brings....and you will always be a part of me...and that will never change....I gave you my word in 1995 for better or worse....richer or poorer....sickness and in health....and boy did we test the limits of those vows....and I give you my word again that you are with me always....


Thanks for being you....and until we talk again...well you know...


ME

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Teaser

Hello Sunshine....I Love You...I am taking the time tonight to share this talk...well not really a talk in the sense that we have had in the past...I am sharing this to let everyone know what I have been working on in the evenings since our last talk....and this is to share what is to come...the screenplay of our incredible summer of 2008...the period where the lifeplan changed....won't share the title....but its about done...the setting is the first wiffleball tourney fundraiser we did that September...the voice over is mine or the narrators....hope you get it....so its like the trailer or teaser....and its tough to put this into the proper format but here goes...use your imagination or your memory....




"The late fall sun finally peaks her head out and as it hits the frosted blades of grass in the outfield the fog or magical mist begins to slowly rise like an inverted cloud....covering the marked outlines of the ten fields that we had laid out the day before....as I swing the thin yellow bat to and fro I wonder what were we thinking.....who is going to show up and play wiffleball to raise money for Sunny....sure 62 teams had signed up....but would they show up....so much planning...so much help from family and friends....


Behind me I could hear the testing... testing of DJ Louie as he checked his gear...the beer wagon was in place....the grills were getting connected...the banners hung...Take A Swing Against Cancer.....We Will Love You Through It...the Chinese Auction tables getting meticulously arranged...the cars pulling in as volunteers jumped out to help set up....we had no idea what a day we were in for...


Sunny....she would be coming at the singing of the National Anthem....in pain...but pained by the prospect of staying away...she was a force...a magnet in the center of the iron field drawing all the good filings to her....the help and support we had was incomprehensible....would it be worth it....


And before you get the idea that this story is about a yellow bat and a plastic ball with holes in it....about a game we all played as kids....think again....


Its about one of those unique people you may come across once in a lifetime....one of those special individuals who are dealt what society may label a "bad hand"...and where most would just opt  to fold the hand....but instead parlays that hand into something so much greater...so much more...beyond bluffing...playing that hand as if it was a misdeal...and somehow other cards.....another hand was in play....a life that wouldn't be defined by what was happening to it....but would be defined by her own terms....and how she chose to face each day....


Never Give Up....Each of us faces our own private cancer of some kind....each of us has that choice to make how to deal with it....those were some of her favorite truisms....she had no tolerance for quitters....or Debbie Downers...or for wasting time....


Wiffleball....really....this is the story of a thousand people showing up on a late September afternoon....250 or so to play in the tourney....and the rest to show support....and to help...this is really the story of all of us....who didn't want Rocky to overcome the odds...the US Hockey team to beat the Russians back in Lake Placid...except in this story the Mighty Balboa wasn't fighting Apollo Creed and Miracles would not be on ice....Cancer...an incurable kind....so she was told....but Europe was an option for treatment....she found the option....we had to make it possible....


That's what this story is about...one person who selflessly gave of herself and refused to be beaten by a diagnosis....inspiring a whole community...us...all of us...to pick up a little yellow bat and stupid plastic white ball with holes....and to go have the best time of their life making the impossible possible....


That's what this story is about....people...helping and giving to help a fighter keep on fighting....


That's Sunny's story...my story....my kids story...our story...



























Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Regis...Can I Use A Lifeline....I Call Sunny

Sunshine I Love You...Its been a few weeks...I have struggled with this talk....I have several drafts done but could never hit Publish...Today was fifteen months....damn...but not the reason for my using the "lifeline" tonight....I have accepted and get that you are up there....and better off...and that we were blessed with our time....and our love...and that I am not alone...but I feel loneliness....I feel empty a lot...like last night...sit down to watch the SB game and it just was a dud....hype...still an event...still a moment....but the moment was a letdown....I feel that way a lot lately....So I guess what finally got me off my ass so to speak to finish this talk of ours was a call today from another reporter....and as I shared our story for the umpteenth time...I found myself bragging again about how well the man-childs are doing....and I realized that a good chunk of it is because they have been able to continue to be blessed with teammates....friends they see and talk to every day....and ....girlfriends...they are pushed and challenged and interact meaningfully every day....


And thankful for that....because we are getting along fine....but at this age in their life they don't want to be too close to their old man....I get that...and I am so happy for them that they have been able to share their emotions with....well...a great group of friends....and the young ladies that have become regular parts of their day....


As for me...adult friends have lives to live....have their own challenges....Family....there....but also have their own lives to lead....and I get that....can't put it all on hold for the Carney Men....So I truly get it....not bitter....not the point once more....the point is....I have now a keen sense of what we had...and what I miss the most....Love....yea yea...but let me be more specific....I have no one to talk to with everyday about my successes.....my failures....my plans for the day...my goals....and I realize now how much you drove and pushed me....and that is gone....and working from home....it was great and a blessing when we needed it to be the most....but now its a double edged sword....I can still and am still here for the man-childs if anything comes up....but without you to communicate with ...to push me...to share every detail with if need be....and get your input and thoughts...its also a downward spiral to Depression Drive...


There I said it...and yes there are days literally....not figuratively....especially since this cold kicked in...that the man-childs leave....I put the dog out....and then I shut down...for hours...its just easier sometimes to just want to try to drift off with thoughts of you than face a reality that is Sun-less...and when that happens....and I get up and force myself to make calls at the crack of 10  on those days....I feel guilty...and then it spirals....and I have to really struggle to move forward....never had that issue with you...and so I let this family down...and that adds on...well you get it....


And I see the man-childs and how well they seem to be adjusting....and I ask whats the difference?  And I pray....and I pray some more....and I keep coming back to the same conclusion...they have daily interaction with friends....and girlfriends....and it seems to help them...and I interact daily with God but I think He got bored with talking to Himself so that's why Adam and Eve yadda yadda yadda came to be....and I am not at all discounting or diminishing my relationship with Him...I wouldn't have made it this far quite frankly without it...


So we joked about "my moving on"...actually you had your list....which I hated the whole concept of...but what does that mean?....and when is it appropriate.....and what is appropriate....and do I ask the man-childs for their thoughts on the whole concept....what I do know is that I can't keep going on this way....the fat beagle is tired of me talking his ear off...I am starting to fall into a rut I fear...not wanting to have people over and not caring...heck I didn't even bother showering after the gym today....who the hell cares right????I know gross....but you get the point....I am so confused as to what to do....and since we are always brutally honest here in our talks...I get input from our friends...but I dismiss it.....not because they have never walked in my shoes...hell I haven't even walked in these shoes yet...but because if they just reached out and talked or hung out with me maybe I wouldn't be in this do I move on crossroads....


And another fear I have is the potential down the road to have to meet another family...I have two... mine...and yes the Jennings....and I am so thankful for all of them....and the idea of having to maybe meet another group...not ready I guess...but am I getting ahead of myself...I don't know...that's why I finally had to finish this talk with you....its so complicated....I am so conflicted....and I am so devoid of real emotional connections with people right now besides the man-childs of course...that I am afraid if something doesn't change in the near future I am going to fall over that precipice...


Ah shit....Sunny....can you give me some guidance here....answer the question....what is moving on????....


I need your help....or I am going to some way some how screw everything up....so remember I have to read the question and you have to answer in like 30 seconds or something once old Regis says go....ready.....


I LOVE U SUN


ME




now....


Go......























Monday, January 13, 2014

Nolan Is 15....

Sunny....I Love You....We Love You....It is the little guys fifteenth Birthday...I wanted to say something special....something clever...something deep....I know he misses you....we all do...I know he would tell that he is doing good down here...I know he would tell you not to worry...I know he would tell you how much you meant to him and I am certain he would tell you how much he Loves You....and so....instead of doing something clever....I just did something from the heart...his heart....I am going to let him tell you in his words...I found the "Speech For Mom...by Nolan"....i.e...his personal thoughts written with no input from me that he stood up and read to you in front of 500 or so people at your funeral service....I can't do any better....and its his day...you two should talk...I Love You...


So here it is....



Hello everyone, my name is Nolan Carney and I am Sunny’s youngest son. I would first like to say thank you to all of you for coming today, and for all the support and love that I have received in the past few days (even though it feels like months). I bet that most of you are wondering how my family and I have remained so strong through this time, and I can only thank God for giving us such a loving community. I have received so many text messages and my facebook has been blowing up due to all the encouraging and heart-warming words that mean more to me than I can say. A lot of people have been asking me how I was doing, and the only way to describe this feeling is the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb. You older guys know what I’m talking about. To put things into perspective I still can’t believe she’s gone. It seems like just yesterday she was nagging at me to pick the clothes up on my bedroom floor. Now I’m not going to stand up here and pretend that losing a mother, and a best friend, is easy. But I can promise you that all you guys are making it so much easier. As I look around the room and see all the people that my mom has touched it makes me smile, and I know that she is smiling right by my side. Each one of you owns a special spot in her heart, as well as mine, Austen’s, Logan’s, and my dad’s. I’ve been told that losing a loved one is like a new chapter in the book of life, but I disagree. I feel that it is a new book in the series of life. A sequel that may not be as good or exciting as the first, but will definitely keep you turning the pages for more. Some of the highlights of the first book; my very first memories of her taking us to Target and letting us pick out any hot wheels car that we wanted (from the dollar section of course), the first wiffleball tournament and seeing how many people loved us and supported us and her fight, Buying us each an ornament (including our dog, Oscar) ever year for Christmas. Some of the plot twists; being told my mom had 4 to 6 months to live, seeing her everyday for 4 years after that, and of course, her death. I always like to say that she turned four months into four years. And what a 4 years it was. I know that she left this Earth young, but if you look at what she’s accomplished, she doesn’t seem like a 42 year old. She truly has left all of her footprints in concrete. For those of you that don’t know what I mean when I say that, I would like to read you a poem by Mary Stevens that has inspired her through the roughest of times.

 
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

                           other times there were one set of footprints.

 

                                  This bothered me because I noticed

                                that during the low periods of my life,

                             when I was suffering from

                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,

                     I could see only one set of footprints.

 

          So I said to the Lord,

      "You promised me Lord,

         that if I followed you,

             you would walk with me always.

                   But I have noticed that during

                          the most trying periods of my life

                                 there have only been one

                                       set of footprints in the sand.

                                           Why, when I needed you most,

                                          you have not been there for me?"

 

                                 The Lord replied,

                          "The times when you have

                  seen only one set of footprints,

          is when I carried you."

One of the many messages that I took from this poem, and my mom, is that you can always rely on God, no matter what your “cancer” is. I say cancer because to my mom always said that everyone has a cancer; whether it is cancer itself, or if it is an addiction, a hard time, or an unforgivable past. Whatever your cancer is, you must use it as a way to inspire others, like my mom did, and to turn a negative thing for you into a positive for others. So every time you feel down, upset, or in any type of pain, think of my mom. Think of how she chose to live her life. Think of how much she has accomplished.

Sorry if I am getting off track here, but I want to take a minute and talk about my past. My mom has, and always will have, the biggest impact on my life. Me and her were close. Go ahead and hate, but yes, I was a bit of a mommas boy. I remember when I was little and she convinced me to go to a charity event at river view for cancer, not hers though. I thought she was crazy and was probably on some pretty strong medicine when she said she wanted to spend her Saturday morning at a charity for something that had no impact on us, but that was typical Sunny. Long story short we went, just me and her, and we had the best time. After that we went to many more fundraisers and church events and had a good time everytime. Those are the thing that she made sure we did. I will never forget a couple years ago when I asked her what we were going to do when your cancer is gone, and we don’t need to have anymore fundraisers. She looked at me and said,’’ Nolan, we are still going to have fundraisers, but we are going to do it for other people.” So what ever you guys do, don’t stop being there for others, don’t stop going to fundraisers and charity events, and most importantly, don’t ever forget what she taught you.

Another big impact she had on me was she got me started on music. I will never forget the smile on her face when I told her I wanted to play guitar. She got so excited and bought me all the stuff I needed and gave it to me for Christmas. She always would encourage me to stick with it, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did. Music is my way to escape, to forget about life, and to express my emotions through song.

The last thing I would like to say is thank you all so so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I would say it some more but my brother is waiting to use the computer right now to write his speech, but seriously, thank you. Don’t ever forget her, don’t ever forget the loved ones that you all have lost, and most importantly, live everyday as if it were you last. Sunny’s Team forever!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014.....

Sunshine....I Love You...its so hard to believe that another new year is here without you...we rang it in with family and friends....but it wasn't the same...tried...but not having you to kiss....to hug...to hold...to squeeze...to run my hands through your thick hair...to retire late to bed and go to hold you and not have you say...."move over you stink..."....to not hear your laugh...to not have you organizing the events...the noisemakers....the toasts....the hugs for the boys...these holidays are still incredibly hard....puts things in perspective...I am not angry or jealous of those who have loved ones to share this time of year with....its not their fault...but I do feel a vast void where YOU used to be...Love ripped away....Love all in....and now lost...its an empty sensation although I put the game face on knowing that my New Year is just further taking me away from you....I know its impossible but if I could I would rather hit rewind than Play....you would be with us....with me....and I could see those dancing green eyes and big grin one more time...

Will I ever Love again?.....I must admit I am afraid of answering that question....there is no right answer....just a shitty one that I have to make...

This talk isn't about me feeling sorry for myself though baby...I am not alone though I am lonely...but its not the end of the world....I just read that January is Give Thanks Month....so I want to switch gears or tracks or whatever now....and I just want to say "Thanks"...for all of the wonderful memories of these holidays you helped create....for all of the extreme effort you extolled to make sure that the man-childs and I had the best of this time of year....for going the extra mile....at great pains I know at the end to make certain that the meaning of the season was grasped....memories....

I am thankful for every New Year we rang in together...I am trying my damnedest to fight back tears now...because I really miss you tonight...its snowing and its freezing cold out...and this is exactly the kind of night you would have wanted to cuddle up....I just hope that those that read this appreciate the value of just cuddling up....God...to wrap my arms tightly around those little shoulders and hips of yours....oh well....I have wonderful memories....seared in my heart....not my brain...

I have a lot to Give Thanks for this month...so I started tonight....I will continue...but I think now I will just stop....because honestly...I am not in a "Give Thanks"  mood right now...just being honest babe....I can't always put the happy "boy life sure is swell...." face on...because you know that yes we are moving on....and yes we get that you are better off....and we get a little better each day...but you know what....this time of year can still suck....losing you hits hard....real hard...I just really really want to hold and kiss you one more time...2014....

thanks....for getting through 2013....but saying "Happy f-ing New Year 2014"....still felt like an incomplete existence...shouldn't????.....I am getting better but to those who don't know....sorry....but it is what it is....not a whole family New Year picture...not yet....hopefully someday....hopefully....but until then....don't judge....don't suggest therapy....don't say get over it Mark....just don't....

You were my life...you were my life...you were my life....and it just hits hard this time of year....

LOVE YOU AND MISSING YOU TERRIBLY NOW SUN

ME
















Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our International Cancer Journey--5 Years Later.....

Sunshine I Love You....Its a week before Christmas and with everything that we have going on for some reason earlier today I was taken back to where we were five years ago...getting ready for that first trip to Basel....and so I am going to share what the feeling is like now...not revisiting old posts...don't need to...I have been encouraging everyone to give of themselves this holiday season and to not stress the small stuff...create an experience...give your time...give your presence...and so when I look back to where we were five years ago the week before Christmas I can describe the emotions...the feelings...the whole thing...no need for a DVR...and this is not a downer conversation sweetheart...this is just what it is...because as I look back for some reason on that week I am not sad...tears I guess a little...but not sad...memories...seared in my brain...wouldn't push reset on that time at all....you and I both knew that those three trips to Basel invoked so many different parts of the emotional prism...tugged...no yanked at the rope that was our faith....but also brought us so much closer together than we had been since before the kids were born...it was literally you and I (and yes for a great few days each time Peter....)isolated with each other and our faith halfway across the world...some kind of crazy cancer forced Euro honeymoons....but this week five years ago we didn't know that yet....

This talk is not for anyone other than you and I but I will share it...this is not to encourage or discourage....just a honest stripped down to the core honest recollection of where we were five years ago...yet I know that we should share it because five years ago seems like yesterday yet so much has changed...so much was learned...so much was endured....so much was experienced and so much is gone....don't take anything for granted....don't waste this chance we have here to Love each other and maybe just maybe show what that Love looks like cancer and all...we grew closer...we fell in Love more with each step of that journey because we chose to...and as that Love strengthened....nothing could come between us....nothing could ever remove the sense that all was good...because He was with us and in charge and if we kept supporting each other....pushing each other...hugging and Loving each other who the hell was going to derail that....so blessed...

Yet I digress....five years ago this week before the holidays was one of angst...nerves...it had been a whirlwind few months leading up to this week....diagnosed again that the cancer was back...ravaging the liver...chemo-immobilizations at Presby...researching potential cures which led us to Europe...having to raise the funds....first wiffleball tourney....first race...all of that....sitting down with our boys...wow...that couch seemed so small....not big enough for all of the tears that fell that night...looking back I see now how we had so much to do....so much to comprehend...so much to take action on...so much to pray for...so much to just take care of that we didn't have time to have our heads spin....that would happen later...we were going to Basel frickin Switzerland home of Novartis  on January 2nd...treatment for Monday the 5th...although we had honeymooned in Jamaica neither of us had ever even had to get a passport let alone been to Europe...and what the heck was Basel...internet research....real city...money center...old city...modern banks...cold....say what????

Nervous...you bet....apprehensive....damn straight...scared...of course...what if scenarios running through our heads....we talked about them every night that week five years ago....what kind of Christmas could we have just in case it was the last one....did we do enough to get the kids prepared...family invading our space...had to....lists to write for kids schedules....to dos...phone numbers for contacts...dinner drop off lists....laundry instructions....rides to games...practices...Pivik teacher contacts...prayers....would New Years suck????would this be the last holiday season....did we forget anything....wills done?????.....we had so much stuff to try to get our arms around that at night when I would wrap my arms around you and squeeze probably too tight in hindsight but not wanting to ever let you go that you were too tired to say "let me sleep"....you were already...

We had faced a Cancer Christmas before in 2004 when you had the right lung basically removed....it was a hard road back but life was getting back to normal...no life was better than normal...we had taken on the challenge....had been blessed with His healing touch and we had learned from it....to the point where I think we had put it out of the realm of possibility that it would return....I know I was back to my things are great life is a party outlook on life....you were feeling great looking even better and really running this ship we called a family....so when this came...it had been a real awakening...not that it should have had to have been....you think when you have beaten it twice...have had three miracle boys...one ovary and all...with everything we had been through....you think you would appreciate each day as a gift...the present...you did...I slipped back into the trap of feeling we were invincible...immune now...God had delivered us again....late 30's....house....career...life was a party because we had beat last call so to speak....so yeah honey...I wish I wouldn't have pissed away a few of those moments in hindsight....but again I digress...

This was different....timetable....no cure...brutal treatments here...Europe....story now was all over the local media....the articles in the Advanced Leader...the whole community knew we were going to Europe...they rallied behind us...amazing outpouring of Love that is still humbling me five years later...but this story was evolving so fast...at the supermarket getting hugs and best wishes and if you need anythings....at church...called up front for prayer....at the school bus stop....hugs...at the gas station hugs....it was an unbelievable few months leading up to this week five years ago....

So there we were...in bed....the kids would have their last day before holiday break the next day a Friday...we had one of the most open I guess you could say life altering conversations we would have....never shared this openly...nor privately for that matter....we were both just reading our Bibles....or at least trying to...you reached over to me....looked at me and asked "are we crazy for doing this?  What if it doesn't work?  Are you positive we are doing the right thing going to Basel?"

Wow.....

I hadn't expected that...I guess we both may have been thinking that as the tickets arrived...the plans were to the point that turning back was becoming less of an option everyday....I was reading James...actually had reread the same first few verses over and over because didn't want to turn the page...I don't know...but when you reached over like that I remember just reading that verse "Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance"....we laughed out loud at the irony....sat quiet for a minute...still holding onto each other....should we pray?....a few verses later on same page from James....."But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.".....so we agreed that we pray.....believe....trust...have faith that it was right thing to do....let it go...give it up...whatever and all of the above and that we would enjoy the next two weeks with our boys and family and friends....we would let it go....

Private moment....decision made...and once made we still had some nerves....but an incredible sense of peace...can't describe it....it was as if the connection or realization was made that you and I were going to do this...halfway across the globe...He was going to be with us...and that was going to be good enough....that was it....so yeah...this week five years ago was a hectic crazy period but ultimately a crossroads on our GPS of life that we had to chose the path....and glad we did....

So now five years later....a lot has happened since...but the message and lessons you tried to share even back then still hold true now...probably even more so....face tests and trials head on with His guidance....and have faith that it will be OK...get the big picture and don't ever worry or fret the small details...it was an amazing time and I am so thankful we got to share it....

LOVE U

ME














Sunday, December 15, 2013

Another One Hits 16

Sunshine I Love You....wow....I know its hard to believe....Our Logie...Lucky...is the big 16....two man-childs over the PA DOT hump one more pending....(I am not rushing....ssshhh..)....I know its late...but they just got home from the Steelers game...thanks to my brother for taking the b-day boy...and thanks to the special family friends who generously called Nolan yesterday and offered four tickets....I stayed home and warm...(they have underachieved...and lets be honest if I am freezing at a game now it will be to watch our man-children play...or it better be a meaningful game...been there done that...took the shirt off...got enough of those stories...)....man-childs had a great time and saw a win...of course b-day boy informs me he has to finish an outline for school tomorrow...ugh....I asked him all afternoon..."do you have homework?....no dad its done....oops I forgot this one class...."....wasn't even on the parent portal so I can't claim to be the sucker...but I am going to push his permit test back at least a week now...rascal...(and not the word I was thinking we he dropped this on me at 12:30....)....and he has the nerve to get irritated at me when this always happens...like somehow its on me...or its not his fault....(I know...looks like your side....takes after me....shut it...)....but he tests so smart...I have to keep finding the right buttons...and I will...but please throw in a prayer to go with mine....because I don't want to gray....

and now wow...Pandora has one of the U2 songs playing that you used to rock Logan too...and we used to hold him too...and its a rare one....Running To Stand Still....God I miss you at times....I can't imagine how these boys do it....they are so strong in how they go about their days...with their friends....with their teammates...with their schoolwork...with everything...to say I am proud of them would be like saying the Pillsbury Doughboy occasionally dabbles in pastries...I am sorry back to our talk....

We used to spend a lot of time "debating" the birth order issues....how much attention for each kid....did we treat our boys differently....did we push or favor any of them????....(and btw..as Send Me An Angel by Real Life comes on Pandora...yep....cheesy 80's one hit wonder...but foot still tappin...)....we used to have intense discussions...(ok....you would yell at me and we would argue...but we did it out of love...)...because you thought that I ignored Logan when it came to sports for the "golden child"...and yet in reality it was frustrating as hell for me because I think that because everything involving sports back then came so easy to Ace that Logan didn't feel it was worth it to try..."Logan want to go catch....no dad...tired...Ace...want to go catch...sure dad race you to the yard..."...and reality is after Nolan was born and we had three....neither one of us had experience of middle child....I was oldest of two...you were youngest diva of seven....that's right...said it...pffftt...so we didn't let Logan quit...but I so enjoyed building Thomas sets with him across the whole first floor of the house....and Lego cities...and just hanging...and now ironically he plays the same sport and same position I did through high school....goalie...and is damn good...but each one of them was and is so different as they grew and as they grow...

And so I guess after all these years I will share with you that you were partially correct...I did favor "golden child"...but not "the"....because I have learned that all of them are golden....If you gave me the chance to hit the Mega Millions Tuesday for $550 million but our boys couldn't share it....I would say screw it...each of them is golden....is priceless...and its not up to chance or odds to realize that...so we love each of them in the unique way they love us back....Logan has always been in the middle....at times it seems Ace and Nolan go out of their way to annoy him....gang up on him...Ace because I think he feels the need to assert himself as the "eldest"....and Nolan because Ace just suckers him in to his little games....they love each other deeply but they definitely have those "brother" moments...

Each of them has traits from both of us...but this talk is about Logan...so having said that he definitely has your short fuse....no time for BS type attitude...he has your soft eyes....your facial features...(actually he and Ace are mistaken for twins or each other so its comical)....he is so frickin smart that he doesn't want the pressure of doing well so the bar gets raised....I think he is content being in his comfort zone...small group of really good friends...girlfriend...knows everything about the Pirates including facts that I forgot....reminds me of myself....has helped friends that have reached out to him in times of their grief or struggles...(sometimes  late at night which I know shouldn't but does irk me....remind me of anyone????)....he does an amazing job relating to the kids at his group at church....younger...they love him...real patience....real affinity for it....real passion and sense of pride....(again remind me of anyone????).....he is so damn dear to me....and as he grows I can see your influence....your lessons....he gets it....does he come and out and always talk about it....no....gets that from me....but when we do talk he opens up like you....unless I disagree with something he says...and then he isn't afraid to speak his mind....(yes dear....just like you....)....but he has had to grow so much faster than we ever did....so I still am  in awe that prayers get answered and faith shines on as he goes day by day....

Ace now is at that age where he feels the need to push me at times....and then tries to con me...God is he like me....and Nolan is still the baby man-child who wants peace on earth goodwill for all and tries to make it happen...that leaves Logan somewhere in the midst....he pushes me...but also does his damnedest to make you proud....needs to work on his con game....and probably could care a lot less who he makes smile at times around here...because it can be his way or highway....which is a great thing....you...over time he will grasp the concept of compromise....or his girlfriend will teach him haha...

But after taking all of them to Dr Wolfson last week for true physical and flu shots for first time since well you know....(and yes they have had sports physicals and such...just not there)....he met with each of them and after would pull me aside privately and tell me how each of them was so well adjusted...and how strong and adjusted they seemed....and how proud I should be of them....I took a step back....I see them every day....we have our ups and downs...our laughs and our "attitude adjustments"....so I guess I still am blown away when someone who is a professional in the field...and who has known our boys since ever....shares that they are doing well....answer to prayer...testament to your guidance....and proof that I haven't screwed things up yet....

So Logan has come so far over the years...and I chose not to go all weepy with specific stories of him over the years...because you were there....don't need to....they are precious memories...for all of us...but we move onward....with your blessing.....you set the example and we are trying to follow....Logan is one heck of a kid....one of my "golden childs".....you did good with him baby....you did good....and I won't drop the ball and neither will he...(as I Promise You by When In Rome comes on....yep...can't make this shit up.....sorry one of our cheesy songs....going to break...)

Emotionally drained....sorry....I have that peace but it still hurts me to realize that my mother can wish me happy b-day but my kids mother can't wish my kids happy b-day....still one of those hard things....but not going to get stuck in it....

LOVING YOU SUN

ME






























Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How Did You Do It?

Sunshine I Love U...I never get tired of saying that...I want you to know first of all that this is not a woe is me or us talk...I told you last time I grabbed the heck out of His peace and learned not to give in...so many worry about not giving up...well hello...that's pretty extreme for almost all of us....giving up....implies a permanence...but so many of us...including me from time to time over the past year plus...have given in...let the voices or feelings of the moment control my day or whatever...and I would give in...because after all I am not giving up....wrong...I guess it took time...no playbook remember...to realize that just settling for not giving up wasn't good enough....giving in just sucks you in....makes you focus on the what ifs...why her...why God...depresses you...and it builds....open that door and everything changes....I guess I am finally able to say...I won't and I don't give in...no need to...we had it all....love...passion...ups and downs...a journey...I got to squeeze your hand one on one as you left this place and got your wings...how many get to say they did that????  So no .....I won't give in....this is a great life...I was and am blessed baby....

But I talk to you tonight because I have a question to pose....after doing a number of positive posts I am overwhelmed by the messages and notes I get from people who are both reaffirming but also need a positive message...I guess I should have been careful what I asked for...that if one person was touched by these talks then it was worth it...but there are real people...real lives...real pain...that reach out to me...that say thanks...and than share their story...its so hard to realize how much hurting is around us...its humbling to think my little dumb posts on FB and our talks here can possibly help...I watched you do it everyday...on the phone...in person...or here on this blog...and yet you weren't drained...you were invigorated...I feel drained at times...I am afraid to say or write the wrong thing and let someone down...I don't know how you did it...I know who you trusted to help...but damn with all you had going on physically you had to be even stronger emotionally...faith...He was your well you drank from I see now....

Anyways I will continue....its not me because I just sit here...pray....and type...as much as I thought I was a good writer He provides the message...I am thankful He gives me the ability to put it into simple words...so it can help...you inspire me yet again....still learning lessons that you probably tried to teach my stubborn ass many times in the past...got it..

I LOVE U SUN

ME











Monday, November 25, 2013

Stronger....Blessed...and Humbled....

I LOVE U SUNSHINE...I would say I miss you but I know you haven't been far or missed a single thing....but it is good to catch up with you and be able to share another one of our little talks...and yes I know you sent me heavenly b-day wishes today...you never did forget...should have known and expected it but I will elaborate more on that later....I want you to know that I have finally got to the point where I get that I am not alone...that feeling I had on Nov 3 as we closed the book The Year of First's....and I recall how last year on my birthday(mostly a blur...a fog..) how scared I was that I couldn't handle this...you gone...raising these boys...running a business...keeping the house functioning...everything....and I finally realized that I had to grab His peace that was offered to all of us...the peace that you seized upon to get you through no matter what...I guess I thought I had it to....but then I found myself riding that roller coaster...ups and downs...letting the situation of the moment control how I felt...not grasping that all of this down here is just temporary...all of it...and when I say don't sweat the small stuff I had to live like that....because I wasn't...its Ok to cry...its Ok to miss you...but with His peace I have the confidence to know that it doesn't define me...just like cancer never defined you...I get it...circumstances are what they are....sometimes even if we make good choices....but more importantly... He always is who He promised He is....and that trumps or kicks ass of any trial or test or small stuff that the schmuck below tries to bring us down with...so I get it...I still have a huge void in my world where you were...but I accept...I don't question...and I am confident that just like you faced with such faith dignity and calm every challenge...every scan...every procedure...every appointment...everything....that I have access to that same peace...and I chose to grab the heck out of it and quit trying to man up and do it on my own...He promised us all things are possible through Him....and since I am not able to make the blind see...raise the dead...walk on water...or turn water into Beam...sorry wine....just seeing if you were still paying attention...then I would be an arrogant SOB to attempt to even try on my own...or a fool...and so I have officially retired my spot in the Land of Foolishness...Love you...(had to say it again)...

So today being the big 43...(and as Alive and Kicking comes on....live version....ironic and awesome)...I am focused on three words for our talk tonight...Stronger....Blessed...and Humbled...no I recognize its not Faith Hope and Love but I will explain....I got the first glimpse into how much stronger we are this year (not through our efforts but by letting go as I explained earlier)....yesterday when Logan and I both somehow forgot it was the evening of his soccer banquet...thanks to texts from Debbie to me and to our other son O to Logan reminding us at 6:28 that the dinner portion was starting in two minutes and we managed to stay calm and make it there before  the actual program got started...Logan sitting with his teammates...me with a seat saved...and last year when it was held the day after you passed...or week after....it was all a blur...and how hard it was to see the seniors give their mothers flowers....this year I really felt the connection those boys had for their moms...and sure I realized that Logan won't be able to do that in two years...but instead of tearing up and having to step out for a few I was able to joke that I told Logan no need to give me flowers when the time came but I would take a hug...(and no I really did not tell him that...)....but as I looked over at him...he was the spitting image of Austen and his cousins....and you...and he was just being Logan...stronger...and blessed to have such a great bunch of teammates and for me to have such a great bunch of families that just well...that just...realize that you aren't here and they have taken it upon themselves to not let your boys nor me feel left out or whatever....I struggle to find the right words....but I guess the best way to attempt is this....I feel the love...the same type of love when I walk into  Thanksgiving dinner at either of our homes...that most of those people would do anything...heck some have already done anything out of love for you and by extension for us...and that's humbling...because its genuine and its unmerited...and well...I guess when we were blessed to find this little piece of suburbia outside of Yinzerville who knew it was a throwback to what America and her communities used to be like in the Norman Rockwell paintings....so we are stronger....we are blessed....and we are humbled...

And that brings us to the big 43....I was approaching this day as just another day...the 25th of November...sandwiched between the 24th and the 26th...not my 43rd...I wasn't down or in a fog like last year...I simply played it low-key...the man-childs had a hectic schedule...an exit test scheduled for Logan's concussion clearance(or so I thought but more on that later....) at 2:45...Nolan has a big test tomorrow and was going to stay late to study and had to arrange for a ride....I had to take him back to school by 5:30 for hoops practice...and Ace after spending Saturday night and most of yesterday in bed with some kind of one day stomach bug had practice...then immediately after had this Make a Wish fundraiser at the school "Buy a Guy" where he and four of the gang were the mystery men juniors chosen and which started at six...and tomorrow is Nolan's first jazz band concert and first hoop scrimmage...and a snowstorm as you know was promised and hyped for sometime late this evening...and the Denali needed a little attention so a quick trip to Jim and Tim sandwiched around the bank and Rite Aid for a medicine pick up....anyways....I didn't want a cake...I didn't offer to take the boys shopping for me nor did I expect any gifts...and I didn't remind them this morning hey its my b-day....and I didn't care when they forgot before rushing out the door for school...and so I may have screwed that whole approach up or maybe not...but what I did realize later that the one thing I still struggle with the most with them is communication...I should have just asked them hey what do you guys want to do for my b-day...instead of I guess making the choice for them...by letting it slip by and assuming they wouldn't care...Ace actually did go out at some point and get me a present...(shot glasses and the Vacation movie collection on DVD...awesome)...Logan tonight after we got home really wanted to know where the cake was....and Nolan right before we left for practice said he was sorry but he thought next week was my b-day because it is always after Thanksgiving and that he had a present he had picked out but not up yet....so yeah...I felt like I could write a chapter in the Wyle E Coyote Super Genius Book of Parenting...

But....hold on...slow down...before you start getting the Angel Army of Widowered Idiots all on high alert I want to share what an amazing day it turned it out to be...and I did share this with them...and I will remind them again in the morning...they made my day so frickin special without even knowing it....and yes I know you played a part too as I will get to...let me take a small step back and say it actually started right after I shooed them out the door...I had already received texts and FB wishes before I posted first thing in the morning...and it was easy to make that post a positive message so stronger...and as day went on and the comments and wishes kept coming it was humbling to learn that this is a blessed life...touched upon by so many...interwoven...social media at its finest...can't even thank enough for all of the positive feedback and just best wishes from so many from all over literally....it is well....I move on....don't want to tear up now...

So then the gifts start coming....first we go to Logan's appointment...turns out Mr. Einstein i.e. me had the time...Ok...the day and time wrong....wasn't today at 2:45...tomorrow at 4:00....he was already anxious to get cleared...and then "luckily" they had a cancellation so could take him...."Luck" my ass....then Logan is given a clean bill of health...no more concussion symptoms and I know you get how much of an answer to prayer that was....so many...no make that too many of our friends have kids that are still dealing or have dealt with extended concussion issues and it is a scary thing....I know how you hated not being in control of your fight...and let me share with you that we followed the plan the doctors gave us...but you just never know....but you trust....you have faith...you are blessed....humbled and grow stronger when you get news like that....thanks Logan (really Big Guy using Logan)....for that first great gift....

When we get home Nolan is back and he is reviewing again for his big test tomorrow before we leave for practice...I happen to check then their grades again on Parent Portal and he is one B short of all A's....and he is nervous about that one B....and I think damn...he is built like me but wired like you....your not good enough unless its perfect attitude...my could care less if I got all A's great but I never really wanted to work at it....(just a natural genius haha....)...if there was ever a stronger reminder of how much of you is wired in him I guess I have missed it or overlooked it recently but at that moment...5:06 PM November 25....no make that my 43rd....I got the message...and the gift....thanks Nolan....(and again to Him for that)....so stronger....blessed....and humbled as to how great these young men are becoming...and how much you touched them.....

And then we get to the fundraiser....and I admit I had no clue as to how big this thing was or really what it was....I knew five of them out of the couple hundred Junior boys were asked to participate...and they worked hard...costumes...dance routine....had to be in disguise unlike the 30 senior boys who also worked hard and were great but did so with bios and no mystery...and to think these were Ace and four kids I have coached and known and seen grow up into fine young men and still call me Coach Mark and wish me happy b-day....frickin awesome...they blew it away....every boy worked and did great not just our gang....all combined thousands were raised for Make A Wish....Stronger because didn't need a drink on my b-day...wanted to be there for him...blessed to see the performance and he went for $225...and he gave his time to do it...he got your message...blessed to give back...and humbled....as adult family friends hugged and gave b-day wishes....and then teen after teen....Mr. Carney....Coach Mark....Mark....happy b-day and/or happy Thanksgiving....felt like I could be mayor of the HS....(if they let old farts in haha shut up....).....Thanks for the gift Ace....you were awesome....and the other two man-childs watching with their friends because they wanted to be there....and laughing at Ace's routine....and his boys...honest smiles....genuine laughs....strong laughs....strong boys....blessed boys...humbled dad....it was an awesome 43rd.....

I was wrong....it wasn't just November 25th....it was my 43rd....but you knew that....that brings us to your gift....(as Sweet Dreams comes on...and the snow falls gently glistening pure on a cold Yinzer night)....as I sit waiting for Logan to go through his test...it takes about an hour...and am between work calls....I see a local number not identified...and you know how we quit answering strange numbers because the ghosts of unpaid but fighting hospital bills appear at strange times...well anyways...I choose...OK....I am led to say "Hello Mark Carney:...and its Karen from the Advanced Leader.....out of the blue...haven't spoke with her in months...she is doing an article for right before the holidays about local families that have suffered a loss...and how they handle the holidays....old traditions and new traditions...and I wasn't going to share this much about her story but....I got the chance to talk with her for over a half hour(no I didn't miss the end of Logan's test and report...thanks for asking....)....and just share how we are stronger...blessed and humbled....and no I won't give the specific details....I don't know what she will choose to put in and won't tip off her story...but it was an awesome tearless opportunity for me to share your message of Faith Hope and Love...see how it all circles back...and to be sitting there....out of nowhere....I got to share about the Sunny Tree fundraiser for Toys 4 Tots at Somma's....I got to share how certain dear friends had just volunteered for the fifth I think straight year to come over and do the holiday decorating and she wants to quote them and send a photographer over for the article....who else but you would take my quiet b-day afternoon and make it a press event promoting the positive message that life really does go on....and that we are stronger....and that we are blessed with dear friends...and how frickin humbling that is...enough said...thanks Sun....I should have known you would not have missed a birthday.....

And before I say goodnight Sunshine....if I have done my math right...this is the 67th little talk that I will have actually shared/posted since...well you know...I keep getting comments saying what an inspiration....your writing or your words pick me up....or bring tears whatever...that this and some of my FB posts actually are something some people are touched by...again...not to beat a dead horse...but stronger as I feel led to share this...blessed to have been part of such a Faithful journey with you my other half...best friend...cancer conquerer...selfless...giving...an angel here on earth is how I would put it....and oh yea...my wife...(blessed and humbled I was and am....as you were strong....)....you always said it was never your intention to be all of that when your started this....you were just trying to stop all of the phone calls from your big ass family and circle of friends that I was getting bombarded with...and so when all of the "inspiring" talk came you were honestly dumbfounded....but I think He was using you...I told you that...and you realized that after awhile...well I just started doing this because I made you a promise I would...I never thought I could or would do it for this long...I was just trying to put into words feelings to you to help me cope...(so many unpublished posts on this computer will attest to that....haha...shut up...you didn't post all of yours either missy...)....but I have been feeling a tug that this may be more than just us having little late night talks...so I have decided that when I get to 100 published....whenever that is....two-thirds there...I will get Tracy to help "When The Sun Goes...There Is Still Light(100 Little Talks)....and I think I will use your last few really awesome posts as the Prelude...Its a goal...it will keep this going because its not easy....Kleenex shareholders ain't complaining though....and I guess I get now why you were led to keep it going...if it helps one person and only two get printed....one for me and one for that person...so what...I will have it side by side with yours...my wife....her words....her fight...her Faith...right next to mine...can't think of any other books to sit next to The Book here in this house...you were incredible...tired yet pressed on...in pain yet took care of us ....family...friends...this community...its the least I can honor you with...

I am done....sorry for pulling you away for so long from the glories up there....but I needed this.... Stronger....Blessed...and Humbled...

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SUN

ME