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



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































































































































































Monday, October 28, 2013

Two People...One Bond....Three Words...

SUNSHINE.....I LOVE YOU....CAN'T STOP....MISS YOU....WON'T STOP.....now that's out of the way as the Pandora plays your favorite Tears For Fears song....yep...Sunny Wants to Rule The World...haha....you were the most driven person I ever met....everything had to always be just so...which is great and ties in for my talk tonight...because as you know and lamented many times...I usually could have cared less....if it got done...great....if it got done less than perfect...even better....as I used to joke this time of year....we weren't wasting our time for that perfect Halloween costume for toddlers...then young kids...then JR Man-Childs....then...well  you get it...and boy did I get it....

And as Duran frickin Duran comes on with Ordinary World...yes...I won't cry for yesterday....amazing how tastes and opinions change over time...(including thoughts about a certain pin-up girlie 80's band...haha).....but as my ordinary world changed....and I learned to survive...sorry quoting/singing along with this cheesy song...but it fits...somehow...as the boys ask me to if I can take them for costumes so they can wear to parties/and be cool...I remember the first costume you made....Ace...wanted to be Jack from Nightmare B4 X-Mas...You hand stitched black costume...feet cutouts...hand flip overs in case it got cold...Fluorescent add on for effect and safety....the mask....damn...George Romero wasn't as painstakingly careful....(He wore it for three years until it ripped when he outgrew it...) then came Harry Potter...then came the ghosts....but not just sheets with holes like my Charlie Brown ass wanted to do when Nolan wanted to be a ghost...you had to sew and cut and custom fit with Velcro and elastic waistbands....damn...and when a certain middle child wanted to be Britney Spears....I said "no cross-dressing"....you made sure his make up was perfect...and it was a frickin riot...you would take them with Colleen up and down...then come back...dump candy off...reload...grab car keys and go to the "mother of all candy "....in Oakmont...
and I would stay here....pass out candy....drink with neighbor dads....watch football in window if it was on...you were the Queen of Holidays....

I Love you....

Sorry last two songs were Hold Me Now...(U all guess the cheesy 80's band...Sunny and I had the greatest hits CD...and Head Over Heels....by well....TFF)....

Its the soundtrack of our life in a way....just saying...although in a sidebar I recall when after we got back from Nashville and the Gaylord hotel there and Logan heard that CD in the car "Tennessee Jed" by the Grateful Dead and took it to Redeemer Lutheran pre-school....and how you got that phone call soon after....and then when Ace took Duran Duran greatest hits CD to Pivik for headphone recess day in third grade or something and you were president of PTA and because it had James Bond theme View to a Kill it was banned and you had to go up and there and get it....(Now "I Promise You....by one hit wonder When In Rome is on....hold on....our driving to Florida CD...I need a tissue or the dogs back....)......OK....dog wanted to know what the frick I was doing waking him up to rub snot and boogers on him and his bed.....and yes PETA friends out there that's true....(I changed the blanket on his bed and gave his coat a quick brush freaks....don't get hostile....out of tissues and the UnderArmour ain't getting washed tonight....)....before we move off of music I recall when Nolan was requested to play the Star Spangled Banner and one song during the changeover on his guitar three years ago for O'Block's Holiday Concert....and the Jimi Hendrix version of the Anthem was "righteous" with all of us...but when he said he was learning Back In Black....we secretly laughed our ass off....but had to encourage him to learn a different song....(that's right....Sweet Child of Mine...just as loud....twice as hard solo...but made you smile when the crowd sang along and you got to be there...)...music was a big part of our life...helped us on way to your appointments...the U2 concert we did as a family on the school bus will be forever seared in my memory...your encouraging the boys to stay with music...making me buy that damn drum set for Logan and set it up Christmas Eve...thanks....love it...dust it once a month....Ace hated the Bass because it meant he was second fiddle to Nolan...and well Nolan...he just rocked...and if you hadn't...Justin Dillon and the crew never would have made the impact on our lives...the funny thing is I was the one who played through school...the band geek as a freshman so to speak...not you...but you made sure they had the best....you made sure they(and not just our boys and me....but everyone you came across...)....knew that they were Loved...that when they went to sleep...they didn't have to dream about a new mother...you could be fighting a deadly cancer...but always had Hope....and if we kept the Faith...and showed and lived as an example to them...and to others...than how could they doubt?  So music and Halloween were just a long ass winded way of me to get to the point of our talk....

And what inspired me for this talk tonight was one conversation and one FB message from tonight...
funny thing is both are friends that I never would have known if we weren't blessed with your fight...lets just leave it at that....one shared a scripture and the 27th was her b-day and helped break my emotional dam so I could finally start this....(and boy I just let it rip with His help since....)....and the other is grieving like me and asked me in a round about way...."I may not be super into God...trying...sort of...but after this happened...how do I know God is real???"...and I paraphrase but think I got the gist of the question/emotions she was feeling....

FAITH....HOPE....LOVE.....so the definition of Faith is "confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see"....(HEB 11:1...in case yunz don't believe me)...and the beauty/tragedy of that simple verse is its true....the choice we all will make is what are we hoping for?...are we hoping to get rich...to look younger...for our kids to get into the best school....for a promotion...for a new car...for a hug...or for something greater?????...I remember back in the spring of 1991 I just hoped you would return my call....and let me see you again...you hoped "my potential" would someday pan out...but we had hope....earthly at first and then beyond...and then the second question is....Do you have assurance about what you do not see????...again choices....because guess what we all do....some in Him and Heaven...some in Global Warming and some in technology....(and I just use the latter as examples....none of us has actually seen Global Warming and most of us can't say they know how their smartphones work....or even their radio....or cameras...well you get it...it could be dropping a letter in the FED EX box and trusting without seeing it will be halfway around the world by ten AM....never seen it....but we trust....)...so it comes down to what do you hope for....what will you swear or accept to be true without seeing....because whatever that is you will live for....if its "Damn this is the hottest smartest woman I ever met and if I play it cool then I hope she will go out with me"....or not....just saying....and then if its "OK we are getting married and she has had one ovary removed and has a tumor on the other...honeymoon...no kids...try fast....know what...screw it...we will have kids..." ....that's a whole different level...so I guess the answer is at some point if you listen....look...and learn...FAITH is exemplified everyday....in so many ways...in so many of us.....its just up to you if you have the Worlds Designer Goggles on or Faith Focals....tinted...bi-focals...square...round....nerdy...trendy....pink..blue...tortoise shell...whatever...it don't matter to Him....He wrote the first and ultimate "love one another as you would yourself "  amendment....I will say right now what we said all the time....FAITH CAN BE SEEN...some call it coincidence...or damn Sunny magic...or miracles we hear about....or "Incredible Irony"...whatever....FAITH can be experienced....we know....our three kids are living breathing proof....we had a choice...each time....we trusted...thank God we never wavered....or this house would be awful quiet....so the definition is accurate...but like He did his miracles....raising the dead...healing the sick...feeding the thousands with a $10 Sheetz card...walking on the Mon....rising from Hell to take my frickin screw ups without even shaking my hand...yeah I know it....because if not....that whole fight we did and these talks we have were the mad ravings and rantings of a lunatic and his sick invalid wife.....

So the two separate became one....one Bond...our song....U2....ours was a fight for a cure....to keep you here...I didn't want to punt your ass up there....you didn't want to go there just yet...but you knew if you were gone you were better off....(never seen a bunch of monkeys or seals or bees or stink bugs or dolphins have a funeral....pray...wake...mourn...grieve...for their kind....I do know Oscar still misses you....just saying....you who don't believe....invite me to the next horse funeral organized by Mr. Ed....I will bring a wreath of flowers.....and we all know the only flowers horses get is when they win a race...and then some hot blond takes them home anyways....just saying...)...so we were two and then became one....

And to finish this long winded talk....and to finish the message of the title....three words....yep....Steelers Lose Again....sorry...Faith Hope Love....Love being the greatest of them all...I just say....people seem to confuse love with emotions....really.....that's Hallmark BS....that's the world saying....if it feels right at first sight...then it must be right....BS....LOVE....HE tells us that we are to Love each other like He loved us....what kind of Love is that?....it is the commitment of the will that holds steadfast and unchanging....no matter what you may be feeling that day....or what he or she just said or did....or no matter what your kid just did....or no matter how bad your BFF hurt you the night before...or no matter how bad the external situation you are going through is tearing you both apart....He forgave the dude on the cross next to Him at the very end....He asked the Big Guy to forgive those who hung Him on that cross....really....that's Love...its not a pendulum...that's for keeping time in music...its not about feelings...because guess what....we all will feel good/bad/love/hate/kindness/bitterness///etc...we are human...Love like He loved us....unconditional...not stuck on the moment....but the bigger picture...ties back into Faith and Hope if you think about it....just saying...

So I have wasted enough of your time this morning Sunshine....I am sure you have more glorious things to do than sit there saying...."yes Mark....ok Mark....".....thanks for humoring me....now I stop...Peter Gabriel...."Your Eyes"  is on...and your green bewitching eyes...I am going to go off and be alone now...thanks...

I LOVE YOU SUN 4EVER

ME


























Tuesday, October 22, 2013

That Little Thing Called Wiffleball(Got Balls?)

Well Sunshine....I LOVE U....I MISS U....this will be a hard few weeks....I know I know move on...but grieving is something you take one step at a time...if it was so easy there would be one playbook...(that Book doesn't count per say though I read it daily...because that's the Book on how to live)....no there are whole aisles on the subject as I have learned....(not a very cheerful part of Barnes&Nobles I might add....be a good spot to be a tissue salesman though)...but if there was one script...one way to act...one way to handle it....there would be one book...that's it...but its complicated and changes like the wind...I am thankful that I have tethered my lifeline to the Rock so the winds don't blow me off course....oh I get yanked to and fro...I bump into electrical wires and get shocked....and it hurts...and I fight to avoid those grabbing snarling branches....that yearn to entangle the lifeline....but when all is calm....when the wind ebbs...the tether holds me fast....who knows where this poor Irish sap would be right now without that Rock...

Enough...I wasn't doing this tonight or early morning as it is to get all choked up in a negative means...I wanted to share and recall the joys and the message of what we experienced through that little fundraiser we called Got Balls?...Wiffleball...if you had told me way back when that you would be fighting a rare type of cancer I would have asked why you?....but would have had to at least accept that things happen....afterall we had to deal with tumors before we were married...on our honeymoon...before our kids...etc....if you had told me that the fight would take us to Iowa...to Tampa..to Nashville...and to Basel frickin Switzerland three times I would have said...well...I guess its possible...lets saddle up and go....(not that I had ever had of Basel....)...but if you had told me that we would be able to pay for a good chunk of the costs of the fight by organizing and holding an annual Wiffleball tournament I would have said...right...Wiffleball...that little white ball with the holes in it and the skinny yellow bat....that game we quit playing as we "grew up"....and just like in Toy Story 3...we discovered the opposite sex...Nintendo....quarters...whatever....that "kids game...?"..

Right....

So now I marvel...humbled...acutely aware that something ridiculously divine stamped its big foot right up the rear end of our life journey...as if any of us who joined you in the fight would have said..."yea...lets organize a wiffleball tournament...that will do it..."....

Right....

"And better yet...lets do it in the fall....no wait...mid to late October...with no rain heck no snow makeup dates...."...but there was more...so much more...."and lets not close registration for teams...because its the right thing...and lets have over 50 teams...and lets have faith it will work..."

Right....

I remember reading in the Book where He healed the sick....where He honored prayer...but I don't recall ever reading about Him blessing a little Wiffleball fundraiser...just a game...a kids game...and I think the prayers behind it...the faith...the trust...and it became possible...and a big part of the charm was the fact it was a kids game...and knowing how you felt about kids...any kid...the fact anyone could be a kid for a day by playing that simple little game...with family...with friends...and help raise money...it was ....like I said humbling to us....

But that was only the beginning of the story...the first one was organized in about two months...I can still hear Timmy telling me..."you know Wiffleball...someone else did this in Pittsburgh and it worked..."...he said it half or mostly as a joke as we both struggled with the fact that your best treatment option was in frickin a place called Basel...was going to be expensive and not covered...but also not going was not an option...WHATEVER IT TAKES...DO IT...that was your motto...that was how you lived before and after you got sick...I picture the faces of family and friends...."the Planning Team..." when we all met here on the back porch that summer afternoon because we had this great fundraising idea and we dropped the Wiffleball bomb on them....incredulous...not sure if we were serious...not sure if we weren't wasting our time...."come on Mark...lets do a spaghetti dinner....or a race...or walk.."(those came later thankfully of course)...put it this way....if we were playing Family Feud...and the question was How to Raise Money for Cancer....Wiffleball wasn't on the board....survey would have said....RAANNT...

But they all blindly went with the program...and what a special blessed group they were and are....and I don't need to mention names...they know its unspoken how their blind faith buying in made it possible to get overseas and have more time...wow...their faith and trust that it "wouldn't rain on Sunny"...and all of the work...and giving of their time....it was like our own little five loaves and two fish saga...

well take that back....You and I knew it was always beyond us...in fact we would joke it was despite of us...because for some reason He would use that little event....not just for your fight financially...it became so much more...it literally brought communities together....Plum and Greenfield....it brought families out to enjoy a magical day together...it brought old friends of ours who we had lost touch with back into our lives...it was about kids laughing and then being inspired by how you fought...it was about spending time with people you cared about....it was about neighbors....it was about teammates and classmates of our boys supporting them...easing their angst....even if it was just for a day...it was about teachers....teaching a life lesson about caring that no textbook ever could...message received...it was about DJ's waving their fees....it was about people giving...baskets...beer wagon...food....cooking...setting up and cleaning up...the Advance Leader writing your story and having I am certain to mention for the first time "WIFFLEBALL BENEFIT"....

Got Balls?  Really....

But like most of our journey together when we came home and finally shut the beer wagon down for the night...and went upstairs we were never at a loss for specific moments that left an indelible mark on our hearts...honestly I enjoyed those talks of ours on those V Sunday nights more so than when the money totals came in...and I don't have to say that of course the money was spent fighting via Basel and that you got your wings....and now just these memories/images remain....but I will....and I know as appreciative and blessed we were to have donations from Mario and AJ Burnett and so many other sporting local legends...and businesses...that you always commented on so and so's little daughter who gave her only dollar for a hair braiding...or about all the kids who dyed their hair matching team colors....or how people came from down South...the CMU hoop team...the Champs back from college each year...(you know I still have the jersey they made for you and that you wore with such humbled pride).....

It was about a dad wanting to celebrate his birthday by playing Wiffleball with his family...it was about this community telling me so many times..."thanks...we needed this....we never seen anything like this or met someone like Sunny..."....and us laughing because we knew it was Him...it was about kids inspired to the point they got mad at me this fall when I didn't hold the VI Got Balls....(we will do it in the spring I promise....)....it was about so much more than just a ball and a bat...and raising money....

So when I saw Austen and his teammates win the championship on Saturday...and my dad being there proud as can be...and how those same kids have embraced one of their own who has health issues....I was so damn proud....sports can help....

So when I saw the Steelers and Ravens kneeling on CBS in prayer after a hard fought game....it didn't matter who won...HE won...CBS forgot to switch cameras I guess and that image had over ten thousand hits when posted....

Life isn't a game....I know that...we know that...but as Wiffleball taught us.....by having faith...by trusting....anything is possible...even accepting that a life-saving trip to Basel can be paid for by a day of Wiffleball.....

So I ask...we got the lesson....two actually...Faith makes anything....no matter how stupid it may seem possible if you truly trust....and ....then you have to "GOT BALLS" to do it....Faith...and Action....


MISSING YOU SUN....LOVING YOU SUN....

ME










































Thursday, October 17, 2013

Almost A Year

SUNNY I LOVE YOU....its so hard to believe that we have been apart for almost a year...wow...I can't tell you enough that I miss you...because I know you feel it...I know that there is no turning back...I know that we look back on the time we had with you here and are thankful....but it still seems like a bad dream...I still expect Freddy Kreuger to bring you back...Nightmare on PA Ave....

I wasn't expecting or planning to have this conversation with you like this tonight...but while checking on the parent portal for the kids academic progress I came across the reminder that November 3 was the end to Daylight Savings Time....and it hit me...the irony...the fact that we were losing an hour of Sunshine on the day we lost our Sun....you still know how to get to me....thanks...

And as I sit here....Don't You Forget About Me comes on Pandora...really....really...sometimes I need to be reminded how much of a charmed life we had...sounds strange...without you for a year...yet I feel like we were so blessed to have had the run....that incredible journey of Faith Hope and Love...and Love is the greatest of them all...four letters that can't be rearranged to spell anything else...an emotion so strong that if you are lucky to have it....and get it back in return...wow...nothing matters....what else could? 

A year ago we were days away from Got Balls V....Wiffleball....I smile...we weren't stressing...we just trusted that although we had to push it back to 10.21.12 that the weather would cooperate...the teams would register...and to be honest...I remember laughing with you that we didn't care either way...your feet and ankles were so swollen...you had been through shingles...we had made it to Amy's wedding...it just was going to be what it was going to be....we prayed...we let it go...you weren't supposed to go...it was a cold morning...dew...fog...burned my lungs as we set up...you came...the announcement was made...Sunny is here...only staying for a few minutes...I never even got to do more than squeeze you for a photo op after Roz sang....I should have known...when I heard later...an hour at least...Sunny is still here...down at the pavilion...damn....as if you knew...you made me promise to do one more...Irish only do things in Sixes....I let you down...I promise we will do it in the spring...one last great Wiffleball tourney....don't care who the money goes to....neither did you...you made me promise and I still live with the feeling I didn't honor one of your last requests....

And before I move on....how blessed that whole event became...the help...the donations...the weather...the fun...the memories...frickin  Wiffleball...come on...I remember that first year...the panic when I had to redo the schedule for 60 teams...double elimination...hiding with Buzz daughters in a SUV redoing the posterboard...deciphering my handwriting for them...Happy and Tommy trying to find me...Mark more teams...what time do they play?  The baskets...so many donations for Chinese Auction...Kelly saying it was most she had ever seen...the beer wagon...wow...thank God for that...nothing buys time like a beer wagon....you giving the trophies out...what an amazing special day...

Firsts....I have heard that a lot the past year...I have said that a lot this  past year....but I am not going to pontificate on the firsts of this past year...we have already talked about that...or posted on FB....they hurt...they are empty...incomplete...I choose to remember our first date....our first kiss...our first Christmas...our first child...our first house...our first anniversary...our first move....our first dog...our first time at Hartwood Acres...our first trip to Disney as a family...(my first trip ever btw)....our first jobs...our first apartment...our first vacation to Florida you pregnant and swelling...(that theme came back)....our first time in San Diego...our first trip to Hillman...our first trip to Basel...our kids first day of school....turning 21 with you at Station Square and that stupid Sombrero you put on me for the Polaroid pic....thanks....still have it...our first ultrasound photo...the first kick of the gift inside of you...the first time I got to kiss you as man and wife...the first hug...the first...well you know....the first crazy Jennings family holiday....the first time you made Happy wear the Santa suit at the new house and he smelled like Billy Bob Thornton....the first time I brought you flowers to Pivik and made the PTA President feel like the Queen you were....I don't want to stop....but I think you and I both get it....celebrate those firsts...the others aren't firsts...they are milestones....well I guess they may be the boys and I firsts...but they aren't OUR firsts....so I don't celebrate them...

I can tell you that one thing I have learned the past year is that there is no telling or predicting what or when something will trigger a memory...evoke smiles...or tears....I try to hide them...its private...grieving really is like life...a roller coaster....I can vividly recall those last few days...damn photo memory...I don't have to reread the post...I never have...its been read and hopefully touched people over 5500 times....wow...but I regress....you will never be forgotten....you also will never be replaced...when people being well intentioned ask "how are you doing Mark?"...I answer "Fine"....that was our standard response I recall....but deep down I want to just shout out...."I am lonely...so Frickin lonely....you have no idea...I miss her so F-in much...."...but I don't ever do it...but I want to ...just once....

The things we...sorry stepped out back to regroup and after a rather crappy Sunless wet day here in da Burgh what appears to be a full moon appears...but clouds screaming in front of it...wisps not quite strong enough to diminish or erase....just speeding by...like angels on a 911 call....and I come back in...and Alive and Kicking is on Pandora....yep...Simple Minds twice....(I know sort of fitting in a way...shut up honey).....

The things we do or I guess I do now that you used to take care of have been illuminating...Logan's concussion...scary...making him do his eye exercises....and praying...yet today or I guess yesterday by now....noticed improvement...the boys needing more underwear dad....really?....how am I to know....homecoming dances....pictures that didn't quite measure up to your standards....Nolan bummed about not playing in baseball playoffs....Ace excited because he made several standout plays in his....Logan using your camera for his photography class....girlfriends....I think....you were the one they opened up to...you were the one who snooped through the phones...and texts...I am relying on man intuition...now there is an oxymoron....that Pirates playoff game though...that was a priceless night....yet I kept thinking....its great...and I am thankful...but someone was missing....I would have wheeled you up....

Not mastered the whole cooking thing yet....though have gotten decent at grocery shopping for value....have mastered laundry...damn these man-childs go through a lot of towels....but no clue as to how to iron...the dog misses his trips to the dog spa with you....I just do the vet...the house is still standing but it is a house that is down one...one Queen of Hearts...no full house...

So....I have had so many reach out and tell me how these "talks" of ours...or my FB posts help them which keeps me going to be honest...but last week I had a really special one...no names...but a certain 17 year old son from one of your best friends from the Field of Dreams sent me a note saying how he is inspired by us and to keep posting/writing....meant the world to me at that moment....you know who I am talking about....you get it....I always said I will do this regardless of how many read it but that feedback was awesome....thanks Ryan....

Anyways....its really late...or early I guess....I need to go pull the towels out of the dryer and fold em...down to one shower right now....and 5:45 is not far off for the man-childs wakeup time....

I LOVE U SUN....I MISS U....

ME




















Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Remember

Well Sunshine...it's the 19th of September...I was going to say you missed another birthday....but you really didn't....with all of the events of yesterday (see FB for ?) you were definitely around...I LOVE YOU..no scratch that ..WE LOVE YOU so much....it's hard...but I want to share with Austen how special he is...to you and to me....he is growing into the fine young man you knew he would be right in front of my eyes....he drives your Durango with such fierce pride I joke I wish he kept after his room the same way....he is an honor student..a two sport athlete...apparently a "stud"... But I know he has to hurt....especially today...even without reading your b-day card....wow...

I remember when we were told that children weren't in our future...but if they were we had to hurry(frickin tumors).....I remember the day that we found out our first miracle and had the ultrasound picture to prove it..l remember each and every visit to the ultrasound clinic to monitor the risky development....I remember taping each new photo at the office in front of me...my motivation....I still have them.....

I remember that long labor....the suction pump snapping with his big head....me freaking...you screaming..and the medical team laughing....Austen was special from day one...I remember sleeping head to your feet so my head could be next to his bassinet at the end of our bed because I was freaked out by SIDS....you laughed...I remember when we moved him into his own room next to ours on Deely...the first time you needed "girls time"..and how scared I was to be in charge of my living bobble head....he needed changed...I did it...he peed on me...pooped and had the reflux...right when you came home...what a sight....you laughed....I remember Austen in his crib....standing tall...holding on to the side...as I would sneak around and then pop up singing the Mission Impossible theme and he laughed and laughed...oh that priceless laugh....I remember you taking him to swimming lessons at the JCC and getting in the pool at some God awful time on Sunday morning....just so he was advanced....I remember the bouncy seat on Deely and how you used to sit by him and read to him as he grew strong and got ready to walk....I remember his laugh when Dad came home...no matter how hard of a day...damn I cry now...he didn't care...I was Dad....

I remember his first day of school...you took the photos.....you were a wreck...he did fine...I remember 9/11....holding him and his brothers like it was the last day on earth.....I remember taking his tournament baseball team to Greenfield and he pitched a complete game...got the player of the game....and how you beamed....I remember how he hugged you every morning....no matter what....I remember his basketball games at Riverview....and while coaching him as he scored 20, mop of red hair flowing ....you yelling at the Fox Chapel mom whose kid he might have fouled....I remember building Thomas trains in the the first floor and you didn't care if it was a mess....you understood it was a guy thing.... I remember the day we had to sit them down and tell them "mom was fighting cancer"....how strong he tried to be for his brothers.....sorry again I am bawling....

I remember being half way around the world with you fighting that cancer and how much it meant to hear his voice every day....and oh the hugs you gave him when we got back....I remember how proud you were when he finally agreed to cut his long red hair just because if mom was going to lose her hair he would cut his too....I remember the pain we felt when he tore his ACL at AAU....I remember how cool he thought it was that the two of you could go to therapy together.....

I remember his 16 th b-day....in the outer banks....you made sure it was a special occasion even though we were there for Amy's wedding.....who knew?

I remember that last night....November 2.....he didn't want to leave your bedside....just squeezing....just talking..you couldn't talk back but your eyes danced and you nodded.....he just wanted to stay with his mom..

Sorry I can't do this anymore.....I remember.....Austen please remember that you are my big guy and your mom loved you more than her life itself....

I remember .....

Happy birthday Ace....mom and dad love you...

Thanks Sun....I miss you....

ME

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby

SUNSHINE I LOVE U....it's been so long since I have been able to do one of these....I have been missing you so much this week...the next First in the First's....your b-day.... I was strong on Facebook earlier....trying to put best face forward....but we miss you....and it jumps up like Shamu at Sea World this week..back to school...no mom.... I do my best... But really....Nolan starting high school without you....he was a wreck Sunday night...but braved it out....wow...it hurts....Logan is  volunteering at church you would be so proud....Ace is sick tonight.....coincidence....don't think so....we miss you....

As I type this the Cure "just like heaven" is on pandora...really....you were so frickin strong it never seemed like the fight would end....but I guess deep down we all must have known it had to....still....wow....42....no 43....really?  We have to do this alone without you?  Really?    You were my rock....my voice of wisdom....my Smackdown sense back to reality when needed....the ultimate mother...the wife from the last chapter of Proverbs.....really?.......really??????

U r gone?.....

Still doesnt seem like reality....everyday  I expect you to pop out of bed ....kick me in the ass and say lets go...time is a wastin.....but I know you are in that verse from Amazing Grace ....."when Sunny has been there ten thousand years....Sunny has no less days than when Sunny first begun...."..that's my comfort....I will hug you again....someday....a heavenly reunion.....damn I miss you....

You are never promised true love....but I had it.....we had it......those vows.....better or worse.....you put up with it with me that's for certain.....sickness or health....I would choke the cancer demon right now...and be by your side...holding wrinkled hand.....rubbing swollen ankles....sponging oatmeal shingle fighting baths....damn....I got it....I was blessed....the boys were blessed...your family and friends were blessed to have been touched by your angelic presence.....you are forever my hero....I love you...
I LOVE YOU

ME

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day....2013

Sun..I Love You....We Love You....today was a hard day....we always enjoyed trying to make you feel special every Mothers Day....the way you made us feel special everyday....we struggle and yet we go on....conquering another "first" on this journey....there was no one to get up early and make breakfast for to serve in bed....no flowers gifts or cards to pass on....so everyone slept in....sometimes not being awake is better than having to get up and face the missing piece....it's easier if the day is shorter that way....

I was proud of our boys as we went into the old neighborhood to try to visit with their Grandmas....my mother was out and about but we got to visit with your mom...and give her some photos from last years Mother Day shoot....and to see Judy who had also dropped in....and to have Mineo's of course....the boys were hurting as they left the house but I could tell it made them feel good to have somewhere ...anywhere but here to go today.....I have been saying that a house isn't always a home....and most of the last couple of days has definitely been that...after Ace had practice we ran over to Rita's for Ice....just like we always did..the boys wanted to go....God bless them....

I am at a loss as to the best way to comfort them....I have been trying to find comfort as well....it's been emotionally draining....financially still tough....and the effects of it all can be physically impacting....it really is true when you are able to be positive it has a physical effect and the converse is true too....it can have a real toll on appetite....energy....I have seen it with boys and I am living it....

I want you to know how special you were....I just read a scripture in Psalms 127:3..."Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." You always understood that...if everyday was a gift...a Present to be opened....then you knew that your boys were the reward for that day....you were not going to ever not claim the reward and would go that extra mile....often not just for them but for all the kids you came across....you had three boys that shared our Carney name....but so many "rewards".... were touched by your love....thanks honey for just as I prayed in the car before we left today.....thanks for teaching us not so much how to live....but how to love....

Keep us in your thoughts and watch over us and make sure He doesn't quit on us....because things are a struggle lately and this is a tough week ahead.....I have been praying for guidance and answers but I must be on the wrong channel or praying for the wrong reason?.....anyways we could use a little miracle or two if you could put word in....

We love you and hurt so much but we will keep on trying....we joke all the time that Sunny wouldn't go for that....and so rest assured you will never be replaced or forgotten....

WE LOVE U....WE MISS U...HAPPY MOTHERS DAY....

Austen , Logan, Nolan, and Me.......




Monday, April 29, 2013

A Hard Week Two Years Running

SUN I LOVE YOU....I have been struggling lately to keep everything normal around here....but it's been a hard go of it....as we near six months to the day it has seemingly got more difficult where for awhile it seemed to be improving....don't have a clue as to why because each morning starts a new uncharted journey on this new reality of ours....I know that our love kept us strong and was the glue that covered a lot of cracks....Emotional Elmer's....not having you next to me....not having you to share life's special moments with everyday....not having you be able to share a ride with your oldest now licensed little guy....not having you to just hug and hold....wow....love hurts....

I recall that as May rolled around a year ago we had to sit down yet again with our boys because of the scan results....it was a bummer of a week but we prayed....made plans to go to Nashville to see another specialist....switched meds and tried to get you to put on weight....you were fighting hard but the tumors were growing in new areas and rapidly growing in the old trouble spots....the weight loss was tough on you and it hurt all of us to see you like that....we were not filled with pity....but rather with anger at times(as in damn why can't she get a break)...to admiration(as in boy how can we complain when she keeps going forward....refusing to give up)....the nights began to grow long as you really started to have sleepless painful night after night....laying next to you rubbing your forehead , heating the hot pads, and especially praying and talking with you was and will always be a very very dear period to me....the connection of our hearts...we were all in....we were literally living the blessed life of taking it one day at a time....able to thank God for little things and pray for the big things....

I still struggle because all in all we had a good life....a blessed life..three great boys...a home...friends....family...neighbors....fundraisers....hope....faith...and yet....it is gone....or at least so much of it seems to be gone....I hear your voice still....your laugh....looking at pictures abounding in the house I fix on your smile and those eyes.....and the happy times....and I cringe as I vividly recall the trips to the beach ....to Disney....the holidays....the garden...mothers day....you hugging your little trick or treaters in costumes you made...the bride in the dress you designed for our day....ugh....there will be no more holidays...no more Pandora charms from your boys....no more costumes....no more Disney....heck even Kennywood may be too hard this year....

This is not to be negative....it just is what it is....it's part of the process....I can't keep this in check all the time or I will actually go crazy....you were my confidant....my best friend....my inspiring Irish princess ...tumors, swollen feet, too skinny, better half....we had a heck of a ride....and I would never go back and ask to have a different trip....or travel partner....but I so wish our journey was still a present one not a bunch of memories....oh how I wish that....

I LOVE U BABE ....we all do.....

ME

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And Time Keeps Going By....Bye Bye....

Always you....always....I can't help the yearning I have in my heart to just reach over and rub your forehead....to squeeze your hand....to feel the softness of your lips....it is not even a hurt now...just a longing and a slow stark realization that it can't nor won't happen...some movie once had a cornball and oft used line "you complete me"....I now update that...I never recognized how whole I was with you until I live incomplete....and I am not alone....many are made just pieces in this puzzle we call life....the corners or the borders ripped and tossed aside....the idyllic image on the box cover left rendered a futile reminder of what should have been...or should be....

I LOVE U SUNNY....

I MISS OUR LIFE....CANCER AND ALL

my puzzle had its pieces spilled across the heavens....the master builder took His angel and my cornerstone....

Now I can get back to what I wanted to talk to you about tonight...it has been a real tough couple days....I stress about the boys....I worry about finances bigtime as bills mount and deals slowly move along...I roll that "we will make it d$ce" as I pray....not for blessings for us...but for peace and guidance...for that comfort that we had even in the midst of the diagnoses and the surprises along the cancer journey....we gave it all up ...and we had peace...I am really trying to keep that approach...but you know when it says two or three gathered together....well without you my two is one...but I can't focus our time tonight on money issues...or stress...this is a time I just wanted to share how much I really miss having you around....its finally spring...its now nearing Mother's Day...damn...I thought at first....I wish I could cancel or skip ahead....but then I keep passing the pictures we took last Mom's Day...actually the day before...we surprised you...and damn....I wouldn't trade the memory of how touched you were....how you felt like a queen....how your boys shone in their patience....(ant bites and all)...how Laura got all of the images just in case memories waned...(like that could ever happen now)....and how now that I have no idea what to tell our boys...your babies on Mothers Day this year...every commercial on TV during a game advertising this Pandora sale or flowers or whatever...we all look away...but I will remind them how special they made you feel on the last Mom's Day you celebrated down here...and that they should always cherish that....because you took that to the heavens...

Spring....Flowers blooming...grass cut...bees...stink bugs...you bothered with none of the annoyances and relished all of the gifts of life being reborn anew....each bud...each stupid dandelion...we planted our last batch of tomatoes and peppers with your mom's help about this time last year....and that last garden kicked ass....now in a ironic symbolic marker....its just brown vines...twisted wire meshing...collapsing brick wall beneath....

You would be so pissed....haha..

This was about the time of year that you would ask each of your boys want they wanted to do for their "special day"....and boy how they looked forward to just hanging out with mom...one on one...playing hooky...no take that back....because hooky implies they were skipping out on learning....no classroom in this world could have taught them more about life and love on those "special" days than you did....in fact no matter how shitty you felt and how hard you tried to hide it...we...well they got it...they knew that their mom was giving up herself to make them feel like the most precious kid in the world...

Which takes me to two closing points....one is a reminder I got tonight just before I started our conversation from Phillipians 2 and just slapped me back into how you lived everyday...and how I...nay...all of us should live everyday....

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others."

So as I get frustrated yet again by the dumbass computer with its Windows Updates that just derailed me and got me on the laptop...(see...much calmer than normal)...I want you to put a word in for Carol and the other MS fighters...for Lori Nixon and her family and her treatments...for Susan Watson and her family who I haven't connected with forever as they move on....for your mother...for Justin and Holly's baby...for the families in Boston grieving....and for those healing and dealing with nightmares....for Viola...don't know why but just felt led to put her on list...for Hilton Head Lori and her family...for Kylee and family...for the Gleason family...for Lisa....and of course for our boys....this house...and me...but put us last....thats the right way..

I LOVE U ALWAYS.....

I MISS U TREMENDOUSLY....

I HAD THE BEST WOMAN EVER...

ME.....

















Monday, April 15, 2013

Terror and Prayer

SUNSHINE I LOVE U....I can't even think about starting our talk tonight without leading off with that...I don't know what you see in heaven or not....on one hand I truly believe you are with us in a way...somehow protecting or rooting for us...yet if so...then I guess you might feel our discomfort...our hurt when something like today happens in Boston....and doesn't that go against what heaven is not to be....no pain...no suffering...I don't know ....I will have to wait to find out the answer...

I am drawn to the memory of 9/11....but in particular how young are kids were back then and how they really had no concept back then of what was happening...and kids our boys age then are now some of the victims...losing life and limbs...losing family and friends...I know what I feel and how I cry when I think of the innocence lost to our boys by your passing....and just like Sandy Hook...I get choked up now when I see images of little ones getting rushed away in a wheelchair...or of the father cradling his infant like one of those baby carriers we never got as he rushes away from the scene....

Those that attacked Boston today....whoever they were...took advantage of what makes this country so great.....one of our strengths...and used it against us...hoping to maim and kill...but also to strike fear in our daily life from here on out....sure we celebrate the opportunity to gather....as friends... family... co-workers....strangers...fundraisers...to cheer each other on....to continue old traditions...to make memories...to renew relationships...to establish new ones....a beautiful day...just like that Tuesday on Sept 11 almost twelve years ago...so they think we are vulnerable...we are weak...we are exposed...that their attack will radically change how we think or live...striking fear and paralyzing us to the point where they eventually win....

They won't win...they can't win...because what these cowards whoever they are don't...no can't understand is that we are not defined by an event....we are not defined by a evil yet futilely pathetic attempt to make us see the world the way they want us to see the world...or to get their message...we are not defined by murderous attempts to spread a certain religion or again a "message"....we already got it....whoever you are...."you hate us...."....good for you....you cowardly bastards...we get it...and we say....so frickin what....

You only hate in life what you are not.....what you can't have...what you can never be....and that is what defines us....we are a spirit....the American Spirit...you can't grasp it...you can't have it....you can't kill it....and yes....whoever you are you little pricks will continue to try....and you will succeed at some point again...because we are an open society that will not live in fear...look at how NYC  has bounced back...how that site in Lower Manhattan ...like an American Phoenix rises again....God...how you must hate that whoever you are....but that is who we are...that is what defines us.....not what you pathetic little lost people try to do....but in the heroic God-given greatness response that we have to your evil....

So I tell the boys tonight....we need to pray for Boston...pray for those families and the victims...pray for the American Spirit....but do not go through life afraid...but be damn secure in where your ultimate journey will take you....reuniting with you...their mom....and live accordingly....not in fear...but in faith....

And recognize that the news today was terrible...but the American Spirit still shone brightly amidst the chaos....and that is what the little bastards can't grasp...whoever they are...so we pray....not to a dude....but to the Almighty...and we go back to living...changes will occur....but what makes us unique will live on...it has to ....because He does....

That's it...all I got....

GOD BLESS AMERICA...

I LOVE U ALWAYS SUNSHINE

ME





















Friday, April 12, 2013

Promises Kept

Sunshine I hope you know...I LOVE U...there...and I promised you last night that we were back....no more hiding behind internet down or boohoo I can't finish...(no pun intended....)....tomorrow your baby takes his drivers test...damn I wish you were here for that...its a huge milestone in a man's life...and Austen is a man now....hate to admit it but your little red haired baby...my "golden child" is growing up so fast...I cry now...not of sorrow...but because you snuck him out to the parking lot and took him driving and he is going to take his test in the SUV he picked out for you back in 2004....

Christmas week...minivan going to the trade in heap of life...you in hospital with Lung surgery...the first one...I had picked out two Durango Hemi's from Leiberth(yea another victim of our Obama Socialism Rocks...)..one candy apple red...one snow white......Austen and I went down...and he said..."Get the red one dad"....so got it...had them wrap it up ....brought you home Dec 24th....Christmas morning....snowing...real snow...not the sporadic lets pretend its snow to make Christmas feel good...real snow...you were sleeping....I paid the salesman $100 to drive it up that morning....with a red bow...and he backed it up right to the front door...we lifted the hatch...flipped that DVD player down...put the rest of your presents in the back beneath the hatch....put in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood and set  the remote to program to play the theme song..."Everything I Do I Do It For You...Bryan Adams...our wedding song...every last romantic bone and nerve in my body  ready to say....Sun...welcome home..merry Xmas...the snow was God...Eight...we call you down...we open the front door....the hatch is up...candy red...snowy white...a holiday candy cane...Marc Burnett couldn't have scripted it better....you come down...the presents stacked in the hatch backed up five feet from the front door...the flip screen down...you say...and I push play..."everything I do ...I do it for you..."....you start balling..."that's our song"..."I know"...."how did you"..."merry Xmas baby"....

I joked that every romantic urge in my inner core was spent for that...but truth be told...you taught me that its never too much to show how special the love of your of life is....later when I would go to Giant Eagle in Waterworks and create the six dozen $40 arrangements twice a month unannounced and unexpected your friends and family would be like..."Mark...have you lost your mind..." "the Vases don't even hold them...."...so frickin what...I remember to this day when you were president of PTA and had the planning meeting for spring carnival after your surgery...I brought that bunch of flowers into PIVIK without a warning and came in to the auditorium and said..."Hey....where's the President.."....your friends cried and you turned red....advice to all young men....treat your loved one to flowers at her office or place of importance...but don't tell her ahead of time...its so worth the reaction not just from her...but from her friends...she will feel like a Queen...as she should...

I LOVE U SUNNY.....so anyways....this began because tomorrow our little red head takes his drivers test...damn....I cry...I remember back to the day he was born...It changed my life...I stop now...I am choked up...Please tell every Angel up there and the Big Guy to pray for him....

I ADORE AND LOVE U ALWAYS SUN....

ME

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Storm....

Sunshine I LOVE U....it's been a real struggle as you know to share our talks..emotionally technically and well....it's been one unshared saved talk after another....someday I guess...the month of March was so long....it truly was madness....the dreary days....snow...cold temps...but you know I couldn't help but think everyday what would you have done today....was it too cold ..or too windy to go to Hillman....or would you have just said screw it...let's go...I play the "how would Sunny have been today with this weather"....is it goofy....don't know and don't care....it helps me get by....because as you know we had to plan accordingly based on forecasts...then we learned that forecasts are like assumptions.....you used to make fun when I would watch Weather Channel and then double check local forecast and yes...sometimes even stress about how you were going to be...and you never quite got why I always wanted to know the radar and up to minute barometric info....I was tired of surprises....some crazy notion that I could eliminate or arrange schedules so you wouldn't suffer...dumbass...more often than not you were right with your bones hurting than the AccuNotweather radar ever was....but I had to do something....

It's ironic in a way that the last thing we watched on the TV together at the end was coverage of Sandy....a storm that wreaked havoc for millions and yet you got peace....the wind and the cold and the humidity would never bother you again....Amen...no more bones aching so bad you would squeeze my arm and stifle screams....no more trying to catch your breath because of humidity and one lung....how could my aerobic trainer be.....well I stop that thought....no more help needed to get off the couch or out of bed or stepstool to get in the Denali or help to use the bathroom because of the swelling in the feet ankles and calves....no Mas....Nada....Nein...Nyet....whatever....you got peace....

So today as the storms blew through I was struck by a comment Nolan made a couple of times....this is the first big storm in a long time....spring is here....and he was right....this is the beginning of spring....your flowers blooming....the rhododendrons will soon be  out in purple white and pink majestic heavenly glory and I will think of you....insert tears here....you loved this time...babies wrapping up school....special day pending with each....new sports season beginning....pictures....Easter.....Mothers Day....ok...now I stop....

Shouldn't have gone there....mothers day....wow....don't want to think about that.....you are in our hearts thoughts and memories everyday.....we miss you....but like the storm tonight....after the thunder....after the bolts....after the downpour....life grows....and slowly we are taking baby steps to grow after you....and speaking for myself .....sometimes growth is two steps forward and then almost two steps back...don't care.....

I will do this again tomorrow I promise....

I LOVE YOU BABY

ME

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Hour Glass That Is Our Life....

Sunshine....I LOVE U.....I haven't said it here in a week...exactly....took some time off...not that you and I stopped talking...stopped sharing tears...stopped praying for our kids...our families...our friends...those that we just had to pray for..not that you have been far from our memory....oh baby I miss you so much sometimes that my heart feels like a ten pound dumbbell inside my chest...(I know....good cardio workout...or is it a heart attack waiting to happen....oh well...only He knows...ask Him for me)....anyways its been a week...haven't had much communication with outside world...on purpose I think...just haven't been in mood to Facebook or even the desire to have these conversations...honestly I think that waiting and recharging emotional batteries once in awhile helps keep this fresh....it was feeling stale...it was feeling like you and I could have these talks and it wouldn't matter if it was in this forum or not...I don't know...I am not sure how much longer I will or can keep this going...its hard and it seems that the more we have these talks the less interest people have in joining in...so at some point may just pack it in and stick to our private talks....less attention that way...

But tonight I wanted to talk to you about TIME...and now because I have Pandora set to Stevie Ray Pride and Joy of course comes on at this moment in time and I am going to stop...because this song is for you....

OK..had a good cry and back with you toots...TIME....it was something you and I talked about often...it was what drove you to get up everyday and open up that gift from above...the PRESENT...the present is simply time in the now...not the past time...or the next time...but the now time...and thats all that mattered..all that you had control of was your now...and you suffered little for people who frittered away their now....people who flushed that precious gift right down the drain of life...instead of spending it wisely and utilizing each granule of sand in that hour glass we are each given you had no tolerance for those that chose to take that sand and deposit it in the Mr. John of their world....

We are each akin to an hourglass....we have no control over when we are born or when we say goodbye...the top and bottom of those hourglasses are thus set...but each of us has control over whats in between...the sand...you somehow managed to morph your sand into concrete and left footprints all over and wherever you went...

It became especially acute when we were given the speech about months last fall..we thought we had to after the first of the year...but deep down I think we both thought that your time was not spent...that the sand was still flowing...but you also realized that you had no control over it and so you became even more urgent in how you spent each day....from writing letters and cards to your boys to be opened years ahead...to reaching out to friends who needed a pick me up...to visiting with everyone at the Wiffleball tournament for hours when you probably should have been home in bed...to going to Amy's wedding and keeping your vow to have a last family vacation...together...Damn..I still can't get over it...sorry...be back in a minute...

TIME...I think back as I listen to Stevie Ray to 1992...the apartment on Beechwood...I am writing my final paper for Fiction class and you are studying for Accounting 501 or something...you hog the bed...I am on that ugly orange fold out thing you hated...stereo playing this same CD....birds outside....hot except for the fan on the floor...I would stop and try to persuade you why you should take a study/fool around break...this time I remember I won...oh well...I know we have to keep it PG so I stop there..but you remember..TIME...who would have guessed what the next 20 years would bring...who would have thought that if someone had said SUNNY you will be an angel in 20 years...you were tan...in great shape...we had the whole world ahead of us...TIME...don't ever ever ever assume that you have time to spend with your loved ones tomorrow...or next weekend...or next holiday...or next game..or next season...our hour glass has no GUARRANTY....or warranty for that matter...it can be fragile...ripped open sand spewing everywhere in a flash...don't ignore your loved ones...don't ever ever tell your kid not now..IF NOT NOW THAN WHEN....tomorrow??????bullshit...tomorrow is a pipe dream until its today...until its now...so instead of doing what I did too often...screw tomorrow...and invest in making a difference now...compound your sand...get interest...get the maximum return on today...on now...on the present from above...use it wisely...make a difference in someone's hour glass...its their sand too...don't waste their's .....its never coming back...the moment once missed is gone...we aren't DVR's...a memory is a terrible thing to waste on regrets...trust me....you know what I mean baby because you always pushed me in the right direction....and I got it...but I may have got it too late....

so please ....if you share this conversation...don't waste any more TIME....get off your ass and go do something for someone...with someone...make a memory not a regret....

I LOVE U ALWAYS....

I HURT....

ME