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Concerned Citizen and a Serial Entrepreneur wrapped in a progressive democratic soul longing for us all to get along.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Today is Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Johnny & Shar supported me through Christmas on Cape Cod.  Very cold the first few days but no snow.  Great to visit with Jay & Holly, Arwen & Ethan.  I am very thankful for my family on the first Christmas without T.  

I've been back for 3 days but totally consumed with getting my rentals squared away.  Lots of stories there... the tenants from Hell pulled a fast one yesterday but thank God I had consulted an attorney... he says they've done this before...  And then Tracy sent Reuben, the wonderful man who helped to build our home, to my door on Sat. night.   He's Tracy trained.  I never even thought of him; but so thankful that he chose to stop by and visit when he did.   He started the work on my trashed rental today.

Anyway, I hope to have a quiet day tomorrow.  Walk on the beach, see my grief counselor and check the progress on the rental.   Keep thinking about how I spent last year's holiday season and missing my T.  We were alone for both holidays cause T had just been discharged and was neutrapenic.... I've finally decided to start taking Wellbutrin - 75 mg. twice a day, however, yesterday & today, I only took the morning dose and the evening headache has disappeared.  I actually am able to handle what's required of me right now without retreating to my bed.  Just started it on Sat. and I already feel better.  I've been soooo sad.... 

I'm learning how to live without my T.  It's so hard to accept that he's never coming home... I'll never see his dimple when he grinned or feel his arms around me.... missing his physical presence; his ability to figure it out no matter what it was...the rock and the roll of him.... Riley misses him so, too... I can't fill the void but there's no choice involved.  He's still here in my heart and surrounding our home.  I've even finally decided to stay home tomorrow night.  Riley & I will be eating a fresh Dungeness crab, salad and enjoying a nice Petite Syrah and watching a couple movies.  Perhaps even watching the ball drop... didn't make it last year.... I feel it's the only way for me to acknowledge the loss of the love of my life and usher in the new year... hope yours is fabulous!!

Arwen & Ethan unwrapping their gifts

Johnny & Shar

Jay & Holly Christmas Day
Be safe!!!   Carpe diem!!!   Surrounding Di & Mike with love, peace and lots of white light... 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today is Saturday, Dec. 20th

Celebrated Johnny's birthday with he and Shar at the Angler's Club in Hyannis last night.. great spot to eat and relax...
That's lobster & shrimp alfredo-mmmmmm!

... first time we've been together on his B'day since he turned 60 and we surprised him.  So amazing to finally arrive after a comedy of errors kept growing around my ill fated plane trip.  What was to be an easy flight from San Jose to LA and then, direct to Boston... became 3 different ill fated segments that turned into a night in Chicago, a loss of my scarf and gold survivor bracelet (28 years ago I bought it for myself after I survived moving to DC) and finally an almost on-time flight from Chicago to Boston yesterday; where Johnny & Shar picked me up on arrival.

Had breakfast/lunch with Jay, Holly, Arwin & Ethan today...  Cape Cod is all that and more...

I'm so thankful to be here surrounded by my beloved Shar and Johnny... I feel Tracy's spirit is prodding me; hoping he'll visit with me sometime soon...

Riley is well taken care of by Alan and I do hope the Christmas spirit is sunny and bright and surrounds each and everyone of you....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today is Wednesday, December 17th

Hard to make decisions but I'm gonna have to soon.... Our rental is trashed... hired a cleaning service and they didn't do the complete job and seems like I'm going to have to handle all of this after I've had a change of scene.  Right now, every time I walk into the rental.. I picture my T being so happy about the work he'd done to rehab this Craftsmen 5 years ago.  I'll get it done but right now, I need a break...

Change of scene is good for all...

Riley with the biggest stick on the beach this morning

Our boy Riley

 T wrote on my white board before the BMT

 How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Today is Tuesday, December 16th

It's been awhile...  the holidays remind me of better times with T... I've been stuck in my grief and it's been hard to get past my longing for more time with him.... things I could have or should have said or done...  I am grateful for the time we shared and very thankful for my 'peeps'...

A change of scenery for Christmas will hopefully, push me out of this place.  Grief comes in waves and I'm learning to hang on... T would want me to learn to ride it....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Today is Thursday, December 4th

Today is the 25th anniversary of my Dad's passing...  Doesn't seem possible but the world certainly has changed... I was living in DC and working for Apple... my 1st go round with Apple ... there were 2 subsequent episodes with Apple ... yes, I'm one of the retreads... and Daddy had been ill for a long time...  miss him but hopefully, he's up there getting to know T...

Fast forward to Thanksgiving week this year shared with Johnny & Shar and dear extended family...
Shar, Riley & Johnny relaxing
How do you like that?  Riley moved right in between J&S.  So, lots of memories rekindled... as I experienced the firsts... our Anniversary, Thanksgiving and family made it bearable...

Night before our 1st European trip together

So young
Dire dilemma with my nasty tenants and thank God they moved out unexpectedly on the 1st... they left me with a big decision to make after I resurrect the house they trashed... life truly is living with plan B.

Good news?  I'm evolving slowly, oh so slowly... but surely.... the new me that must learn to live without my T.

Sereno asked for memory football, cheerleader, twirler photos from our past for our Annual Celebration .... Ha!  couldn't find my cheerleader photo from Michael J. Whalen Junior High  BUT

That would be me.....

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Today is Saturday, November 29th

I am so grateful... John & Shar came in to share this time with Riley and I... Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for each and every day we are lucky enough to be alive....

I am very fortunate and oh so grateful for love of spouse, Riley, friends and family, my home, my neighborhood and my place in the world we live in... uncovering just who I am now is my adventure...  my journey...

"For the blessings you have bestowed upon this family

For all the days we've had together and all the days to come

For the joys and sorrows that bind us ever closer

For the trials we have overcome

and for teaching us that we can do no great things... only small things with great love"

We thank you,   amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Today is Sunday, November 23rd

Big day tomorrow... would have been our 19th Anniversary... my first without my rock.  Time to be with family and friends... I have a lot to be thankful for and I keep trying to remind myself to be grateful.... each and every day....

I realize just how lucky I am to have had a relationship and a deeply abiding love for 21 years...  we had our problems, our ups and downs but let's face it... when two people love each other they have to fight to keep the story going... nothing is perfect except for the exceptional sunset the last few nights....

Thank you dear Lord for allowing me to love and love deeply and now to grieve  and then, to heal...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today is Monday, November 17th

Thank God for the up days!!!  Those are the light and bright and hopeful...

Taking care of business today... phone calls dealing with the minutia and catching up and muddling through.  Sometimes the sympathy and kindness of strangers, friends and family blows me away...

In the wake of never receiving a phone call or email re the non-appearance of my iPhone 6+ from Verizon (contracted for 10/3) I called AT&T and actually talked to a wonderful support person who finally cancelled T's cell phone, put me on a new much better and far cheaper wireless plan and credited my account for the expired gift card ($ left from the buy back of my 4s last year) after I explained that I had a little bit going on in our lives this year.  I also didn't order a new phone cause I need to go see it again and figure out whether a 6+ is too large to carry around all the time.... my 5s is working well right now and there is a back log apparently so, I wouldn't get it for several weeks anyway but I'm trying out something new.  Tempering my impulsive nature and thinking things through... Tracy's saying ahhhh

Would you believe that this old dog may learn new things?

A friend who now has another friend's newly diagnosed husband; asked me what I found most helpful during T's fight to live.  Here's part of my reply:

Compassion, continued loving support no matter how long it takes.     4 years was a long time.  I'm still exhausted & grieving. I was very lucky cause my long time friends from over the hill never gave up especially in those last six months. They basically took over and made it so I never had to think about food, drink or sleep or spelling me at the hospital.  When you're in the fight of your life you need every bit of energy and advocacy for your loved one. Fuck everything else. I was extremely lucky. In the last month Marilyn even took over my business. 

now is the time for healing and enjoying each and every day even if I don't feel like getting out of bed... there's a large candle lit and I've been listening to music all day as I work through the details... Riley ran with Judy today and I'm resting my knee...  

Death is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.
Henry Scott Holland :

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Today is Saturday, November 15th

Sometimes I'm totally taken aback at how volatile grief is ... was feeling so strong on Thurs.... I'd tackled so many more issues....Wed. evening the electrician had lauded T's wiring of the garage and the fact that everything was labeled so clearly and tied to a GFCI which was the only reason why all the lights in the front of the house had stopped working... it had tripped... reset button depressed and wa la lights!!!  that after Alan and Gary Reed had taken the panel off and checked the specific wires and we'd all just shaken our heads at why nothing worked....  so big thing done... motion detector nice and bright out in front, light post on...  lots of other little things taken care of all involving phone calls or notes...
Placate a client, see a couple houses on tour and then, the attorney.  Very capable and affordable- Cal Berkeley alumni left me feeling that we'd get those stinkers out of 105 eventually but I'd have some work to do.  I wrote up a couple more CAR forms and a note and mailed them on Fri.  Timing will be interesting... Wouldn't it be nice to get rid of them in a timely fashion?  and then, deal with the mess they've made of Tracy's handiwork.  Anyway,  lots of anger & frustration over that....but still feeling strong ..  then, I sat in bed and came up with a list of invitees for the memorial... 106 plus I hadn't even gotten in touch with Toni or Terri.  So, I panicked.  Tears and more tears...

my heart just isn't there yet.  I've been beating myself up.  I feel like I should be ready but I'm not.  I haven't even tackled the downstairs bedroom with T's packed stuff or his clothes in my closet... I wrapped myself in his robe last night... just not ready... I think.  I know other people have been able to do this more quickly and i'm disappointed with myself...  I'm having a mammogram today and physical next week and had my fasting blood test ( good results so far) which prompts all the ?'s about who is my emergency contact and what happens if I"m sick?  mostly poor me... cause Carla & I had this conversation last night but there it is...  thank you for understanding... I think T would be saying "there you go again-  everything all at once...  slow down and think it through before you jump"

So, my ya yas  who were at the ready,  conference calls, assignments for trying to pull off the impossible in under 2 weeks.... I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!  You've given me pause yet again... We are family and we'll always be there for each other...

I've been thinking Spring time would be wonderful since we really could do something great on the beach and Jayne suggested perhaps something in conjunction with the Relay for Life - July 15th weekend?  I love that!!  a big informal party for our T so put your thinking caps on and we're open to suggestions...

Now I'm going to kick back and stop kicking myself...  Love you all!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Today is Friday, November 14th

well, this is when Tracy used to rein me in & tell me to think before I committed.  I think I jumped the gun. I'm in the middle of evicting the horrible tenants that have run rampant in our rental & destroyed Tracy's work.  Then comes our 19th anniversary, the first one without T. Thanksgiving without T and then his Memorial all in one week.  Am I nuts? I came up with 106 names.  I haven't called Toni & Tery although I doubt they'd be able to make it. So, what am I to do?  Tracy where are you when I need to seriously discuss this.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Today is Thursday, November 13th

It's raining and I'm giving myself the day off... other than meeting with an eviction attorney at 3PM in Watsonville.   Tracy's place is surrounded by lit candles and Riley has joined me in bed.

I am finally at peace with a major decision... it's time for Tracy's Memorial...A Celebration of T's Life.  I'm going to put a list of folks together and we're formulating ideas with Deb, Diane, Jayne & Carla, Deanna, but it's gonna be the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the 30th.   I know that I may miss some folks cause they'll be out of town but Thanksgiving was and is a significant time for T & I.  19 years ago we were married the day after Thanksgiving (planned that one in 6 weeks) and we celebrated Mom's birthday that weekend too ( our last together )...  I feel like we all need an opportunity to express the joy of T's life and I hope if folks aren't able to make it;  perhaps they'll send photos, best wishes and/or contribute to the fight against cancer by joining our Race for Trace team...  click the link below to access our team page.


I know it's short notice but somehow this works for my peace of mind right now... a very necessary step for me... I know I'll never be without Tracy in my heart but I also realize he's not coming home... sounds crazy but there were times in the last 4 years when T would be in the hospital for 4 weeks or more... I'd speak with him every day and see him frequently in those times but I always knew he'd come home.  Now I have to acknowledge he's not ever going to come home.. in a public way.. to honor him and close this chapter... I can't move forward without this homage.

I'll always love T and always have him in my heart... he was my co-pilot in life and I feel him helping me see the road forward... love you all and thank you for your support.

There is nothing so constant as change... and this life is all about living with Plan B....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Alright already... Au Deux 3

My New Do taken by Jayne

Sunday, November 9th Au Deux

A soon to be happily converted Rio Del Mar resident,

sent me these from yesterday's foray to the beach...  shot with a Nikon Thanks Yvette!!!

Today is Sunday, November 9th

Hallelujah!!  I've had a breakthrough... Finally hit me....realized on my way over the hill yesterday as I clicked into the beauty of the coast and our surroundings perhaps for the first time in months.... I've been living in fear since T relapsed... that's a long time to reside in feelings that are so antithetical to who I am... I've adapted to hiding... sometimes in plain sight... I marshaled the forces when absolutely necessary but curled into a little ball and reacted only when absolutely necessary.  I've always been the daredevil...pushing the limits and yet the enormity of actually losing T ground my spirit to a screeching halt....  Fear is a terribly lonely space...intimidating... haven't lost a whole lot of battles in my lifetime but this was one that meant too much to me to lose and yet... he's gone.

I miss my T.... his physical presence that 6'4" teddy bear, that voice that enveloped me, his huge arms engulfing me on his lap and being totally embraced, immersed in his being.  The discussions where we took opposite sides and agreed to disagree. We had many ups and downs in 21 years but I never lost sight of the fact that we loved each other and we'd always fight for each other.... I never expected to lose... the shock of the loss of such an important battle and the aftermath can wreak havoc...  Guess what?  it did.

I'm taking baby steps back into life... I know yesterday getting a new hair cut; venturing into Macy's to buy a bra and having chinese food in a restaurant with best friends, Jayne & Carla... not huge but for me, significant....  T is my sidekick... edging me on....

Witnessed T's love of the marine life right here at home  this week... unbelievable!!!  These pics taken with my iPhone 5s.. not great but you get it...

Riley prancing

Surfers watching a whale breach  ahhhh

Once more 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Hallowe'en!!!

21 years of memories cloud my focus today... I'm very emotional... Halloween began our journey together and this is the first without my love... lots of firsts to come....

The books say the roller coaster is normal... I'm living proof.  I am grateful for  T's 21 years of love and devotion and also, so grateful to continue to have such wonderful support and love from family and dear friends.

I've asked Jenny to come and help give out an enormous bag of candy this evening... I just don't want to be alone.... Riley will be upset by the constant doorbell so, it's important that I be here.

Thank you Gini and Carroll and Carol for your amazing thoughtfulness...
Thank you, Gini!!!  They're beautiful!

Carroll & Carol Fall Gift
Life goes on for we the living... we are shaped by our experiences... wins and losses....

all the tears
and the 
and the 
comes the 
one thought
that can 
me internally
smile again:


Melba Colgrove

Monday, October 27, 2014

Today is Monday, October 27th

I gave myself the weekend to indulge my grief... awoke to rain on Sat. and decided that was as good an excuse as any to stay in bed and finish my book... then, on to the couch to watch 2 movies... The Normal Heart and Behind the Candelabra... I guess it was time to mourn for Cenz again too.  The 2 movies had been here a month.  I missed my guys and allowed myself the time and space and thank God,  then, the Giants gave us something to cheer for... Go Giants!!!  Tracy is up there cheering too!

Sunday was a beautiful day... the beach was gorgeous and then, I headed down to our rentals to meet a roofing contractor... One of the homes that Tracy lovingly restored is a mess.  I gave the tenants a 60 day notice to get out last Sun.  They never bothered to tell me that the roof had an issue either.  Our bad that we hadn't done an inspection in several years.  The lease expired last Dec. while Tracy was in the hospital fighting to get back to remission.  So, now I'm faced with getting them out and doing a huge fix up.  The other house's water heater decided to implode last week and the microwave/fan died.  Ai yi yi!!!  When it rains, it pours.... Ha!!!

So, my chief complaint is that the 1st roofer sent me an estimate today which was simply outrageous. Apparently, he thinks that since I'm female, I'm stupid.  Let's see what the 2 roofers tomorrow come up with.  

I must say outrage feels better than where I've been lately.  

I also know I'm taking steps... baby steps but steps none the less.  

I'm on the right side of the dirt....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Today is Monday, October 20th, 2014

The other shoe dropped... Autopsy results today... the cure killed our T.  As suspected results concluded... no leukemia in his system when our T breathed his last breath, but his liver failed due to clinical trial INOTUSAMAB plus all the fucking chemo damage to his liver... warned of the side effect;  T made the decision, the only decision to hope for life... it was 50/50 that the bone marrow transplant would be the answer and now we live with the down side of the 50/50...

I'm beside myself with the loss of my love... today I set the record straight... the 'social worker' Joanne Asano was there occupying a seat and the BMT leader Andrew Razvani related the results. Andrew was the compassionate leader who spoke with our T and listened when T said he was soo tired of hurting... and finally, T accepted morphine to ease the pain.

I finally had a chance to tell the patient's side of all of this... I must say it felt good to express my dissatisfaction with certain aspects of our treatment - the social workers 'help', the cancellation of liver biopsy due to liver cirrhosis and then, ultimately, gratitude for the love and support of nurses and physicians assistants care.  I had the opportunity to clear the slate.  I need to write a letter to Stanford now, too... it's important and T would expect no less.

Weird thing... I spoke with Stanford and Blue Shield today re a bill I was sent for several hundred $$ way after our deductible had been met and Tracy was actually in the hospital.  BS contended that the CT scan and radiologist were out of network providers as I questioned their sanity.  I then called Stanford back.  They wanted a copy of the death certificate... WTF???  I replied that T died in the hospital and did they realize I lost my husband?  I told them they could pound sand before I paid this bill and that after a $26K premium which included an $8K deductible they'd been paid all they would get out of this stone.

And then, this evening I received a text telling me that my business credit card had been compromised.

I was ready for home and my Riley.... rest now...  I need to heal...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Today is Friday, October 17th

25 years ago today the Loma Prieta Earthquake rocked our world.  Everyone remembers where they were at 5:04 PM... Tracy was in the Cupertino library and was fortunate he had just walked out of the stacks and was uninjured (we hadn't met yet.. Ha )... I was in my room in Ann Arbor, Michigan after a full day at the Univ of Michigan School of Bus. Admin. HR Executive Program watching the third  game of the World Series - Battle of the Bay- the Oakland A's vs the SF Giants when the screen went black...  working for Apple at the time and trying to reach anyone to find out if they were still on this plain....

Flash forward to 2010 and Tracy had just begun the chemical onslaught and the SF Giants & the SF 49ers kept him going.... "if they could do it so could he"  his slogan

Flash forward to today and I thank God for my dear friends!!!  I've been quite lost the last week or so...talking, crying, sobbing, reminiscing... just barely coping and then, today Judy took me to Refuge, the Carmel spa that is just about the closest we're ever gonna get to Heaven on earth.  OMG!!!  Peaceful, serene, relaxing and so soothing...

I'm baack... as I immersed myself and stared at the clouds... I finally got that there will be days where I will breathe in and out and not cry and Tracy smiled...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Today is Thursday, October 16th

Four years ago today, Tracy was admitted to Stanford with his deadly diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.... I've been very emotional this week... every time I turn around my eyes leak... duh, just figured it out.  I'm missing my man,  my T... there's a big hole in my heart and as the Giants fight their way into the World Series I flash on T taking on the fight of his life... and he's gone after such a tremendous struggle...  think I'm suffering with PTSD...

GIANTS are in the WORLD SERIES!!!!!!

Here we go... the roller coaster continues....

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Today is Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Thank you my friends and family... my last post was melancholy.. just plain sad... I have those days, hours, minutes where I can't seem to breathe for the loss of Tracy but then, Thursday and Friday happen.. and today I can write about it.  I am very fortunate.  Riley looks at me with those big brown eyes imploring me to get up and go and I hear Mom saying "just do it!" and I rouse my weary soul, tend to my eye, grab a banana and we're off to the beach...

the dolphins are dancing and our beach friends remark on the beauty of the sea and I am truly awake...  Tracy embraced every moment.. he got the concept of the here and now... that's all we truly have... today... this moment...

writing as I listen to Barbra's duets, candles burning around T...  eyes leaking, feeling the the truth of each and every song...

Each day I tackle a few of the many things on my 'to do' list.. or try to... so many details... yesterday, after my Riley walk with Judy;  dropped my car off for an oil change.   Marilyn picked me up...went to West Cliff and witnessed many whales playing, feeding... astounding... breaching... I'd missed them all summer and T brought them out to play...

Fixed the cracked screen of my iPhone;  showed my listing on Maciel... thought about stopping somewhere for calamari but couldn't stand the idea of alone... gonna have to get over that one...

As I grasp the idea of not ever hearing T's voice again;  the loss stifles my soul, my eyes leak;  yet I know Riley needs me immediately to get out of bed and take him to the beach... he misses our T... the beach will heal us and T wants that too...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Today is Wednesday, October 8th

Life goes on and yet, I'm having a real issue...  had my first grief counseling today... oh boy, I'm on track...I drive home and I see T's blue bomber and I think, oh boy, he's home!  Short of selling his truck... what do I do?

I know I've already extended way past the allotted grief time; but what do I do?

Oh dear, I wish I'd covered so many more issues, but really who thinks about 'in the event of death'?

I'm missing the love of my life... when do I accept that he's truly gone?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Today is Saturday, October 4th

Thank God for the beach!!!  Incredibly warm here on the coast the last few days... 100 degrees?  It's October!!!

So, I am missing my love and being me and trying to continue... I feel very lucky to be here in our home...

Tomorrow Sunday, October 5th,  Tracy's obituary will be in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the San Jose Mercury News and I believe; online too... altho' I was so emotional when I placed it... I think that's what they said.

Love to you all!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Today is Wednesday, October 1st

After several downer days;  yesterday & today happened.  Slowly but surely, T is holding me steady... Checking off lots of details that need handling... the enormity of the loss of T ... yet life goes on.. that's what's so hard to understand.

Anyway, lots of beach walking... actually went to my office meeting for the first time in over 3 months today!!! ...later this afternoon, fired up T's blue bomber .. Riley didn't even wait for me to open the tailgate...he was in & sailing along happy as a clam!!!  T, I'm so glad you insisted on keeping your '89 4Runner... it's fun to drive and Riley loves it... and being in it, I keep remembering...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Today is Sunday, September 28th

The last few days have been very hard... my clients are sometimes very needy and right now, that's very tough for me.... I've had a few melt downs over the last few days... actually questioned whether I wanted to be back yet but I know with T's leveling influence, I'll be ok.

I'm raw and needing a lot of space and patience.  Maybe one lesson will be how to establish real boundaries.  I know one thing for sure... I will survive.

We have our Relay for Life team:   please click on the link below

Race for Trace

I will update with photos and activities later on but here we go!!!

Love to you all!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Today is Thursday, September 25th

It rained last night and this morning!!!!  Thank you T!!!  The rain mingled with my tears as Riley and I walked on the beach and we missed our T even more.  T loved the rain and never let it stop him from taking a stroll....ahhhh

Fired up the blue bomber after our beach walk yesterday and Riley was soooo excited.. until we got to the vets office.  Of course, they know how to calm him... treats!  They couldn't believe he turned 14 and had so much energy... such a good boy as he was given all his shots.

Dr. Wu's office is next door so I stopped to see the folks there.  Dr. Wu came out, gave me a big hug and told me the only way he wanted to see me again was around town or selling real estate.  Chocolates will be shared with his wonderful crew... came home, changed clothes and went to work...

I have a new gorgeous Rio Del Mar listing that is a result of my Tracy's referral.  T took care of this home and client and had the patience of a saint because he truly cared for everyone...  I've asked continually for T to guide me as he did in life... he's still very much a part of me.... 3.5 hours later as I dropped the file at my office... shed a few tears and swapped some soul stories; realized once again just how grateful I am...

Thank God I'm not leaving my neighborhood any time soon... loving being home... home is truly where my heart and soul is... this is my new normal...

"You can prepare for death but you can't grieve in advance."  Rabbi Howard Jaffe

The time to grieve is now....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today is Tuesday, September 23rd

The last few days have been soooo interesting... had T been alive we would have discussed it ad infinitem.... I'm up and down every day and most days several times each way...

the last few days have been hard getting to sleep...especially after I decided to unpack T's suitcases and the boxes that housed all our photos and stuff... oh the heartache... he's only in the photos... I miss him soooo much...

driving home today... thinking I was hungry and wondering what T would want.... but T's not home...

a dear friend suggested I move up the memorial so I could deal with the folks who know and knew T....  I've been ruminating... just don't know anything so far... except it's not happening really soon

Please bear with me... life is dealing with plan B... and getting back to life?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Today is Saturday, September 20th

Riley woke me at 3AM to go out and I stomped my feet on the landing before I let him out to scare off any creatures in the yard...especially skunks since Ry has been skunked sooo many times in years past and to avoid the new raccoon threat ... cause that's what T always did before he let Riley out at night... then I was awake and still am... read emails on my iPhone and then, continued to my blog.  Read every blog back to June... wishing T would come to me in a dream... he's visited T's big bro, Tery.  

The verdict is in...  Race for Trace with some kind of music note entwined and a pic of Riley & T together on the beach.  Maybe the one that made the newspaper several years ago and inspired a sculptor to craft a leaping dog that we actually saw at open studios ( we met the artist and she told us that she'd seen the Sentinel shot... )  oh man...  immersed in iPhoto for an hour looking for the shot... couldn't find it so, I took it off the wall to shoot it... oh T you were so good at this...and I'm not.


Anyway, I'm gonna try to catch a few more zzzz's....

Friday, September 19, 2014

Today is Friday, September 19th

OK, today was another enormous day... Ry and I walked the beach this morning... saw more neighbors & worked & exchanged my lockboxes, office and AAA started T's blue bomber and T had everything set up to charge his baby & I let it run on the charger for several hours... I can't tell you what it meant to start it!!!  Tomorrow I will drive it.

The amazing neighborhood we live in astounds me... dinner, cylinders stuffed with moth balls to deny the raccoons any refuge... hugs and love...

Linda suggested Race for Trace with a musical note in the logo which was also suggested by the Whitnicks... Jayne suggested the following plus a T shirt that features T & Riley on the beach... I'm astounded by our creativity...

Tracy's Light, Tracy's Angels, Tracy's Kin, Tracy's Tribute, Riley's Dad, Tracy's Music,Tracy's Tunes


Race For Trace


Team T

Team McAvoy 

T time 

Team Popeye

Tribute to a Gentle Giant

Tracy's Troops

Racey Tracy


The Mac Avoids

I was leaning towards Tracy's Troops but then, I realized, duh... T was a CO; served 2 years as a conscientious objector with the support of his military family during the Vietnam war... that just wouldn't fit our T.  So, I'm leaning towards Race for Trace with a musical note intertwined somehow and a photo of our T & Riley on the beach... whaddayathink?

Today is Friday, September 19th

I corrected my grammar on yesterday's post - Kindnesses of our family 'are' staggering ( I was an English major after all)  and added a couple more names for Tracy's team... reminder:  Tracy's name doesn't have to be a part of the team name altho' I tend to like it... and you can access previous posts from the list to the right.... I'll also recreate the list below:


Race For Trace


Team T

Team McAvoy 

T time 

Team Popeye

Tribute to a Gentle Giant

Tracy's Troops

Racey Tracy


The Mac Avoids

Gary & Deanna Happy 10th Anniversary!!!!   Enjoy!!!  I remember the event like it was yesterday.. Saint Orres - gorgeous setting- beautiful windy day on the coast - most beautiful princess bride - singing prior to the ceremony pretty well with Gar until I noticed Jayne & Carla bawling and then, I cracked and recovered...  Tracy ( strikingly handsome groomsman) unknowingly seating Deanna's Mom next to her Dad (tho' divorced and detested by Mom many years)... great celebration, spectacular coastal location, fab food and loving friends... a weekend in Paradise.. don't have any photos at the moment (haven't unpacked those boxes... pics please? )

 I'm sure Gar & Deanna are creating new ones...

Love to all!!  Remember to carpe diem!!!

Today is Thursday, September 18th

Jayne just brought to my attention that tomorrow would be a month since Tracy's passing... oops
it feels like a day and then it feels like forever...  for the last two days the dolphins have been amazing!!!  Yesterday was a very special trip to the beach... the dolphins were surfing straight at us... I've only seen that a couple times in the last 12 years that we've lived here.  Thank you my T.

Housekeeping...  Dinah turned me on to 2 phenomenal books:

"Tear Soup"  A Recipe for Healing.. Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen

      "I've learned that there is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can't survive."

"Honoring Grief" by Alexandra Kennedy

       "Grief brings us to our knees.  It is humbling to realize that grief is so much more powerful than we are.  We realize how fragile we are, how precious life is, how our lives can change in an instant.  We will never return to the life we knew before the loss of a loved one.  We will never be the same."

and here's an excerpt from "After Goodbye" by Ted Menten  (Jayne's book):

       "When someone we love has died, we often seek a rebirth of wonder."

So I'm taking a few steps every day to acknowledge my grief and take care of all the 'stuff' that needs attention...  the overwhelming kindnesses of our family are staggering.

We need a name for Tracy's Relay for Life Team... here's what we have so far:


Race For Trace


Team T

Team McAvoy 

T time 

Team Popeye

Tracy's Troops

Tribute to a Gentle Giant

Racey Tracy


The Mac Avoids

Whaddayathink?  Any more suggestions?

last thing... I believe T is protecting us... opened up the back door this evening to let Riley out before bed and I saw, I believe, a raccoon standing on hind legs claws up in the yard.  Riley stopped short on the threshold and I freaked out... hysterical as I slammed the door shut.  I then, took Ry out in the front, on the leash, armed with a flashlight... need to make sure the lamp post works in front tomorrow.... and call AAA to get T's blue bomber started....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17th

Riley & I went to the beach this morning like old times only T wasn't with us and all of our beach buddies noticed...  dolphins and sea lions and I kept thinking how he would have loved it.

I am grateful for the strength to handle some of the stuff that has to be done without tears and then,  the enormity hits me..  I've been thinking and feeling my way ... not always pretty but I'm here and I'm grateful for our family... the thoughtfulness and the support and the love.

It's a month our T is gone...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Today is Monday, September 15th

I'm home at last... very emotionally charged weekend but I have to say I feel comforted by being here.  Tracy is everywhere... he built our home after all and we worked together to be here... when I feel at a total loss... I look around me and know he designed and built our home for us to be safe, to breathe the ocean air and listen to the sea...  I've yearned for its healing embrace...

This was a birthday weekend Jayne's on Fri. and Tracy would have been 65 yesterday.... and I hope I don't have to pack and unpack a home again for many years to come.... pure torture and I'm still not done... won't be unpacking T's stuff for awhile.... need some more time...

I'm very thankful for the Palo Alto home... T loved it there and now Rio Del Mar and Hidden beach welcomes us home... walked the beach both Sat. & Sun. with our Riley and a dolphin, sea lion and otter witnessed our return...

I am grateful for loving T for 21 years and it's gonna take awhile to return to 'life' without him in it... bear with us...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today is Thursday, Sept. 11th

Today is the anniversary of 9/11... 13 years ago today many innocent people lost their lives at the bloody hands of jihadists and Americans realized we were no longer 'safe'.  Today I feel the pain of the survivors for their loss... there is a huge hole in my life and I finally get their anguish...

One day at a time is the slogan of the day and the roller coaster keeps on moving...  Last evening after packing for the last few days I felt angry.  Why in the midst of my grief do I have to pack yet again and move?  Because we failed... this was to be a joyous celebration of our return home... instead I return home without the love of my life and I leave a piece of both of us here in Palo Alto.... forever

I am angry, sad and oh so tired...  Life goes on

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 9th a Dieux

Read something this morning that puts everything in perspective and finally clicked...  Nothing is 'normal' nor will it ever be again.  This is my new normal.... the one where Tracy doesn't fill the room and no longer shares our life... so I'm winging it.

Today is Tuesday, September 9th

I don't know what to do with my grief... I miss my partner, my T... the one who put everything in perspective and figured it all out... always accessible with plenty of wit.  I'm going home at the end of the week and I'm scared cause I'm leaving our last shared space... a place he truly appreciated.  My return is to our home but he's never coming back... everything's changed and the tears just keep on flowing....

They say it gets easier... when?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Today is Saturday, September 6th

What would I do without the kindnesses of family and friends?

Sometimes I have to pinch myself...  the roller coaster of my emotions is enough to make me crazy... but everybody says it's normal.  Oh really?

So Jayne took me to Filoli Gardens today and we spent 3 hours enjoying the beauty of that magnificent estate and gardens... didn't freak out until I hit the gift shop and spoke to a dear friend... then the enormity of leaving the last place (the home in Palo Alto) that I shared with T and knowing how much he would have enjoyed the architecture and gardens and the questions he would have peppered the docent with hit me... thank God for family and chemical relief...

Time to reflect and heal... coming home soon...

Jayne & I

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 3rd

Gini just sent me this poem and it kinda sums it all up for me:

Staring at the little dots in the sky
Wondering which one is you
Asking the same question, why?
Only answer I know is that you knew.
Sitting by the window, watching the rain fall
Never felt so cold.
Remembered the last story you told.

Hold on and be strong
Live your life, do your things
For it's in heaven I belong
Go on and live your dreams

In a song I still hear you
In a flower I still see you
But your bed space is empty
It's just your memory that comforts me.
Missing you is a rollercoaster ride

Emotions up and down
Always wishing you are by my side

But I'll hold on and I'll be strong
Will live my life, do my things
And promise to live our dreams.

Nicolene Jansen van Vuuren 2011

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Today is Saturday, August 30th

I've finally written Tracy's obituary.... huge monumental task for me... I won't publish it until I have a path for donations to fund the fight against this fucking disease.  I am pretty certain we'll either combine efforts with Cancer Avengers, Pete & Carol Lacey or devise a team dedicated to Tracy in the Aptos  Relay for Life.

I'm taking life slowly as I kiss T's ashes every morning and every night...  Life is learning how to live with plan B.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Today is Tuesday, August 26th

It's been a week.  Please bear with me...  I have to grieve him... in my own way.... please surround his spirit with love.  I need to be in my own space free to feel his loss... I need the time to be alone with Riley...  I'll go home to our home in awhile and I'll get on with it.  For now,  I need some space.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today is Thursday, August, 21st

... two days seems like forever... keep expecting to hear his voice ...feel his arms around me as only he could comfort me... we always looked forward... I cherish our memories...

words to describe Tracy James McAvoy, the love of my life... my rock... the man who always challenged never threatened...unbridled curiosity...never afraid to speak his mind to honor his principles... artist and musician... undaunted love of the sea and it's creatures and every person no matter shape or size... loyalty, honesty and deep respect his trademarks... he never gave up on a friend or a goal or a puzzle..  his arms opened wide to embrace all of us...  the gentle giant with that deep sexy gravelly purr...

never met a problem he couldn't figure out and solve except Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia...

but indeed he gave it his all...

Glider Ride for Tracy's 60th 

T & A Kauai 9/13

A Skunk in the Art Shack
Stanford 12/13

Robben Ford at Kuumbwa 1/14

Transplant prep 2014
Our Bad Boy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today is Wednesday, August 20th

My dear friends and family,

Our T passed peacefully yesterday at 3:45 AM.  I heard the ring at 3:53 as I awoke and so very reluctantly picked up the call... thought twice about not picking it up... like it wouldn't be true if I didn't answer the phone.  Thank God  Gar & Deb were here.

Tracy looked empty... vacant... his wonderful spirit had departed... so difficult to see him this way at the last.  My valiant warrior's gentle spirit had flown... I kissed his face and his lips but no longer did he pucker up...

Monday was a day where we were alone... just the two of us other than his nurse, Ernie... chosen by Courtney, the charge nurse of the day...  I spoke to T about all manner of things, related Riley's latest antics that morning... and I sang to him without tears... the wonderful harpist came in and sang as she played "over the rainbow" at my request.  I never left T's room all day... feeling rooted to him...tho' he never spoke... touching his face and chest and arm and finally as I left for the night.. he puckered up his lips and kissed me goodbye....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Today is Monday, August 18th

Tracy is slowly slipping away... very few words ... I believe he hears everything but his sight is failing... I continue to sit with him and love him as he prepares to transition...

I found this in "Final Words":

Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. 

Rossiter Worthington Raymond 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Today is Sunday, August 17th

I have very few words... I spend my days with Tracy and check in at night... sleep and do it again... hoping that he's at peace...

I watched the niners lose today with our T... He's the Ultimate Forty Niner Fan

Harpist serenading T

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today is Wednesday, August 13th

Happy Anniversary Gary & Deb!!!  15 years ago we celebrated in Ct.  We toast to another year!!

Meanwhile our family has rallied around T & I.  I haven't been alone at night... John & Shar, Jayne, Carla, Deanna & Gary, Gar & Deb have kept me company and they take turns staying with me.  I've lost track of time...

Tracy was admitted on July 16th for what we thought would be a few days of IV feeding to allow his GI tract to heal.  Escape to Paso, return to daily care and feeding, walking & cleansing of my T and then, everything seemed to go sideways.  As I was getting ready to make the trek to see T one Sat. morning;  the charge nurse called me to say T's heart had developed arrhythmia during the night and there'd been an 'event'.  T was now in an intermediate ICU for monitoring.   I hung up, sped to Stanford and called the troops. Scared.  Upon arrival, I was greeted by an ICU doctor who proceeded to relate in great detail what she'd done to save T as I slid down the wall in tears, saying stop, please, I can't process this.  Gary Reed arrived to gather me up and Carla & Jayne came soon after... Gary & Carla accompanied me on every meeting with the docs that day as I tried to cope and understand.... our T's liver had been ravaged by chemo and there was no return.... we told our story and the docs heard what a special man our T was... we hoped for peace.

Since then, we've had lots of struggles.... we've disagreed over whether T understands his plight and one day after 4 different docs insisted that we inform T that he was dying- I had a meltdown and threatened to call my attorney ( I don't have one ) if they persisted... I only want peace for T.... Turns out they hadn't been able to find T's health directive so, that was the reason for their insistence on speaking to T about his present state.  Finally past that one...

Next came T's not wanting to be touched.  He'd endured the constant moving, adjustments, jostling and cleansing for weeks and then, he very politely refused to be cleaned.  Totally out of character except that it was T's last vestige of control.   He's been a valiant warrior and because he's been so quietly accepting of the pain throughout this interminable 4 year process;  he continued to accept pain without protest.  Now he just wanted to be left alone.  Finally,  he admitted that the sheets even hurt his skin and Andrew, the head of the BMT team, was able to convince him to accept a pain medication - morphine.  He's been coasting since...

Music has sustained us and T's loved being serenaded by the hospital harpist and guitarist and Gar .... I've been able to sing to him at times... sometimes even without the tears.

Now we're making end of life decisions... T had decided 4 years ago to give his body to Stanford upon his passing.   Now the ? has arisen as to whom should receive his body.  The School of Anatomy ( I keep wanting to say autonomy ) or BMT.  Last night I made my decision.

 T's hung on longer than the BMT team expected but then, they really never knew our T.... did they?
I keep telling him his Courtney will be back on Thurs...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Today is Sunday, August 10th

In the wee small hours of the morning....   missing all the normalcy of life.  Johnny & Shar just left and my bed is too big... Riley anchors me... the days are torturous as I watch my beloved fight for the only control he has left.  Our loving family has wrapped me in their embrace yet most days I have no words... just raw emotion... oh my T...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today is Thursday, July 31st

I don't know how to thank you all for your love and support... except to say thank you so very much!!!  Today was filled with conflicting emotions... apprehension, fear, love and gratitude.  I'm very nervous about what the days ahead hold for our T.  The news today was that T's numbers were going down and that it had been determined by the ultrasound that T has cirrhosis in his liver.  I wasn't expecting that, wasn't prepared and taken by surprise that the biopsy was cancelled.

Carla & Gary suited up and joined T & I to wait for the biopsy... Gar was making us laugh when we were joined by the transplant team... they proceeded to say T's liver was cirrhotic and I asked if it was reparable... I got 1 yes and eyes that were unsure....  I was so stunned about the cancellation... dumbfounded...  tomorrow I'll seek more clarity...

Please keep the prayers coming... we need to figure out what comes next...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today is Wednesday, July 30th

Happy Birthday my sister, Sharon!!!  I thank God for you in our lives... our family would not have survived all of the trauma without you...  I hope you take some time to enjoy your day!!

OK...very long day.. I've lost interest in everything other than my quest for answers... I finally spoke to the transplant team today.  I questioned everything and everyone and then, asked to speak to the attending outside T's presence.  I asked the hard ? What are we facing?  The worst would be renal failure... the best:  temporary issues with the kidneys and liver (since they work together)  exacerbated by all the chemo.  That's why we need your prayers, white healing light and positive thinking to get through this.  Tomorrow is the day for the liver biopsy...

I fell apart today before I hit T's space early this morning.  Then, seeing my man have so much courage in the face of all of this after all he's been through... I had no choice but to rally.  I AM THE ADVOCATE!!!   I am T's WARRIOR!!!  I promise all that I am and I will hold the powers to be to be their best...and your friendship and support to get us through...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today is Tuesday, July 29th

Spent the entire day with our T except when they took him away for an ultrasound of his stomach and neck veins... OK I'm not the only one who's worried.  I just missed the transplant team this morning but we were visited by liver specialists and kidney specialists... all trying to figure out why he's so engorged....

Got him up and bathed first thing this morning and started reading the third part of Reversal.... visited with his wonderful nurse, Maureen- who gave T his shamrock mask covers so many years ago... Maureen is retiring on Fri.... we're gonna miss her.

So, the latest T will have a liver biopsy asap... but that's probably gonna be Thurs.  Because of T's fragile condition, they will enter thru a neck vein and go down to the liver to obtain tissue... this apparently, is the least invasive and has the least threat of infection.  I cross examined the doctor who came into explain the procedure... turns out he's not performing the procedure and I'm glad cause he's only done 10-20.  We want the Varsity team.  When the 3 specialists entered the room; I suggested that the liver doctor should probably put on some gloves and T smiled and said "you don't let anyone get away with anything, do you?" my reply " I'm a mama bear when it comes to you"...  when all 3 doctors left to confer after they'd examined T and cross-examined him;  I asked T if he thought it was a prerequisite for kidney doctors to be well over 6' tall... cause they were...

I'm sorry that they couldn't do the biopsy immediately... the OR is booked solid and T has to have blood and platelets prior to the procedure.  I'll have to keep us occupied until Thurs... looking for the next Connelly - Harry Bosch book...

Thank you all for your prayers and white light streaming... we need it!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Today is Monday, July 28th

Today was a tough one.  I spent the day showing homes in Rio Del Mar and Seascape to 2 different clients and finally got to Stanford about 4:00.  I wasn't pleased with the way T looked.  He's got peticcia?sp. around his eyes and he's very logy due to all the water weight he's carrying.   In my opinion, he's been slowly going downhill since Friday.  He's maintaining a good attitude and he's a little more alert - he's loving the Michael Donnelly book that I've been reading to him and he's now trying to cast Harry Bosch... but he's now severely neutrapenic and very edemic.  He's trying to maintain a good attitude but he's basically zoning out most of the time.   We were walking Fri. & Sat. Sun. I was helping him swing his legs off the bed so he could get up and today he's not even doing that.

I'm very worried.  I asked to see the doctor and physician asst. came by about 6:00.  She explained that T was now manufacturing the 2nd round of cells since the transplant and was experiencing a low point - not unexpected but indeed serious.  They had introduced albumin today to try and help the water retention and help the liver and kidneys.  The protein would help the liver and kidneys to process the intake and not allow so much water to escape and flood his system.  T received his 2nd Neupogen shot tonight.  Yesterday's did nothing.

Please, we need your prayers and that white healing streaming light to surround our Tracy.  He needs all the help he can get right now.

I'll go to the hospital early tomorrow.  I need to speak with the transplant team.  I'm needing more reassurance and lots more info.  I'll update as soon as I have more info.

Thank you for your love and support... it will get us through this...