Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Oh and for those who didn't already know we got hammered last Saturday with 22" of snow in Frederick, MD and the entire surrounding area. We usually only get 15" for the entire YEAR! We haven't had snow like this in a long time. Of course it snowed on Saturday. This picture was taken Sunday and they closed schools for the next 3 days until Christmas break. Not quite like it was when I grew up in upstate NY!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I find it so very hard to see where I am now vs. where I was. Losing a spouse is an incredibly difficult thing to have to deal with. The emotional pain as well as the incredible household burdens are overwhelming and take a lot to get through. After 2 years it was finally time to move ahead with my life. What has happened in the past 3 months has been a 180 degree turnaround. I am feeling wonderful. Both emotionally as well as physically. In fact I started playing basketball at the Y again on a regular basis 3 days a week. During this time I've lost 17 pounds! So much in fact I had to go and buy new jeans as my old ones for the past 8 years or so were too big!
Christmas has come up pretty quickly and I am looking forward to spending it with someone special this year in addition to my own kids and family. I have yet to finish my shopping. I'm actually taking a day off this week to to shopping with Heather and hopefully she can help me get some of it done. I really can use the female point of view on some things.
Keep your eyes open and check back often and I'll do my best to keep you posted on how things progress in the DeWitt household! Merry Christmas is on the way!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Since Thanksgiving things have been going along pretty smoothly. Alex has a few days or so left of school and will be home for Christmas next week.
Mike and Tyler are plugging along through school and me? I'm doing very well in my new relationship and looking forward to the holidays once again!
Last night Heather and I went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in Washington,DC. It was a wonderful show and we both we just in awe at how great the music was.
I believe you can see all the pictures on my FACEBOOK page. That can be found <HERE>
With only 2 weeks left before Christmas we're going to be pretty busy around here. More on that later...
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Tuesday we went up to the lake and basically went through the same ritual we have in the past 2 years. All you can eat pasta bar came on Wednesday night, coffee shop breakfasts for me on both days, a walk in the woods at Swallow Falls Park, Thanksgiving buffet in the lodge, a movie (2012), that evening. This year we cut it short by one day. We came home on Friday instead of Saturday. Alex wanted to spend some time at home before heading back to school. All-in-all we had another nice get away together.
When we got home we were able to get most of our Christmas decorations up in the house and Sunday Tyler put up the Christmas lights in the 60 degree weather. I am really looking forward to the holidays this year. The past 2 years have been very depressing at the holiday time and so far I can tell that this year will be a complete opposite...
Here is a link to all the PICTURES located on my Facebook page...
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Here's a little video of Tyler and his biking escapades!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
He went to his first lacrosse practice last Sunday. An awakening since he had not done much in 6 months. He's out of shape. Skills are good but he just needs to run more.
I've been actively playing basketball again for about a month at the YMCA and must say that is getting me in shape again for sure. I always get to cover the 6'8" big guy that played in college! We have fun and I don't have any problem running full court for over an hour Mon Wed and Fri.
Last week I had the day off on for Veteren's day. I was lucky enough to be able to spend the entire day, well 9-3 with Heather. We had lunch and did a little shopping together. It was really nice. Things are very, very good between us and for the first time in a couple years I'm looking forward to the holidays and being able to spend it with someone special.
Next week is Thanksgiving and the boys, Alex and I will be going to Deep Creek Lake, MD again. This year we are only spending 2 nights there in order to give Alex some more time at home. She has not been home in awhile and could use the down time. She will also get a chance to finally meet Heather as well. We're hoping to go out to dinner and get the 2 of them to know one another!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This year we headed south towards Bloody Point. Unfortunately, the fish were not biting at all that day and we came up empty handed. That gave me a lot of time to take pictures! They are posted on my facebook page. You can see them HERE.
This week wraps up an exciting month for me and my family. Next week brings November and the start of the holiday season. That last 2 have been pretty tough on me especially. I'm quite sure that this season will be a bit different. Life is much, much better with someone in my life to share dreams with...
Monday, October 19, 2009
Last week I had parent conferences with Michael's teachers at St. Johns. So far everything is going very well. Sure it could be better, but I'll take it over what I've had to deal with the last 2 years in public middle school. He's doing very well in his classes and is making good friends pretty quickly. Never a complaint about school or his uniforms yet. The uniform changes from a polo to a shirt, tie and blazer on November 2nd. The boy will have to learn how to tie his tie!!! We did receive information about lacrosse for the spring season already. Hopefully, things will continue to be positive and he'll play in the spring. It would be a huge boost for him.
Last weekend Tyler drove Mike and I up to Lycoming College to visit Alex on Homecoming Weekend. We got up there and watched her play in an Alumni Game scrimmage. After that we watched the football game with LOTS of people. They still have over 100 players on the team!!! It's amazing to watch. We went to the bullfrog brewery for dinner with her BF Cory and then Tyler drove us home. While at the Bullfrog we did sit right next to the famous comedian Jeffrey Ross. He's the guy who hosts the Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts. Nice guy. He actually went out later that night to the local night club as well. I wasn't there but Alex saw him. Here are pictures from the weekend.
Since we were gone all day Chloe was home alone so my new found friend, Heather (did I mention her?), and her daughters came over during the day to let her out and play with her. They as well as Chloe had a great time together. They played with her for a long time.
This past Friday Tyler attended the Linganore High homecoming (not his HS) with a girl. He and his good friend Tanner went together. They had a good time and got home pretty late I might add. We discussed that the next day. The homecoming dance for his high school is coming up in November and Michael's is this Saturday! Boys are so easy to get ready. When Alex went it was an all day ordeal to get ready. Not with the boys...
Saturday was a terrible weather day. It rained all day. That morning however was the Frederick Pink Ribbon 5K in downtown. Some good friends of mine told me that they were going to see their son run in the 5k. His very first one at that. I told them I would meet them down there that morning. Proceeds for the weekend and the run supported teh Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund in Frederick. A fund where money stays locally supporting those in need. Heather and I (did I mention her?) got there early and found my friends so we saw the opening ceremony. Chris's name was written on the remembrance banner and pink was flowing everywhere! We all walked (in the rain) around the block and saw my friend's son run the race. It was really great. You know, the weather was miserable, but that did nothing to lower the spirits of the runners and the people in attendance. It was a great event. After the race we all went out to breakfast to a wonderful coffee shop in Frederick called Cafe Nola. Breakfast was great and my friends had the chance to chat with Heather for awhile and get to know her.
So... yes I am dating someone and her name is Heather. She is a beautiful and wonderful woman that actually found out about me from reading my blog(s). She read my story and sent me a very nice email about how much she admired what I had done and that she too was going through something similar. I replied back, thanking her, and thought that was it. The next day she sent another email asking me if I would like to have coffee and chat about our experiences of both being solo parents. That got my head and my emotions spinning for sure. It was a very difficult decision for me to make. Difficult then, but not any longer.
We've gone out several times and have really enjoyed one another's company. We have a great deal in common and that has made things very comfortable and easy for us to get to know one another. She has 3 children as well, 2 of which are the same age as Tyler and Michael and they know one another from school. Her 3rd child is an adorable 5 year old girl!!! Both her children and mine are doing well with us seeing one another. I know Tyler and Mike have been able to see a huge difference in me during the past 6 weeks. I feel good and I'm happy and that makes them feel the same. Our household has dramatically changed for the better. So that said, I don't know what my future holds. Who does though? I do know that I have taken control of MY LIFE and started steering it in a new direction. I've spent the last 5 years of my life dedicated to taking care of my family and have finally made the realization that I need to look out for myself as well. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes for Heather and I. They mean a LOT!!! Life is changing... and changing for the better...
Charlie, what a heart warming and touching post. I don't think that getting back your life after this much time has passed is selfish at ALL. You've earned it, but more than that, life is about living and living the best life we can.
From what I've read here about Christine she was blessed to have you and the children. She will have known your love and your support and that the 4 of you would be in good hands when she was no longer with you, because you had one another and you stepping up as both dad and mom made a huge difference for your children.
When I was diagnosed in May 2005 I felt the impact on my husband and my 2 boys (17 and 13). And the reality is while the cancer is happening to the person diagnosed you speak so well to the fact that it affects everyone in their own way.
You sound like you are on more solid ground these days, moving forward and I hear laughter in this -- we need it constantly, even at the worst of times. Wishing you and your children abundant lives!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Well for most of you out there who follow me you know what today is. It "would" have been my 24th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe that it has been 24 years. The last couple have been pretty tough on me but as time has gone by this one has come and almost gone uneventfully.
It's different now as I feel that a wedding anniversary is something that is celebrated by husband and wife. Chris and I celebrated 21 times! That's pretty good. This date from now on is simply a reminder that I was married on this date many years ago. I don't think that I will be able to celebrate it again. But, I'll certainly remember it.
Today was a very nice day outside. My newfound friend kept in touch with me today as she knew what today was and wanted to make sure that everything was okay. And it really was. My life is different now and with this new change of happiness and I'm really enjoying it and getting through the days much easier now.
Oh you gotta love the picture!!! This comparison is of my son Tyler and a picture of me from an ID taken back in 1980. The hair similarity is uncanny!!!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Remembering what I wrote back in the 14th I have taken my life in a new direction. I will not go into details, but a few weeks back I met a total stranger for coffee one morning. She invited me via email and after many anxious moments I accepted. You see she actually found out about me through my BLOG! We have an enormous amount in common, the number one being we are both solo-parents. We are now dating (man that's hard to say) on a regular basis! I've found happiness again in my life, but I tell you it's been very interesting trying to date at my age. Oh its fun, but I found myself very nervous at times. Most of the rust has fallen off and now we are having fun and enjoying one anothers company. I'll keep you posted.
NOW - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I really love the concept which hopefully brings awareness to everyone to get tested early and often. What actually BURNS me to the core is how virtually ALL retailers use this month to their own advantage! This is just crap.
I was in the local grocery store last night, and right by the front door at the bakery section there were tons of pink cakes, and cupcakes and all other sorts of goodies. All emblazoned with pink icing and pink breast cancer ribbons. What a bunch of BS. You really think any of that money goes to some breast cancer foundation? If it does then all they do is jack the price up on it to cover it. This does not matter if it is a cake, mixer, blender, shoes, anything. Instead, just find a great research or support organization and send them a check. That money goes SO much further than the tiny amount that comes from the commercialization of the disease by companies like my grocery store!!! Not to mention, YOU get to pick where your money goes, and YOU get to take the deduction off your taxes. Not the corporation.
So if you need pink cupcakes this month, certainly buy these, but if you just want cupcakes don't get swindled into buying the pink ones thinking your extra money is going to make a difference. It won't.... Write a check instead...
The picture you see is from this years 2009 Frederick Keys Calendar. It was from last years first breast cancer awareness night. Sure, they profit from it by having more people in the stands. Many of those people are people that have had their lives ripped apart by cancer in some form or fashion. Many of them are survivors and are recognized by everyone their. The club raises money for my kids trust fund and also raises money for the American Cancer Society. They do it right.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Last night was back to school night at Saint John's where Michael now attends high school. He has really adapted quite well so far. It was fun going from class to class to see what his day to day is like. He has 8 classes + lunch each day. Most are 45 mins in length. Class size is just perfect, no more than 20 in in most, 11 in Math, 3 in art, 18 in Spanish. A far cry from the 33 when he was in middle school.
Tonight we'll be going to their football game again in Frederick. We went last week and had a pretty good time. Tyler and I sat together and Mike went off with his new St. Johns friends. Nice to see him adjusting so well.
The daily routine is okay so far, we leave at 7:20am and he's there by 7:40. I either stay out for coffee or come right home (back by 8:00). Pick up is around 3:00 and that's been okay so far. Some days I forget and leave a little later but he's always got the chance to stay after so it's not a problem.
So far... very good. No regrets!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
All I can say is wow. These past few days have been a real whirlwind of activity on my emotions. It's hard to put it all in perspective right now. Friday was a rainy, dismal day. I dropped Michael off at school and then went by the cemetery early in the morning. I took a dozen roses Chris's gravesite and propped them up against her headstone. They were nice but in a way meaningless.
What Chrissy and I had will stay with me forever, and nothing will ever change that. Absolutely nothing. When I lost her I lost a huge part of me. The past 2 years I have been focused solely on Alex, Tyler and Michael and nothing else. I owe it to her to do everything I can to make sure the kids grow up safe, and become fine young adults in both her image as well as my own.
Friday, Alex came home as well and the 4 of us sort of just were with each other, quiet but understanding what each one of us was dealing with. She came home because Chris's little brother Joey was getting married on Saturday. We all went and I found it very, very difficult to listen to the vows being said. It reminded me again of what I have lost, but at the same time it also reminded me of what I was able to cherish for the years that we were together. We had wonderful lives together. It's just that in our case we had a limited amount of time together. I would never trade those years in for anything.
I've been so focused on them I've neglected myself. Both physically and emotionally. I have continually suffered from gastrointestinal issues. Just went to the Dr. this morning in fact. Next test will be an upper endoscopy that also uses an ultrasound looking for issues. It's called and endoscopic ultrasound. That'll be in a few weeks so I'll have to start juggling rides and stuff soon. I'm doing okay but I tell you with stress and all that I carry it really flares up sometimes.
The past 6 months or so I've really had my emotions bottled up. Friday I opened the bottle and spilled them all over. I was home alone most of the day and did a great deal of soul searching and thinking about myself. I have to.... I've promised myself that the coming year will be better. Not sure exactly how, but I have some ideas. Exercise, better eating, and new friends may be just the answer. All I do know is that it sure won't hurt!
So... I will continue on down the path that God has shown me. My life is what it is and I cannot change the past, but I do know that I can control my future. I think I've finally started to accept that, and I pray to God that he guides me to make the right decisions in my life as the future comes at me so fast! The past 2 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. I'll never get them back. So now it's full steam ahead... wish me luck and say a prayer for me!!! And I will quote my dearly departed wife “You know, sometimes in life you just have to jump in and get wet.”
Well look out. I'm getting a running start....
A special thanks to each and everyone of you who have helped me during my journey. I could not have made it this far without your the caring, love, and understanding that you've given me.
Oh and one other thing... I can see from my site statistics that there has been a lot of activity on the site the last week. There's 20 or 30 of you out there regularly checking in on me not to mention the new people that arrive each day. Today I received the following email from a site owner that I borrowed a picture from. Seems as if when you click the picture he was actually getting hits on his site. He couldn't figure it out. He did look at my site and sent the following:
As I look through the information on the back end of my website I consistently
see hits coming via your website. I see the "french fries picture" which you somehow copied directly from my site (it's okay I don't mind. As a matter of fact thanks to photoshop it no longer has the golden arches on them.) I'm puzzled though as to how and why viewers are coming from your site to mine. Perhaps when you get a minute you can enlighten me if you know the answer.
By the way, your site is a magnificent way to keep the memories of such a wonderful woman alive!
I commend you.
All American Baseball Academy
Wonderful words from an absolute stranger... nice.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Also her team will be having a pink out game at Lycoming on Sat April 10th with proceeds going to Climb for Hope in honor of Chris.
Just wanted to put those dates out there in case anyone wanted to attend. I will be at both of these games for sure.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Alex will be coming home on Friday as Saturday is Chris's little brother's wedding. A joyous occasion for sure. She would certainly be very proud of both he and his wife-to-be.
Tomorrow I was invited to go to a concert with my friend Greg. It should be a good time and hopefully will take my mind off of the rest of the week. We'll see. Hopefully I'll get a picture or 2 as well.
I also, made a new friend today...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Until, they announced on Saturday that VP Joe Biden was coming!@!!@#$!$#@$! ESPN had to revoke all F&F passes for the day for security purposes. We were going to be left out in the cold... The lady at ESPN that Alex works for knew that we were coming just for that so she secured us 3 regular seats in the VIP ESPN section right near home plate!!!!
So, we left early Sunday morning and Tyler drove us the entire way up there. That was nice as I could drink coffee, read the newspaper, and relax the whole way.... NOT!!!!! He's a good driver, but I have to pay more attention when he's driving than if I drive.
We got there around 11 and went in and found Alex in Volunteer Stadium where the consolation game was being held. She had on her credentials and was working with a camera crew getting shots of people in the stands. It was fun watching her work.
After that game Alex was able to take us to one of the concession stands and get us lunch on ESPN. She just showed her badge and that was it, so we ate a good lunch! Sorry your ESPN cable fees will probably go up next month...
We had to go into the championship game early because the VP was coming. The boys and I went in and Alex and Cory went out to the outfield. The seats were just perfect. Under cover, and not that far from home plate. A great view of the game.
We saw some famous folks as well, Brent Musburger, Joe Biden, Jared from Subway, Moses Arias from Hannah Montannah's show, and Orel Hershiser! The game was great and the US won in a pretty close battle over Taiwan.
After the game the boys and I drove to Lycoming and moved in Alex's things into her dorm. She's in a new housing area that has 2 bedrooms, and a large kitchen/lounge area. It's a really nice setup. We stayed for an hour and chatted with her roomates who are on the lacrosse team and then finally took off for home. It was a busy day but memorable none the less...
Pictures for the Championship game can be found on my facebook page located HERE.
Pictures for the Consolation game are HERE.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Lots of things going on. Alex is at school but classes don't start until Monday. She's been up there for about 10 days. She is working for ESPN at the Little League World Series that is held there. She's working directly with a camera guy that shoots shots of people in the stands during the game. She was able to secure ESPN Friends and Family passes for the boys and I so we are going to the championship game tomorrow (sunday). We're taking her things up there to her as well so it will be a busy day!
Tyler started 11th grade this past monday. All things working out well so far. He also had to work 3 days this week after school at the golf course. He's able to get a ride from school with a friend and I pick him up later in the evening.
Michael went to his Freshman orientation for St. Johns. They spent 1/2 a day at school followed by an overnight retreat up in Emmitsburg, MD. They were able to meet and greet with all their freshman classmates as well as do a quick run through of their classes. He has 15 people in his English class and 3 people in his Art class. A lot better than the 35 he had last year. My fingers are crossed that this is the right choice for him. He's ready to go. I'll get some pics next week on Tuesday which is his official 1st day of school.
Me? Well this week I finished my 8-week Young Widow/Widowers group at the Hospice. It was a very emotional meeting as we all brought in pictures of our spouses and children to share with the group. The group was helpful as it reinforced the fact that I am not alone in this journey and that many others are dealing with the same issues as I.
Health? I WAS feeling pretty good for a couple of weeks. Vacation was good and the week after as well. Then all of a sudden I started getting pain again this past Monday. It has tapered off as of yesterday so we'll see how it goes.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Well Alex left the boys and I to be on our own again this week. She left Wednesday morning for Williamsport to start her final year of college.
She will be there for 10 days before as she is working for ESPN at the Little League World Series! She is excited beyond all imagination and was just assigned her "credentials"!
The boys and I are going to be taking her things up to her next weekend which just so happens to be the date of the championship game(s). So we may be able to sit in again on those exciting games. We've done it the past 2 years but now we know someone on the inside!!!!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Later in the afternoon we visited 1/2 the countries around the world. Eating a huge snack in Germany.
Tuesday night we had a reservation for Maggianos Italian Restaurant. We ate like no tomorrow. Each one of us camee away with huge food babies. Me... twins!!! If you ever get a chance to go I highly recommend it. http://www.maggianos.com/
Wednesday we hit the other Disney water park called Blizzard Beach. It was a very hot day and a good thing we were at the water park. The climbs to the top of the mountain to slide down were really good exercise and the rides down just great. We did get a garbage pail ice cream. A pail filled with just about everything they had in the hut. Came complete with a small shovel. Tyler used that. We went down quite a few times despite the crowds. We also hopped in some tubes and rode the lazy river around the entire park.
Thursday was a down day. Michael finished all 500 pages of the book he was reading so he and I ventured out to Borders to buy another one. He loves to read and you can't fault him for that. Then all the kids and I drove around to a few outlets and kicked around a little bit. We were going to go back to Epcot to visit the other 1/2 of the countries BUT the skies opened up and it poured like crazy for almost 2 hours. Think of the hardest rain you've ever seen and then imagine it continuing for 2 hours!!! We bagged it and made our way over to Downtown disney. I wore my emergency poncho and the kids made fun of me. I was dry, they were not...
Today, Friday, we are packing and heading out to Epcot to try again. The flight home is at 8:30. Our family vacation 2009 is coming to a close...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
We flew down on Friday evening and 1st thing Saturday we were off to Animal Kingdom. We rode our first ride which got me and Tyler soaked!!! The rest of the day was a little soggy. We also rode their newer coaster called Everest. SCARY. The kids got hooked on pin trading the last time and they brought their pins down here with them this year and started trading again. Just walk up to a "cast member" employee and trade any pin you have for one you see on their lanyard. Fun.
Sunday was a trip to Hollywood Studios. There we rode the Rocking Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. Both have left a lasting impression on me!!!! Very terrrifying. Sunday night we went to downtown disney for dinner at the House of Blues.
Yesterday, we did a water park. 1st time any of us have been to one and we had a good time. They had this giant wave pool that would create a huge 6 foot tall tidal wave! We went down several of the water slides some of which were in the dark!
We're all very tired but are continuing on today and for the rest of the week.
Pictures are found on my Facebook page HERE.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Here's how it looked in the paper.
Widows, widowers find comfort in support group
By SUSAN GUYNN
The death of a loved one can be devastating whether it be a spouse, child, parent or friend.
“A lot of the emotions are the same, but the dynamics are different,” said Denise Watterson, a bereavement coordinator for Hospice of Frederick County. She is the facilitator for an eight-week support group for young widows and widowers currently under way at Hospice.
As with most Hospice support programs, there’s an educational component; this one focusing on the grieving process. “But young widows and widowers really need an opportunity to share,” said Watterson. Charlie DeWitt of Frederick lost his wife of 22 years to breast cancer on a September day two years ago. He attended a general bereavement support group soon after, but found that “going through situations where somebody has lost a child or parent, I didn’t have any way to relate to that, just as they didn’t relate to my loss.”
But meeting with other young widowers and widows, “when I say something, I know the people in the room can relate to it.”
His late wife, Christine DeWitt, battled the disease for three years and continued to work and care for their home and three children until about a month before she died. Having that time to prepare was “a saving grace, but it wasn’t easy to do,” DeWitt said. “It was really hard to talk about it.
“You can say you’re prepared all you want, but you’re not. The first month is numbing, like living in a fog,” DeWitt said.
With his 21-year-old daughter at college, DeWitt cares for his sons, 16 and 13. “I was the disciplinarian. (Christine) was more nurturing and helped with homework, coloring Easter eggs and playing games,” he said. “That’s not there now, though I try as hard as possible.”
DeWitt, 47, said the challenging part for him now is the “me” part. “I’ve been focused 110 percent on my children and family. It’s time for me to start thinking about me, personally.”
Laurie Moser, 50, said her family’s life changed forever in June 2007 when her husband, Rick Moser, was killed on the job in a state highway work zone. “The life we knew was gone completely. We’ve spent the last two years trying to find out who we are,” said Moser. Their children are now 22 and 12.
“In that time I’ve been effectively able to find purpose in Rick’s death,” said Moser, a FCPS teacher. Moser and her daughter, Rachel, have become advocates for roadway work zone safety awareness at the state and national levels. “That’s been healing, but there’s still a tremendous loss in our hearts and we’ll always feel that,” Moser said. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. That’s just the reality.”
With a daughter in college and a son about to enter middle school, Moser said she was drawn to this support group “to talk to parents about how they’re dealing with these issues.”
The group is also a place for building friendships and a social network. “After Rick was killed so suddenly, I could almost feel people stepping back. It was a reality no one wants to face,” Moser said. “Initially, it was isolating.
“But as I’m getting further on this journey I’m seeing things a little differently,” Moser said. “It was just too painful for people who knew us well. They were grieving a loss, too.”
Knowing that cancer would likely someday claim her husband, Ellen Baker said, “In essence, I was grieving before the loss. The reality sank in two weeks after he passed on” seven months ago.
Her husband, Doug, was diagnosed with a rare cancer five years before they met. “It was tough, but it didn’t control our lives,” Baker said. “It didn’t stop us from enjoying our life. With a prolonged disease, you know this is going to happen.” Having time to say the things you want to say was a gift, she said, “but watching him go downhill ... you’re never fully prepared. “Even though we knew he was sick, we were still planning a future. There are miracles,” Baker said. The hardest part is “knowing he’s never coming back.” Baker said that meeting other widows and widowers through the support group takes away feelings of isolation and talking to people who are further along in their grief journey is helpful. “There’s a uniqueness to losing your spouse if you’re young,” she said.
Watterson led a workshop for young widows and widowers last year and saw there was a need for a support group.
“They were planning to raise their kids together, grow old together, retire together, and now that’s gone,” Watterson said of the participants. If there are young children involved they become solo parents through a situation thrust upon them.
“Oftentimes, if the husband has died it can drastically change things financially. (The widow) has to find a job while she’s grieving and taking care of the children,” Watterson said. “For men, it may be taking on the more nurturing role and learning to do that. It turns their world upside down.
“It doesn’t matter if it was a lingering illness or sudden, until that last breath, it doesn’t hit that you’re alone,” she said.
For John McCarthy, 51, of Woodsboro, the emotions are still raw. His wife, Sallyann Trapane-McCarthy died of cancer Christmas Eve. Having time to prepare for her death was helpful but “it still hits you like a ton of bricks when it happens,” McCarthy said.
“It’s just good to know there are other people going through the same thing,” he said of the support from the group. “We have so much in common” and talking to others helps him get around obstacles in solo parenting and grief.
“I have to get up every morning. I don’t have a choice,” McCarthy said. “I have a 10-year-old (son) who needs me to take care of him. People in the (support) group have the same thing. You’ve got to get up and make it look like it’s a good day.”
McCarthy’s brother-in-law, Anthony Trapane, lives with them and helps care for his son, Emmett. “I want to make sure my son gets through this without undue suffering and that he has a positive memory of his mother.
“I’ve got things to learn and we’re going to learn them together,” he said.
Staff photos by Bill Green
Fans fill a section at Harry Grove Stadium for Christine DeWitt Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness night recently.
Friday, July 31, 2009
We also had the front door taken out and replaced. Looks basically the same which is what I wanted. The wood around the door was all rotted out. They fixed it all and also wrapped any wood in aluminum cladding. There is no painting ever needed.
Additional pictures can be found here on my Facebook page.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Last year the event was postponed due to rain. Although disappointing it still worked out very well. This year was almost the same. After getting 100 tickets from the Keys for friends and family many people gathered at my home the afternoon of the game. While we were enjoying the friendship, the weather took a turn for the worse. It poured around 5:00. Gametime was 6:00. Long story short, we waited and it did pass. The game began right aound 6:35.
I was able to address the crowd both before and after the game. I made sure that they knew that the event was not only being held to honor Chris but to honor each and every person that that was affected by cancer in some way. One of the people that threw out a 1st pitch (myself included) was a recent cancer survivor. She was so thrilled to be a part of the event. I went up and spoke with her during the game and gave her a pink ribbon pin that I had. While standing there a foul ball nearly came up and bonked me on the head!!! I think Chrissy was aiming for me! :) I missed getting the ball but a nice gentleman gave it to me. It will be on the mantel with some of the other special memorabilia that we own.
During the game a small rainstorm formed and sent everybody running for cover. It lasted about 20 mins or so. It did offer up an absolutely beautiful rainbow that came down from heaven and shined on us. The picture does not do it justice.
Luminaries were lit and placed on the infield after the game, and a huge fireworks display followed to cap off a very special day.
THANKS GO OUT TO THE FREDERICK KEYS ORGANIZATION FOR ALL THAT THEY DID FOR US.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Breast Cancer Awareness Night – On July 26th, we invite you to come out for the Frederick Keys’ 2nd Annual Chris DeWitt Breast Cancer Awareness Night. The night will kick off with a ‘Survivor’s Reception’ in our picnic pavilion from 5-6 pm. Contact Laurie Frey of the American Cancer Society at Laurie.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make reservations for the reception. The Keys will also be raffling off a number of pink, team signed bats and plated bases and the American Cancer Society will be in attendance to provide information to anyone who might be interested, as well as to sell honorary luminaries for the ceremony, prior to the fireworks that evening!