Monday, August 31, 2009

Little League World Series

Sunday was an exceptionally busy day. The boys and I were planning on going to Williamport, PA and bring Alex's things for college up to her. At the same time she was able to get us "Friends and Family" passes to the Little League World Series games and VIP tent. Nice!!!!

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

Yeah I'm still here...

This picture was taken on the day we got Chloe. It was a surprise party for Chrissy's birthday and Alex's freshman year. September 2006.

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

1st pitch

I was able to throw out the 1st pitch at the memorial baseball game a few weeks back. This video showed up on YouTube recently which was taken that day... Enjoy.

Disney Vacation Videos

These are some videos from out Disney vacation....

Alex goes back to school

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

Disney part II

Well the week has been a very busy one to say the least!!! Tuesday we went to Epcot. The last time we were here it was our favorite park. This time it was too. We got there and immediately went and got a fastpass for the new ride "Soarin'" That allowed us to go back later in the day with no wait. We went over and rode the ride "Test Track" the wait was an hour but due to technical difficulties it was almost 2!!! Inside at least.

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.

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

Disney World Trip

6 1/2 years ago Chrissy and I took the kids to Disney World. This year now that they are all much older we decided to give it another try. We had a good time then and so far this year we've had good weather and a good time. We're staying in a suite at the Embassy Suites so there is plenty of room for us to get out from under each other.

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

The kids and I in the paper...

This article made the local Frederick Newspaper this morning...

Here's how it looked in the paper.

Widows, widowers find comfort in support group

News-Post staff

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.
Common threads
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.

Frederick Keys catcher Wally Crancer presents a ball to Charlie DeWitt after DeWitt threw out the first pitch at a game recently. The game was Christine DeWitt Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness night. DeWitt’s children are, from left, Tyler, Michael and Alex.

Staff photos by Bill Green
Fans fill a section at Harry Grove Stadium for Christine DeWitt Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness night recently.