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Two months…



It is hard to
believe that it has been two months now since Rachel passed. I think about her
constantly. The kids tell me they miss her and want her almost every day. We
survived a Thanksgiving holiday missing her terribly and we are at Christmas’s
doorstep. Rachel loved the holidays. She would bake, shop (her favorite and she
was good at it), she decorated the inside of the house beautifully and always
made me get the best tree regardless of how much I pushed for a fake tree every
year.  The last several years we had
started the tradition of staying home (rather than traveling) on Christmas Eve
so the kids could be home to open Santa’s bounty on Christmas morning. We used
to do fondue every Christmas eve but then two years ago Linda was kind enough to
shell a couple of pounds of dungenous crab for us and we discovered the perfect
crab cake recipe and started a new tradition of crab cakes and fillet mignon on
Christmas eve. This is a tradition I definitely plan to keep up!   Linda be ready to get those pliers out!



I have been
going through all sorts of emotions the last few months.  Sometimes I’m angry (why me), sometimes sad
and lonely, sometimes I am just plain lost on how to feel.  There is such a void in my life that I often
think can never be filled. I was having a perfectly normal day last week when
out of the blue I just decided to start screaming and cursing in my car while
driving. The windows were rolled up and I’m sure I looked like an ass to anyone
who noticed me. Next time I will be sure to put a bluetooth in my driver side
ear so I’ll look like just another silicon valley jerkoff yelling at his
admin. It felt good to let it all out after several days of feeling blue without an outlet. I was watching Dexter on Sunday
night which is one of the many TV shows that Rachel and I loved and he had quote
in the show that resonated with how I was feeling at that time. Dexter thought
to himself, “I should have known better than to count on the future, all you
can ever believe in is now, this moment, because in a blink everything can
change” these seemed to be very wise words but then again Dexter is a serial
killer so he does have some issues.



I do not
want to sound too gloomy because the reality of my situation is that life does goes
on. It sounds so bad to say it but it’s true - things still need to get done
and when you are busy doing all of things associated with living you have less
time to feel sorry for yourself.  Speaking
of living I finally took the kids to Disneyland last week and we had a
blast.  I was seriously dreading it but
it turned out to be a great trip. When I was planning the trip I was just
shocked how expensive it was.  I know that
there are cheaper options than staying in a Disney property but I wanted the
convenience of being closer to the parks. I priced four days and three nights
at the Paradise Pier (cheapest of the three Disney Hotels) and then priced six
days and 5 nights in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and can you believe
the Hawaii trip with airfare cost only $300 more than driving in a minivan for 363
miles to the Happiest Place in Earth?  Rachel
and I were fortunate enough to make many trips to Hawaii and we definitely believe in the Aloha spirit.  I was sure that I could convince the kids that
Waikiki would be waaaaay more fun than Disneyland  – I am a professional salesman for Pete’s
sake.  I mean seriously, what’s not to
like, the beach, water slides, boogie boarding, snorkeling 80 degree weather, and penguins
(yes they have penguins at the Hilton)…  Compared with long lines, crappy food, and
oversized rodents…  The kids response, “we
want Disneyland! Mommy promised…” SOLD! Where do I sign up?



We did end
up having  a very fun time! We left San
Jose at 5am on Sunday morning with the plan of getting to the park sometime around
lunchtime. The minivan was packed, gassed up and ready to roll on Saturday
night. I thought for sure that the kids would sleep on the ride down but no
dice – they did see their first sunrise and it was a gorgeous one. They stayed
up the whole trip down and then we ended up staying at the park until the
fireworks show at 9pm and they were asleep in bed by 10pm that first night –
please send your votes for Dad of the Year to me!  I was worried about driving alone (without
Rachel) and being overly tired but things worked out and I talked to her a lot along
the way (she is a great listener). Things worked out in the park too for the
next few days not even a little So Cal rain could slow us down. My sister Paula
was there with her husband Sam and two kids Roman and Isabella and Rachel’s
brother Ryan was also there with Tiffany, Finn and Josie. Evan and Kate really
enjoyed spending time with their cousins and it was nice having family there
for the trip! One funny story came up when we first got to our room and I was
unpacking. As Rachel told you all many times I can be a bit compulsive about organization
and tidiness – I admit it but it’s way overblown :)



The kids
were going crazy running around and tearing into things as I was “organizing”
things and I was starting to pipe up a bit asking them not to make a mess or
jump all over everything.. Evan’s response to me, “C’mon Dad… Just Relax, we
are on vacation!” and my response to Evan was a big smile and “thank you
Rachel!”



Highlights…Katie
is a roller coaster fiend already at 5 years old and I anticipated trouble
because she is not quite 48 inches tall which is the height required to ride
California Screamin’ which is by far the best roller coaster at Disneyland. The
solution we came up with was to keep her black one inch high-heel boots in my
backpack solely for this purpose and put them on her just before getting on the
"must be 48 inches tall" rides and this worked like a charm! She was thrilled to
do her first roller coaster with an actual upside down loop and so thrilled that
we rode it another eight times during our four day stay – needless to say
it was her favorite ride. Evan is still somewhat obsessed with Star Wars and
really enjoyed Star Tours and the fact that the ride takes you on different
adventures each time you ride (this was a cool upgrade from our last trip in
2009). He was also very excited to be asked to participate in the Jedi Training
session they have at Disney.  This is a
show where kids are selected randomly to participate in basic Jedi training and
then battle either Darth Vader or Darth Maul in a lightsaber duel. All of the
cousins were in the front row waiting to be selected along with 50 other kids
jumping up and down screaming at the Jedi Master to select them. First he called out to "the young
man in the Hawaiian shirt” (Finley), he skips over Evan, then “the two young
maidens in face paint wearing purple” (Katie and Bella), then many other kids
that were not named Evan… I thought for sure my poor boy was not going to make
it and have to watch ALL of his cousins on stage.  Then finally one of the last selections came
down to the “young man wearing the blue Ninjago T-Shirt.” YES!!! Evan was
selected! They were all so cute going through the paces and then finally
battling the evil Sith Lords. It was an amazing experience for them and I got
some great video footage that I may be able to use as blackmail someday when he
is in college.



I can
seriously spend ten more pages writing about the great fun we had. I will post
some pics in the photo album for you to see. One last story I will share is
about our ride home. We left the park late in order to miss the notorious LA
traffic and were successful! We hopped on Hwy 5 North at 7:30pm and I again was
nervous for the 5.5 hour drive north to San Jose. I did not have my co-pilot
with me to keep me focused as I have had for all of our other family outings
around the great state of CA. The kids fell asleep at about 8:30 and I was
listening some old CD’s that Rachel and I used to love (Belle and Sebastian,
Modest Mouse, Smashing Pumpkins, Janes Addiction…all which had been boxed up in our garage since 2007) and just started talking to
her. I looked over at the passenger seat occasionally just as I would have done
as if in real conversation with her. I was almost home about 20 miles south of Los
Banos and I thanked her for watching over us and keeping us safe. I thanked her
for the great time we had and I thanked her for her love always being with us.
Just then I felt a tingling sensation on my cheek and I could not help thinking that she was right beside me all along and leaning over to kiss me. She is the love of my
life and will always guide us and look over us. The love she had for the kids
and I will always be with us.



I am busy,
busy, busy doing Christmas shopping, soon Christmas cards, and eventually... Thank
You cards to all of the wonderful and generous people that have been supporting
us and the different causes we care about. I will be returning to work soon
(maybe next week) and just do not know how I will find time to get all of
the things done that need to be done? I was smart enough to start reducing my load
by deciding to do a ReFi on our home loan this week which I am finding to be
quite similar to a colonoscopy. I have also engaged with a company to possibly
have solar panels installed on our roof (just because I was getting bored)  :)
  Thank God for friends and family because
without you guys I do not know how I would manage. I promise to ask for help
when I need it and promise to keep you all informed of how we are doing on this
blog. I will try to write again before Christmas but that is contingent on
getting Christmas cards done first!



Until next
time we remain 100% always!



Love, Rob