The Love of My Life | From Twelve Donuts to One

Although Maureen was prescribed donuts the weekend before her passing, this precious breakfast item was certainly not a new idea to us! Even in the land of breakfast tacos, tortillas and salsa, the donut has a strong and vibrant life. However, there was a moment for Maureen’s father, Henry Diercxsens, that the donut was indeed a new discovery, perhaps as important a discovery as America itself. For those who were at Maureen’s celebration of life, you had the privilege of meeting Henry, to hear his accent, and to meet some of his Belgian family, Francis Alÿs and Martine Diercxsens. To know Maureen is to know her family. In many ways, they are the powder that are sprinkled on her powdered donut. You simply can not end up as wonderful and special as the girl I met 26 years ago without having love and laughter sprinkled on you early and often…which brings me back to the discovery of the donut. As I understand the story, the Diercxsens family was on a trip from their home in New Jersey, outside of New York City, across the midwest to see their daughter, Suzanne, who was at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Apparently, they stopped in South Bend, Indiana. South Bend was the site of the discovery, the founding of the donut. Before I get too far into this donut discovery, I have to paint some context of why it might have been so new and have taken a couple of decades to find. In the Diercxsens family and now ours, the crepe has an exalted position. The first time I met Maureen’s...

The Love of My Life | Africa, The Statue of Liberty & The Twin Towers

Over the past few weeks, my family has been truly blessed by an outpouring of love from family and friends. Like this picture of Kyla from her volleyball game the Thursday after her mom, my wife, Maureen passed away the Tuesday of that same week, we feel suspended by the embrace of many, many hearts. We celebrated the season with the 7th/8th grade 5A volleyball team at St. Andrew’s last evening. You could feel the same love that washed over the gymnasium during the game at St. Gabriel’s wash over the home where we assembled. Kyla said it best, “daddy, the parents are as nice as the girls.” Yes, Kyla, they are. I’ve also been personally touched by the generous reactions to my blogging on “Our Story.” I was particularly moved by the specific comment of one fellow parent, that I am now writing these blog posts with a book in mind. The book will be titled, quite simply, The Love of My Life. For those that have been reading for a while, you know how excited I was to begin dating Maureen, the love of my life, back in the fall of 1989. Although I can’t reach out any longer and give her a big hug, as I would like, I continue to feel her presence. Love is funny like that. If you let it seep into your bones, then you really can feel it. Not think you’re feeling it, but actually feel it, inside of you, washing itself around your insides and making you warm from the inside out. As I continue to remember the many joys...