The Love of My Life | Tzedakah – Being Kind

As I just told Luis at Greater Goods Coffee Roasters here in Bee Cave, where I am sitting now, I do not choose when to write. The time chooses me. Whether it is events, or experiences, or reading, or music, there is a moment. A moment when all of the pieces come together. It is almost like a tidal wave in my soul. I feel the rush of energy. I feel the rush of emotion. It is almost like when I am near my bike before a long ride. I get “itchy.” A sort of twitch. I want to clip in to my pedals. And go. With writing, that “go” moment, that twitch is in my fingers. My fingers are suddenly connected to my heart. It is at that moment that I realize that I am ready. Ready not so much to write, but as to pour out my emotion onto a page, using words as my canvas to express a set of feelings that may have taken days, weeks, months, or even years to fully come together. Suzy died August 4, 1980. At a hospital in Peoria. She was 36. I was still in high school. In Worthington, Ohio. The idea of being in Chicago had not yet dawned on me. I was just a freshman. In the fall of 1983, I moved to Chicago; started at Northwestern. The idea of being at Apple in July of 1987 had not yet dawned on me. However, in August of 1988, I moved to a new Apple office. In the Loop. In Chicago. There she was. Maureen. A beauty like...

Dig Pink! Game | St. Andrew’s Episcopal School | 9.28.2018

I had the opportunity to share our family’s story with metastatic breast cancer at the 3rd annual Dig Pink! game organized by our girls’ Varsity Volleyball players at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas (turn up audio!) The Side-Out Foundation directly funds “game-changing” breast cancer research and support. They raise millions that fund their own cutting-edge clinical trials at renowned medical institutions. This unique approach is successfully extending the lives of people with stage 4 breast cancer. A portion of the money raised through Side-Out also goes to high-quality support services for cancer patients and their families.  Dig Pink! Game | SAS | 9.28.2018 from The Love of My Life on...
The Love of My Life | The Robe

The Love of My Life | The Robe

It was Thursday, October 16, 2014. We had picked up Maureen at her office on Tuesday afternoon, a slightly shorter day. Her breathing had continued to become more challenged. Only 3 months earlier, on July 14, 2014, we had rushed to the emergency room at Seton Hospital. The upper left side of Maureen’s abdomen was tender. It hurt to breath. Having been to MD Anderson Cancer Center a few months earlier, we knew that Maureen’s breast cancer had metastasized into the lining of her lungs. We discovered on July 14, our 24th wedding anniversary, after an x-ray, that her left lung had taken on fluid. We had our first thoracentesis, a pleural tap to the lung lining to drain fluid. It relieved the pressure, and after some coaxing of the doctors, we were cleared to leave, so we could celebrate our anniversary. We went to our favorite dessert place, Chez Zee, and got several slices of different cakes to take home and celebrate with the kids. Yes, there was a robe in the ER at Seton Hospital, but this story is about a different robe, and this story almost 4 years in the making came full circle at the Celebration of Life luncheon at the Fairmount Hotel on Friday, a fundraiser for the Seton Breast Care Center. So, let’s go back to the beginning of the circle, Thursday, October 14. 2014. Maureen’s sister, Dominique, was in town for a visit, which was not just fun but incredibly helpful. A delivery had occurred in the afternoon from an oxygen supply company of a rather incredible machine that would create oxygen,...

I Will Be Strong for You Mom | #pinkkids

September 21, 2014, Maureen and I stood with our kids at the altar of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL, outside of Chicago. It was a Sunday. We were renewing our vows from our wedding day, July 14, 1990, 24 years earlier, with the fruits of our love, our kids, by our side. Little did we know, that one month later, October 21, 2014, an entirely new chapter would start in lives. Following is an essay that Kyla wrote for one of her classes this week. It seems entirely fitting to share it on this 47th #powdereddonutday. It also seems appropriate to share a sneak peek at the logo for #pinkkids, but more on that later… ___________________________________________________ October 21, 2014. The day I lost my mother. The day my life changed forever. The day my family’s life changed forever. I was woken up that morning by my aunt, my mom’s sister, feeling part of myself missing, but at the same time, I was hopeful and excited that I would get to see my mom at lunch. The day went by a lot slower than usual days; I was continually looking at the clock, waiting for the class to be over, wanting lunch to come sooner, so I could give my mom a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay. After chapel, the Head of the Lower School at St. Andrew’s pulled me aside and asked me to come with him. Thoughts were racing through my head; my heart was racing; I was so excited to finally to go see my mom. All of those happy...

Grief is Not a Phase | The Unexpected Journey

“The more we speak of the reality of grief, the easier it becomes. The more people tell the truth about how hard this is—how hard it is to be alive, to love, and to lose—the better this life becomes for everyone. Even for those who think that grief is a problem to be solved.” Excerpt From: Megan Devine & Mark Nepo. “It’s OK That You’re Not OK.” It is easy to write about love. It is not as easy to write about losing the love of your life. As I look back across my many years of writing, I realize how blessed I am. Blessed by having had almost 25 years of marriage to a woman I cherished, adored, and loved. She was and is my soulmate. She was and is the love of my life. She was and is the mother of our children. She was and is a very big part of who I am. She knew me. She didn’t just know my story. She knew me in a way that no one really knows me. Except God. She knew my soul, because her soul was my soul; my soul was her soul. I have spoken and written frequently about love and my love for Maureen, the kids, and the power of love to change everything, but I haven’t written about the inner part. The hard part. The grief part. The part that is alone, even though it is surrounded. The part that keeps itself busy to mask things. The part of me that has been busy for over 3 1/2 years, but that for the first...
The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 …7…217

The Powdered Donut Manifesto | 21 …7…217

Where in New Jersey? Ridgewood. That is in Bergen County he said… but I already knew. We had a few minutes before our conference call was to begin yesterday morning. I always like to ask where people are, physically, because even though we are voices on a phone, we are still somewhere. Well, that is true for those of us on this side of heaven. For those of us on the other side of heaven, like my beloved Maureen, she shows up in the most interesting of places. She also shows up at the important moments, those moments where her presence is a reminder, a reminder of not only her love but a reminder to me that I am following my own path of love. As an entrepreneur, husband and father, those reminders are important. My last post in the Powdered Donut Manifesto series was June 30, 2017 on the girls and my way to New York, actually. We were headed to New York City for the 4th of July weekend. We were not only going to celebrate, enjoy, and visit special places, but we were also headed to the Statue of Liberty for a special moment of remembrance. As I have written previously, the Statue of Liberty is a special place. It is where I proposed to Maureen during the 4th of July weekend in 1989. I remember the moment vividly and described it to my girls in detail as we walked around Liberty Island together last year. One can no longer walk directly up to the pedestal where Maureen and I had sat on the grass, where I...