Monday, January 25, 2010


I have been participating in a study through UPMC - Mind-body Interactions in Neuro-oncology for Family Caregivers.

I was the main Caregiver for Jen through our entire experience. I offered to continue with the study even after her passing. I figure if the results can help others…then why not. I have to wear a device strapped to my arm 24 hours a day for three straight days. I take the device off only when I shower. The device monitors my heart rate, blood pressure and calculates different stress levels. Then afterwards I have to answer a series of questions in a phone interview.

The questions are basically about me and how I am doing physically and mentally. This past time was my first since Jen’s passing and the questions were very different.

For Example

- Knowing what I know now – would you still have married Jennifer?
- Would I still of wanted a family and had kids?
- Has your overall feelings towards Jennifer changed at all?
- Do you feel more or less love towards Jennifer

Really some tough and direct questions…I was a little taken back at first…I really hope some good comes from the study.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Behind Blue Eyes

I'm a huge WHO fan...have seen them in concert three times...and go figure I have blue eyes...this just seems to say it all right now...

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This sounds funny but in the past when I have needed some inspiration there is one place that always gave me some…the Art museum. I’m thinking a trip…alone…to the museum is long overdue.

The holidays are over…I survived….I had to for my girls sake.

The grey winter continues…I will make it…even if I am just going through the motions.

I need some inspiration.

This weekend the girls are both going to a sleep over. I think a trip to the museum is in order. Will it be a little bitter sweet, of course, but I need it. One of the best memories I have is taking Jen to the Philadelphia Art Museum when we lived back in NJ.

Jen wasn’t a real Art Museum type person when we first me, and she told me so. I had been there so many times that I felt pretty confident in telling her “let me show you the museum then tell me what you think”. We walked through each room, the various galleries and I told her little tidbits about each painting, a certain room, a piece of furniture etc. Even I was a little impressed with how much I knew about the museum. When we left she said that it was an awesome day. I didn’t know if she was just saying that to be nice or what. About a month later she said she needed to get out and feel “inspired”…she asked to go back to the museum…that was very cool.

I’m not driving back to Philly, but I think a trip to the Carnegie is in order. I need some “inspiration”!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What I Miss

I miss many things…here are the less obvious things that I miss…

• The morning kiss goodbye followed by “have a good day – I love you”
• Hearing her voice, especially during a crazy day when nothing seems to be going right
• Having someone who gets my smartass sense of humor
• Having someone tell me “you’re not wearing those pants with that shirt, they don’t match”
• Having someone who loves 80’s music as much as me
• Having someone make up my mind for me
• Comparing notes about how our days were
• Along with that…just talking in general
• I miss doing something small or trivial and Jen saying “thank you”
• Sitting on the couch together and watching TV
• I miss each of us having a kid on our lap
• Hanging out having a glass of wine, cheese and crackers and just chilling out
• The sound of the garage door opening and the kids running to the door because “Mom was home”
• The walk-by kiss
• The walk-by butt grab
• The wink she would give me in a crowded room that always made me smirk
• The last phone call of the day before heading home
• That feeling of being content after a great weekend (especially after all four of us did something really fun)
• The two of us tucking the kids into their bed
• Having a warm body to snuggle up to in bed
• The Sunday routine - Sunday breakfast, the Sunday Morning Show, Coffee, the paper and just slowing down for a few hours
• I miss being a couple
• Feeling…complete

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I’m present and accounted for, but not really here? That is what I feel like. I’m here, but not really here. I go through the motions, fulfill my commitments but I’m just not there. It’s strange for me…I’m a very passionate person. I dump my heart and soul into everything I do…to a fault at times. Now, I just don’t feel anything, sort of like a huge void, or sort of grey.

During the 22 months between Jen’s diagnosis and her passing, my friends and coworkers kept waiting for me to lose it or fall apart. I did not…I could not…I had to remain focused or taking care of Jen. Now, I feel neither focused nor productive – I just feel empty.

I am a yeller and screamer…not the best practice I know but that comes from being a passionate person. It’s difficult for me to hide what I’m feeling. Anyone who knows me well also knows I am as easy to read as a book. I just don’t yell or scream any more. Honestly, I don’t have anything worth yelling or screaming about. Things that use to drive me crazy just don’t seem to bother me as much. I just have a different view and perspective now…and time will tell whether I like it, accept it or change it and go back to how I use to be.

For now…it’s just a shade of grey.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2000-2009 Decade Retrospective

2000 - I got the job at the company I wanted to work for ever since I moved to the Burgh (Marconi aka FORE). Jen graduated law school and later that year passed the PA bar exam. Bill traveled to Dublin, Ottawa and Seattle.

2001 - Memorable trips to Denmark, Toronto Mystic CT and the Finger Lakes in New York. We were young DINKs and traveled before we planned to start a family.

2002 - Abbie was born. The Tech Wave bubble burst and I was laid off from Marconi. Less than two months later I started working for a small company called Vocollect.

2003 – Bill started Grad school. We went house hunting after confirming second pregnancy. Bill was promoted to Manager at Vocollect.

2004 - We sold our first house. The house that we poured so much of our sweat and tears into and we purchased the house that we agreed would be the house that we would grow and raise our family in. Jen switched to a new law firm (SGK). Allie was born.

2005 - Allie had tubes put in her ears. Bill received Masters Degree. Abbie started pre-school. Trips to Chicago and London.

2006 - Jen was doing great at the firm. The girls were 4 and 2 and we started grooving as a family. Family vacation to Tampa. Things were really falling into place quiet nicely. Trips to Arizona, Vegas and London.

2007 - We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. Five years at Vocollect. Great family vacation at LBI. Abbie started kindergarten. Allie started preschool. Jen was promoted to Sr. Associate. Things were really going well. Trips to Chicago, London and Morocco. Then the end of summer Jen started noticing some issues with her sight. Jen was later diagnosed with not one but two different tumors in her head. Jen had a biopsy done of the tumor in the center region of her brain.

2008 – Abbie started first grade. The girls started playing soccer. We got to know UPMC-Presbyterian hospital and the Hillman Cancer Center very well.

2009 - We made our first and only family trip to Disney Land. Jen’s health took a drastic turn for the worst. My Soul Mate passed away in August. Allie started kindergarten. Bill was promoted to Sr. Manager. I'm attempting to pick up the pieces and move on as a widower and single parent...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Holidays

Well, I made it…the holidays are over! I honestly believe that the girls had a good Christmas. We talked about Jen and the girls did get sad a few times but I assured them that she (Jen) was watching and smiling. In a weird way New Years Eve was harder then Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve I was up late wrapping presents. I didn’t get to bed until after 2:00am. I coordinated the wrapping paper (Just like Jen use to). I answered the letter that the girls left for Santa, ate the cookies…you get the idea. I continued on all the traditions that the girls were use to so it kept me very busy.

New Years Eve was different...their wasn’t a ton of things to do and my mind just wondered. I found myself thinking of the past 15 New Years Eve’s and of course that just brings back even more memories…they tend to hit me like a tidal wave sometimes.

I’m glad 2009 is over…good riddance - without a doubt the worst year of my entire life. I don’t know what 2010 will bring…I guess we never do.

Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)

In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.

I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.

This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...