Sunday, June 10, 2012

A New Chapter

Hello again, it's been awhile.  For one year I sat here and told you about my Dee.  I traveled back through her lifetime and tried to recall the journey she took in this world.  The journey that made her into the woman she became.  I laughed and cried, but mostly cried as I missed her so terribly and still do.   But now life and Dee has opened a new chapter for me.  Instead of spending my time crying (although I still do sometime), I am now a business woman.  Did you know that to start a charity is the same as starting a new business?  Well I didn't until I had to file a business tax return for Denise's People.  I would never had imagined at this time of my life to be starting a new business, but here I am.  I even had business cards printed.

Before I would sit and dwell on the past and what Dee did or said or what she would be missing. Now I sit and make plans for future events to be held in her name.  It's amazing the change this venture is making in life.  My mind is constantly thinking about what to do next or how to do it.  Some nights I can't sleep because an idea pops into my head and I have to write it down so I don't forget (easy to do at my age). Before last years walk I didn't know the first thing about planning a charity fundraiser and I'm still learning as I go.  I'm sure I have a silent partner up above who is guiding me along because it seems things just fall into place when I least expect it.

Because of The Walk to End Brain Cancer I have met some extraordinary people.  Some are survivors, parents, children, friends,spouses or siblings of lost loved ones.  Some are just ordinary people who know a good cause and want to help.  They seem to show up out of the blue with stories or offers of help.   All of these people are special and I am glad I have been able to meet them.  Support for my organization is coming from everywhere and it overwhelms me. But hearing of new brain tumor patients is everywhere too and that saddens me.

I will continue on my journey knowing it is something Dee would have liked me to do and with a sense that in some way I am still doing for her.  This is my therapy and a way to keep my daughter with me. 

Thanks for being one of Denise's People and please visit the website at

Until next time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Next week is Thanksgiving and I have been thinking what I am thankful for.  I am thankful for my children, grandchildren, significant other, sister, nieces, nephews and all other family members near and far.  I am thankful for my health and mostly sound mind.  I am thankful for my home, the food on my table and the other comforts of daily life which I have been blessed to come by easily,  not like many people nowadays.  I am thankful for my friends, some of which I have been blessed with since childhood and others that have come and gone briefly in my life showing support and friendship as it was needed during different phases of my life. 

As for my daughter Denise, I am not thankful she got a brain tumor and passed away, but I am thankful I was blessed with her in my life.  I am thankful for all the wonderful memories I have of her.  How she loved her Reeses Peanut Butter cups and anything else chocolate. How she would order a sandwich in a restaurant, dissect it removing excess meat or anything else she didn't like in it.  How she would order a chocolate milkshake for breakfast.  How she always bought her jeans too small and would leave them unbuttoned until she went out, but would never admit she needed a bigger size.  How she bought lottery tickets and would forget to check them for months.  How she always had a way of making me laugh no matter what the situation.  Not a day goes by without a memory of her.

I was recently told a story about Denise at her sons football game, she was at every one.   She was watching him play and cheering him on from the stands.  On one particular play when he stopped an opponent and his team scored Denise was jumping up and down and yelling, "Home run, Home run".  Not long after that game he bought her a book called  "Football for Dummies".  I am thankful for memories shared by others.

I am thankful for having the ability to establish the Denise's People Foundation and to be able to raise awareness and funds to hopefully bring about the end of  Brain Cancer.  I am thankful for all the people who help or support this cause.  I am thankful for all the survivors or people with tumors and their families that I have had the honor to meet.  I am thankful to the special doctors and other people I have met in the medical field who are doing everything they can to assist me in my endeavor.  Mostly I am thankful for my daughter Denise for without her inspiration this foundation would not have been created.

God gives us each a gift of life to cherish from our birth.  He gives us friends and those we love to share our days on earth.  He watches us with loving care and takes us by the hand.  He blesses us with countless joys and guides the lives we've planned.
Then when our work on earth is done, He calls us to His side.  To live with Him in happiness where peace and love abide.
Our thoughts are ever with you though you have passed away.  And those who love you dearly are thinking of you today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Story Ends

If you have been following along or knew Denise you already know how this story ends. Denise was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor in December of 2005. This totally changed her life in many ways. Now began the numerous doctor appointments, the tests and finding the correct medications and treatments. Over the next almost 5 years she endured the radiation, chemo, constant needle injections, consumption of numerous medications morning, afternoon and night always with the hope of stopping the tumor. The radiation shrunk it for a few years but when it started growing again there was no stopping it. As it grew it slowly took away her ability to remember, write, read, walk and talk. Denise passed away one year ago today.

I have given you a brief summary of Denise's life to try to show you who she was. To me she was my precious child but she was also many things to many people. Her beautiful smile and infectious personality attracted people to her. But now on the anniversary of her passing it is time I let her rest in peace. A day will not pass when I won't think of her and miss her. I can not bring her back but hopefully I can make what she had to endure mean something with my Denise's People Foundation. Hopefully because of her I can help find a cause and cure for Brain tumors.  I know this is something she wanted to achieve.

God gives us each a gift of life to cherish from our birth.
He gives us friends and those we love to share our days on earth.
He watches us with loving care and takes up by the hand.
He blesses us with countless joys and guides the lives we've planned.
Then when our work on earth is done, He calls us to his side.
To live with Him in happiness where peace and love abide.
Our thoughts are ever with you, though you have passed away,
And those who loved you dearly, are thinking of you today.

You fought a courageous battle and I am very proud of you.
I will love you and miss you every day of my life.
Rest in peace my beautiful Sweety DeeDee.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Mature Woman

After graduation Denise went to work at Kaufmann's where she met her future husband.  Denise was married on a record breaking winter day.  I must be getting senile as I don't remember whether it was January or February,  I think it was February.  It was so cold the day of the wedding that some guests couldn't attend because they couldn't get their cars to start.  Regardless of the weather the wedding was a success with a most beautiful bride.

This was a time of change in Denise's life.  Besides settling into married life and making a home she also changed jobs and was now working for a bank.  Her life was busy and full and would be even more so very soon, Denise was going to have a baby.

Her son arrived in June with another son born five years later.  Motherhood was something she took great pride and joy in.  She doted on her boys and she would do and did do anything she could for them.  Most of her time when not at work she spent with them.  Evenings she would sit and play games with them or help them with their homework.  Summer weekends were spent at camp where she would go fishing, boating, swimming and in the evening sit around the campfire with them and friends.  As they got older you would find her in the stands routing them on for various sports they participated in .  But she was much more than just a pal to the boys, she was a responsible parent.  She taught them the traits on how to grow up to be good human beings which they both learned quite well. 

As the years went by, Denise continued working for the bank.  This was a job she truly enjoyed and through many mergers she stayed on and worked her way up the ladder of success to become an Officer of the Bank.  She became very close to many of the people that she worked with and they seemed to love her too. 

Although her children and her job were constant and rewarding her marriage was not.  Problems had developed that could not be resolved and a separation and divorce were in the works.  She moved out and rented an apartment for her and the boys and a year later bought a house.  It seems she had just settled into this new life when her world came crashing down.  (to be continued)
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Friday, September 30, 2011

High School Years

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No longer an awkward pre-teen, Denise is now in High School.  She has grown into a beautiful young lady and although she is not exceptionally tall she has been blessed with long legs which made it difficult whenever she went to buy jeans or pants.  A complaint I heard quite often when shopping with her. 

No longer imitating singers, she has now developed a love for dancing and boy can she dance.  It seems she has a natural talent.  No matter what the dance she always mastered it in no time.  I loved to watch her do the Robot.   I remember when the two of us  decided to take a line dancing class together and although I always added an extra step, she had no problem.  After the first lesson, the instructor asked her how long she had been line dancing and was very surprised to find out this was the first time as she was so good.

As soon as she was old enough she started looking for a job after school for some spending money.  She found a job at a little Greek restaurant and talked us into trying different dishes.  She also worked for IBM for awhile as a typist.  She went thru High School with top grades and received an award for her typing skill and speed upon graduation. 

Denise had a personality that always made her the life of a party.  She had a way of making the simplest statement or gesture into something funny.  I wasn't there but I'm sure she was not only the most beautiful girl at the prom but also the most fun.  (to be continued)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Pre-teen Years

Spring to me signifies birth and summer signifies growth. Denise is in her summer years and is growing and maturing. Her face has lost the baby features and she is now in her pre-teen years. One thing that has not changed is her beautiful smile, which will become a trademark of hers as you can't remember her and not that smile.

She still enjoys camping, being with friends and playing school. She also loves to sing along with records and tries to impersonate the singer. She loved doing Cher and the song "Gypsy, Tramps and Thieves" was her favorite song to impersonate.  Her father thought she was fantastic and would ask her to do it over and over again.  I thought it was just cute and was not ready to sign her up with a recording agent as I'm sure he would have if given the chance.

During those years we took a trip to California to spent time with family that lived there. We went to Disneyland, Universal Studios, drove through Beverly Hills, went to the beach and did all the typical tourist things. We drove to San Francisco via way of route 1 or Big Sur Highway which is a very narrow winding road with high cliffs. At one point we stopped to see the scenery and although her sister went to the edge of the cliff making me very nervous, Denise did not and would not. Denise was afraid of heights and remained so the rest of her life, which meant no roller coasters for her.

Denise was easy going but she was also gullible and naive at times. She would mis-interpret things said sometimes and then laugh it off when she learned the real meaning. Sometimes I wondered if this was because she was embarrassed or really thought it funny.

Have you noticed that in all the enclosed pictures she is wearing red?  I guess you think it was her favorite color, but no it was mine and I loved how she looked in it.   To be honest I don't know what her favorite color was but when she got older she seemed to favor browns, blacks, fall colors and pink.
(to be continued)

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Mother's Prayer

Help me Lord!  I miss my daughter and want her back!   Help me understand, why her?  Help me to understand why she had to get a brain tumor.  Help me understand  why  it couldn't be cured?  If it is a mothers job to care and protect their children help me understand why you didn't give me the ability to help her.  Help me understand how to fill this terrible void her absence has left in my life, although I can't imagine anyone or anything taking her place.  Help me to think of her everyday without crying.  Help me Lord to see her smile and hear her voice if only in my dreams.  Help me to remember all the memories of the years You blessed me with her presence.  Help ease the pain in my heart and help me to dwell on the fact that she is now happy, healthy and at peace in your kingdom.  Amen

I found this poem and I read it every day hoping I can follow it.  Some days it helps and some it doesn't.

She is Gone.....You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she lived.  You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back, or you  can open your eyes and see all that she has left.  Your heart can be empty because you can't see her, Or you can be full of the love that you shared.  You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.  You can remember her memory and only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.  You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back, or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes , love and go on...

I love you Baby Girl and always will.