The day is almost over. I can finally say I have made it through all of the firsts. One year of missing my love over and done with. I never thought I would make it this far. This year has gone by so fast, but at the same time it feels like my Bunzy has been gone forever. I miss him every second of every day.

Life is moving forward. I am going on, one breath at a time, and my family is trying hard to heal. We will come out of this at the other end, eventually. Sometimes it's just hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I miss our life. I miss the security and confidence that Tom gave me, but I am hanging on tight to all the memories we've made. They will carry me through along with the love and support of my family.

On to the seconds....

Marlena (and Tom)
Always and Forever

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I am just starting my "firsts", as I just lost my beloved husband Dennis Paul on 1-14-10.
I have just had my first birthday without him, and my first Valentine's Day, which was our Wedding Anniversary without him as well.
Right now I am not sure how I will ever make it.
Linda,

It's amazing I really made it through! In the beginning it felt like I would never survive this first year.

You have many firsts yet to come and I am sending prayers of strength your way. Two of the hardest for me were Tom's birthday and our 25th anniversary. Somehow I managed through them and I'm just hoping that as I progess into year two each special day becomes more manageable.

Sending hugs of strength to you,

Marlena (and Tom)
Always and Forever


Linda said:
Marlena, You survived the "firsts". Good for you! I know every "first" was tough. On the 26th will be Bo's 62 birthday, the 30th will make 7 months since he went home, and April 18th will be our 29th wedding anniversary. August 30th will make one year without my love. So you see, I have many "firsts" to make it through. I pray for strength everyday.
Lois,

So right you are about the many firsts that will come our way throughout our remaining years. The thought of doing so many of life's events alone is unimaginable. Yet, we carry on.

Good luck to you as you carry on and do all that you and Mark had intended. I can understand drawing the line at bungee jumping and ice road trucking. Somehow, I think he'd understand.

Embrace the adventures with Mark in your heart.

Take care,

Marlena (and Tom)
Always and Forever


Lois Taitague said:
Yesterday I was mulling this over, and got to thinking that as hard as getting through that first year is, there will be tons of firsts the rest of our lives especially if there had been plans in place of doing things together.

Mark had been planning to show me the pine grove where he wants his ashes spread. When we go to do that, it will be the first time for me to be there. His brother isn't really sure exactly where he had in mind. He planned to take me on the cog railway up Mt. Washington, but when my grand daughter and I go the end of April, it will have been the first time for me as well. I suppose every thing we planned to do with them for the rest of our lives, and hadn't been able to, will be the first time doing it -- with them only in spirit. For some reason I feel I need to follow through with doing the things he wanted to do -- up to a point. He always wanted to go bungee jumping, and be an ice road trucker, but much as I loved him there is only so much I'm willing to do for him!
Yvonne,

Thank you for taking the time to check out Tom's website. I want to share him and our story with everyone. Although he may be gone, I do not want our story to end. I feel by writing on his site it somehow keeps him present in our lives.

As sad as it is going to be to do the Grandma thing alone, I know this baby will bring much needed joy to our lives. And I have to believe that Tom has already met her, held her, and somehow had a hand in bringing her to us. It is so nice that your Larry had a chance to meet his grandbaby. Now, he is watching over Kyler from above. It is not fair that our little ones will never get to know there Grandpas (I am learning nothing is fair), but we can keep their memory alive with all the stories we have to share.

I survived the firsts, but I have heard the seconds are actually harder. Let's hope not, that could make for an awfully long year.

Thank you for your support. I really hope that I am making Tom proud.

Take care along this journery,

Marlena (and Tom)
Always and Forever


Yvonne said:
Marlena,
I went to the website that you have created for Tom. It is beautiful. Of course I cried all the way through. We all thought that we would grow old and crabby together, but it was not to be. You have survived the first set of "firsts" but I wonder if the "seconds" will be any easier. I know you are looking forward to your first grandchild...make it a wonderful day. I am so glad Larry was here to see our youngest grandson. He was Kylers first visitor. He was such a proud grandpa. He told me that Kyler was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen. I am just sad that Kyler will never know his Grandpa.
I know it has been a long hard year for you and your family. I just want to say that Tom would be awfully proud of all that you have accomplished...4.0 grade average...way to go.
Take care Yvonne
Liz,

I am so sorry for your loss. You have gone through so much. Having your little ones I hope helps to keep you busy and occupied so time is not such a burden.

I hope you are right about the seconds being a little easier to bear. As much as I am moving forward, I have definitely come to realize that I will never feel normal again.

It's funny that you say it still hurts to breathe without him. I have said that from the beginning...it hurts to breathe and it feels like there is a weight on my chest. I don't think that feeling is every going to go away.

Thank you for the encouragement.

Wishing you peace and comfort as you move on to all of your seconds.

Take care,

Marlena (and Tom)
Always and Forever



Liz said:
Marlena,
Congratulations on surviving! It sounds horrible to say but you have made it! My husband died Jan 19th,2009 at the age of 27...6 days short of my 28th birthday. I have had to go through big firsts all at once... not to mention having 2 kids age 3 and 2 now....2nds are not as rough... they still hurt...but with each day, it gets a little easier bc you know it didnt kill you the first time... somedays are harder than others but i have relented to the thought that unfortunately, i will always be a work in process. and i will never be "normal" again as a huge part of me died that morning. I remember asking my grandmother a week after my Shawn died.. when does it hurt to stop breathing? she is a widow of 12 years now... and she said never... she was so right... life goes on but it will never stop hurting to breathe without them. each day will get easier but there will always be something so small that can bring you to tears... all my love and blessings in the days ahead of you.
Julie,

Sorry you had to join us all on this journey. You are still so new and "in the fog" stage. I remember those days all too well.

You have survived a few of your firsts already. Even though you never could have imagined making it through them, somehow you did. Life keeps moving forward and it's as if we are just along for the ride.

For now, take it one step at a time, one breath at time and Be gentle with yourself.

Sending you hugs to get through your days.

Take care,

Marlena (and Tom)
Always and Forever


Julie said:
I am just starting my "firsts", as I just lost my beloved husband Dennis Paul on 1-14-10.
I have just had my first birthday without him, and my first Valentine's Day, which was our Wedding Anniversary without him as well.
Right now I am not sure how I will ever make it.

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