I am writing this in hopes for everyone out there to understand how precious life can be. When I was back in High School I was such a fool. Skipping class, drinking, doing drugs not a care in the world, (at least I thought so at the time) Invincible so I thought. Maybe we all thought we were somewhat invincible in our own way. It all ...came crashing down one day and kept tumbling in on me. School was over, I ruined my relationship with a great girl and destroyed friendships. Oh I was so cool back then with my hot shot attitude and booze and drug filled life. I stood at the edge of self destruction about to jump and into my life comes a girl from my days in grammar school. She was already in a marriage that was falling apart with a 3 and 4 year (Tim and Beth) old and an 18 month old baby (Shawn). Something happened when we ran into each other after all those years since grammar school (we were 23 and 24 now) there was a spark. I resisted, knowing she was married with children but the spark caught fire. Over time she left her husband and we moved in together ( we had absolutely nothing but each other and built on that ). In less than a year I was sober and working as much as I could to support the five of us ( a baby was also on the way ). We moved away from my old influences and Peter Jr was born in July of 1980. Life got really great, we built a good family.
I 'm jumping ahead to June 1997 when the first nightmare began. Shawn at the age of 19 committed suicide. We started to die that day but somehow managed to get through it and move forward. He had a son Shawn Jr (whom was diagnosed with Autism) and a daughter Brooke. In Feb 2005 nightmare # 2 Brooke is struck and killed in Florida while getting off her school bus (only 8 years old). This can't be happening again. Yes it can and it did. We did what we had to again to move forward but the pain never leaves you. 17 months later in Sept 2006 our son Peter Jr, whom has spent his life as a musician (drummer) and has released several CDs with his band. They are on the cusp of breaking into the big time, almost a 3/4 of a million internet Myspace fans and growing fast. Peter is engaged and his fiance is 5 months pregnant. He has been chosen to fly to Chicago to design a drum kit for the TRICK drum company in Oct and is recording in Boston on Sept 23rd. I receive a phone call on the morning of the 24th and it's Peters friend and bandmate Dave. He tells me they lost Peter in Boston. My sensible brain says they must have disagreed during recording sessions and he took off, not correct. At 5:45 on the morning of Sept 24th 2006 Peter Jr passed away in his sleep at age 26 due to undiagnosed hypertensive congestive heart failure. This can't be happening! Not to us again! But it was and this is what destroyed our lives as we knew it forever. We went through so much pain together it was almost unbearable. But somehow with the help of each other we moved forward. When Kandy was at her low points I was able to help her get through it and when I was at my low points she helped me. It was hard but we managed to move ahead.
In January 2006 Peters boy Anakin was born ( Peter was a huge Star Wars fan) He became our light in the world especially for Kandy. I never saw such joy in her face as when she was with him ( not to say there wasn't joy when she was around our other 7 grandkids that # includes Brooke) but I think because Peter was the baby of the family and Anakin was the part of him, she still had the connection with Peter Jr and it was powerful for her. Life finally had gotten where we could smile and laugh again. Kandy and I had made peace with the fact that we will be with our lost loved ones in eternity after we leave this life.
On Feb 24th of this year 2011. I came home after working my night shift to find Kandy had passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 56. The remainder of my world had just been destroyed. How was I going to do this again? How was I going to get through another nightmare when the only way I knew how to do it was with her at my side? It's been less than 2 weeks since Kandy left this world and I know it hasn't even really hit me yet. I'm trying to be strong for the kids and grandkids but it's really hard. We went through so much together and we taught each other how to cope. I feel her helping me when I begin to feel the pain and I truly believe she is. We talked about what we would do if or when this would happen and one of us would be left to carry on. How important it is to move forward with our lives and remember only the good times and not dwell on the sadness. I vow to do this and I am moving forward in the way that we taught each other. Life is what we make of it and if you let it tear you down then it will. We all need to move forward and meet new people and make new friends. When we surround ourselves with positive people we can be reborn again. This may seem too much to understand for some of you reading this but believe me it's what will heal us all. Life has taught me some very hard lessons and I choose to share them with you all. If you move forward with your head held high and a smile on your face it's the best thing we can do to honor those we have lost. I needed to write this for me and for anyone feeling the loss of a loved one in hopes that someone out there can take this in and look at their loved ones and realize how important they are in our lives and how quickly they can be gone. Each day try and do something to make their day happier, even if you don't get something back in return. Trust me it will change your life and tell them you love them now because they may not be here later. If what I have written here reaches just 1 person or family, then I have done something good in honor of my lost loved ones. The Spirit Carries On... Pete

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Comment by John Rood on March 31, 2012 at 11:41pm

All I can say is thank you for sharing....

Comment by Gina Phillips, Cody's Mom on April 17, 2011 at 8:41am
Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story! I too have lost 2 children, a husband and father. You are right, a smile on your face and showing the love that our loved ones once shared with us is the best way to honor them. It is still pretty fresh for me losing my second son 2 months ago but your story has brought me back and reminded me of all the blessings I still have here. And to pull all my strenght back out ond push forward with a smile on my face! Thank you..... Gina
Comment by Leonard Shick on April 2, 2011 at 12:43pm

Peter,

  As I sit and read your tribulations, I feel small compared to the trials you face(d). Your faith is very strong, yet I know the questions you have searched for answers to. By sharing, you have allowed your experiences to shine outward instead of bottled up inside your heart. No, there is never an answer to the human questions of the heart, but there IS peace in the soul of each of us to help with the understanding of God's calling. Thank you for coming into my part of life as I and my family deal with our losses. All here come to share not only their stories, but their hearts. As time travels, so shall your sorrow, and more understanding. God has His plan for each of us, and this web site has become a starting point for many, to begin again.

Let the memories inspire

Let the pain pass thru

Let the tears wash away

Let it all heal you....  Len

Comment by Peter on March 27, 2011 at 6:05pm

Sheryl,

   There is never any answers to the why is there? We can only move forward and do the best we can in no matter what we do. Thank you for writing and I wish you well in your journeys ahead.

    The Spirit Carries On...Pete

Comment by Sheryl McCormick on March 27, 2011 at 5:07pm

Dear Peter: I am very sorry about your loss/es.  They have been very significant.  I have three grandchildren with life threatening disabilities and our daughter in law died at the young age of 24 5 years ago and my husband of 36 years died in a car accident in November 11 days before my birthday.  I don't understand any of this and I don't understand why some families get hit so hard with one tragedy after another.  I will keep you in my prayers - I am sorry you have so much to cope with.  I lean heavily of my faith to keep me going but I also know even that isn't easy to do some days.  May God's presence be especially near to you and your family.

Sheryl

 

Comment by Victoria (Vicky) Owensby on March 13, 2011 at 11:10pm
I'm so sorry for all your loss.  Thank-you for the encouraging words.  You are right about being thankful for who you still have but it is hard when you are hurting so badly.
Comment by Virginia on March 10, 2011 at 5:45am

Pete,I'm so sorry for all your losses. I'm glad you feel your wife is with you and helping you. When I loss my husband I told him every day that he had to help me through this and I knew he was doing just that. We need to believe this, at least I did or I don't think I would have survived and your right remember the smiles and laughter as painfull as it is they will make you smile. Hugs

Comment by Charlene Ozawa on March 10, 2011 at 12:09am
Oh Pete like Christy I have no words just hugs.....
Comment by Carol Kayser on March 9, 2011 at 11:04pm

Dear Pete, prayers and kind thoughts are with you and your family.  I truly believe we will be reunited and know that your beloved is with her children now and will wait for you.  Take each day one step at a time, that is all that is expected.  Love the ones that are still with you, as we will all be doing.  They still need us.

 

God Bless.

Carol

Comment by Debbie Treadway on March 9, 2011 at 9:53pm
Pete, I am so sorry for all of your losses. I do understand what you are saying. We need to cherish every moment that we have with our loved ones, because none of us are promised a tomorrow. You will be in my prayers.

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