Monday, May 26, 2014

Update from Nathan

It has been very difficult for me to sit down and write an update on how Sadie and I have been doing. I have started several times and just like the hundreds of Thank you cards that I have not written the inertia is getting hard to get past. It is still such a raw and painful place to go, but at the same time there is so much joy with Sadie and so much gratitude for all of the amazing outpouring of support and love and sympathy.
I think one of the first things I have to say is thank you. Thank you to everyone that was able to come to see Elisa off and share their love and pain. Thank you to everyone that texted me several times a day to make sure I am eating (I still don’t have much drive to eat but at least it is a habit again). Thank you so much to all of the amazingly generous donations to Sadie Education Fund (the trust for her has been set up and the money is safely secured and ear marked for education only!) Thank you for all of the beautiful cards and emails that I have gotten.
I have so much to be grateful for in this life, and you have all helped me see more of that for several years now.

I guess on to how we are. Mostly I am not sure what to do these days about a lot of things. For one, I am not sure if I should continue to post on the blog. On the one hand it feels sacred to me and that no one should touch it, and on the other I feel as though I have some strange responsibility to keep it up. To continue the openness of this journey that Elisa and I started on and so many people shared with us. I am just unsure what I will do as I am with everything else - except Sadie. I feel as though parts of my organs missing. I mean this figuratively since I am literally walking around without part of my organs from my tumor removal surgery. Nothing feels right in my body, mind or soul. I have no idea if that will ever change. I imagine it won't and just like how having cancer physically and psychologically changes you, you just adjust to a new normal.
The reasons why I am considering continuing with the blog are fairly simple. The first reason is that I feel like Elisa will be coming to correct all my grammar and spelling as soon as I finish writing and part of me hopes that will come true (I will do my best my love). The other and more sane reason is that so many people have written and told Elisa and I, that our being open about our cancer and the trials and love that it brought to us has helped people in some way. So many many people have said this, that no matter how unbelievable it stills seems to me it must be true. And so I suppose then that it might help others if I continue to talk honestly about what this journey, which is continuing, is like. This loss, this gapping wound that has been torn into the heart of so many people that loved Elisa, is part of that journey. Cancer does stop it vicious ravaging of your heart when someone dies from it. In fact it spread to the hearts of hundreds more I think. One of the feelings I have had through all of this, especially towards the end as everything became more painful, more difficult and less likely for a positive outcome, was that I should not to look away. it was so important not to miss any moment of being in life with Elisa and to do this I had to be completely present. For me that means that you have to be willing to hurt right along with and long after the person you love is hurting. Not to deny what was happening, not to allow false hopes or dreams to cloud my eyes so that I could see her completely and be with her completely for every minute that I was blessed to have with her. So perhaps if I can stand it, or if anyone can stand reading it, I may write about what this process is like, for me and Sadie. I don't really know.

I continue to be amazed, as Elisa and I were from the very start, at the incredible compassion, love and generosity of thousands of friends and strangers alike. It is so heartwarming and reassuring to me that when I look at Sadie and think about the world that she is living in and the pain that she will be unfolding for a lifetime, that I know she is so immensely  loved by so many, and cheered on by so many from all around the world. Thank you all so very much for that, for the solace I take in that is quite great. I am also amazed at the strength and emotional insight that Sadie processes. She is able to say when she is upset and sad about mommy. She is able to have real, (short) conversations about her feelings. She has dealt with it with a bravery that she does not even realize she has yet. Another beautiful quality handed down to her from Elisa.
She will stop in the middle of playing with me and ask a question like “Will mommy die again?” or make a statement like “I have dark hair and you have dark hair and when mommy had hair her hair was dark”. And after a short discussion she goes back to happily playing. She is able to process in her own way and at her own pace and for that I am so grateful, and a bit jealous. I often feel like someone else holds the remote to my brain and changes the channel at really inappropriate times. Whereas Sadie clearly is her own broadcasting network.
We spend a lot of time together, we help keep each other strong and feeling safe I think. She certainly keeps me focused on what is important and beautiful in this world, and we still smile and laugh a lot, together.

That is all I can write for now. I hope to be able to be a strong as Elisa was and to keep sharing this journey. Thank you again for all of your love and support and also for your understanding and patience if you are waiting for a Thank you card - they are coming…..soonish.

23 comments:

  1. No need to send any thank you cards. This post is the best thank you one needs. At a time of grief put aside all the must do's, enjoy your time with Sadie and start to have a new normal. It will come and the thanks you are that you are alive and raising a daughter, who everyday will remind you of your Elisa. That is all anyone could wish for you. Also, your health is important so take care of Nathan.

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  2. You and Sadie are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  3. Dear Nathan,

    So very sorry for your loss Elisa seemed like such an amazing mom and I am sure you will continue to be an amazing dad to Sadie. I lost my husband very suddenly when my 3 kids were young and we were fortunate enough to have found Comfort Zone Camp. Its a grief camp for kids who have lost a parent sibling or caregiver. My kids have been going for 5 years now and it really has been a huge help to them. I know its early for Sadie but maybe when the time is right you could look into it. Grief is something that is never get over it just gets a little easier as the years go on.
    Take care,
    Lindsey

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  4. I live in Bay Ridge, have done so for just over 20 years. My husband (from LA) and I (from Manhattan) were "new' comers here back when. After following your family's story, I only just recently learned of your wife's passing. I am so sorry for this great loss.

    You must remain strong. You must. You have been given a gift in that you are here to raise your child and your beautiful wife would want this, I know she would as I am also a wife of a man whom I love and the mother of our children.

    Take a deep breath. Hold your child close and just take it one step at a time.



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  5. U have been an amazing Husband! Its time to be an even more awesome DAD!!
    Being a DAD to a girl, is therapeutic. Take it from a daddy's gal :).
    You have a life time ahead of u with ur lil princess. Enjoy every moment of it. I'm sure Elisa is watching both of u.......

    Lots and Lots of Good wishes to you and Hugs to Sadie from INDIA!!

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  6. I stoped by out of habit. There were times when Elisa was sick that I would read here and hope that she was "only as sick as her last update, she isn't worse, she is enjoying life fully with Nathan and Sadie." Sometimes the new updates were exactly that, and sometimes they weren't. Please know that while it seems unbelievable, it's true, complete and total strangers like myself, were touched-are touched by your story. Your love for each other and your love for Sadie jumped off the screen. I don't know if you will ever write again, this post is incredibly well written and wonderful, but I do know that I would read it. My hearts and prayers and wishes for peace to enfold you are always being sent to you.

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  7. Thank you. I continue to learn from your journey and the truth you are open to sharing with us. Love to you and Sadie.

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  8. I also check in on this site and was glad to here that you both are coping. Even if in different ways. Today would be our daughter's 39th birthday. She has been gone 6 months now. Her husband and 3 year old son are in some ways in the same shoes as you. Our grand son is younger than Sadie but asks more and more about mommy, but he also keeps us all going forward.
    Thank god for little ones that are inspirations to us all.
    You will be the only one that will know if writing is right and when. We wish for you and Sadie... Love. If you have that with each other the rest will fall into place.
    God Bless you both.

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  9. So grateful for the update on you and Sadie - I think of you often. Love and prayers to you both!!

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  10. Nathan, if and when you wish to update, throw in some four-letter words for old time's sake. I really miss Elisa's postings. Forever loving Team Bond!

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  11. Hi Nathan - we've never met, but I knew Elisa when we were kids. Her cousin Danielle Gennaro (nee Foti) on Eileen's side was my best friend growing up. We would see Elisa in the summer when she and her mom came out from Brooklyn to LI. I think Elisa was the first girl my little brother ever kissed.

    I haven't seen Elisa since we were teenagers - in fact I don't even get to see or speak to Danielle that much anymore. But I knew Elisa was sick, and you were too. And from time to time I would check your blogs and FB pages to see how you were doing. And the two of you made me laugh a lot, even though you were suffering. And for that, I am happy for you, because it means you had hope and optimism, and tried to make an awful thing not just tolerable but as positive as it could be.

    I am so sorry for your loss. For everyone's loss. I wish I could offer more than words, but I hope it helps that people who don't even know you and Sadie are thinking of you, and think you're amazing :)

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  12. If you can continue this blog, your journey has touched thousands .

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  13. Love and comfort to you and Sadie.

    As I read this, I thought, "Maybe he shold meet Angelo Merendino." Angelo lost his wife, Jen, to cancer. Perhaps he can offer some insights. I don't know him personally but he's friends with a friend. He's a photographer and documented Jen's journey. Powerful work.

    Just passing along the thought since it occured to me and may prove useful or helpful to you. Better to share those kinds of thoughts than not, I reckon. One never knows.

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  14. Many prayers for you and your family. Thank you for updating us all.

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  15. I had been reading your blog for years when my mother was diagnosed at the very end of 2013 with a stage 4 cancer. Less than two months later she died. Thanks to everything Elise and you documented I did everything that was humanly possible in the short span I had her with me. It wasn't enough of course because enough didn't exist but I am at peace regardless. And in regards to the last weeks of the journey you hinted at above, if you can bear it please document what it's like. It's the only part I wasn't prepared for because I have found that very few people want to honestly describe the process.

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  16. Sending you and beautiful Sadie love, peace and light. Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey with the world.

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  17. I think if writing in this space brings you comfort, it is indeed part of your journey as well as Elisas... your love for each other and Sadie are her legacy. This space is part of that journey and it should continue as long as it feels right to you.

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  18. Your lives (yours, Sadie's, Elisa's ) have touched all of us and we wish you lots of love and pleasures in the future.

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  19. I continue to think of you and your family. Prayers for all of you and thank you for sharing your journey.

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  20. I just don't know what to say.....thank you for sharing.

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