This blog is for Jim Marventano's family and friends to review his status and updates while he goes through treatment for Stage IV Colon Cancer. We can beat it together!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Day 1

Today is my first "alone" day since Jim passed away. In fact, it's my first "alone" day since mid-August. I think I did the right thing on insisting that I try and go it alone. Although I have to tell you that I tried to cut out the meals, and Amy told me I was a fool, and that no, I would be getting meals. She cracks me up.

Jim's service this last weekend in Rochester was a testament to the guy he was. There was standing room only - probably around 300 people showed up, some of them from really far away. Lots of Jim, Janet, and Judi's friends were there to support them, and some of my friends came as well. All things considered, it was a good weekend.

Aside from the service, I had two high points in the weekend - one being the drive. My mom and I jabbered on and on while my poor Dad did his best to get a word in edge-wise. When people asked how the drive was, my mom and I said "great!" and my dad said "long.". Hm. Also on the drive we stopped in Erie at one of my old college hangouts - Quaker Steak and Lube - home to some of the best chicken wings on earth. Of course now Quaker Steak and Lube is a chain, but when we went there (I'm dating myself here) there was only ONE and it was the best! Good thing I was driving when I spotted it because my dad was getting pretty desperate to get out of the car at that point. Only an elite few can handle 500 miles of licorice, Snickers and Diet Coke. Thank heavens I perfected that art early in my college career. Or maybe I learned it from my mom. Either way, it was fun.

The second high point of the weekend (for me) was that my girlfriends came to the service. These are girls that have known me for a long, long, long time. Therefore when they said "What's up with this strong persona? This isn't the Kate we know. We need you to freak out and throw beer on someone or something like that." I knew I was in good company. Thank goodness there are still people left that recognize that I'm a complete flake. Oh, wait, you all know that? Well don't feel obligated to tell me that I'm strong. It's starting to freak me out.

I am working my hardest at being strong, but I've gotta tell ya, this strong stuff stinks. No wonder Jim always went to bed so early. He was emotionally exhausted from putting up with my flakiness all day. I have also determined that crying most certainly does NOT make me feel better. It makes me feel worse. Closely akin to my adolescence, when I'd start crying about one thing and then it would snowball and eventually I'd be crying because there wasn't any toilet paper left on the roll. I'll save my crying for a rainy day when I really need it. Right now I'm harboring too much anger at God to let out any tears. If I start, it really doesn't do me any good. And Rachel gets really upset when I cry, so I can't cry in front of her.

Day 1 of being alone is going pretty well. I cheated a couple of times today. My parents stayed this morning and watched Jake while I dropped Rachel off at school. My friend Susan took Rachel to her swim class. And tonight my neighbors David and Kate took Rachel to dinner, so I got to give Jake a bath. But aside from those three cheats, I did okay.

Mostly I spent the day missing Jim. I loved spending time with Jim. I could spend every minute of every day with him and never tire of him. (I'm not sure he'd say the same about me...) I was sad when he left for work. I missed him when he went fishing. And I couldn't wait for him to retire so we could spend all our time together. So all throughout the day, I talked to him. Just in little bits, here or there. Telling him I missed him, telling him I was sad, telling him about my day, asking if he was around and if he could hear me. It sounds lame, but it makes me feel better.

I am a little nervous about going to bed tonight. After all, it's my first night "alone". Typically I'm so tired by the end of the day that going to bed isn't much of an issue. I'm hoping that's true for tonight. These are big changes. It's hard work being "strong". I'm hoping that exhaustion will drive me to sleep - much the way it did for Jim over the last 12 years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did great today! sb

9:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate ... you will do great. I believe that is the reason you and Jim "found" each other.

4:19 AM

Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I think there are two Kates. Flaky Kate and strong Kate. And I think they both pretty cool.

I feel about Greg the same way you feel about Jim. It's a rare and beautiful thing. I don't blame you at all for being angry at the loss of it.

I don't think anybody would blame you if you freaked out and threw beer either.

5:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throwing beer, crying irrationally, cheating?? Are we back in college?? I wish.

You are doing fine and accepting help is not cheating. You cannot go through this completely alone so take the meals, the help, etc.

On another note -- after meeting Jim's friends at the service this weekend, I am even more impressed with who Jim was. I knew he was a cool guy (and very patient if married to our beautiful Kate). However, the sheer number of people who turned out for the service and the history he had with many of these people was amazing. Most of us are lucky to have 1 or 2 friends from high school or college. Jim's numbers are in the double digits.

Kate, Jim left you with many wonderful things including 12 years of memories and two beautiful children. But he also left you with a circle of strong and loving people who may have started out his friends but have become your extended family. You will never be ALONE.

People like Mark and Terri are priceless and they, like Rachel and Jake, will be your connection and reminder of who Jim was and why he was so special.

Plus, they have a tricked out minivan that is cool to ride around in :)

It was great to see you. I miss you already. We are not letting 5 years or more go by again.

Take care,


6:15 AM

Blogger Judester said...

Yes, today began a new reality for you, Rach & Jake. You'll be able to do it because there's no other acceptable option. You'll make it through, some days easier than others, some days so difficult you aren't sure you can make it another 10 minutes, but you'll be okay. Jim will make sure of that - not only is he there in spirit, listening to you each time you talk to him, he's left you with a support system of thousands. That's Jim's gift to you. Don't put it on the shelf to admire, use it. Each time you reach out to someone for help, don't think of it as a failure or a shortcoming, think of how much he loves you and wants the best for you. He'd do it himself if he could, but in his absence, he's left more people than you can count to provide the support you need.

Love - Jude

8:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Jim is the 4th young person we know who has died since March. That being said, here is another nice poem that I saw at an 18 y.o. girl's funeral in June:

A crowd stands on a pier at the twilight of the day, watching as a beautiful sailing ship sails away into the sunset. And they watch as the ship sails off and seems to become ever smaller until they're not able to see her anymore. Finally, someone says, "She's gone." "Gone?," I ask. "Gone where?The ship isn't gone. It STILL exists. SOMEWHERE. It's simply that we're not able to see it just now." And, just about the time someone says, "She's gone," someone, on another distant shore is looking seaward and seeing the sun reflecting off the approaching sails says, "There she is. She's coming. She's here!"

12:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your attitude and I think you're smart for keeping the momentum going. There'll be the moments, like you said, when you'll want to let it out and it will be good to do so. Talking to Jim the way you have been keeps him with you in the day to day stuff and I don't think it's one bit lame. He'll always be with you and what a great way to be "alone". With your honey.....

You go, girl!!

1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree..FREAK OUT and throw some beer if you want, but only the garbage stuff..none of the good imported or micro-brewery stuff.

Seriously though, there is a saying in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) "One Day at a Time". You have been so strong through all this, that nobody, including yourself, should think that it needs to continue. Cry if want or don't, but don't stop crying just because of Rachel. It is okay to let her and Jake see some of it.

What a great sister-in-law you have. I love what Judi has to say, so listen to her, as she has such great insight. I could not say it any better. I know it is not the same as what you are going thru, but it is how I get through my days since my Dad (my best friend) died.

Accept the help from others, as it is also our way of greiveing and coping with the loss. One day you may not need it as much, but for now take it and realize it is an expression of love. It is the compassion of Christ, showing though each one of us. One day you maybe the person helping someone else, but for now, it is okay to be helped.

You are doing GREAT.

Jason H.- Rochester

7:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate, I am someone who knew who Jim was in HS and, after reading this blog, felt as if I've come to know him, you and the rest of the Marventanos. I REALLY wanted to be at the service in Rochester, but couldn't rearrange family commitments. My point is that I'm certain that there are MANY others like me who also wanted to be there to show our respect for Jim and you as well as our support. As crowded as the service may have been, I'm confident that you all were in the thoughts and hearts of many others who just couldn't pull off getting there.

Sending you much sympathy, peace and healing as you all adjust to the new ways that Jim will continue to be in your lives.

Love to all!

6:38 AM


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