Valentine's Day

Love has taken on so many different meanings in our home over the past few years.  First there was falling in love.  Ted and I going from loving each other to realizing that we were so much in love that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.  Making a commitment to stay together for better or worse.  Then finding out that we were going to have a baby.  I felt our love grow in the recognition that we would soon be starting a family and that brought us so much closer together.  When Max was born, a completely new definition of love was born as well.  A love neither of us never knew was possible.  A love that outshines everything else on the earth.  All-consuming, completely mesmerizing, unselfish in every way - love.  Then feeling that love grow with every squeak, cry, smile, giggle, kiss, bath, new skill.  A brand new love.  Never before have I felt a single emotional transform so much over the course of such a very short time.  Then Maxie's passing.  The desperate love we felt in the hospital, clinging to his very presence, clinging to hope and every word out of every mouth of every doctor, nurse, hospice worker, specialist.  Losing that love and feeling so much more heartbroken than any heartbreak either of us had ever felt before.  Watching each other grieve, realizing that sometimes we were more lonely together than apart, feeling too much pain to help the other one, knowing that all the while, our love was still growing - for each other and for Max.  Life is hard - love is harder.

Every Valentine's Day for 10 years, my husband makes a CD of love songs.  It started with another girlfriend and has probably gone to one or two others before me.  He spends many months collecting songs that perhaps do a better job at times articulating how he feels about love.  This year the songs will be different.  This year the love songs include lyrics about intense heartbreak and loss.  My heart breaks just thinking about listening to the CD.  He will probably kill me for saying this but I don't think it makes him any less manly that I know he cries listening to sad music in his car.  Before this, I can remember him telling me that he never cried.  I never saw it before.  I think his car is the only place he feels like he doesn't have to be strong.  He lost his son and he is strong all of the time.  When I think about how hard that must be, my whole body hurts.  Imagine coming home to a wife that doesn't even try to be strong - who has lost all hope, who feels totally defeated.  And yet, he comes home every night and kisses me and makes me feel loved and even sometimes makes me laugh.  Without him, I'd be even worse off than I am - unimaginable.  He should have a place that he feels comfortable to break down.  He tells me he is angry at life and I am so, so angry for him.  He is such a good man, such a good son, brother, husband, son in law, friend, FATHER.  I am mad at life for him because I love him so very much.  This Valentine's Day I am thinking about my boys and how very much I love them both - their hearts, their souls, everything about them. 
I wanted to remind everyone who plans on coming to the March 15th, Benefit for Maxie's Forest to purchase your tickets!  You can easily do it online by going to  It is $40 a person (not including a two drink minimum).  $50 at the door, assuming that there are still seats available.  We will have a terrific silent auction and some raffles too.  If you cannot come, please consider sponsoring a runner/walker in the 5k we are doing on Saturday, March 17th.  You can see the few tribute pages that have gone up by going to: and clicking on the participant you would like to sponsor (So far we have my mom and brother, Beth and my friend Ann!).  Also, my friend Ann's work-out studio of choice, Pure Barre, in Brentwood is holding two donation classes to raise money for Maxie's Forest.  How incredible is that?  Thank you to Ann and to the folks at Pure Barre for supporting our sweet boy's memory.  The classes will be held on February 25th at 1:30 and 3:00 pm.  Ann says it is an awesome work out so maybe go and try it out for the first time, knowing that you are contributing to Maxie's Forest while you sculpt your new fabulous figure:  The address is 11819 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 213.  If you would like to set up a Tribute Page, or just walk with us the day of the 5k, here is the information:

To participate in the fundraising effort (ie - send an email to your friends and family and ask them to sponsor you for the walk to raise money for Maxie's forest), you can set up your own fundraising page.  Click here: JNF Tribute Sites and select "Tribute Pages".  When you create the page, you choose either honor, memorial or personal.  Choose "Personal".  You can name the page (where it asks for "Tribute Name") whatever you like or just name it "Maxie's Forest".  You can then design your own tribute page.  I can't see the whole form but if they ask for an "RN" or "Recognition Number", you can enter RN110241.  If you want to include a photo of you, of you running, of you and Max, of you and your family....whatever, you can do that.  Or, you don't have to.  If you want to include a photo of Max.  I am happy to send you a few to choose from or maybe you can pull one off my blog.  Please send me the link (teddyabby at gmail dot com) to your tribute site when you are done creating it so that we can put them all on one website together.  Also, I've learned you can register for the 5k online.  Click here: Link to register for 5k.  We will try to figure out a place to meet up in the morning so that we can all walk together.

1 comment

Rachael said...

Dear Abbie, just wanted you to know that Maxie was on my mind today and I was sending him special love for all of the Valentines he will never get to have. I know I never met him and don't really know you, but I think of the stories you've told of Maxie often and his memory is very alive in my life.