About Me

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For those of you that don't know, I was diagnosed with ALS in March 2007. After two more opinions, the diagnosis was confirmed in the fall 2007 at age 39. This coming August (2010) I will have been married for seven years to an incredible wife, who has supported me throughout. During the course of our marriage we have been lucky to have two wonderful, amazing daughters. Sydney, will be 5 in November. Emily, will turn 2 1/2 in August. Currently, we reside in New Jersey with our Beagle, Trixie.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Post 9 - Anniversary Song

In my post on July 18, I talked a little bit about my distaste for celebrations. A better way to clarify myself would be to say that I am not big into celebrating holidays, but instead, feel it is important to celebrate milestones. I am not a religious person, so religious holidays have very little importance to me. Valentine's Day is just a Hallmark holiday, with little true meaning. Independence Day was really meant to be celebrated on July 2nd, not on July 4th, and don't even get me started on Columbus Day. It is common knowledge that Columbus did not discover America so what are we celebrating?  Today is another important milestone for me.  Actually, it is an important milestone for both Tracey and me.  Today is our seventh wedding anniversary.  Seven years ago today, in front of approximately 100 family members and friends, Tracey and I were married at the Smithville Inn, in Smithville New Jersey.  Our song was the Anniversary Song by the Cowboy Junkies.  (click on the link to hear the song.  The lyrics are beneath our picture, if you're interested)
Anniversary Song

Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful
as that of the rain-soaked purple
of the white birch in spring?
Have you ever felt more fresh or wonderfu
than on a warm fall night under a Mackerel sky,
the smell of grapes on the wind?
Well I have known all these things
and the joys that they can bring
And I'll share them all for a cup of coffee
and to wear your ring

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching
a quiet winter's snow slowly gathering
like simple moments adding up?
Have you ever satisfied a gut feeling to follow
a dry dirt road that's beckoning you
to the heart of a shimmering summer's day?
Well I have known all these things
and the joys that they can bring
And I'll share them all for a cup of coffee
and to wear your ring

And I don't know how I survived those days
before I held your hand
Well I never thought that I would be the one
to admit that the moon and the sun shine
so much more brighter when
seen through two pairs of eyes
than when seen through just one.
Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful
as a face in a crowd of people
that lights up just for you?
Have you ever felt more fresh or wonderful
as when you wake by the side of that boy or girl
who has pledged their love to you?
Well I have known all these things
and the joys that they can bring
And now every morning there's a cup of coffee
and I wear your ring.

The story that I am about to tell you now is a true story that I've never told anyone before, not even Tracey.  In January of 2002 I had surgery on my sinuses.  Following the surgery I had experienced complications and twice had to go to the emergency room due to excessive nosebleeds.  On one occasion, I had lost so much blood, that I needed to spend the night in the hospital.  I had returned to my doctor's office during my third nosebleed since it was very close to where I was working at the time.  After he was unsuccessful in getting the bleeding to stop he sent me directly to the hospital for emergency surgery, which finally did the trick.  All in all, from the time of my first surgery to the emergency surgery, for a period of about one month, Tracey stood by my side and took care of me.  She cooked, she cleaned, and she nursed me back to health.  She did everything she could to see that I was comfortable and taken care of.  It was during this point in time (hold on for an ironic twist of fate) that I realized that if anything should ever happened to me this was somebody that was going to stay with me and take care of me, unconditionally.  Finally, I was smart enough to know that I could not risk losing someone like that.  We were engaged five months later.

I had planned to get engaged in Mystic, Connecticut, following a six-day camping trip to Provincetown, Massachusetts.  This trip already had special significance for Tracey since I had already gone to Provincetown several times with other lady friends and she was the first to ever accompany me a second time.  The fact that I was able to get her to go with me a second time should have been reason enough for me to propose.  If at that time Tracey did not know what a jerk she was about to marry, she was soon going to find out.  Within 10 minutes of being engaged I had joked with Tracey that since I had just proven how faithfully committed I was to her for the rest of my life, that I should now be allowed to date.  She replied with a simple "no ".  Since Tracey and I had known each other for approximately 6 years and had dated for three of those years, she was no stranger to my odd, ill-timed, sometimes dark, self-deprecating, sense of humor.  Now I think, that at the time, she was just realizing that there was no moment sacred enough for me not to make a joke.

Some other previously embarrassing moments for others prevents me from talking about several other times I had made ill-timed, and/or inappropriate jokes.  For me, that has always been the preferred way of lightening the mood for an uncomfortable situation.  Additionally, I've never had a problem making a joke at my expense. 

For those of you that do not know how great Tracey is for actually putting up me, I am about to tell you.  It's hard enough for someone to go through what she is currently going through without having some jerk make jokes all the time, but unfortunately that's who I am.  Take for instance, the time were watching TV and a commercial came on for one of those Internet dating services, who was offering a free weekend.  Nonchalantly, I turned to Tracey and suggested that we should sign her up.  When she looked at me puzzled and asked why, I stated that I thought it was only right that I should have a say about my children's next father.  It took Tracey all of about 5 seconds to fully comprehend what I just said, before she burst out in tears.  In my effort to cheer her up, I reminded her about the free weekend the Internet dating service was offering and how it was not going to cost us anything.  Yeah, I know, I'm a jerk.  There was also the time that we had gone to a funeral home for a viewing.  After standing there for about five minutes I commented  to Tracey about how I thought the funeral home was a very nice and tasteful place.  She agreed.  I then asked her if we should pick up some brochures so she would not have to wait until the last minute.  Yeah, I know, I'm a jerk.  I remember watching the news with Tracey around the time of Michael Jackson's funeral and all of the hoopla surrounding it.  After hearing about all the celebrities and people from around the world who are attending the funeral I suggested to Tracey that I wanted to make a guest list for my funeral because, after all, I didn't want "just anybody coming to my funeral, especially if they're just using it as an excuse to get out of work."  By this time, Tracey learned to just ignore me.  However, there was one more time that I did upset her.  Several months ago, we were doing our spring cleaning, and I wanted to clean out my closet.  I had decided to get rid of all but one or two of my button-down shirts, since it had been well over a year and a half since I was able to button them, and get rid of all my ties, since it had been two years since I had been able to tie a tie.  Tracey, for ever remaining the ultimate optimist, voiced her objections under the opinion that they were perfectly good shirts and ties, and that someday soon, I would be able to wear them again.  As she left the room she told me that she did not want me to get rid of all my ties.  My response - "I'm not getting rid of all my ties, I'm keeping one for the funeral".  Almost instantaneously I heard the crying.  My attempt at consoling her - "you know I'm only joking... I want to be cremated".  Yes I know, I'm a big jerk!  Even now, when I read back over all that I just wrote, I can't help but laugh.  Yes I know, I'm a really big jerk! 

These are just some of the examples of the ways I have nearly driven Tracey crazy over the past several years.  Tracey definitely deserves better, I agree.  I told her this before we started dating, before we got engaged, before we got married and I continue to tell her this almost everyday. Thankfully, she has refused, and continues to refuse, to pay attention to me and has learned to listen to me when it counts, like now.  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Tracey!  I Love You, Always.


  1. Look. I warned her many times while spending a late night at WaWa drinking Gatorade that you were a jerk and I didn't know what a nice girl like Tracey saw in a person of your manner. Such is life.
    Keep writing Dar, we are all right there with you.
    "you know I'm only joking... I want to be cremated" Ha!, What a jerk.

  2. Darini.... What am I going to do with you!!! Happy Anniversary to you and Tracey. You are both very lucky to have each other.


  3. Darin, while I laughed at everyone of your tales, I must say, you are a very funny jerk!!!

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you both!!!

  4. Ahhhhhhhhh yes, that's why i love ya!! you watched too much odd couple & honeymooners. your a combo of ralph kramdon & oscar madison.

  5. Darin, a jerk ??? an obnoxious guy who always makes the inappropriate comment ??? I have finally learned, that kind of honesty/humor is what makes you special, Happy Anniversary you to you both, and God bless your wife..