Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Ann (our)

I met my Ann for the first time in May of 1995. I saw her on several occasions socially during the next three months, I finally got the courage to ask this gorgeous, intelligent, caring, sensitive woman out to see a movie,(for you young ones, a 50's tradition). I loaned her a novel two weeks prior, The Bridges of Madison County. That was the movie I took her to see, yes I am slightly devious,………. and it STARTED.!!!!!
I had been married before, as had Ann, and thought I had loved before, but this Lady gave me gifts; a new outlook on relationships, more mature, more thoughtful and (paradoxically) more innocent, intense, more childish and more passionate in its appreciation of life and one’s partner. This was all new. Life was brighter, more colorful, more intense, joyfully new.
Now, a year after Anns passing, I am lost, the brightness is only in my memories, the photos, the music and the places that we shared.I know I must and will grow. But it was all too short, not enough time..............You will Stay in my heart always.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Holidays, missing you

This is the first Christmas without our Ann. Thank God for all of you and your support and love. I don't think I could go on without you, my daughters, my son, my grandchildrenm my brothers, sister and their families and all of Ann's"extended Family".
Today is December 17, our 6th wedding Anniversary, I'm getting ready to visit the "scene of the crime" as you called it. Sunny,cold and just a kiss of fresh snow (just like the day 6 years ago), don't have to start a fire in the shelter this time to keep the wedding party warm though.
I will cry and smile and walk and have you close to me today........and always. I'll listen for the geese (wedding joke). By the way, all our Christmas shopping is completed (I think)and wrapped,the earliest ever. Be happy,be pleased, You are Loved.
The day after Christmas will be 6 months since you left us, but only physically, OK,OK, I won't talk dirty. I see the plaque on the wall in the kitchen every day..."Live,Love,Laugh"...I'm trying...........we're all trying.

I Love You with all my Heart and Spirit.................Stay.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Facing and Fighting Death: Ann's Journal

Months before she died of cancer, my sister Ann Chapin Morgan wrote a journal, The Side Door, with the hope of helping others face what she did.

This is a highly personal account of facing and fighting death.

Through the struggles and joys of being with the man she loves in a place she loves, the Florida Keys, Ann faces her future in a way that challenges and instructs all of us.

We hope you will read her journal and be touched by Ann's incredible spirit, Ann's story can be found at

Ann's account of her struggle may inspire you to share your own stories. If so, please do so at Ann's Tree,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ken, I don't really know you but I feel as though we are both in the same funk. I would love to tell you that the pain will eventually ease, and it probably will. I am still waiting myself. But the memories....hold on tightly to those! That does sometimes help. I know what you mean when you wish you could hear Ann laugh, see her smile, hear her voice. I want the same from my husband. You and Ann were so dear to send flowers when she was so ill. But that was Ann. I can tell you that she is now surrounded by family, friends, and she is still with you. I believe that. Hold on to that. Talk to her. I believe she'll hear you. Maureen

Monday, August 2, 2010


I'll write, but not now, nothing there.
My God how I miss her, fill me again with her laughter. smiles and her love.
Thank you for my Ann,........ our Ann.

It's September 15, and I'm still lost, hollow.........
I thought after my other losses I would be able to move on, but I can't, I miss you with all my heart. I'm stuck, you are my life, my love....stay in my heart.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Miss Her

I write a popular blog but I hate writing about myself. It is the most difficult writing of all - give me a snack food to review any day.

Until Ann's death, I didn't realize how much she impacted me. Which surprised me since I had been anticipating this death for a couple months.

I was lucky enough to have a chance to say good bye, and tell her what she meant to me. I drove 15 hours to say, "Thank you for all you have given to me." and, if you knew her, you can guess what she said back to me.

"Thank YOU for all you have given to ME."

I know it isn't a contest, but I still think she gave me more than I could have ever given her. She helped me to live life more fully - to grab each day. She shared my children, and I think she may have loved my husband more than I do :) (she just LOVED his accent)

I wish she could have been here longer (many more minutes).

Just One More Minute

My oldest son Aidan and I share a tradition which I care deeply about. I am not sure when it started, but I am at times dismayed by the inevitable end of this tradition.

On the rare evenings when I am home at the boys' bedtime, we read books together as a family. After everyone has had a turn reading, Connor likes to go to his room and have Kate rub his back as he drifts off to sleep. I stay with Aidan and we chat for a bit. After a few moments I will say to Aidan, "Alright son, give me a smooch. It's time to go to sleep." Aidan invariably looks up at me at this point and asks, "Just one more minute, Dad?"

Perhaps it was an inexplicable sense of the impending tragedy that the next day would bring, for when Aidan made this request on Sunday night, I was gripped by it in a way that I had never been before.

I realized that I too wanted "just one more minute."

It was as though I was being devoured by the sense that each minute that I had spent with my mom had been precious, and that they were slipping away.

She passed away on Monday, 7/26/2010. As I watched her take her final breaths, I fought the overwhelming temptation to ask, "Just one more minute, Mom?"

Just one more minute to see you smile.
Just one more minute to hear you laugh.
Just one more minute to be encouraged by you.
Just one more minute to be believed in by you.
Just one more minute to admire you.
Just one more minute for you to love my wife and boys.
Just one more minute to love you.
Just one more minute to be loved by you.

The crushing reality is that just one more minute would never do. That is why Aidan asks night in and night out. He is yet to be satisfied. I know that I would never be satisfied with just one more minute with her. I too would ask again and again.

I am comforted by the beauty of the last minute. She was surrounded by her family. She had spent the previous evening and the morning breathing laboriously. And then my beautiful Aunt Marilyn, a woman that my mom admired and loved beyond explanation, began to read to her. These are the words that Marilyn read:

In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it. A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light. The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him. He came to his own and his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself. The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John witnesses to him. He proclaims: 'This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.' Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received -- one gift replacing another, for the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. This was the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?' He declared, he did not deny but declared, 'I am not the Christ.' So they asked, 'Then are you Elijah?' He replied, 'I am not.' 'Are you the Prophet?' He answered, 'No.' So they said to him, 'Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?' So he said, 'I am, as Isaiah prophesied: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!' Now those who had been sent were Pharisees,
25 and they put this question to him, 'Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the Prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptise with water; but standing among you -- unknown to you-- is the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandal.' This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising. The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me." I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John declared, 'I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptise with the Holy Spirit." I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.' The next day as John stood there again with two of his disciples, Jesus went past, and John looked towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God.'
37 And the two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, 'What do you want?' They answered, 'Rabbi' -- which means Teacher -- 'where do you live?' He replied, 'Come and see'; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour. One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, 'We have found the Messiah' -- which means the Christ-- and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas' -- which means Rock. The next day, after Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, 'Follow me.' Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.' Nathanael said to him, 'From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?' Philip replied, 'Come and see.' When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, 'There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.' Nathanael asked, 'How do you know me?' Jesus replied, 'Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.' Nathanael answered, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.' Jesus replied, 'You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.' And then he added, 'In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man.'

While Marilyn read, my mom's breathing eased, she found comfort, and she let go. It was beautiful.

I don't remember a lot of what followed, aside from the overwhelming sense of desolation. I do, however, remember my uncle Mike saying, "When I think of Annie's story, I think it's a success story, due in large part to the people in this room."

Of that there is no doubt. Her story is a success story. And I know that after hearing it told, or reflecting on it, I will always want just one more minute with her.

I love you mom.