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5/26: Happy birthday baby, I miss you so much.

5/27: Happy Memorial Day. Thank you for serving and for being there for our country. I miss our weekends when we did Rolling Thunder. They were so much fun riding there and back…many funny stories and foibles to be had when you take the backroads on Harleys even from Boston to DC. We laughed so much about the memories only we shared. They were the craziest of times…and we did the craziest of things on those trips…so much fun in just a few days. I can only imagine the fun we would have had if we had been able to make the cross country trip we planned.

But Rolling Thunder itself was very solemn and I will never forget your face as other Vietnam Vets said, “Welcome Home, brother.” They were only a few of the times I saw tears in your eyes. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. You all deserved welcomes you did not get and our country has learned from the injustice done to you all. So I thank you for sharing Rolling Thunder with me and allowing me to see one of the few areas where you were truly vulnerable.

The 2013 Get M.A.D. at Brain Cancer NBTS NYC Fund Raiser

Other than Rolling Thunder and the night our dog died, one of the only other times I saw Michael’s eyes fill with tears, was not when HE was told he had cancer, but when he saw the children in the cancer treatment center. While I was busy navel gazing and trying to not be hysterical over the thought of losing him (I was screaming inside while paying attention to him on the outside), he drew my attention to the plight of children with cancer which is why I continue to fight the fight he would never win.

I will never forget his sad face as he looked at the kids and whispered to me, “I’ve lived my life, they should be out playing.” Although I wanted to scream at him that he was only 56, and he was leaving me, and what the hell????, I just smiled at him and nodded in agreement.

His favorite thing in the world was bass fishing. He was severely ADHD and told me that fishing had a calming effect on him and that his thoughts were not racing a mile a minute when he was fishing.

He was a tournament fisherman at one point and a fishing instructor for people new to tournament fishing. He only fished catch and release, which made no sense to me. I used to call it “looking at fish.” I said, “So you pull this thing out of the water and look at it and throw it back in.” He said, No, you also have to kiss the fish. I said, “WHAT? KISS the fish?” He said yes, it was good luck and a ‘kiss goodbye’ as well as offering a mark of respect to the fish and a thank you for the sport (I think that was some Italian thing with him).

Michael said he also kissed the fish to apologize for catching it with a hook and speed its healing (like a Mommy kisses a boo boo). I said that was THE stupidest thing I ever heard especially since most Moms do not hook their children for sport (though sometimes it seems like a good idea.) I said that maybe instead of apologizing for catching the fish, you just don’t catch it. Of course, to him that was the most ridiculous thing HE ever heard. But our kids, who regularly fished with him, said he did, indeed, kiss the fish.
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Sunday is Michael’s birthday and it’s Memorial Day weekend. We did Rolling Thunder for years on Memorial Day weekend and, as a Vietnam Vet, it was very healing for him to spend it with his biker/vet brothers. I miss those days riding our Harleys from Boston to DC and chit chatting/joking on the headsets in our helmets. Everything was so much fun…I miss those wknds with him SO much. May is also Brain Tumor Awareness Month and our fund raiser walk is in NYC on Father’s Day. Michael survived Vietnam but could not survive brain cancer…it’s such a killer and its research is so underfunded and so much is needed toward research and treatment. We in the brain cancer support community also lost a few of our children warriors this week and as Michael always said about kids in cancer treatment, “They should be out playing, not in here.” Brain cancer is a leading form of childhood death and incredibly difficult to treat. I explain it on our page (why so difficult).

If you can donate to our team to help eradicate this killer disease, we would appreciate it.

If you want to donate to me directly and leave me a message that you are from the blog, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click on my name to donate directly to me and it goes to both me and the team. THANK YOU.

If you want to know why this is such a killer disease, scroll down on my page where I attempt to explain what we are up against.

Michael A. DiCarlo Brain Tumor Foundation NBTS 2013 Team Page

As most of you know, GPYP/GPYB would not exist without Michael. He was the one who encouraged me and kept telling me that though I was a busy lawyer, people needed my help and he kept encouraging me to do the blog on the side and write the book. Even though they were two more things that took my time away from him (which he loved–spending time with me), he encouraged me in these endeavors and without him neither the GPYB blog nor the book would exist. Each year we’ve been participating in a fund raiser to raise money for desperately needed research and treatment for the disease that killed him. In 2011 we did the Race for Hope in Washington DC and last year and this year we are doing the NY Brain Tumor Walk on beautiful Governor’s Island.

If you are interested in donating to our team, all contributions go directly to the NBTS and are tax deductible. And we THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support in this effort as Michael supported my effort in getting this blog and book to all of you.

If you donate, please be sure to leave your home address as I send thank you cards via US mail afterward. If not, I’ll email you but I find that so impersonal when someone has donated to something as special as this is or means as much to me as this does.

Thank you so much.

The Michael A. DiCarlo Brain Tumor Foundation “Get M.A.D. at Brain Cancer!” 2013 team fund raising page

Photos from our last 2 events:

2012 NYC Brain Tumor Walk

2011 Race for Hope in Washington DC

I’ve read a lot of poems, cried to a lot of books, movies etc, but this one hit me hard. HARD. It just sums up so much of how I have felt over the past 4 years.

Do Others Feel Like Me?

I sometimes still think I hear his voice
in the words I hear myself say.
I think I see him in the crowd,
but I can’t get to him before he fades away.

I’m still not convinced this is all real.
I’m hanging on to the chance that it’s not.
It’s not the reality I want,
but painfully it’s the only one I’ve got.

Do you know how it is when your world,
your reality, and everything go?
The colors, they fade,
and time moves too fast or too slow.

When you realize there’s only so little you can sleep,
you wish it’d been a nightmare and hope for a dream
and you see that the medicine cabinet’s only so deep.

But this is one thing that is just exactly as it seems,
the hot-lava tears that run down your face
and the sad songs that seem to repeat,
when you’re lying in your bed with the curtains drawn
still feeling so unbelievably beat.

I still think it’s him
when I go to answer the phone,
when I drive in the car
and I don’t feel like I’m alone.

I wake up in the morning,
lay my head down at night
and think there’ll never be a point
when things go back to feeling just right.

~From the Blog, Just My Current Perspective

COPYRIGHT 2011, With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, LLC.

We are participating in the New York NBTS event this year.

Our team page is here. If you want to donate to me, you can scroll down and click on my name to donate to me or just donate to the team.  We each have a personal goal and a team goal.  Last  year I exceeded my personal goal thanks to everyone here and on FB and my friends and readers all over the world.  Thank you all so much for helping!!!

All donations are tax-deductible and all go directly to the NBTS

The 2013 “Get M.A.D. at Brain Cancer Fund Raising Event

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month and Michael’s birth month.

I knew NOTHING about brain tumors and how deadly they are and how difficult to treat and how underfunded research is…and I learned the hard way. We will be launching our 2013 fundraiser soon and if you can’t donate, you can buy a tee shirt or a magnet or a sticker. Anything to help.

After Michael died, I established the Michael A. DiCarlo Brain Tumor Foundation in his name. The funds in the Foundation have almost doubled.

But we do the National Brain Tumor Society fundraiser every year and we hope that you will help us raise funds for the cause. I will be posting the team page, my page and some links for tee shirts and magnets etc.

It's that time of year again

It’s that time of year again