I’m not dead yet

I’m not dead yet. This is what the T shirt Andrea picked out and I got for her when we took Jesse to go see Spamalot on Broadway. This is how she frequently approached her cancer. This is the Andrea we all felt some sense of awe about. Thisanything.jpg is also how I feel about this blog. So my sweeties (something else she might say) After a long wait with no internet connection, here we are again. I’m hoping that we can all come together on the idea that it is not yet time to let the memory of the beautiful person that Andrea was and the ideals she stood for slip away quietly. In fact not many were privy to much about this woman that she did quietly, I shall always consider myself fortunate for being one of the few.

The kids all seem to be doing well. There are a lot of ups and downs in this period of much adjustment but we are all pulling through. New house almost unpacked (thanks to many beautiful friends). My mom and step father (very much a father) have been here helping me with the baby and putting the finishing touches on everything. the kids are getting into the swing of things in new schools while Jesse kicks it old school. I am trying to get used to being a single parent and fall into a routine. I think thats gonna take a minute though.

So I got tattooed last night. Its a pretty dead punk rock girl with her head on a leopard spot pillow with black roses in the background and ribbons reading anything for love. I asked one of my coworkers to draw it up right after Andrea passed. It is a great tattoo, though when I looked at it this morning I felt it was a bit more morbid than I had anticipated much in the vein of how I felt about Andreas death. The important part, what it stands for, is very relevant though. ANYTHING FOR LOVE. If I learned anything from the experience of loving and losing such a lovely human being it is what is actually important. Had I to do it all over again, I would still be right where I am today. I would still have a baby. I would still feel the loss of a dead wife. I would still be tattooing. I would still have amazing friends. The only thing I would have done differently would be to worry less about money and career, and maybe take that extra hour a day and love my wife even more (and I did love her well). I hope to take this lesson (and I can always just read my leg) with me and apply it well to the rest of my life. To all present and future relationships be they platonic, family, or well you know the other kind. These are the real investments to be made. So please go out and give someone worthy that extra hour soon. And when you are feeling blue, know that you are loved.

37 Responses to “I’m not dead yet”

  1. Welcome back Kelly……your words resonate loud and clear. Hoping Asa & Tucker are having a positive experience along with Alec who seems to be thriving in his new environment. Hope Bailey & Jesse just as stimulated to get back to the basics of life and that means school and schoolwork.
    Stay in touch……Naomi returned my EZ Pass……will be tied up until after the Jewish Holidays but will talk to you later in the month.

    Stay centered, as they say.

  2. wendy says:

    Kelly you are awesome. Thank you, once again, for sharing in your eloquent way. You are a true man and (for what it is worth) I am so proud of you. I’d love to see a picture of the tatoo. As soon as you started describing it I smiled. It sounds like a poignant tribute to your love. Hang in there. We believe in you. Love, Wendy

  3. debi says:

    Kelly I am so glad you are back. I come here every day just to check. I know we all think of you and the kids often. I love to hear more about Andrea. I never met her yet I feel the loss. It seems weird to me yet many here never knew her either and they miss her just the same. She had that power you know..

  4. joshua says:

    you’re all old school to me. get ripped.

  5. Nat says:

    Truer words never spoken Kelly. Thank you. Going to go snuggle my baby now.

  6. elesha says:

    Great to see you back I think the tat is great not to morbid it sort of catches everything in one little picture.

  7. Deb says:

    Thank you — more words about life and what really matters to make us think — Although I’ve never met you or you beautiful wife you family and story have made such a difference in my life and I will forever be grateful —

  8. Michelle Wienke says:

    YEAH!!! You’re back! Like Debi, I too, still log in every day to see if there is a new post- I have missed you all!! Please more details about the kids-especially little Bailey-hoping all of the kids and you are getting through each day. I know you are missing Andrea- I never met her, and I am missing her-I miss her wit, her sharp sense of sarcasm-God, I really miss that-she could make me smile everyday with her sarcasm and insight!
    Im glad to hear your move was successful, and you are Blessed to have friends and family to help!
    Please post a picture of that awesome tat soon-and new pictures of the kids too-Clay must be getting so big!

    So glad to hear you are well- you deserve,and will find much love and peace in your life-I continue to keep you in my prayers and thoughts- now, go kiss those kids!!
    Be well and write when you can- your cyber friends are counting on it….welcome back!!

  9. Anna says:

    I hope that I get to see your new ink someday soon. As always my eyes where open again after reading this blog.

  10. Juanita says:

    I’m excited you’re back too…it was a while, lol, since I’ve gotten three more tattoos since your last post. 🙂 I realize you don’t know me, Nova Scotia is a far jaunt from you, but I am doing the Run for a Cure (https://www.cibcrunforthecure.com/html/en/about.asp) here on October 5th, in honor of both my mother in law and Andrea. I just wanted to tell you. I think of you all often. And I wanna see your new ink too! 🙂

  11. Renee Khan says:

    Kelly, I know that Andrea inspired me. But it is obvious to me everytime I read something from you that you must have inspired her too.

    This post really proved to me that you were a very well matched pair. The love for you and your family spoke out in all of Andrea’s posts. And in all of your posts, your love for her and your family also speaks out.

    The tattoo sounds beautiful Kelly.

    Keep kicking it beautiful.

    Love Renee

  12. Tim Bathurst says:


    Thanks for your blog today. I appreciate your words. Enjoy your day. You and the family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    Peace, Tim

  13. ByJane says:

    Thanks for checking in….

  14. Heather says:


    It’s nice to hear from you. So many of us are so vested into your story and the twist and turns and insight it provides. Because of yours/Andrea’s Blog I realize that a lot of times I chase the things I think I need and never just grasp the things that I have. Never giving attention to the ones closest to me because I guess I have a unrealistic sense that they will always be there. You, Andrea and the kids always bring me back to stop wasting so much on the ones who don’t love me or have my best intrest and give that time back to my family and the ones who always look out for me and love me no matter what.

    Thank you so much for that. Heather

  15. bendagen says:

    Hey… we’re still reading… you’ve become real to so many of us “out here.” Welcome back!

  16. Brian says:

    Hey Kel,

    It’s good to see you writing again. Mom’s been trying to reach Karen and figured she was back with you helping out with the move. That’s very special for sure. And I truely believe Bill could easily take the best step dad of the Year award and that he’s very much a father to you. As he came through for Andrea, so he comes through for you too. You are much loved Kel.

    I cancelled my land line and just have the cell now, so give me a call? or write. Looking forward to my week long October visit with you and playing with Clay on his Birthday.

    Much Love to all the kids & You. See you soon~

  17. Donna Arnold says:

    Hi Kelly:
    As always, you continue to be so awesome and inspiring!!! Glad the move is done and unpacking almost done….its wonderful to have friends and loved ones to help out…..
    I would love to see the ink as well….
    That shirt is just SOOOOOOO Andrea!!!! I miss her ANDREA-isms as well….she was such a unique person…I loved her wit, her sarcasm, and her humor……hugs to you all…Donna in SC

  18. nobody really says:

    Another friend’s site – http://www.deenasstory.com and also http://www.reconstructthis.com had steered me in your direction this past year. Deena of Deenasstory has been on the decline cancer wise. I checked in to see how you are doing. You’re in my home town, at the college I used to stand in the halls of listening to classes I could never afford. I’m middle aged now, without the degree I managed by God’s grace alone to become the artist internationally that I hoped for. Along the way there were lots of losses. One was a son who’s choices gave me no choice at all. When I read you I always think of him. He had a child and a wife and never let me know. Life is long sometimes. I wanted you to know that you are wonderful and brave. I am sorry how it turned out, for all of us. But mostly I am happy that you are moving into life instead of away from it.
    Many blessings…can’t help but think she is watching from beyond, smiling.

  19. leah says:

    Kelly, you are awesome, and you are doing a great job being a single parent Andrea would be proud and i think looking down on you she is proud!
    keep up the great work, and i think the tattoo is awesome.

  20. maire brandon says:

    So good to hear that things are settling a bit from the storm. You and the kids sound as though you’re all adjusting to a new way of living with the help of loving, caring friends and family. I have enjoyed reading Alec’s blogs regarding his excitement and enjoyment of his new home and academic challenges….Andrea did an excellent job in preparing him, and so now he keeps on walking forward in his life with the influence and instruction of others, all the while taking everything from Andrea with him! 🙂
    Kudos to you Kelly……being a single father is hard enough let alone on the heels of the death of your hearts partner. You seem to be so well balanced in your thoughts and dealings of the situation….so reflective with the love and respect for your wife and yet very pragmatic about the future and moving on. Andrea, you and your children all serve as examples to us all, as to how with love and understanding, we, as humans, can come through pain and tragedy with respect, strength and faith.
    Thank you for continuing to share.
    maire brandon~ Santa Monica, CA/Rkfd IL

  21. BARBARA says:

    Glad to hear from you…. I also check in everyday and think of andrea and your family often…I have never met any of you, but your stories have touched me especially andreas, and gave me a new outlook on life and how we live it. Would love to hear more stories about your life with andrea and the kids, and pics of her and your family… keep up the good work.

    A fan from south philly!

  22. Candice (daughter of a fighter) in IL says:

    Dearest Kelly and fam,

    I have never commented before so you have no clue who I am. I stumbled upon Andrea’s blog the day after she passed. After I found this site I was addicted. I couldn’t stop reading. I have read every blog, some made me laugh out loud and others made me cry uncontrollably. I still check in about once a week to check in on this family that I have never met but I think of all the time. My mother is Stage IV IDC with extensive mets to her liver and minimal mets to the lining of her lungs. She was originally diagnosed in Oct of last year and found recurrance June of this year. Since this diagnosis cancer is an every day part of my life. Although I never met Andrea I hope that when the time comes that my mom passes Andrea will be there with open arms along with the other sisters that have passed and they will look over us, pain and sorrow free. Stay strong Kelley…you are an inspiration! Just know that there are so many other “lurkers” out there that think of you daily. How powerful is that?!! To know that people you have never even thought of think of you!! It’s true. God bless and may your days on earth be so much more blessed and filled with happiness for the simple fact that you LOVED to truly and deeply!

  23. Lhianna says:

    I’m glad you are still writing this.

  24. mandi says:

    beautiful post. can’t wait to see a pic of the actual tattoo. take care.

  25. Barbara Walder says:


    So glad you are back with us.

  26. Lynn says:

    I’m so glad you are back. It’s great to hear about you and the children.

  27. Mom says:

    It is so hard to be back at home in California after spending over a week in your world, being with Jesse, Asa, Tucker and Bailey, and enjoying the engaging antics of Clayton. Megan and David’s house seems like just the right place for you to make a home in. It feels good seeing everyone in the family settling in there. The hundred year old character of the place (marble fireplace, portraits of a mysterious man and woman painted on the entry walls, winding staircase up the three stories to the kids rooms, the view from the street-facing windows of the trees in the park across the street) all provide a pleasant backdrop for the new routines developing as a result of so many changes–new schools, the loss of Alec to college, and the very big loss of Andrea. It is good to have been a part of the routine so that I am now able to picture you all as you go about your daily life–and to know that life and growth continue as Andrea would have wished it for you and all the kids.

    I am proud of you for carrying on with love and dedication your promise to parent this family. Continue to take time for yourself to keep your clarity and remain as centered as possible. It is so important, and not always easy with a nearly two-year old who needs so much from you. Bill and I found that two of us could just about manage taking care of him, so we have even more respect for all you are shouldering.

    We love you, Kel, and our thoughts are with you constantly. Thanks to everyone for allowing us to share in your lives for a time. Looking forward to our next visit. We miss you already.


  28. Michelle Wienke says:

    AW- Kelly what a great mom you have!! You truly are Blessed!!

  29. Ed says:

    I only new Andrea for about 10 months, and yet she taught me lessons of a life time. Never more than a day or two goes by without me thinking of her. Even I am still sad. I’m glad you all have gotten on with life, as heavy as it must weigh sometimes. Your memories must be incredible and your sorrow great. If I can be of ANY further help, let me know
    Peace always….Ed

  30. Linda, Palm Harbor, FL says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I haven’t visited your site in about 2 weeks, I know your life goes on. But, as many have said, I always think about you and wonder how you are doing. I pray for you and the family always, honey, and know that Andrea’s spirit is living in you. You are a wonderful man and Father. God Bless you in the days ahead, I know i’s always a strugle, but with the Lord’s guidance, you will preval. Whenever you get the urge, please continue to let us know how you are and what you have been up to. I love you, God bless, Linda,

  31. Hi Kelly, so glad to read your post. I have been checking it daily to see how you and the family are doing. Please know I keep all of you in my heart and prayers. Thank you for your beautiful words, it is the truth we all need to take more time for love. We are having Courage Night at the Boutique in Abington on Oct. 1st for Survivor’s and we will have a pictiure and story about our dear friend and how she touched so many lives, and how beautiful of a person she is. We miss you all. Stay in touch much love to all.

  32. katie says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Lovely tattoo. Happy New Home. I hope it is a lovely space for you all and I hope that little baby brings you enough joy to ease the pain.
    Keep writing your thoughts about andrea-even those you do not publish.
    I’m sure it’s super-hard to find time or mental energy to think of yourself when there are so many others needing you, but you must.

    Don’t drop the baby when you’re looking at your leg though will you :-))

    Take care.

  33. shelley says:


    I wanted to let you know I have been missing Andrea these past few days and weeks. She has not and never will be forgotten.

    Let me know when Maya and I can come over and get to know Clay so we can take him for your sometimes.

    Also, do you need help after school on any days? There are some people in my cell who were asking if they could help in any way.

  34. roads says:

    Some people carry love close to their heart. But somewehere on the leg will do just as well. Spirits up, and best wishes from London.

  35. Nydia says:

    What a beautiful post! Seems like you gave one more step in your new road, and you’re doing it well. I can’t really imagine your pain, but it’s great to feel that you have this inner strenght that is helping you to keep your chin up and go ahead. Your kids are blessed for having such a dad! And also a beautiful tattoo, full of meaning.

    Kisses & positive vibes from Brazil.

  36. lizz says:

    i have been thinking about this summer a lot… how we have all been in this constant state of flux.
    all of our relationships have changed within the “family”…
    jen21 and ruthie being away, naomi landau leaving, na going back to va, the twins jesse and bailey being gone for like half the summer, you going back to work, moving to the new house, ori being away, alec going to college, clay turning ito a giant man…lol.
    and thru all this missing andrea like crazy… it’s been a rollercoaster….
    now the summer is over everyone is settling into new rolls and getting back to life. but we all are here, and we all really love you and the kids.
    i think things are gonna be ok.

    love you tons kelly