All You Need Is Love

July 15, 2011 at 2:15 PM (after chemo, Awareness, Energy, Faith, Family, friends, Happy, Karma, kids, Real Life, Silver Lining, Sleep, Zen) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

For spring break in April we visited a friend’s beach house on Buzzards Bay. Originally, we were to visit our happy place in the USVI, but Sarah’s breathing was constricted so badly she could barely walk to the car. She was on supplementary oxygen 24/7 and the amount she needed was increasing weekly. Travel by plane, let alone a trip with a 9 hour flight, followed by taxi, boat and truck rides would have been impossible. Not to mention having to walk up and down almost 200 steps every time you wanted to go to the beach or have a meal. For the fit, it was fun. For Sarah, it would have been hell.

Our dear friends offered their house, and we gladly accepted. It was perfect. Only one flight of stairs. And, with it being less than two hours from our house by car, we could take the kids, the dog, and all we needed for the week. Even a portable oxygen concentrator.

While Sarah slept most afternoons, the kids and I were more adventurous. Kayaking to the playground further down the bay. Visiting the local zoo. Walking the dog down to the point. Or just playing on the beach.

Sarah stayed inside the entire week, never leaving the house. She was comfortable and safe. Reading. Writing. Sleeping. Breathing. She watched her boys through the large picture windows as they ran along the beach, looking for sea glass and shells. Playing with the dog. Enjoying their youth.

We were together. We had this one week to be a family again. Just the four of us. No one else to help, or interrupt. Just us. Together each day and night for meals. Together for reading, playing games, watching movies, talking and snuggling. It was beautiful. We discovered that this vacation was about one simple thing: love.

It gave Sarah the strength to do what she had to do. It gave us the strength we needed for our journey forward.

Before she died, Sarah asked me to write a post called: “All you need is love.” I’ve been thinking about this now for more than two months. In the early days, just after she died, our love was the cause of the deepest pain I have ever felt. Such an incredible sense of loss for me and our boys. But I embraced the pain, accepting that she had reached the end of her amazing voyage. She and I had come to a place of peace long before she died. We knew the destination, just not when we would get there.

Now, the rawness of her death is gone. The deep, searing pain is gone. The frustration and sense of “what now?” has passed. Sarah would be pleased. I’m where she wanted me to be.

What’s left? The good parts of love. The part I remember when she was there by my side. When we held hands. When we ate dinner together as a family. When we would all hold hands and shout out, ONE… TWO… THREE… FAMILY!!!!! The beauty of being a family; it’s a really good, strong feeling that fills my heart every day. It’s not hard – all I have to do is look at our boys. I believe they feel it, too. I can see it in their smiles.

This week, we’re back at our friend’s house on the beach again. I had to work, so Supermom came back up and spent the week with us, taking care of the kids like the champ she is, while I made the long slog in traffic to and from Boston. It’s been really nice having her here. We all miss Sarah, but being here together makes it all okay.

As I think about all this love and how important it has been to our family, it has made me think of Sarah’s friends; OUR friends. So many people have grieved for Sarah and miss her in their own way. Yes, it’s different from how the boys and I miss her, but there are so many who loved her – and for many different reasons.

Over the past months I’ve discovered that different people express their love in different ways. Some send cards. Some make donations. Some call, email or post on FB to say “hi” and see how we’re doing. Some post on Sarah’s or The Carcinista’s FB pages to say they miss her or are thinking of her. Some ask us over for dinner or to spend the weekend with them. Some make things and/or sell things to honor her and make donations to her favorite charities. Some are running and biking great distances to honor her by raising money for cancer research and aid. Many are there for us whenever we need a little boost. And every one of those friends is taking time out of their busy lives to show their love in their own way. What works for them. What makes them feel better. And that’s okay.

So, no matter how love comes or is shown, sarah was right: love is special. It is the power that keeps us together when things get really tough. Sarah’s love will always be a part of our family. And we are glad that we’re able to share a bit of that love with you, too. And glad that you are willing to share a bit of your love for Sarah with us.

All you need is love.

Mr. Wonderful

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29 Comments

  1. Jane Roper said,

    Love it.

  2. Michelle Eck said,

    Thank you, Mr. Wonderful, for your beautiful post. I followed Sarah’s blog all the time. My mom just passed away on June 18 at the age of 66 after a 2 1/2 year battle with stage 3c ovarian cancer. Five days later, I also lost my 45-year old sister-in-law to ovarian cancer as well. She too had stage 3c when diagnosed and only survived 8 months after diagnosis. All of us survivors are a family now–finding the strength to go on with the mission at hand. God bless us all.

  3. Andrea said,

    This is exactly the kind of post that Sarah wanted you to write, Mr. Wonderful. I have that gut feeling. It’s beautiful & a beautiful tribute to her & to you & to the kids &… to love. I shall come back & read it again & again, when the meaning of love is lost to me.

  4. Jennie said,

    I’m weeping as I write this. You’re so brave and you really are, well, WONDERFUL. I know Sarah would be so happy to see that you’ve arrived where you are today. I know that if my own journey had ended differently, I would have wanted my parents, family and friends to be able to get there too. Thank you for letting all of us know that you guys are doing well these days.

    Lots of love and best wishes to you. Jennie (ex-cancer fighter and blogger)

  5. Emily Beck said,

    Ed, this is gorgeous. Thank you so much for you words. You and the boys are never far from my thoughts, and I think of Sarah’s strength so often, and draw my own from it. Your incredible family has added such light to this world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  6. Ellen said,

    Think about Sarah so much. It’s good to hear how everyone is doing & glad Sarah’s mother could go along to the beach house. Wishing you peace, strength & love

  7. janice novello said,

    As I wipe away my tears reading this post, I am reminded how precious life is and how every moment with family is so important. It is the little things in life that count. You are an inspiriation to a lot of people and are Mr. wondeful, keeping Sarah’s memory alive. You have two beautiful boys, with beautiful smiles, who will grow strong and have special memories of their mom. Thanks for sharing. Sarah we miss u…

    Janice Novello

  8. Shelli G. said,

    Beautifully written, beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. You posts are as important as Sarah’s, teaching those of us in similar situations, inspiring, telling the truth and encouraging. Thank you so much.

  9. CCChronicles said,

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your lives and for the beautiful photographs. Sarah, The Carcinista will never be forgotten.

  10. Cathy said,

    What a nice tribute to Sarah. Thank you for updating us.

  11. Betty Langley said,

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Sarah and you and the boys. I am so happy to see you and the boys doing things that make you happy. Sarah would be so proud. She was right “love is what you need” Blessings to both you and those handsome young men.

  12. DeniseOfPA said,

    ***tears***
    That was beautiful! Thank you!

  13. Betty said,

    Thank you. I’m glad you and the boys are well, enjoying summer, and appreciating Sarah’s love…………

  14. Dodie said,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Sarah was definitely loved. Beautiful pictures & beautiful family!

  15. Ruthann said,

    Beautiful. Period. All we all need is love for sure.

  16. Sue Mellusi said,

    Just as Andea (above) said, I’m am going to save this and read it when I need it…makes me cry, but a really good cry. Thanks, Ed.

  17. Kim E. said,

    Thanks for sharing her with us!

  18. Dee said,

    Thank you for sharing your love with all of us.

  19. Wendy said,

    I saw that you updated with a post. I scrolled and saw the picture of Sarah with the boys. I had to walk away. I came back a while later and read your post. Ed, you are so strong and so amazing! I admire the strength and love you and Sarah shared and how you’ve passed that onto the boys. I’m not the best at expressing myself in times like this but I want you to know that I think of Sarah everyday and of you and the boys. We are looking forward to seeing you soon. All my best. xoxo

  20. WhiteStone said,

    I’m one of those who knew Sarah through the ovarian forum and then here at her blog. She was a lovely, lovely person. And I am so glad that her family is continuing onward in love. Bless all of you.

  21. ButDoctorIHatePink said,

    You look wonderful and you are so right – you are in the place she wanted you to be. I hope my family gets there quickly too, and doesn’t suffer for me too long.

    That is the hardest part of this disease – worrying about your family.

  22. Amy Rodriguez said,

    Thank you, Mr. Wonderful, for showing us all just what love can do in the face of heartwrenching pain. Your family is beautiful beyond words.

  23. Nicole said,

    Thank you for another, tear jerking, beautiful post and for the tiniest glimpse into your/boys life. I’m a complete stranger, but I often click on the Carcinista link to look for updates. Both photo’s are so heartwarming. They really made me smile. Thanks Mr. Wonderful.

  24. Nancyspoint said,

    Mr. Wonderful,
    This is so poignant and beautiful. I’m so glad you had that special week together to just be. Sarah continues to amaze even now, as do you. Bless you all. Thank you for continuing to share, the photos are lovely and much appreciated.

  25. Kathleen said,

    1. Thanks so much for the post and update on your family. I’m sure it’s hard to find quiet time to contemplate complete thoughts. Kudos for getting this post completed.

    2. This may sound sappy but when I’m having a really great moment with my kids, I stop and say “thank you Carcinista.” I feel a debt of gratitude to all the women with OVCA who have gone before me and blazed a trail of courage. I know that if it’s my fate to follow the same path, I hope that I can do so with the bravery that these incredible women embraced.

    3. And I loved the pictures of all of Sarah’s boys.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer.

  26. kirsty said,

    Hello, this is Kirsty, you may remember that your lovely wife was my friend on inspire and also that I did try to offer to help her. Alas too late, but I’m still here and you guys are still over there, my contact details are clear if you search inspire…

  27. Kristin Reichman said,

    Thank you for your inspiring writing. As far as love goes, love is truly the only thing that is forever.

  28. lauren rockwell said,

    indeed you did her proud. you are wonderful.

  29. liz said,

    it is a pleasure to see your smiling faces. i am sure this is just how she wanted us to see you.

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