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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me. Andrea Remembers Copyright (c) 2020 Andrea Renee Row- All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Some recent Sydney quotes...

"How about this one?" she says while getting dressed - she is extremely particular about what she wears. She now has to be the one to pick out her clothes when we go shopping to avoid a bad morning.

"I'm not ready yet, Jacob!" she says as Jacob is ready to head out the door...

"It's pretty cute!" Again, clothes related. See a pattern? She's a girl, alright!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I have these high/low moments - constantly - alternating between being happy to be living here in my beautiful new home, in this wonderful neighborhood with my incredible kids and this kick-ass weather with so many fun things to do, etc... to wishing I could go back to my life when Matt was in it. I miss him so much. Last night I was laying in bed, and imagined for a few minutes that he was laying next to me, that I could hear the sound of the CPAP machine he used, that I had just imagined all this nightmarish stuff and things were back the way they should be. We were back in NY, kids sleeping in their rooms in our old house, Matt next to me where I could touch his feet with mine. It felt so good for just a few moments to be back in my old life again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


November 15. I hate this date. It should be omitted from calendars from now on.

I'm going to try to focus on all the love that is coming my way from family and friends and wrap myself up in it.

I'm going to pray for Matt's mom, dad, brothers, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, friends, coworkers.

It's not about me. It's about what this world lost a year ago today. But this world is a better place for having had Matt in it for 39 years.

Today, Matt's brother Greg is racing in the Baja 1000. This race is in honor of Matt.

I miss you more each day, My Love.......................

Friday, November 13, 2009


A year ago tonight... I talked to Matt on the phone for the last time, and he told me I shouldn't wait up for him since he would be home later than usual. It was around 8 when I talked to him the first time that night, but I was tucking the kids into bed and told him I'd call him back when I was done. I had him say goodnight to the kids on the phone, which was a rare occasion. I called him back around 9, and he explained that he was covering someone else's shift and that he would be home late (it's in a post from last year)...

It was a year ago tonight. On a Friday night, early Saturday morning. I'm so glad my friends are here with me tonight. To wake up tomorrow morning, a year later.... I don't know. A part of me doesn't want to wake up at all, but at the same time, I still do. I do want to go on, but reluctantly, without my love.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Retail Therapy.

After I dropped Jacob off at school on Tuesday, Sydney and I brought the van in to be serviced. The dealership, fortunately, is within walking distance to an awesome shopping area (I LOVE where I live!!!), so Sydney and I took full advantage. Let's see... we dropped the van off around 8:30am, and it was ready by 1:00pm... Four and a half hours of shopping bliss.

Since the stores weren't open yet first thing that morning, we hit Starbucks first. Then we took our time and made our way around all the stores. It had been such a long time since I had been shopping like that (the fun kind) and it felt soooo good. What was even better is Sydney loves it just as much as I do. My kinda girl.

She took a nice nap, too, which started in the shoe store. I was able to take my time and really peruse. As I was waiting in line for the cashier, I was thinking about how Matt would be getting a kick out of seeing me hold two pairs of shoes with a look on my face that contains a mix of elation and guilt. I always feel guilty buying stuff for myself - especially if they aren't necessities.

As I contemplated my purchase while waiting in line, I looked over at the wall on the other side of the store, and in big, bold letters were the words, "Life Is Short - Buy The Shoes." I took it as a sign............ No guilt today. =)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am thankful for:

My healthy, sweet, smart, loving, beautiful children;

Finding my true love, having ten incredible years with him and bearing his children;

The memories we made, the experiences we shared, and the wisdom I've gained;

Friends and family who love me;

My beautiful new (old) home in this wonderful neighborhood;

Great neighbors and gorgeous weather;

Good health and (God willing) living to raise my children;

Being able to afford to pay my bills and stay home with my kids (for now, anyway) during the most precious times in their little lives;

Strangers/friends who take the time to keep up with what's happening in our lives and wish the best for us;

That I'm not a teenager growing up in these times;

Our freedom.

(and the end of PMS for this month.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"You think too much."

Matt used to tell me that, and he's right.

Lately, I've been thinking about how in that one moment of him being taken away from us how it's altered the lives he touched forever. How his children's personalities, paths, interests, futures will be different than if he was still here and influencing them. I know one way they'll be changed for sure is there will be a huge void. They will grow up in California instead of New York (like Matt did until he was 14). Their mommy isn't as happy-go-lucky as she once was.

I think about how Jacob's walk sounds just like his daddy's... Step, click. Step, click. Just like Matt's. It's like hearing Matt walking around, but since Jacob's legs are a bit shorter right now, it's a faster paced 'step, click.'

I imagine hearing Matt's voice, the sounds of him getting up before everyone else and going about his morning routine... the rustling of the Shredded Wheat bag, and his "one man band" noises (as I used to call them).

The kids and I looked at pictures tonight and reminisced. It was sadder than usual for me - Jacob's memories are fading. I had no one to share the memories in the pictures with me to fill in the gaps. Matt always filled in the gaps. Hell - he was the one that was good at telling the stories, and I was the one to fill in a few gaps here and there.

Matt knew me better than anyone. No one will know me as well as he did, or love me the way that he did.

Sometimes I think that he got the easy way out, being the one that died...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How can it be possible??

In only a matter of days now, it will be one whole year since the love of my life was killed. It still doesn't seem possible that it even happened, let alone that it's already been a whole year.

I still have flashbacks of that day, like it just happened. It's got to be similar to what a war vet goes through when they have flashbacks of combat. I'm brought right back to the moment when I woke up at 4am, thinking I should call Matt. Then waking up again right before the knock on the door. The feeling of dread at hearing that knock, and knowing immediately when I saw the police officer what he was going to tell me. Sydney in her crib, Jacob at my side. I have a hard time breathing, eating or functioning at all when I flash back to that day, and it's been happening more frequently the past few weeks. I've lost a few pounds again. I still feel like I'm living a nightmare and need to just finally wake up, except I can't. Neither can his parents, brothers, children, and everyone else who loved him. I know his coworkers must feel the same way- like war vets. I can't imagine them having to go into that room, or even the test bay without at least thinking about Matt, or reliving the nightmare of finding him there - lifeless. The sound of the sirens and frenzy of the paramedics, police, etc... They must be traumatized, too.

I remember thinking way in the beginning that I didn't want to dwell on the time milestones of Matt's death, and I've been really trying to keep that in mind. But no matter how I try to convince myself, the past few weeks have been extraordinarily emotional. One minute I think I'm doing just fine, and the next I'm sobbing with hardly any warning. No matter how I try to rationalize the whole thing, it just makes no sense and it never will. The whole grief process. It just SUCKS.

As my fellow sister widow Jackie said, the hardest part is watching your kids grieve. As their mommy, I want to fix their boo boos, and protect them from any kind of pain. But this is one thing I can't ever fix for them. For Jacob, it's been challenging. He wants everyone to know his daddy died. I convinced him that we shouldn't send cards to all his friends telling them that Matt died because they already know. He's been acting out more than usual the past week, probably in response to my emotional state. Sydney only knows what she hears, and she repeats things that Jacob says, like, "I wish my daddy was still alive." Except when I'm crying, then she says over and over again in a panicky tone, "We'll help you! We'll help you!" A two year old - or even my five year old - should NOT be expected to feel responsible for helping their mother in that capacity! Breaks my heart. Even though she might not be actively grieving since she can't remember (which is heartbreaking in itself), it makes it hurt for me that much more with the thought that these incredible kids have to grow up without their awesome dad. Boy did they get the shaft - he was the fun one.

A couple of my friends are flying in this coming weekend to be with me. I'm so thankful. The weeks/days leading up to this have been hell. Literally. I talked to another friend today... She said that this year has been a shitty year for everyone we know - it really has. She said that she is going to consider November 16 as the beginning of the new year instead of January 1st. I kind of like that idea.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Few more updates...

I sold our house in NY. If all goes well, the closing will be on December 15. An engaged couple is buying it, and it sounds like they really appreciate everything about the house. Matt and I were engaged when we built it. It's bittersweet - while I'm relieved that someone will be living there soon, taking care of it, enjoying all the work and love that Matt and I put into it, the thought of someone else living there is hard to get used to. Not one bit how I envisioned things would be.

Had a dishwasher installed into my new old (1928) house... The one that was in there was shot, and I got tired of doing dishes by hand. Call me spoiled, but I pretty much have always had the luxury of a dishwasher. My kitchen has been a lot neater since I got it put in - no clean/dirty dishes constantly piled on the counter and in the sink. The man who installed it had his work cut out for him - he had to break out the plaster wall behind it and some of the wood slats to get it to fit properly. Then he discovered the wiring issue, and long story short, fixed that, too. He was here for hours. During that time, we got talking... His first wife, who was eight months pregnant with their first baby, was killed in a car accident. He lost both his wife and baby when he was 20 years old.