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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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

After eight years of going to school (technically nine since he took a year off to build our house and get married), Matt finally graduated from college with his bachelors degree in May of 2007 in Mechanical Engineering - when I was VERY pregnant with Sydney. I wasn't sure I'd make it to his graduation ceremony, but I did, thank goodness! He is the only person in his family to have accomplished this goal. His parents were so proud.

One of the gifts they gave him was a Dr. Seuss book titled, "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"

(1st page:)
Today is your day. 
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

(Last page:)
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed! 
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

Matt and I had read this book a few times to the kids, and when we did, it was such a positive symbol of Matt's accomplishments and high hopes for the future - so full of promise.

Now when I read it to the kids, it's like a kick in the stomach. Even Matt's mom (who read it to them during her last visit) agrees that the book is horrid.

As much as I want to burn it, I just can't bring myself to do it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea,

This jumped out at me as a few months back we took this book out from the library - and it was a kick in the stomach for me initially as well (it made me cry) - but then I started to look at it from another viewpoint.

I wrote about it a while back on my blog (, and perhaps I saw the other side of it, knowing it was written not long after Dr. Seuss lost his wife of 40yrs. Though I don't yet feel as though I'm off to great places - the mountain I have to move is a mountain of grief - but perhaps eventually I will succeed.

It's still hard when you look at it from the loss of what would have been for the future and all the promise it once held - I totally get that. I just thought perhaps if you were looking for a reason not to burn the book, this may help you out a little =).

That said - if you think there would be any healing in burning it - light the fire


P.S. Perhaps you will appreciate this Seuss quote a little more:
"I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.” – Dr. Seuss"

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea,

I have changed my mind (it's legal because I am WOMAN) and don't think you should burn the book. It still is a part of Matt's legacy. Difficult to read maybe but his life (albeit shortened) was a success.

Andrea Renee said...

Thank you so much for your perspective, Chelsea - it does help to think of it a little differently.

Ginny, you are absolutely right! (as usual)

darlawentz said...


I just found your blog through Matt Logelin's blog and I am so glad I did. I have spent the last couple of days reading your entries and your strength is amazing. I am so sorry for what you and your children have and continue to go through but through your words, I can tell that you are setting a great example for your children. Anyway, I really was just wanting to comment on the book your husband got from his parent's when he graduated. My mother-in-law gave that same book to my husband when he graduated with his master's degree in Dec. 08. I have read it to my children and it makes me cry as well but I think of my kids and all that they are going to go through and accomplish in their lives as I read it. Maybe one of these days it will have the same meaning to you. :) Stay strong and always know that you are touching others lives through your blog.

Stephanie said...

I just found your blog. I am so sorry for your loss, but I bet you hear that all of the time...but honestly, I think you are a tremendous person. You are such a good mother! I would burn the book...

I am going to keep following you because you give me hope, and inspiration. I hope that you have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

What would burning the book accomplish? Nothing. I agree with DarlaWentz.......keep it and read it!
There are a lot of things in life that are difficult now and will become difficult as time goes on...shying away from them serves no purpose! Meet them head on - and be Damned with them!! No one ever promised us a Rose Garden!