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A teenager

Thirteen years ago today, around 6 pm, I was at our Chicago condo when I received a phone call.

“Congratulations, daddy! It’s a boy!”

It was our adoption lawyer. I was floored. Speechless. Elated. She gave me the details: the baby boy was born just after 5 pm and he was healthy, 5 lbs 15 […]

Kind words

I thought I would celebrate Anita’s life today by sharing some kind words about her that I have received over the last three years.

“She was a kind and loving person who had such a positive energy…she could change a person’s negative mood in seconds!”

“She always inspired me to be smarter, work harder and […]

Being Perfect

November 2, 2008

Her name was Lynnette Cooper. She was, in a word, perfect. She had perfect teeth. Straight. Square. No gaps. White as snow. She had perfect hair. Straight. Squared off at the bottom. White as snow. She had perfect clothes. Straight. Never wrinkled. Clean as snow. And she had the perfect lunch. Each […]

Ghost of Christmas Present

“Time heals all wounds,” so it is said. But in truth, it takes a lot more than time.

It’s been 2 years and 4 months since Anita died. Christmas 2010 was a horrible time – not the day itself but the entire month of December that year brought stress and pain piled upon itself. But […]

Accept the Situation

I’ve been sick this week. After a huge party to celebrate my 40th birthday – which was amazing – Penny got sick last weekend and then I caught it, mainly in my sinuses. I am not sure why being sick always brings waves of grief on me, but it does. Perhaps because Anita took care […]

Selfless acts

In an email to her mom…Anita wrote:


Ben did the most amazing thing this morning … he was awake for about 10 or 15 minutes before Julia. When Julia woke up she yelled out so we would know she was awake. Ben walked into the bedroom, took her hand to help her up, and […]

Half a lifetime

Penny turned three earlier this month. Her mother died when she was one and a half. It’s made me think a lot about time and lifetimes. […]

Ghosts of Christmases Past

Christmas 2004

December is the most stressful month of the year for me. It’s been this way since the older kids started school full time, maybe even a bit before that. My list of things to do is not unlike many people: putting up decorations, planning and attending school parties, baking and candy making, […]


In the first couple of months after Anita died, I had dreams where she would make an appearance. At the time, I spent my days in sorrowful numbness, so the dreams were my chance to see her again. I typically awoke with a smile and a feeling – almost like relief – that I could […]

It doesn’t get easier

I keep trying to fool myself that as time goes on it will be easier to talk to people about Anita’s death. In most cases, it is not a problem, at least when the people already know she is gone. But in the last two days I have thrice run into situations where people did […]