Archive for the family Category

A New Year, A New Start

Posted in family, Happy New Year, happy places, life with tags , on January 1, 2014 by hendu

First off, I hope that all of you had an enjoyable holiday season.

OK, now that the formalities are out-of-the-way, let’s get down to it.  I have not written a post since mid-March.  It’s really too bad because maintaining a blog was something that I really enjoyed doing.  I enjoyed connecting with a variety of people and I loved that I was able to give readers a glimpse into my world.  I wish I could sit here and explain to you why I stopped.  I don’t think there was one  specific reason but more of a bunch of little things that tended to take up my time.  Maybe it was a little bit of laziness.  Maybe it was a little bit of disinterest.  Maybe a lack of passion.  Whatever it was I felt like it seeped into my life as well.

This past year wasn’t great.  It wasn’t horrible just one that I’d like to move on from.  We lost a grandfather, a grandmother  and a father this year from our extended family.  Losing loved ones is always difficult.  Losing three in a year can wear on people.  Those weren’t the only reason 2013 was less than ideal.  Professionally it wasn’t great.  Now, I still have a job so nothing is that bad, but it just felt like I didn’t get enough satisfaction out of my job that I have in the past.  I still love what I do but for some reason this year just didn’t seem enjoyable.  Maybe it was burnout.  I had a tough time trying to get that work/life balance thing going.  There were times that while I was at work all I could think about was stuff at home and vice versa.  That’s not fair to my family at work or my family at home.  unfortunately it became just a job, and that’s the last thing I wanted to happen.

For some reason, I felt less passionate about things in my life.  I know for a fact that my passion for baseball became misplaced and I do know why.  After three years of coaching three sports at the high school level, this past spring I was done.  Basketball took so much from me.  We had a lousy season.  The varsity won 5 games and my jv team won 0.  0 games.  That tends to make a long season even longer.  I felt like I lost the passion to coach.  That most definitely carried over into the spring and the baseball season.  I’ll be honest with you, I felt I sleep-walked through the season.  Felt like I just went through the motions and I hated it.  Not only do the kids deserve better but I also demand myself to be better.  That’s why one big change has me not coaching basketball this season and I really can’t wait for the baseball season to start.  (BTW, six weeks till pitchers and catchers report for the BoSox and ten weeks till we start our season).  I felt like that lack of passion seeped into other parts of my life.  I felt less excited about football season this year.  It didn’t help that Michigan, UCONN and the NY Giants all had less than stellar seasons.  To me, the games became more like work than enjoyment.  They tended to feel more like “have-to” events then “want-to” events.  That never was the case before.

I think that can all go back to my original point: a lack of passion for the things I love.

It wasn’t all bad though.  I was able to earn and coach my 1st year as a varsity high school coach.  A longtime goal of mine.  Now, it wasn’t in the sport I thought it would be (baseball) but in the unlikely sport of girls soccer.  My passion for coaching came back during this time.  I felt like I fell in love with it all over again and it came from girls soccer!  While not the season I had promised to the girls or had wanted for myself, it was so very rewarding.  We finished with the best record in 10 years.  We had a girl set the single game scoring record.  We had our goalie make 2nd team all conference and I felt that we built a foundation of success that I hope continues into the future.  Even writing this now, I am getting excited about the possibilities come this fall.  The other event that helped me rediscover that passion, the Red Sox run to an improbable World Series win.  I rediscovered my love for the game and for that team.  That Sox team was so much fun to watch play the game.  They played it like kids and not like spoiled millionaires.  You had guys on that team that ate up baseball everyday.  Guys would go to games on their off day.  It just showed to me what you can get out of something if you put 100% of yourself into it.

I know going forward I need to stop worrying about so many little things.  I feel I let the minutia of everyday life put a damper on all the things about life.  I didn’t like that about me.  I didn’t like the way I was around my family.  I felt like I let that attitude get in the way of friendships.  Overall, I just felt that 2013 wasn’t the best year of myself.  I am willing to try to fix these things this year.  Try to rediscover my passion for my job, my family and other outside ventures.  try to let little things slide and enjoy my time off more.  Try to reconnect with longtime friends before they become one-time friends.  Call these what you will.  I’m not saying they are resolutions but just things in my life that I’m not happy with.  I think I need to get back to being what makes me, me.

That includes more blogging so better get used to it :)!!

20 Years

Posted in death, family, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 15, 2012 by hendu

Yesterday is always one of my least favorite days of the year, and this year it was especially difficult.  You see, September 14th 1992 my father died in a plane crash and yesterday marked 20 yrs since that dreadful day.

I would like to think that after so many years, the day just flows by like any other day.  While it has gotten easier in some respects, it is still very difficult in others.  The adage “time heals all wounds” may be true in certain aspects of life, but try telling that to a person who tragically lost a loved one unexpectedly.  I know that thousands lose love ones every day and in no way am I writing this to invoke any sympathy.  I write this as a form of therapy.  This is my release and if you’ve lost a loved one like I and my family has then you understand whole-heartedly where I am coming from.

Yesterday, I just had an odd sense of self.  The weather was eerily similar to that fateful day 20 yrs ago.  It was strange though, I woke up at 2am not realizing what day it was.  With the hours I work, many days just blend together and at that time of day I’m more robotic than human.  The wave of emotion finally hit me when I finally saw the date 9-14 in bold red numbers.  The rest of the day was spent trying to stay busy and pushing back my thoughts but they just kept pushing through.  I felt a good way to honor my father was to post pictures of some of his favorite things my Facebook timeline.  A shot of a ’69 maroon Jag XKE (his fave car), a Lear 35 (the plane he flew as his “job”), a Citabria (his private plane, his passion and ultimately what killed him) and a margarita (his favorite drink).  This was who he was: he loved his family, he loved his job, he was passionate about flying and the man knew who to relax.

I spent the rest of the day thinking where the past 20 yrs have led me. I go from being pissed off at him for not being here to see the man I’ve become. Pissed that he never met Nikki or his granddaughter. Never saw me graduate or seen me find success in a job i love. Then I start to think would I be a different person if he never died? what would I be? Where would I be?  Did his death ultimately lead me to become who I am now?  Then I remember the struggles that my mom, brother and I went through in order to survive and I feel the anger come back.  That’s hat yesterday was like.  That’s what I go through every year on that day and I suspect my mom and brother felt the same way along with the countless people who have lost loved ones.

You see, you never forget and it does get easier but it’s never easy.  I don’t think I ever want it to be easy.  I believe once the day becomes easy to get through, the memory is gone and I don’t want to forget him.  I want my daughter to understand who he was and what he was.  I think she needs to understand what her lineage is and he’s an important part of it.

On my way home from work, I stopped by the airport where he had his accident and just sat there, reflecting.  I’m not a spiritual person, but I felt him there.  I sat there and remembered all the good times we had.  I looked back on these past 20 yrs and I know he’d be proud of me and what I’ve done.  He’d love my wife and he’d adore Avery.  He’d be proud of Cam and he’d be happy my Mom found happiness.

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of my father.  I hope that continues for as long as I live because as long as someone still exists in your thoughts, they never leave you.  I’m sure in a year from know these same thoughts will come flooding back but that’s a good thing I’ve realized.  It makes me appreciate where I have been and excited about where I may go.  It reminds me to look at my daughter and see the pure joy of life that she has and that my father still lives on in our mind.

I miss you everyday Pop.  I am who I am in part because of what happened and in part because of the woman you married.  She is a strong woman and continues to raise to outstanding sons.  You did good Pop and I promise that we’ll continue to make you proud.

Things That Make You Smile

Posted in Avery, family with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by hendu

Leave it to the innocence of a young child to turn a sad day into something that you can always look back on with a smile.

On Sunday, we (my family and I ) attended a memorial service for a long-time friend.  It was an awesome gathering of all his friends at his home away from home, The Groton Airport.  It was held in his hanger with his two planes flanking the attendees.  It was a perfect setting to honor a wonderful man and a fantastic pilot.

In a lot of ways, it brought back memories from that long week in September of 1992.  Many of the same people were in attendance and many of the same things were said.  The memories while sad in nature, where able to bring a smile to my face.

At the end of the ceremony, someone opened up one of the other luxury charter jets that were in the hanger.  My brother took Avery into it to look around and probably have a real great moment with his niece.  Those of you who know us understand why this would be so special.  I gave them a few minutes then joined them.  I was able to snap these two pictures as I asked Avery what she was doing. (notice she’s in the captain’s seat..)

She told me that she was flying.  I said where are we flying too?  She said “home Dada!” and proceeded to grab the controls and move them around.

I know at that moment we were not alone in that cockpit and that’s what brought a smile to my face.  I knew I was sharing that moment with the right person.

What to do, What to do?

Posted in family, Red Sox with tags , on August 5, 2011 by hendu

So, as I sit here on this Friday morning I am contemplating what to do this weekend.  It’s tough you know when your family is away to try to find something to do. 

Wait, what’s that you say?  The Red Sox and Yankees play this weekend with 1st place on the line?  Well, I guess I can squeeze in a few innings or so. 

Hold on,  you’re telling me that it’s going to be a great night to play golf?  Well, maybe I can fit in a few holes.

All right, I guess that helps fill out my Friday night a bit but what about the rest of the weekend. 

If only I knew of someone who was planning on cooking lobsters and steamers………  Oh well, I guess that’s just a pipe dream.

Now that just leaves Sunday.  Man, it’s gonna really suck sleeping in.  I have no idea how I am going to adjust.  Maybe I will be awake by the afternoon for some more golf. 

I tell you what, it’s tough living like this.  Seriously though, all this is just to fill time till Nikki and Avery come home Monday.  The house is way too quiet w/o them.  As much as I always think time by myself would be good, I get a bit stir crazy in the house with no one else there. 

Never thought I’d be saying that. 

Enjoy the weekend!

The Off-Season

Posted in baseball, coaching, family with tags , , , , on June 7, 2011 by hendu

Thursday, unfortunately, marked the last day of coaching for me this school year.  It was a great year and I learned things about coaching that I hadn’t before.  From coaching girls for the 1st time to my 1st basketball game to my humbling JV baseball season I think they all helped me become better.  I guess we’ll know for sure next school year. 

What this brings now is a well deserved off-season.  Started this past weekend.  It was nice having a Saturday where the only responsibility I had was home stuff.  Got to take a little nap, watched the Sox (thank go d they won, that could have ruined the day), washed the car, was able to sit down to a nice dinner with the fam and we even watched a movie together.  It was almost as we were an actual family unit. 

Sunday I got to sleep in a bit, make some breakfast then go out and play 18 holes followed by dinner.  So I guess this is what it’ll be like living a “normal” schedule.  I think I can get used to this.

Yesterday was a nice day off of work.  My brother and I played in a tournament we’ve played in the past three years honoring a former co-worker who died four years ago.  This tourney has raised a ton of money for his kids college funds, two other scholarships in his name, an organ donation program and this year they were able to give an AED unit to Palmer Field in Middletown.  Even after three years and a down economy, this is still the biggest outing that Lyman Orchards has all year.  Says a lot about a guy that it keeps going this strongly.

Back to work today but more importantly, back to the gym.  I have gone sparingly at best these past many months.  Now it’s time to kick it into high gear.  Not making any promises to myself, just wanna get back to feeling good again.

The Best Of…….

Posted in family, marriage, Nikki with tags , on May 24, 2011 by hendu

Today is my 8th wedding anniversary.  I have been lucky enough to be with Nikki for 14 1/2 years (15 in Nov.) and the fact I haven’t pissed her off to the point of her leaving me is a wonder in itself.  I couldn’t have asked for a better life partner.  We work off each other so well.  We are truly the yin to the others yang.  We’ve had a great run since May of ’03 so I’d figure what better way then to honor our marriage by listing the top 8 things that have happened to us these past 8 years.  ( you can almost hear the creative juices bubbling right now………)

#8) Our first ever vacation that us just the two of us to Las Vegas.

#7) Our first house together in New Britain.  We learned a lot with that house like the fact we weren’t quite ready for a house yet.  Luckily, we sold it at just the right time.  This leads us into…..

#6) Our next house.  Now we are ready to be homeowners.  We are better off financially.  We are in a better neighborhood.  I just think we have come to the conclusions that we are adults now and this is what adults do.  It makes me feel older, but that’s fine because I am getting used to the feeling.

#5) Michigan/Ohio St game.  Nikki set up this awesome surprise/rouse for my 30th birthday.  She put so much time and effort into it knowing how much it would mean to me.  It was all it was cracked up to be, besides the result, Damn you Buckeyes!!!!!!!!  It just proved to me what lengths she would go to make me happy.

#4) Getting Macbeth.  She was our first major purchase as a married couple.  It was perfect too.  Macbeth was born four days before our wedding so it was Kismet when we met her that first time.  She has been a perfect dog for us.  So mellow.  So chill and full of love.  This was a great sign of things to come.

#3) Aruba.  This was Nikki’s 30th bday present from me.  Just the two of us relaxing on the beach, drinking lots and eating great food.  Little did we know that this would be the last vacation alone for a while.  We still haven’t declared all our perishable objects yet though……

#2) The Red Sox run in 2004.  Nikki stayed up and watched every inning from game 5-7.  She was a trooper.  Both of us, like all of New England worked on very little shut-eye those few days.  She clearly earned her stripes as a Red Sox fan though.  We were so emotionally involved.  Spending those games with her as well as the four World Series game I swear brought us closer together as a couple.  Yes, that’s how strong I feel about that stretch of baseball.

#1) Avery.  Like there was any other option.  She has been the absolute joy of our life.  We can not do any better as a couple than her.  She is everything we could ever had hoped for.  From the time she told me she was prego’s, to the name choices, to the making of the nursery all the way through delivery and beyond, the voyage has been so memorable.  Ups and downs have happened but our strength as a couple has carried us through. 

There is no one else I want to be with on this life journey other than Nikki.  She has been a wonderful wife and a fantastic best friend.  I really could not be a luckier guy.

I Love You with all my heart!!!!!!! 

Me Time

Posted in Avery, family with tags , , , on February 28, 2011 by hendu

Had a little this weekend.  Let me tell ya how great it was.  Just me, my TV and my couch.  I enjoyed myself, for a time.  After a while I realized how quiet the house was and how much I missed the commotion a 20-month-old brings with it.

I quickly came to the conclusion that while I enjoy time on my own, not having my family around wa sa much stronger feeling.  My feelings slowly morphed from relaxed euphoria to bummed out. 

I think just that little snippet of “me time” Friday night was enough for me to realize, that in good times and rough times having family around is good for the soul.

with that being said, I truly loved that few hours before those feelings set in. 

A little re-set is good from time to time.  So glad to have ’em all back though.