My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In Memory of Donald Wilhelm

We lost another great man to cancer this week, Donald Wilhelm. While I only knew Don virtually he touched my life in a profound way. Don was one of the first people I met on twitter when I turned to twitter to help TJ through his cancer treatments. I had a twitter account that was all about horses, but when TJ was diagnosed I ditched that account and started a new one in hopes of finding help for TJ with his treatment side effects. Very few of my "horsey" twitter friends followed me to my new account and in many ways I understood why. When I found Don on twitter he stepped up to the plate right away with suggestions to combat the side effects TJ was experiencing and introduced me to other cancer fighters & survivors in the social media world.

TJ, who often made fun of my being on twitter, soon realized the power of talking to those who had "been there, done that" and many times would say to me, "Get on twitter and find out what to do about this!" I have @DonaldWilhelm to thank for steering me in the right direction early on.

When I met Don he was a 4 time cancer survivor and even wrote a book about his experience you can buy his book here. I highly recommend reading the book. Don was an amazing man, he was an inspiration to everyone, his words of wisdom were beyond his years, his perseverance was unending and most of all his love for his soulmate, Amy, is undying.

After TJ passed I spoke to Don about the many conversations TJ and I had after he was diagnosed preparing me and TJ for the inevitable. He told me that he and Amy had many similar conversations. As I am now comforted by those words spoken between TJ and I it is my hope that with time Amy will be comforted by the conversations between her and Don.

Thank you Don for all you have given to me and countless others and thank you Amy for sharing your wonderful husband with the world.

When Death Comes

When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes like the measles-pox;
when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, and I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility, and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular, and each name a comfortable music in the mouth tending as all music does toward silence, and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Don definitely did not just "visit" this world, he had a profound impact on anyone who's life he touched. This was Don's last post (actually posted my Amy) on Facebook and I think it says it all:

I’ve filled my original goal here on earth. It was to spend the remainder of my life helping cancer patients. It seems to be where I found the greatest joy and the most sense of worth. I’m moving up into the next roll. I’ll leave my faithful followers to slip in and fill the gaps. Love to you all and positive energy,
Don Wilhelm


  1. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man... to a wonderful tandem really, coz he wasn't flying solo. Brave, beautiful Amy saw him throught his amazing battle and she's now the main custodian of his legacy.
    May we find comfort in having met such a special man. We sure are fortunate that way.
    Thanks for choosing Timshel s the song to go with it.
    Much love to you

  2. Sandy, this was such a lovely post. So sad that so many people these days have to go what they go through with cancer. His words at the end were beautiful.


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