Missing Martino: Love & Loss 15 Years Later

I will always find it interesting how a turn of events can shift one’s life completely, and 15 years ago today was one of those moments. We said goodbye to my dad. My dad who had battled stomach cancer for 2 years prior, but whose body just couldn’t keep the fight going no matter how hard he tried. No matter how much he wanted to keep up hope that maybe this last chemo treatment could be the one. The one to make all the cancer disappear. But that’s just the thing with cancer – it doesn’t give a crap how wonderful of a person you are, or how healthy otherwise you’ve been your whole life. When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go – and cancer doesn’t wait til you’re ready. Believing this in some sick, twisted way was the only thing that got me through those excruciating first few years. That, and the fact that I met my soulmate a few days before – which you can’t tell me that wasn’t a “God thing.”

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14 Ways to Honor the Loss of a Loved One

14 years ago today on September 14th, we lost a very special man – my dad. And honestly, special doesn’t even describe the man that meant so much to so many people. He was truly one in a million, which is no wonder heaven called him home early. Although his time on earth was a mere 46 years – it was as if he’d already lived ten more lifetimes than the rest of us. He was just that kind of old soul and I am so lucky to have had his love and influence in my life for as long as I did. I still miss him like crazy and that will never change. But what has changed is the way I choose to honor him on the anniversary of his passing. Some years are harder than others, especially the early years, but what matters is how you use this time to move forward. So I decided to list out 14 ways that have helped my mom and me honor my dad each year his anniversary rolls around. I hope these help you if you’re in the same situation, and I know we’ll be swapping stories, looking through old photos, and reliving our favorite memories all day because that’s what he would have wanted.

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