Friday, October 28, 2016

It's been over 3 years since you went to heaven Dad and over 13 years since Grandpa went. Though, it still feels like yesterday sometimes. We miss you and love you.

Monday, March 3, 2014

April

I met the love of my life in June 2010 when my world was crumbling and hers was too. We became best friends, confidants and the most trusted people in each others lives. After the dust settled, we made our children and each other our focus in life. Having someone to support you during a tough time in your life is magical and it's been that way these last 6 years. We are both in college getting our master's degree's and looking forward to the future. Our two kids love each other and our blended family is doing great. We have had our share of extreme ups and downs, but it just makes us stronger and more devoted to one another. Her mom, dad, my dad, her uncles, aunts, brother, cousins and my sister and extended family have been there for us the whole time.
 Having her at my side, encouraging me, making me happy and being my best friend is awesome. I proposed to her in September 2013 in Niagara Falls and it makes me the happiest man alive knowing she said "yes"! We aren't in a rush for marriage but our daughter sure is excited. We want it to be perfect for the two of us and have our friends and family there. Our life isn't all roses but we are learning from every rough patch and know no matter what we "got it covered". Thank you lord for bringing her into my life and making us as strong as we are and keep getting better. I love you baby! We just got married July 5th, 2015 and couldn't be happier!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Disney life


I was told a story once that I was walking by myself on Main Street in Magic Kingdom when I was 2 years old. My parents both got jobs at Disney in 1979, so I had the "keys to the kingdom". I remember going to Magic Kingdom late at night for special movies, holiday parties and different events. My parents got into the parks for free and so I have yet to pay for a single day ticket, though I have paid to see the not so scary Halloween event and mickey's very merry Christmas party with my, son, daughter and wife. The legal age to work at Disney was sixteen in 1994 and we had just moved back to Central Florida when I was sixteen. So, I signed up for a job as a custodian at magic kingdom and my Dad was already back working there. Then in 1995 I joined project future which was a joint education program with Osceola County and Disney. I worked four hours a day and went to school for four hours to build up my credits to graduate in a year round program. I first worked in Epcot custodial until May 2005 and joined the Friendship Boats as a "Captain". I was still sixteen and was in charge of a 66' boat weighing 35 tons, carrying one hundred passengers. I to this day loved that job and all my friends I made through it. Including the man in the picture Jose that passed away in late 2012.
We have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/epcotfriendshipboatcaptains/ open to those current and former Captains as we met at least twelve college programs in the five years I was there and countless other great friends. I have been blessed to work there for twenty years and continue the magic my Father started.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dennis

I met this gentleman through my loving fiance he and he was her only brother. Though sadly he passed away in September 2012. When we had to move at the last minute he stepped up and helped us without question. He was pursuing his future, turning his life around and doing great things for himself.  He was the only one to show up and help us in our time of need. My fiance loves him very much and is truly still heartbroken over his loss. I am too because he had the potential to be so much more and was robbed of that by the carelessness of others. I know he is in heaven looking down on his Mom, sister, nephew and children doing his best to help us all. The guy that took his life has been caught and charged and is awaiting trial. Too many families don't ever get what we have in our case and it's not right. Dennis was a hit and run victim and so many poor souls never get justice. If driver's would stop and just call 911, it would mean so much to the families. He has two great sons and other sisters and a brother. He was an avid Orlando Magic fan, fitness buff and wanted to help others as a nurse. Everyone deserves a second chance and he almost reached his own. We miss you brother.

Landen and Hansen Family

These three people in this picture for all intents and purposes in my heart are my Grandparents that I loved and respected growing up and they returned the favor a thousand times over. The two gentleman are best friends even today in Heaven or Valhalla were ever they ended up drinking. I went to Mr. Hansen's house on the right in NT almost every day the four summers I lived there. Every time he brought out crackers, cheese and a pop. He would ask me how things were going and shared a real interest in my life and my family. He got to meet my youngest daughter, something my Grandfather on the left never had a chance to do. They always gave me great advice, treated me like gold and looked out for me. I consider his kids and grand-kids as my cousins even to this day. I was blessed because my real grandfather on my mother's side died long before I was born, my grandmother on that side was very sick the whole time I knew her. My grandmother on my Dad's side suffered a stroke in 2000 and she was never the same. So, these three people always set in my mind as my family. God bless them all including my other three and I wish I had known them all better. Miss these guys!

Uncle Dave

My Uncle was also a military veteran and was a great man with a big heart. He passed away in October 2011 and is sorely missed as he was the yin to my dad's yang growing up. He was the funny one, the easy going one and the talkative one. He let me drink my first beer, offered me a home anytime I needed one in NT and in Florida. Him, my Grandfather and I had a two week long drink fest in April 2002. Just as I entered into my active duty contract. It was the best week of my life, save the liver and onions dinner. We had some great times, hard times and family times together. He always made me feel safe and important to him and I always made it a point to see him and spend time with him. Even when I was only home on leave for a few days. I remember my first time to visit my Grandfather, his father's property in Bradford, Pennsylvania. My Grandfather lived in Fort Erie, Canada at the time and so we had to cross customs to pick him up and take him with us. Well our mission was to put flowers on my Great-Grandparents graves and visit the property. So, we had flowers, shovels, a pick axe and other yard equipment in the trunk. It was six of us total in this red Plymouth sedan, my Dad, two Uncle's, brother, Grandfather and myself. We get up to the U.S. Customs side and we list off we are from Florida and New York and one guy from Canada. The customs agents asks why it took five guys to get one guy out of Canada and as we are pulling away. Uncle Dave says "Cause he didn't wanna go" and we all couldn't stop laughing. I said at twelve years old "glad you waited till we were past them to say that, because of the shovels and stuff in the back". Miss you Uncle Dave, I make sure to visit your grave every chance I get.

Marine Science Technician


In 1995 while I was still in High School my Dad drove us all the way to Tampa some seventy-five miles to meet with a United States Coast Guard recruiter. I had met all the other four branches recruiters at my alternative school at Walt Disney World but no one from the Coast Guard showed up. So, I got curious went out watched the video and was sold immediately. But I was seventeen and had a bunch of ideas in my head. Then one dinner at Sonny's Real Pit Barbecue in Kissimmee, I met a Coast Guard Chief from New England. He was the one who firmed up my desire to join at some point. Well, life went on from 1996-2000 and I worked full-time and tried to go to college and have a family but nothing panned out. So, in February 2000 I joined the Coast Guard reserves and in March 2002 I went active duty and was Honorably Discharged in August 2011. The nine years I was on active duty were the most successful and rewarding of my professional career. It challenged my thoughts, perceptions, intellect and abilities. I had hoped to make it a career but do to injuries and illness that didn't happen. Though, I am proud to call myself a disabled veteran, proudly display my Coast Guard license plate on both my vehicles and proud I was the third generation in my family to serve. My Great-Uncle served during World War II in the Coast Guard reserves, my Uncle Dave in Vietnam with the Air Force. Some day I hope to live on the coast and participate in the Coast Guard auxiliary. Now, I am using my post 911 G.I. Bill benefits and have completed my Bachelor's degree in Paralegal studies. Thank you to all that have served.