Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who came to Mike's celebration Sunday -- many who came from far away to be there with us. I was so happy to see everyone and be around friends and family.

I feel so bad I didn't get to spend more time with some of you. I wish we could have had the space longer. I could have sat all night with you all talking about Mike and drinking wine.

Seeing my old friends in Charleston has made me so homesick. I'll have to make some major decisions regarding that at some point... I hope you'll all still have me if I can figure out a way to come home.

And I hope Mike's cousins, many I'm just really getting to know and many I wish I knew better, will still keep in touch.

A special thank you to everyone who participated. I know speaking in public is terrifying, but it was so wonderful to hear your stories and know how much Mike was loved.

I'm a little worried now that I don't have the planning of that event to keep me occupied that the coming days could be a little difficult. Things are already so different. I had to enroll Julia in day care today (sniff, sniff). So keep us in your thoughts please. Call or email anytime. Love to all of you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dress code

I'm getting lots of questions about the attire for the Celebration of Life. It's at a sports bar, so I would say you can be as casual as you want. Mike was a khaki-and-polo kind of guy anyway. Though he did look dashing in a suit. Don't you think?

P.S. Send me an email at ccherry@floridatoday.com if you're coming. Just trying to get a rough count for food, wine and beer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Head count

We're trying to get an idea of how many of you we might see at Mike's service in Charleston on Sunday. Just trying to make sure we have enough food and drink for everyone.

So a huge favor -- can you leave a comment here or shoot me an email at ccherry@floridatoday.com and let me know?


See you all soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Just wanted to share the link to a video from the Florida Today news show, Today in Brevard. The video is called Remembering Mike Cherry. It's done by Lee Nessel, the sports editor, and Brian McCallum, Mike's friend and fellow preps writer. There are clips of Mike when he appeared on the show as well.

It was hard to watch but good to hear his voice.

I can stop calling his cell phone voicemail now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This sucks

When I pictured in my mind how this grieving thing would go, it involved me in a sobbing heap on the floor. But it's more like being lost in a fog. I can't seem to figure out what I'm doing. Or supposed to do. I pace. A lot. I walk from room to room not sure why I left one or entered the other. I reached into the freezer to get a waffle for Julia and found myself standing in the kitchen with a handful of ice, no clue how it got there.

I make to-do lists, then forget I have them. I am starving, but the thought of food makes me sick. Two bites of anything and I'm so stuffed I feel sick. I don't want to go back to work, but I don't want to stay home. I don't want company, but I don't want to be alone. I just don't want to be.

I'm keeping busy with planning the celebration of life service and dealing with a bunch of paperwork. I have friends around me and my mom is here. And of course, Julia, who is completely oblivious about what is going on. It's been nice looking through photos for the service and finding random things around the house, like all the shoes to Julia's princess dolls in his dresser drawer. Not sure the explanation on that one.

It's also been nice to go out to the mailbox or check my email and find an outpouring of love for Mike and for me. I'm reading all your comments and kind words and they really do help me get through the day.

I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone in Charleston, so we can share the good memories and funny stories.

I think I mentioned the prayer of St. Therese before. I said it a lot these past two years, but it's especially helpful now. I say it every morning.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


A few people have asked me about the MIMA Foundation, which is where we suggested people who want to do something to honor Mike make donations. I guess I should probably explain since our out-of-town family and friends probably haven't heard of it.

MIMA is the name of the medical practive where Dr. Neel (who many of you tell me you feel like you know) practices. It is also home to the MIMA Cancer Center where Mike had chemotherapy. We spent a lot of time there over the past two years. The doctors and nurses are top-notch and we always felt like Mike was receiving the best possible care.

The MIMA Foundation is their charitable organization which serves cancer patients here in Brevard County. After talking to Dr. Neel, I chose them because they have the greatest impact on real people in our community, people who probably sat next to Mike in one of the recliners during treatment. The donations fund grants for non-medical needs of cancer patients, including transportation, child care and housekeeping.

Their address is MIMA Foundation of Brevard, 1130 Hickory St., Building B, Melbourne, FL 32901.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sunday, June 27

We've set a date and reserved a space for a celebration of Mike's life. We hope everyone can join us.

It will be Sunday, June 27th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the clubhouse at the Appalachian Power ballpark in Charleston, W.Va. I realize this isn't a traditional setting for a memorial service but it somehow seemed fitting for Mike, especially when compared to our other options for space -- like a country club or a Marriott ballroom.

Mike did not want a traditional funeral service. His only wishes were to be cremated and have his ashes scattered at the Outer Banks. So this will be an informal gathering, with appetizers and drinks and lots of stories and memories about Mike.

I chose Charleston because that is where Mike spent most of his life, it's where we shared our lives and is the place we still call home. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In the works

I just wanted to let everyone know that we're working on a sort of "celebration of life" for Mike. He did not want a funeral, so I thought I would just try to gather everyone and we can share our memories.

Thus far, I know it will be in Charleston, WV, the weekend of June 26. Still trying to nail down whether it will be Friday night, Saturday or Sunday and still trying to find a place. I will update here when I have more details.

I also wanted to share a couple links to the stories and tributes that have been written about Mike. These have been so nice to read. It warms my heart knowing how many people love him and regard him so highly as a writer. One of Mike's friends said to me that it was no surprise that so many people claim Mike as a best friend. I have found that to be true. And I know that I am not grieving alone. This is a loss for so many people.

You can read the Daily Mail story here.
This one was written by Mike's friend and co-worker Brian McCallum at Florida Today.
This is the obit that I wrote.
Florida Today also did a news story.

Thank you so much for all the messages and calls. I do not exagerate when I say that your thoughts and words are getting me through the day.

And last, one of my favorite pictures.

Monday, June 7, 2010

At peace

Mike is gone. He died last night around 2 a.m. It was very peaceful and he was not in pain.

I envision him having a beer right about now with his good buddy Jody.

Thank you for all your prayers and support and love. I am sure that I will continue to need them for some time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Praying for peace

Mike's battle with cancer is coming to an end. He took a turn for the worse yesterday, struggling to breathe, and was moved to the ICU overnight. He has been asleep for the past 24 hours and is being kept comfortable with morphine. There's little else the doctors can do for him.

A few times this morning, he smiled at me.

Please pray for his comfort and peace.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So much for that

Mike is back in the hospital. His body does not seem to like that other chemo. He had been doing fairly well for the first few days, just long enough for us to think everything was going to be ok. Then sure enough on Monday, he started feeling really tired and got a bloody nose. By Tuesday, he was extremely weak so we went straight to the ER.

The doctor there said it was a good thing we brought him in. His blood counts were totally depleted. He immediatly got some platelets and a blood transfusion and was, of course, admitted. We're back on the cancer floor, where we were back in January. I hate that place.

He's also started having some stomach issues and isn't eating. Oh, and a fever. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.