It’s been one year since my ex-husband’s death and my family’s life will never been the same.
We grieved and we grew in ways none of us ever expected. We each made life changes, with some more obvious then others. My decision to leave television news was by far the boldest but surprisingly, seemed to be the easiest. For months I tried to explain to people the inherent need I had to be more present for my family and especially my children who were learning to live with the pain of losing their father.
There was something else happening inside of me though, that I struggled to find the words to explain. The trauma of losing someone so suddenly and so near to us was propelling me to want to do more with my life both at home and at work. I don’t believe in coincidences and I’m sure it wasn’t one when I stumbled upon not one – but two – separate magazine articles talking about the same thing: post-traumatic growth (PTG). Yes! There is actually a scientific definition for what I’ve been experiencing the last year. According to one of the articles I read, PTG was coined by one of the psychologists behind studies of people for whom they said, “Traumatic events can be a catalyst for positive change.”
In the two weeks leading up to Dave’s death I was forced to make decisions I knew my children would have to live with for the rest of their lives. We made them together but the weight of being the voice of those decisions was heavy. With every day after, I grew fierce in my strength, protectiveness and determination to find some purpose in such deep loss. Another expert was quoted in one of the articles I read as saying, “The suffering forces you to recognize that you need to find a different way to move forward.”
So I have. I’ve become a more involved and more present mother for my children and wife for my husband. I’ve become even more involved in charitable causes that benefit women and children. I now proudly serve on the Make-A-Wish Arizona board of directors where I can directly impact the power of a wish for children with life-threatening illnesses.
I’m also proud to announce that I have helped my children establish a foundation in their father’s name. The Lats Legacy Foundation will not only keep his memory alive but through a collaboration with our alma mater, will ensure that his memory lives on in a place and in a way he would appreciate. Together with the University of Southern California, we’ve created The USC Lats Legacy Baseball Scholarship. Dave was a standout USC Trojan baseball pitcher when we were there and he was not only strong on the field but in the classroom too. The USC Lats Legacy Baseball Scholarship will be awarded to baseball players who embody those characteristics Dave was known for: leadership on the field and academic distinction off the field.
Our fundraising campaign is now underway to reach our goal of awarding the first USC Lats Legacy Baseball Scholarship in the fall of 2016.
Please help us get there by making a donation, sharing our fundraising effort and becoming a fundraiser yourself.
To learn more, visit TheLatsLegacyFoundation.org
You can make your donation there or by TEXTING the word LATS to 71777.
Through this scholarship, we honor Dave in a way that will help other Trojan baseball players continue to live the dream he did in a place that gave him some of his best memories on earth.