Monday, March 16, 2009

Keep Me in Your Heart

Dan passed away at home early this morning. I am not sure if relief is the best word, but there aren't many words to describe the feeling. He lived with lung cancer for 3 years and 10 months. And when I say "lived", that grossly underestimates the contributions he made to all of us that love him and those that were inspired from afar.

I am afraid that I haven't quite figured out what to say. Dan was always the one to provide the inspiration or guidance, and he did that until his last day. I hope I was listening closely enough to him to remember everything.

There is nothing you can say to me to make me feel better. No bible passage or inspirational quotes. No anecdotes or memories. Please, don't try. In my mind, I know that what happened was a release for Dan. But that doesn't make me want to not throw myself on the ground and have a tantrum.

But I am still Dan Waeger's fiance. I know that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. I know that if I don't get up every day believing it will get better, I shouldn't get up at all. I know that attitude is everything. I could go on with what I like to call "Waegerisms", but those will be for another post.

I am so very sorry for our collective loss. I hope that Dan is at peace, but that his spirit will be restless and visit us often.

It is quiet at home for the first time in months. Somewhere, Dan is breathing easy and standing on the first tee. With that beautiful smile that made his eyes wrinkle.

Sweet dreams, babe.

PS
Funeral details will be available shortly.

In lieu of flowers or anything else, we encourage people to donate to the foundation Dan established to help other young adult cancer survivors pursue higher education:

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation
PO Box 14190
Silver Spring, MD 20911
http://www.collegiatecancer.org/

56 comments:

Obsessedwithlife said...

Thanks for posting this. I am so sorry. I will keep you and the family in my prayers!!

Hugs,
Rachel

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg -
Erika just told me the news. I'm sure that there are no words of comfort right now. But your words and story have touched many.
I'm very very sorry for your loss.
You're in my prayers.
Kristen

Anonymous said...

Waeger Won and will continue to win. His legacy will live on. Rest In Peace.
"X"

Sam Boardman said...

I am so sorry about Dan. I went to college with him, and he was a terrific guy who surely will be missed by all.

Sam Boardman

Anonymous said...

We love you Meghan, you are a lovely person,Danny is in Peace ...we will continue to pray for you and for the family ,thanks for being with Danny all the way...Hugs ..The Moncayo family from Ecuador

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear the news. I remember Dan's smile when he was a young boy and tagged along to sporting events with his older brother.

His smile could light up the world then. It was something awesome.

It was an 'all boy' smile.

The world is a poorer place today.

When I heard the news by e-mail today, I just closed my eyes, and I could see that smiling, handsome, young man.

Godspeed, 'Danny Boy.'

Jeanne said...

Dear Meg, you are already in my heart, and I will keep you there.
Much love,
Jeanne

HN Cancer said...

Dan and you have helped me understand a how supportive and loving each or you were to one another during this tough time. Thank you for sharing. Dan and you are inspiring role models. I am sorry for your loss.

Ed Steger

Linda said...

Meg

I agree - words are hard to come by right now. I appreciate you finding the strength to post. You are truly an amazing woman - perfect for an amazing man. Know how much I love you both!

Linda - Always the Indy Affiliate of WWW

Anonymous said...

God Bless his soul.

Karen said...

God bless you all, you're in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you and Dan, just keep your memories alive xxxx

Anonymous said...

Meg,
We are sorry and so sad to hear about Dan. You & your family as well as Dan and the Waeger's are in our thoughts and prayers.
Pat & Mary Elen Richards

Anonymous said...

Dan will live in our hearts forever.

God Bless you Meg.

Julie LaMotte

Michael Bergin said...

Meg -

Dan will always live in our hearts forever. We wish you continued courage and peace during this difficult time.

Peace,
Michael, Jeanne, Nathan and Grace Bergin

HammerHead said...

Speaking from someone who has lost a spouse to cancer (my wife in 1995after a couragous battle) just know that there are people out there that know what you are going through and thank you for allowing us to follow Dan's amazing triumphant journey. Storming heaven with prayers for you and all the family.

Anonymous said...

Dan's spirit will keep all of us restless in this fight.
Much love,
Stacia

Matthew Zachary said...

Dan was an incredible person and a great friend. He will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. He will be missed dearly.

Anonymous said...

I am so inspired by Dan and I have never even met him. Meg and the rest of Dan's family, I wish you peace and comfort. He will always be with you.

Anonymous said...

so sorry for your loss...i lost my mom to lung cancer two months ago and know your pain all too well...i am running the boston marathon on 4/20 with Team Livestrong and will honor Dan along with over 50 other warriors by wearing his name on my yellow jersey that day. jzeidner2665@yahoo.com

Jonny Imerman said...

Meg, I am sending you many, many big hugs and all good thoughts and energy... our whole office here is thinking of you...

Jonny Imerman

Brooke said...

I think it is safe to say that we are all truly inspired by the fight and strength both Meg and Dan displayed these past years. I continue to look at my WWW bracelet and can't help but feel honored to have known such an amazing person. It is also comforting to know that he had someone like Meg to love him and stand by him every step of the way. I am thinking of you both.

Ryan O'D said...

I had dinner with Dan in D.C. less than a year ago - he left an amazing impression, and I will always remember our meeting.

Meghan, may you find the light during the darkest of days.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

.: rise above it :.

Anonymous said...

Dan was such an amazing person in so many ways-in so many ways he truly has won-

Anonymous said...

Meg, I love you so much and you said it perfectly - our lives are better for having had Dan in them. You, your family, and Dan's family are in my prayers.

Love,
Christina

Tamika said...

Dan was an amazing man and a champion to all he touch. He will be sorely missed.

Warm hugs,
Tamika

Wesch said...

Meg, as usual I am at a loss for words. I am so very sorry. You both are in my prayers.

love, Wesch

Anonymous said...

I only stumbled upon your blog today and to read this, it breaks my heart. I am sitting in my in-laws kitchen after taking my father-in-law to his morning chemo treatment. Your grace and strength are surely part of what made your Dan's life so full and what will continue to spread his message. Especially since I don't even know you, I feel a little strange trying to even say anything meaningful to you at this time. Take care of you.

Haley said...

You are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Meg
We will all miss Dan but know he is now in a better place. Our lives are better for knowing him.
Friends and guests ring the bell at the front door. Family members just turn the knob and walk in. Dan always just walked in at our home. He was and will always be a considered a member of our extended family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the Waeger family. May our wonderful memories of Dan help bring peace to all of us.
Warren and Michele Persak

Donna said...

I did not know him, but have followed his blog for the past couple of months thru a collegue of mine, Christine. He must have been an awesome speaker and mentor.
You and family are in my prayers.
Having a "tantrum" is not a bad thing.
In His
Donna

LIndsay Graham said...

I am so sorry to hear about Dan. I played on the women's golf team at McDaniel when he was a senior. He was great guy and was one of the reasons why I went to McDaniel.

- Lindsay Graham

Suzanne Lindley said...

There are no words. You are in my heart.

Surrounding you with prayers,
Suzanne

JohnandLetty said...

PEACE Dan. Meg, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

The Urbans in OH

Suzpotts said...

So sorry for your loss and please know that Dan's memory will live on. Thinking of you and wish there were more we could do for support.

Anonymous said...

Meg—
My heart goes out to you. Dan will always be remembered. I wish you both solace.
Much love, LFord

Anonymous said...

Dan will truly be missed. His courage and spirit have touched countless lives.

God bless.

Sincerely,
Becky Arnold

Andrew said...

...still wearing my bracelet. You're all in my prayers.

Love,
Amoney

Anonymous said...

I will go home and hug my husband...and hug my son...just one more time and I thank you for your story to remind me just how short and precious life is.

Anonymous said...

Meghan,
I knew Danny as we were growing up and you TRULY captured his spirit in this blog. My brother played on the golf team with Danny and his love of the game was infectious! You nailed it- he is up there teeing off on the first hole. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and his family.

Anonymous said...

Your story has changed my life. I choose to be a more positive person now because of you and Dan. How lucky you both are to have found each other. Waeger will continue to win! His legacy will live on in all of us.

Anonymous said...

Meg,

You deserve that tantrum. Please know that all the love that has been poured out for Dan will be there for you as well. His giant extended family is yours too. The Trinity High School family is a tight-knit one, always has been, and I can only hope that you can handle the massive amount of love and prayers that is coming your way :) May he rest in peace, and visit you frequently.

-Dan's classmate from HS

christy said...

Dan will ALWAYS be remembered. I think we can all say that our lives were better just by having Dan in them. He was an incredible person and friend and will be missed terribly. My thoughts and prayers go out to Meg and the rest of his family.

Love, Christy

Anonymous said...

in my thoughts and prayers

Theresa Cullen said...

Meg,
We are thinking about you.
Love,
Theresa, Marcus, Tommy and Eloise

Erin said...

Peace at last. We'll miss you Danny.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It's not only a loss for you and his family but also, all the people Dan came in contact with in his life. We are all so blessed to have known him. I feel so fortunate that I had the chance to meet him and know a little bit about him. God bless you all! I will be keeping you in my prayers.
Nikki Gallucci

Anne Wilson said...

Meg,
Thank you for sharing this time with those who cared for Dan, and through him, for you. I spent two days with Dan in NYC last Aug. judging the LOOC artwork. What a privilege it was for me! Dan and I walked around the city for a few hours after we finished the judging while he was waiting on his train. He was such a special person. I guess I am a little older than his mom so we spent some time talking about his concern for his mom. And we talked about how he loved you! His memory will live on in all of our hearts.
Peace,
Anne Wilson

Trisha Burns said...

Meg -
You don't know me... but I'm a very good friend of Patrice's. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm wearing my LIVESTRONG wristband today for you,Danny and the Waeger!
LIVESTRONG -
Trisha Burns

Diane said...

Meg,

Please know that Dan provided me the inspiration, courage, and guidance when my son, Scottie, was diagnosed with cancer the summer of 08 and things weren't looking so good. When Dan made that first phone call to me then, I filed his advice, guidance, inspiration, compassion, and wisdom in my head. I have pulled that file out many times to go back to it for comfort and support when I really needed it while we continue Scottie's treatment.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families, as well as yours and Dan's loving circle of friends. We will always treasure Dan's notes to Scottie on his site. Those notes really kept Scottie going. It was such a privilege to know him, and I know my son will give back to others suffering just like Dan did.

Diane and Scott Hammond

Gerstner Family said...

Dan, we will always be inspired by you. Thanks for all you have done.

To Meg, thanks for your inspiring example of love and support. Your message is deeply touching especially because it is so honest. Our best wishes and prayers for you and the rest of Dan's family in this difficult time.

The Gerstners
(Shanghai chapter of WWW)

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I turned to this site as I was trying to fix my browser and here this most touching website came up. I am a cancer survivor, having survived osteosacroma and the amputation of my right leg on Valentines Day 1967and this month in 2009 I turn 65. I can offer you only this advice..live your life with a smile and with humor, and love, and appreciate the sounds of the birds singing in the morning. Thank your Creator endlessly for what you have and what you have experienced and climb every mountain for at the top you will find the hand of God to lead you to Heaven where you can prepare for your loved ones without the pain of this life. Cry loved one, but in everything, give thanks and be strong as Dan was. Blessings forever, Dennis Stiffler, Pacific Northwest.

Anonymous said...

Meg, I became friends with Dan in college and was always amazed at his zest for life. I have fond memories of many times Dan told me to 'lighten up' or when he was the only person on campus crazy enough to go sledding with me at 4 am. After college he later helped me have to courage to live my life and I am eternally grateful. He continued to amaze us all during his fight as he used his life to teach and inspire and never would give up. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, as are Dan's family and friends. Thank you for taking care of him and always being by his side. Take care, Stephanie Gulbin

Tyler Durant Stewart said...

Meghan,

I've come to realize that for ME, it isn't necessarily the words that people say that get one through something like this, but just the mere fact that they are thinking of you...

If you are like me, then just know - I'm thinking of you... and I'm thinking of Dan.

Tyler

Lisa said...

Meg,
I'm so sorry to hear about Dan. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

~Lisa
(Blue Spurs)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of you, Dan, and your families.

TD