Saturday, March 21, 2009


Many have asked that the speeches given at Dan's funeral be posted. Here is mine- I will see about getting the others next week.

Dan liked to quote a lot of famous people in his speeches. I always told him that had plenty of material from the things that came out of his own mouth- so much so that I started to call them “Waegerisms”. I am sure that many of them are familiar you.

1. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
2. If you’re going to sit around thinking about something all day, then you might as well do something about it.
3. Attitude is everything.
4. If you don’t wake up every day thinking that you will overcome whatever curveball life throws at you, don’t bother to get out of bed.
5. Focus on the “who” you have on board in your life before you focus on the “what”.
6. Always make sure that people are having a good time and feel appreciated.

And there is one household rule that I’ve been trying to stick to- “It’s ok to cry. But leave it at 10% of the time. Use the 90% to do something productive about what is actually making you cry.” So 10% of the time is 2.4 hours per day. I think we can all abide by that. Plus, Dan always said I am an ugly crier.

Being in the fortunate position of observing Dan at home, with friends & family and during his advocacy work, I’d like to add one more to the list. One big thing I learned from his example by watching him every day.

He taught me that the biggest differences in life are not made by making the extra effort, but by being the one to just make the effort in the first place.

I hope we can all remember these “Waegerisms” as we leave here today.

I think they’ll look good on the back of the next batch of NCCF t-shirts.

Dan and I both love a lot of the same things- singly loudly to country music in the car, the NCAA basketball tournament, having a beer and hotdog at a baseball game, finding silly hats for every occasion, really bad reality tv shows, and creating instant traditions.

I can now proudly out Dan as a very sappy and romantic guy. And he loved romantic traditions.

I like to say that Dan knew how to make you feel like a million bucks without spending a dime.

One of those ways he made me feel special was in the form of letters we’d write, especially around holidays.

I’d just like to take a few minutes to share with you all some excerpts of a letter I wrote Dan about 7 months after we met for Christmas.

Dated December 20, 2007, I wrote this letter to Santa about Dan.

Dear Santa

As much as I love receiving gifts and ripping off the wrapping paper, I’d like to return everything this year.

I don’t want to be greedy because you already brought me the best present a girl could wish for, and being with him is like celebrating Christmas every day. Let me tell you about all the gifts he brings to my life- Peace, Joy, Love and Hope.

Thank you for bringing me someone who is teaching me to enjoy life and not be so consumed by the little things.

This is a blessing for someone like me with a Type A personality and alledgedly, overly-competitive.

Now that he is here, there is nothing more peaceful than just squeezing into the big green chair and doing nothing for hours… even if it means watching Phil Mickelson.

He lets me be myself and thinks I look pretty good in an old highschool sweatshirt & yoga pants.

He really gets a kick out of me, which makes me feel at peace with myself.

I know a lot of people that are happy, but I never really knew anyone who was joyful until I met him.

No words are necessary for him to express how excited or happy he is. Just that huge smile creeping over his face and then the brightness in his eyes, followed by the wrinkles framing his happy eyes. And there is that laugh.

I love to watch those eyes shine, especially when he shows enthusiasm for everyday things like seeing a dog on the street, playing with his niece, wearing his Christmas sweater or delivering on the promise of a perfect first date.

Seeing life through his eyes is like being filled with the sense of wonder and amazement at life like the feeling you have when you’re a kid waking up on Christmas and racing down to see all of the presents.

As you know Santa, ours is an unlikely love story. He reminds me that life can be a true fairy tale.

He teaches me about love in a lot of different ways. First and foremost, love is fun and easy, and in his case, sometimes a little cheezy.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges, but with love, anything can be overcome.

There are moments now when all I see is love.

He is my best friend, my partner in crime, my confidant, my teacher and a good buddy.

Loving him makes my world bigger.

Santa, it’s all too easy to sit here and write about how he inspires hope in the people around him.

To others, he is the miraculous cancer survivor and the relentless advocate.

To me, he is just Dan. Dan in real life.

I think the qualities that make him so successful under those other titles have been there his whole life.

He is genuine and kind.
He is smart, goofy and a big kid.
He is humble.
He is patient, but not enough to be my golf instructor.
He is quietly and keenly observant.
He is empathetic and motivated.
He is a sappy romantic schmuck.
He is not afraid to dance or sing of key.

He is willing to try anything and never takes himself too seriously.

He is a loyal friend, a good son and brother and a doting uncle.

He has the remarkable ability to simultaneously see life through childlike eyes, but express himself with the wisdom of an old man.

He has all the qualities you hope to find in someone, but hardly ever exist in just one person.

He gives me hope for the future.

I feel lucky to know what love is, and to have someone by me that I admire and respect, and that I can learn from everyday.

I have fun and laugh all the time, even on those tough days.

And I have someone to work with when facing big issues, and something special that will always be worth fighting for.

I feel honored to be welcomed into his big, noisy, fun-loving family, and feel blessed to see him welcomed into mine.

So thank you Santa for bringing me Dan. I don’t need much else in the years to come, though for Dan’s sake, a boxer puppy would be nice.

Thank you Dan for bringing all of us together. Thank you for leaving such a wonderful legacy.

And thank you babe for writing such a beautiful love story with me.


Anonymous said...


That was such an amazing speech! You would have made Dan proud. You were both such lucky people to have found one another. I am here for you if you need me.


Anonymous said...

Meg, thank you so much for sharing that with all of us. it is amazing and again, makes me feel so lucky to count you both as my friends. with love, devon

Anonymous said...

Hi, Meghan, it was a great emotion to read your speech. You are a special person and your personality is very unique, and your Dan was as well. So you were lucky to live together and to have each other. Dan passed away too young but the short life together were so full and reach, and adult people will have difficulties to reach in long time what you- so young- had together in short time.I am very sorry with your great loss and i think a lot on you and your familly.I send you and your parents my love and firmness. Chagit Ravid, Israel.

Heather said...

The speech was beautiful. I heard from my parents that it was beautiful and thank you so much for posting it for the rest of us to read.
Heather (Dan's cousin)

Anonymous said...

I have read your "Rememberances" twice today and found out and again ,how lovely you are Meghan. May God give you all the peace you need for the comming days ,you will be for sure in my daily prayers ,Wonderful Meg,with love,
Gladys, Ecuador

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Meg. You did a beautiful job and perfectly captured Dan and your love for each other. I just took a page from your book and decided to write a letter to Dan, so it was fitting for me to check the blog and see your words.

Anne Willis

Anonymous said...

Your "Rememberances" post is such a beautiful tribute to Dan. After hearing James and Ellen and you speak your heartfelt remarks about Dan at the service--I had a fuller, more complete, understanding of just how special Dan was and is and will remain.

What a deep, deep loss for you and for others who were close to Dan. Peace, I wish you and your families and close friends a healing, comforting peace with a flow of strength infused with Dan's amazingly positive/action-oriented spirit--may it be with you forever.

cousin P

Anonymous said...

You did a beautiful job Meg.

God bless.

Becky Arnold

Anonymous said...

Meghan dear, Thank you so very much for sharing these thoughts for us. This weekend I learned many things about my own son that I did not know before, and all are good, warm, loving. Thank you again for being such an important part of Danny's live. Thank you, all the blog readers, for all the prayers for all the families. Much love, Mom Cicily Waeger

Carl said...

Blessings be upon you, Meg. I just read, rather belatedly, the news of Dan's death. You're in my prayers.

I've just written a blog entry, as a tribute to Dan. I've never met him in person, but I've found strength in reading the things you and he have written:


Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened to hear of Dan's passing. I had the pleasure of knowing him while he attended McDaniel College. He was always so friendly, outgoing, and positive. His smile would light up a room. The measure of a life, after all, is not it's duration but in it's donation. My deepest sympathy to his loved ones.
Dana Plevyak R.N.

Anonymous said...


I am so glad that you both found your love story because not everyone can say that. You are beautiful on the inside and out. Thank you for sharing your love story with us - it makes us all stronger. Please let us know if you need anything. I'm sure we will see you at Caddies soon and I look forward to a game of flip cup! ;)

Love, Melissa & Chris

Anonymous said...

As Becky said, You did a beautiful job, Meg.