Friday, March 13, 2009

Michael Has Gone

At 8:55am on Thursday morning, our Michael left us after he'd fought back with everything he had against his cancer. We all spent the wee hours snuggled up in bed with him and all of us know with no uncertainty that his last breath came with the knowledge that he was loved, and would be loved forever by Yukon, Winter, Magnum, Ruger and I. Dying is not an easy thing for the one leaving or the ones who stay, but if it had to be this way then Michael went in the absolute best way he could. Without pain and surrounded by love.

I don't think anyone ever knows what to do next. Thank God we're surrounded by people willing to pitch in and help us through this spot. With a lot of help we've decided to have two services, one on Wednesday and another celebration on Thursday. I'll post details later, but both will be at the house and the spirit here is that we intend to celebrate the life Michael lead among the people who loved him. There will be time to grieve, and a time to answer the big questions, but next week we're going to look back, not forward with gratitude for the time we had.

The kids are all remarkable. Just when I think they might not have grasped the reality, they'll ask a question or look off in ways that let me know that they feel this each in their own way. Ruger peppered me with questions as he fell asleep last night that reminded me that we are experiencing all of this according to our years and our experience. It helps when I have to really think about the answers.

There are a million questions right now and we're all pretty secure in the answers we have and the ones we don't. Yukon is slaving away at the computer making sure everyone we love is in the loop, Winter is getting ready to use her racing season to honor Michael through Team Winter, Magnum is the quiet one who seems to know more than the rest of us about how to do this, and Ruger is...well, Ruger. His heart is right there on his sleeve.

As for me? The the list of the things I'm sure of seems very short compared to the list of things I have no idea about, so I'm focusing on one thing at a time. Thousands of people who've been touched by Michael are writing and leaving us notes at the website Athletes for a Cure set up for us. It helps us all when we read such kind words from so many people and it helps that they're all in one place. That's all for right now, if you want to send a note please post it on Michael's page at: . You can also read what everyone else has written. There are a lof of stories from people who've been where we are.

More soon, but for now know that we all feel truly loved at the time we need to be loved the most. Thank you all.



Lady in ATL said...

I don't even know how to say how sorry I am for your loss. I came across your blog via The Circle. What an amazing, strong, courageous woman and mother you are. What an amaizing family you have - you must be so proud of them despite the circumstances! I wish you all the best - God Bless You All.

heidimw said...

Estelle and Vinecki Families...
Know that I am sending my love to all of you. Thank you for taking us on your journey, I feel very honored to have traveled with your family. Know that Michael will always be our prostrate cancer hero, he touched many, and he will always have a special place in my heart.

Sending (((HUGS))) to you all,

Anonymous said...

Dawn, Winter, Yukon, Magnum and Ruger,
We are sadden by the news of Michael's passing, yet rejoice in his life and all he has given to this world. His smile is contagious. We celebrate knowing we will all be together someday. Love, Don & Bev Zuvers (Karri's parents).

the parental unit said...


Lyne (Breckow)

irwval_loves_scrapbooking said...

I am sorry for you loss. Coming from the Flint area I knew Rick and the rest of the Vinecki family through my parents. God bless you and your 4 children during this time. I am a single mother of 4 children also, same ages as yours...if you need anything, just let me know.

paul said...

As a person with a strong personal faith in God it strikes others as odd that I can't quite figure out the difference in "lucky" and "blessed."

To say that Michael was "unlucky" to have been struck with cancer is the grossest of understatements. To say that he was "blessed" with such a dynamic family is just as big an understatement.

I know that you can't feel it, comprehend it or even really care about it right now, but, Dawn, you have been such an incredible role model that others will look to in times when they are unfortunately this "unlucky."

Maybe we build our own blessings out of what we have been dealt. I know Tinker Bell and The Three Blind Mice did not get their magic from nowhere. They are a wonderful mix of what you and Michael have given them. His and your legacy will always live through him. I hope you can take solace in their reflection of his joy and laughter even during this time.


Matt and Kerrie said...

So sorry for your loss. Remember that you are loved by a lot of people. Our hearts are hurting for you and wish there was something we could do to make it all better. Take care and god bless!

The Daenzer family.