Many people don’t know the story of how we met and all the various things that we’ve done. I thought I would share some of that here with you all. Some of you might learn things about Wendy you didn’t know.
I met Wendy via the internet on June 6, 2000. She was on AOL at the time and had posted a personals ad. We chatted online for 3-1/2 hours from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM before she decided she wanted to talk with me on the phone. Our phone conversation lasted 9-1/2 hours before she decided she wanted to meet me in person. She later told me that the clincher was the fact that I actually had Barry Manilow albums and knew the words to the songs.
You might think after all that talking for so many hours we’d both be wiped out and need some sleep, but she drove 50 miles down to Watkins Glen to meet me. To make things easy on her I chose the public pier to meet on. By the time she arrived it was 9:00 AM on June 7, 2000 and we spent most of the day together. We went to the State Park, The Gorge the Lake and even to get some pizza at Jerlando’s Pizzeria in Montour Falls, NY.
It was a week before I was able to see her again. When I did I met her at her job and since I didn’t know when she would be able to come down and when I would be home (I did service calls fixing computers) I left her the key to my house and told her to stop by any time. Later she told me her co-workers said I was a keeper and that giving her the key to my house meant I had nothing to hide and she should totally use it.
For several weeks we spent so much time together that neither of us was getting much sleep and we were 50 miles apart so one of us was always driving an hour to see the other. But a funny thing happened. I asked her to move in with me and she did, along with Josh and Joey. A year later we were married on June 30, 2001.
Life in NY took some interesting turns. At some point I got really sick with severe allergies and asthma problems. At the time we didn’t know what it was, but it was debilitating. When most people lost hope in me, Wendy took care of me and picked up the slack to the point where she was working three different jobs to help make ends meet. Finally in 2002 I decided to restart my computer business, Knight Designs Computers, which I had closed shortly after she moved in, because I had always worked out of my house and that wasn’t going to be possible anymore.
I opened up a storefront in Montour Falls, NY (next door to Watkins Glen) and did enough business that Wendy didn’t have to work so much. Eventually we decided to restart my DJ business, but this time as a team, and Savage Music Service was born. This took a huge load off Wendy and she stopped working in Owego and stayed locally at a liquor store.
Business was good for the next couple of years, but we really only ever made enough to pay the bills. We never really had any extra money and what we did seemed to end up in car repairs. So when an opportunity opened up for me to work for a company I did business with in California we had a family meeting and decided it was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.
I flew out to CA for an interview in February of 2005 and moved to start work in March of 2005. When I moved out here the boys were still in school and Wendy didn’t want to move them in the middle of the school year so the plan was that the boys would finish school and they would all join me in CA. Wendy took a lot of crap from several people in the area who told her that I had left her and the boys behind and that when they were ready I wouldn’t be bringing them out to CA.
But of course Wendy did join me and eventually found a job at the same school Joey attended working in the library. The kids loved her. Eventually a position opened up at the company I worked for and Wendy moved there to get better benefits and the ability to car pool.
Unfortunately at some point due to the economy and some down-sizing Wendy was laid off and spent the next couple of years trying to find a job. Eventually I asked her to stop looking and just be a Homemaker/Housewife/Mom and so she took care of the kids and I until we found a house of our own.
When we moved into the new house Josh moved in with some friends to be closer to Rocklin and eventually Joe tried the whole military thing, so it was just Wendy and I. Unfortunately, before we could really get the house and yard the way she wanted it she was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump via a self-exam. At this point you can pick up the whole story by starting at the beginning of this blog.
Over the years Wendy had several different hobbies, but the one she always came back to was cross-stitching. She even had software on her PC to create her own and/or to import a photo and turn it into a cross-stitch. She made gifts for myself and others over the years.
She also collected knick-knacks and other things that had dragonflies on them. She loved to read books and I bought her a Kindle one year. She loved to garden and used to grow her own tomatoes and other vegetables.
We also were able to take vacations which was something we were never able to do before. We went to Sausalito on a Christmas Cruise the first year Wendy and the boys came out. We also went to other areas in the bay, as far south as Monterey and as far north as Fort Bragg / Mendecino area. We went to Lake Tahoe many times in summer and winter. In fact, one year we had a company Christmas party at the Squaw Valley Resort, where the Winter Olympics were held in the past.
From the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer I promised I would always be there for her and I was. She made the difficult journey easier by being strong and not letting the cancer drag her down emotionally. She always kept a positive attitude and people she met were amazed by that, especially the nurses at the infusion center where she got her chemo treatments.
Wendy touched the lives of so many people out here with her smile and charm that I am hard-pressed to go anywhere without someone asking how she is doing. There are those days like today where I go someplace we used to go and someone says, “How’s Wendy doing?”, and I have to give the sad news. But the fact that it happens so much just goes to show how many people Wendy touched in a positive way. And she will be remembered by all those people, her family and especially me, her husband. ❤️
Perfectly said, she will be missed and remembered by cherished memories we have of times with her. 🙂
I so enjoyed reading your journey with Wendy. I knew a lot of the stuff, but there are somethings that were very new to me. I know that you two we good for each other and walked Life’s Journey Path with much love in your hearts. Not all days were great, but at the end of the day….you were still in love!
I am still collecting my thoughts as I plan to write to you….but the words are just out there some place!
I thank you again for sharing so much of your lives with all of us. You are truly a remarkable man. I know these days are hard….but you have so many wonderful memories to lighten the load.
Be well and know that I care and you know where to find me.
Love and hugs from me to you! S
Wow Chris. My words feel weak at times like these. What a great tribute to Wendy you are! You’ve done an amazing job. I don’t know what to say, but I wanted you to know how wonderful I think it is that you’ve been such a support for her and your family.
Oh, my heart aches to hear of the news. She is an amazing women. I will miss her dearly. Thank you for posting an amazing story of your life together. Stay strong and know that there are friends and family that are ready to lend ear when you need it. I truly am at a loss for words.
What a story that is Chris. So good to hear stories like that.