Damien "Joey" Joseph Kam

Damien "Joey" Joseph Kam
February 11, 1965 - August 28, 2009

Honoring the great Memories...

Damien's Memorial Plaque was installed January 16, 2010. It is located in the Garden of Reflection Memorial Book. Inquire at the mortuary office if you are not sure of the location, and they will give you directions.

Pacific View Memorial Park
3500 Pacific View Drive,
Corona Del Mar, Ca 92625


One day we'll disappear together in a dream

However short or long our lives are going to be

I will live in you or you will live in me

Until we disappear together in a dream


Damien's Memorial Plaque

Damien's Memorial Plaque


If you would like to contribute to Colin's College Fund in Damien's Memory:

Send a check to:

College Savings Iowa

P.O. Box 55119

Boston, MA 02205-5119

Reference #450079529-01 on the check

Or if you use Online Bill Pay you can issue a check as referenced above.

For more information regarding this type of account please visit: https://collegesavingsiowa.s.upromise.com/

A special thanks to Judy, Cyndie's Cousin, for putting together Colin's college fund.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A day in the life (part 3)

A lesson in single parenthood: It doesn't matter if you get sick, you still have to take care of everything.

I got a fever Saturday night, then I seemed ok the past two days. Then I came down with it again this morning. Fever, chills, sore muscles, sore throat, etc. It's been going around, plus it doesn't help that my immune system is probably sub-par due to stress. Couple that with a toddler who's feeling fine and wants to run around everywhere. "Sit down Mama" (finger tapping the floor beside him - what he does when he wants me to play with him). Mama just wants to lay on the sofa for a little while and watch you play. No way. Colin grabs me by the sleeve of my shirt and pulls 'til I get up. Then it's "Outside Mama". Really? Ok, I guess. I take him into our small back yard area with some toys to play with, while I sit in the sun, shivering with a jacket on. "Eat Mama". That's right ... I have to make lunch ... I almost forgot. Didn't I just make breakfast? It's a Mac-n-Cheese kind of day. That's ok, he doesn't mind - at least I gave him the good organic kind from Mother's Market. "Watch choo-choo Mama", because he wants to watch Thomas & Friends. Oh, wait ... I think Mama can handle that. Then I let him watch a few episodes that I have on the DVR. That's more than I usually let him watch. I feel a little guilty. He already watched Sesame Street this morning. Bad Mama.

So while he naps, I try to clean up. And catch up on emails. And pay some bills (that may or may not be late). I'm completely scattered, and have been for months. I keep trying to pull it together. I'll get there someday I guess.

When Colin wakes from his nap, I feel bad that he's been couped up all day. I decide to take him over to Fashion Island (an outdoor mall) and walk around a bit. Driving down the hill on Jamboree, I could see Catalina Island and the shimmering water of the Pacific Ocean as the sun is just starting to go down. My mind wanders to the time Damien took me there for my birthday. We stayed the weekend and had so much fun. Watched a movie in the old Casino, took a tour of Wrigley Botanical Gardens, ate at this funky old restaurant/bar ... then *snap* ... back to the present. Then of course the PIMCO buildings came into view on the left as we neared the mall. Little pangs of nauseousness hit me. This has how's it's been lately ... lots of memories. He is everywhere. It's a good and bad thing, but right now, it's more of a sad thing.

We went to Barnes & Noble and I let Colin get a book. Then we went over to the koi pond, where he proceeds to feed ALL of the crackers that I packed for his snack to the birds. He is happy, the birds are happy, I still feel not-so-great, but I'm outside at least, and Colin's getting some exercise. Not-so-bad Mama.

As we drove home, I could see all the snow on the mountains, and my mind wanders again. 8 months pregnant and spending the weekend in snow-covered Big Bear, tromping through the snow & ice to get a pizza, looking for bald eagles ... then *snap* ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's these little things ...

Valentine's Day ... it's a day to celebrate Love. And not just the love of your significant other, but also the love of family & friends, those who are here & those who are no longer. I expected it would be especially difficult for me this year. And it was, but my friends make sure that I wasn't alone.

I received a lot of cards/emails/texts/phone calls for Valentines Day. I received flowers & the gift of a spa treatment from all of my wonderful Mama friends, and a card that read "you are loved by many". Colin & I were treated to dinner by Richard & Angela, and given two red roses and a box of chocolates, and lots of laughs. Just the way Damien would have wanted it. It's these little things that made all the difference in my day.

I took Colin to the cemetery in the morning to bring Dada some flowers for Valentines Day. It's an amazingly peaceful place, and I find it comforting to be there, especially on such a pretty day.

I was cleaning up the garage (which literally looks like a bomb went off in it) this afternoon, when I came across a box I didn't recognize. When I opened it, I found all the stuff that used to be in Damien's car (sunglasses, Thomas Guide, misc. papers, Cd's, etc.). It just stopped me in my tracks. I put the box aside as I just couldn't deal with it. then, just a little while ago, I was watching the Olympics and they had a special on all the places to go in Vancouver. I started to feel nauseous as I watched. We went to Vancouver for our one year Wedding Anniversary. We had the best time there! And as I watched all the awesome snowboarders, I thought of how much Damien loved to snowboard, and how his board is sitting up in the attic, just collecting dust. It's these little things, these little glitches in the day, that are heartbreaking.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One year ago today ...

~Life can change in the blink of an eye~

A happy, healthy Damien on his birthday last year.

Celebrating Damien's Birthday ...

Today was Damien's Birthday ... he would have been 45, although most people thought he was closer to 35. He had that young look about him ;)

It felt really weird today ... mostly sad & empty. For Damien's Birthday, I would always make him my homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, which he got to eat all by himself (ok, maybe he would share a piece or two with me!). It was his favorite, and he would be happy to just have that. Then I would make him dinner, or we would go out to a favorite restaurant. We would always get together with Richard & Angela (and sometimes a few other friends) for dinner, usually on the weekend. Sometimes there was a party at the house. We always had so much fun!

I really didn't know what to do this year. My mom came over, and I took her & Colin over to the cemetery, where we put some flowers by Damien's plaque ... I put some orchids since they were always his favorite. We then went to have lunch @ Champagnes, where Damien would sometimes go for lunch during the work week. I picked up a piece of carrot cake there to bring home. Seemed like the thing to do. I ate most of it and put a small piece by his ashes. I also put some more orchids there. I just thought that's what he'd like the most.

I also received a lot of kind messages/emails/phone calls from friends, which means a lot to me. Thank you all for looking out after Colin & me.

This weekend we'll be going over to Richard & Angela's to go out to eat for Damien's Birthday/Valentines Day. I think he'd be happy to know that we were still getting together to celebrate, the same way we always have for each of our birthdays :o) A strange & sad day, but I somehow got through it. Hopefully I'll get some sleep. Tomorrow is waiting for me ...

a beautiful view

Colin by the waterfall

My Mom by Damien's plaque

Mama & Colin

Flowers for Dada

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ask, and ye shall receive ...

I've been dealing with a lot of fears lately ... afraid of being alone ... afraid of not being a good enough parent ... afraid of not knowing what to do in about a million situations ... afraid that something will happen to me. Fear, stress, anxiety - they've all but taken over my life lately. I know longer have my other half to consult and draw strength from. So I do what I do every night ... I ask Damien for his help & guidance ... to point me in the right direction ... to let me know that somehow I'm doing the right thing. That I'm going to be OK.

Today Colin & I were at Trader Joe's, and there it was. As we were walking to our car, there was a large rectangular bumper sticker on the back of a car. It was bright yellow and had large black letters that read "Don't be afraid". Period. Nothing else. No reference to religion or UFOs or anything else. Just simply stated. I just stared. And I knew. He was talking to me. Giving me the sign I needed to see. As we drove away, I saw a girl walk to that car. She was young & pretty, looking at the ground as she walked, with a smile on her face.

And I just knew.

Many things like this happen to me & Colin ... it's how I know he's with us. It's what gets me through the really bad days, along with the comfort of family & friends.

I might just sleep a little better tonight ...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Facing the future ... by myself

As I stood at the Toyota dealership today, waiting for my car, I was struck by just how much Damien always did for me, and for us as a family. He took care of the cars. And the house stuff. And so many of the little details. He repaired stuff. He would magically fix the computer just before I launched it out the window out of frustration. He gave Colin his bath so that I could have 15 minutes to myself. He let me sleep in on the weekends as he quietly got up to feed the baby. He planned out our vacations. For nearly 10 years he did this.

Now, the cars, house, computer, and repairs are mine and mine alone to figure out. Forget about sleeping in ... at least for a few more years. And Colin ... he is 100% my responsibility now. If he wakes in the middle of the night crying, I have to figure it out. Alone. It's scary sometimes. I try to tell myself that I am strong, that I can do this, that I have to do this. But I don't always believe myself. There are many nights that anxiety and depression set in. Sometime I can feel my heart pounding out of my chest. But I just keep telling myself that I am strong ... I am strong ... I am strong ... and hopefully, one day, I'll believe it. Just breathe ...

So here I am, facing the future, by myself, with my little man by my side. I'm still trying to figure out my new routine, and how to take care of everything. I don't know what the future holds, but I strive to believe that it holds good things for us. That's what Damien would want for us. It's so hard to do it without him, but forward we must go. For Colin's sake if for nothing else. Sometimes I just have to remind myself ... just breathe ...