A sign.

I am delving back into the journals that were the basis for my new book, AKissB4UGo. Many pages never made it into the published book but still have lots of meaning for me. If you don’t mind, I’ll share them with you over the next few weeks.

After Patti died, I was often struck by the same thought. I would meet a new person, see a new store opening, hear of a new baby being born, or read of a major world event in the newspaper — and each time I would think, “Well, Patti will never know about that.” The world was just going on without her.

This page is an attempt to record that thought. I wrote about the various buildings that New York University is constructing across the street from our apartment. One is a new Catholic center that was just being built; they hadn’t even broken ground when Patti died but now it’s a regular part of the landscape and every day  students go in and out praying for better grades.

If you can decipher my handwriting, you’ll see this story about the NYU student center that was built next door to the Catholic Center a decade or so ago. At the time, Patti became friends with the construction crew and convinced the foreman to spray paint a message across one of the structural I-beams at the same height as our kitchen window. One day I looked out the window and noticed the words, six feet high and in bright fluorescent orange: “Patti loves Danny.”

Eventually they plastered over the message and finished constructing the building but I know that those letters are still on that I-beam, to be found by some future civilization who will discover that we loved each other.

This story’s a little complicated, and I never was in love with my drawing of the buildings, so this page like many others did not end up in the final book.

29 thoughts on “A sign.

    • Your book arrived yesterday, I sat down and read it immediately and then I read it again before getting up from my comfortable chair. I am still searching for the words to express your very powerful gift of love.

  1. Hi Danny,

    (: Your frequent explanations of your experience with Patty’s passing are wonderful. they bring a warmth to me that one can only get from someone who has experienced the same. My mom transitioned over 6 years ago. Of course devastation took over for a while, I was lost, but I know how, and feel more than ever that she is with me where ever I go, (as cliche as that sounds). I’ll be looking for your book here in Montreal. Thanks for sharing something so personal xo (P.S I wonder, did you manage to take a pic of the spray painting they did for Patty?)

    Tanith Bobo Lambi

  2. Thank you for sharing this story. It reveals a great deal about Patti, and her love for you. And vice-versa. It strengthens my intention to seize the day today — to be myself, live fearlessly, and let love shine. As Patti did and you do.

  3. What a fun story and a delightful picture of what must have been Patti’s mischievous and passionate side! It may become one of those family legends that gets shared with friends, grandchildren…and helps you to share a part of her with them.

  4. Oh this should have been in the book. what a lovely story and what a lovely Romantic she was. I am so glad you are sharing this with us now. I cant wait for my book to get here this week. I do know the feeling of life going on without some one. When my Parents died I kept wanting to go share something new going on with them but they weren’t there to share it. It just didn’t seem like life should be going on but it does and is..18 years for one and 9 years for the other and I have come to terms with it, but every once in a while that urge still hits me.

  5. I love this story. I just received my book yesterday, and plan to spend today – a grey and rainy winter day – inside with a cup of tea and your wonderful illustrations and narratives. Thank you for sharing this part of your life and your beautiful tribute to your beloved.

  6. I know you could not put it all between the covers of one book, but this is such a lovely story! For one brief time, before it was plastered over, this sign stood for all the world (that part of the world that could see at that level)….to see! But just like it is buried in plaster now, it can be found you your heart, too! Thanks for sharing this lovely happening!

  7. Received my book yesterday and read it before bedtime. There are no words to say how it has affected me, but I am eternally grateful to you for sharing your story, and Patti’s, with us. I know I will be reading this one multiple times.

  8. What a lovely and meaningful gesture for her to have that message painted on the beam. I love it! Makes me smile thinking about it. I’m sure you are remembering the simple and pure things…perhaps the things that don’t cost money… as being very important tributes to Patti. I can hear this theme coming through in your writings and paintings. Can’t wait to read the book. My best to you.

  9. If I’m tearing up this much about one page that didn’t even make it into the book I am going to be a pond of water when the book finally arrives in my hands. What a sweet and clever woman she was to make that love letter happen! How wonderful for you to know it’s ‘still there’… in so many ways…still there!

  10. ….”to be found by some future civilization who will discover that we loved each other”…I had similar thoughts myself…not remember what the situation was…

    You are so good in writing, as I said it before, as good as in drawing…after reading your posts I often wander if you are so good because of your political background, your advertising (field) you work in, because of your genes(is in the family too) or just it happily happened to you…?

    You let your readers at the end always wanting for more.

    So glad I find you, you are such an inspiration!!

    Nikita

    • You know Danny, last year I lost my mom and my best friend, and I don’t think that a day has gone by since without me thinking about some novelty (new store opening, old store closing, baby being born, Obama being elected, whatever…) and how they will never know. As you say, we pass but the world sure goes on.
      Thanks for all your words and drawings, and thanks for being there!

  11. My copy of your book arrived today. So it’s time for me to brew a pot of tea and curl up with your heart warming life story. You’re amazing and inspirational. Thanks for sharing your love story with us.

  12. An amazing, touching story. Left unsaid is that Patti’s personality must have been quite unique not only to befriend a construction crew but to convince them to spray paint the message. The knowledge that those words remain buried underneath the wall is powerful.

  13. I love this story, too, Danny – her message there archived for you for all time. I received my copy yesterday from Amazon and proceeded to avoid everyone for two hours and sit down and read it cover to cover. You know me, I love illustrated journaling, and I was amazed how your story unfolded with the images and your hand writing adding so much to the personal story. What an amazing accomplishment – creating something so lovely from such a tragedy. You are a beam of sunlight for humanity – I know that sounds over-the-top, but you really found a way to dig deep into your heart and show us all the human story of grief. I so appreciate your presence in my life, Danny. You really show over and over how everyday does matter. Thank you for your ongoing inspiration for me and loads of other journalers the world over.

  14. Hi Danny, I am looking forward to receive my book, already ordered… but I live in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and it will take some weeks to arrive… Another beautiful love story you’ve shared with us in this post. I hope you find a love mate again — of course, it will be totally different — but love is always worth it.

  15. Danny, I was orphaned and adopted 72 years ago. I am an ardent and unapologetic sketcher as you are. My father died in 1990 at the age of 90, but I still tell people that my father is such-and-such years old. He is 112, now, and not a day goes by that I do not think of him because he is in my heart. I will order your book.

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