Saturday, December 4, 2010


Days and months after Marcus' accident a few of his friends had tattoos done in his memory.  A huge back piece of a dragon, was just among the few.  Brandon was only 16 when he had his tattoo done, with his mother's consent of course.  It was done by his cousin, who happens to be a tattoo artist.  Three of his closest buds from Dallas Academy, Josh H., Bobby C. and Josh T. and a childhood friend Tony K., all got the same exact design.  It is of a dragon with the inscription R.I.P. MPAM 2-22-09.  Josh T. had his done on his right forearm.  Tony K. had his done on his right lower leg.  Josh H. had his done on his left pectoral muscle.  Bobby C. had his done on his right bicep.  Yet another friend from DA, Libby A. had her tattoo done of a piece of clothing Marcus was rarely seen without it on.  His almost signature white Hurley baseball cap.

Brandon's back tattoo.  The dedication says "Those who I've lost are never forgotten."  He got this months after Marcus' accident.  It is dedicated to Brandon's Grandmother and Marcus.  The dragon was inspired by Marcus' fascination with dragons.

Two of Marcus' closest friends from Dallas Academy.  On the left is Josh H.  He had his done the week of Marcus' accident.  On the right is Bobby C.  He had his done months after the accident.

Libby A.'s tattoo is of Marcus' trademark hat.  A white Hurley hat.

Rest in Peace, Marcus Patrick Allan Manny.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another Thanks Giving

This past Thanks Giving was the second Thanks Giving since our son Marcus passed.  Last year we had to leave.  We ended up in Lake Tahoe, California.

Brandon, Trish and Alex with Heavenly Resort behind them.

This year we wanted to do the same.  We just wanted to leave and not be a burden on our families.  We love seeing them, but it is hard to be cheery when all you can think of is you are missing a son.  We intended to be out of town, but just ended up staying at home.  No energy left in the tank.  We miss Marcus around this time of the year, because it is usually the time he is home.  Below are just a few pictures from these breaks from the past.

Marcus and Alex during Thanks Giving Break 2007.

Marcus, Audrey and Alex Thanks Giving 2005

The ever powerful, paralyzing and unpredictable powers of grief can stop you in your tracks!  One day you think all is fine and the next you're just a bowl of goo.  One day you are looking forward to a much needed break and the next day, you are waking up getting ready for work and trying to make sense of it all.

I still do not get it when people tell me on an almost daily basis that, "Everything will soon 'normalize', the hurt will still be there, but it will be somewaht manageable." 
How?  When?
I will never forget my son.  Patricia will never accept the loss of her first born.  Alex will never adjust to not having his confidante and protector.
I know people mean well.  They are trying to help us all.  Trying to ease our pain.
I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.
I just miss my son... ALL THE TIME!

Alex on rocks atop the hill behind our condo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Christopher!

Today is my brother Christopher's birthday.  He is 27 today.  When Trish and I started getting real close, so did Marcus and Christopher.  All through the year they remained close.  Although they did not spend as much time as they did when they were young, they cared, competed with and pestered each other when they got the chance.  Here are a few pictures of the two as they were growing up.

Marcus at eight years old and Beeper at ten.

Beeper, Alex and Marcus in front of my Mom-in-Law's house.

Beeper, Marcus and Evan, Halloween 1996

Beeper and Marcus at the Ballpark in Arlington during the All Stars Weekend, watching  the "Old Timers' Game".

Happy Brithday Beeper!  We love you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Texas Rangers are going to the World Series!!!

Marcus' best sport was baseball.  He loved playing the sport and he loved going to Arlington to watch the Rangers play.  The picture to the left was at the Old Arlington Stadium, before the Ball Park in Arlington was built.  When we went to the games he always wanted us to buy him the pennant of the visiting team. He wanted to see every single American League team play.  By the time he was a teen, we have collected all of the American League teams.  Then Major League Baseball started, inter-league play and we did not go enough to collect all of the National League team's pennants.

Last night the Rangers clinched the American League championship by beating the New York Yankees in Arlington.  My wife and I enjoyed the victory but there definitely was something missing.  Marcus did not like watching sports on t.v. during the regular seasons but he loved watching the playoffs.  I cannot help but long for him while the celebration was going on.  After texting our son Alex of the game's results, I almost wishful thinikingly texted Marcus' old cell number.  I thought better of it.  I am sure the number is now assigned to someone else.  You will have to shoot me to get me to erase it from my cell phone.

I am theological idiot, but I have a feeling baseball is not a big thing in heaven.  I doubt they even pay attention to it up there.  I do know that I miss my son and I wish i can share this moment with him.
So many games we watched in person and on TV.  Sure we have seen more wins than losses, but this win, was the biggest one for the franchise.  Somehow it is not as sweet as it should be.

The five pictures above are from 1999, my employer then had the Brooks Robinson luxury box at the Ballpark.  If you notice Alex's left foot it is bandaged, because the day before he accidentally stepped on a piece of broken glass in fountatin.  He had to get stitches but yet we still went to the game that day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Marcus!

the pic above is Patricia singing to Marcus on his birthday, Alex was two weeks old

Our son would have been 25 today.  This is the second bithday since his passing.  No day has been easy since his accident but family birthdays and holidays have been especially torturous.  We all miss him so much! 

His Facebook page is filling up of friends and family greeting him a Happy Birthday.  Some wishing he was still here.  Others acknowledging that he is watching over us and that he is in a better place.

this pic is of Marcus' 6th birthday, the first birthday I celebrated with him as his Dad

 Alex's reaction says it all - they love Jim Carey, that is my bother Chris to Marcus' right

apparently Alex cannot believe Koya got a Magic 8 Ball!

cake time

lil bro helping Koya blow out the candles

a year later, look how is fixated on the Zippo's flame

Happy Brthday Marcus, we love you and miss you so much.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roadside Memorial

Moments after Marcus' accident, after the first Oklahoma trooper got to him, a resident of the area Barbara who happened to be a nurse stopped to render assistance.  She was actually the person that crawled into our son's car, after the trooper busted the passenger side window, to check on Marcus' condition.  She was the first person to realize that Marcus was no longer with us.  She is my hero.  She was our son's angel that night and she still is.  Before Easter last year, about a month and a half after Marcus' accident, she left flowers a cross and and angel at the crash site. 

Evey chance she gets she leaves flowers at the site, just to remind everyone that passes exit 214 in Tonkawa, OK that a young man that is well loved by family and friends left our world in this spot.

Thank you Barbara for all you have done for our son. 

exit 214 sign in the background...

Prayer Garden Pictures

First thing you see as you walk into the Garden area.

then this...

Once the trees have matured and the bushes and folliage get thicker the Garden should look complete.
Our youngest Alex gravitated towards this bench when we visited, here he is joined by his mother, my wife Patricia.

This is the Bible verse by the bench above.

We will be making future trips to Tabor to see this place often...

At night this is illuminated...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dedication of Prayer Garden

Last Saturday September 25, 2010, Tabor College held a dedication ceremony for Marcus' Memorial Garden.  Patricia, Alex, Johnny (one of Marcus' high school friends), my mother-in-law Verda and Beaulah (one of her childhood friends) piled into a rental van and made the emotionally draining drive back to Hillsboro, Kansas to attend the dedication.  I was a bit disappointed once again, just like Graduation last year, because not more family or friends were able to join us.  I do understand though that life goes on.  Many commitments must be fulfilled.  Jobs, kids activities, birthdays, sports games all are very important.  Although not with us physically, I know the same people that reluctantly, maybe even embarassingly declined the invitation to joins us, where with us in spirit.

Once at Tabor we saw faces we haven't seen in a long time.  Faces that I now consider as lifelong friends because I will forever be thankful for their efforts to uplift our spirits.  I will be forever in debt for the way they now honor our Marcus and how they cared for him him when he was in Hillsboro.  These faces were just names from the many stories Marcus told us in the past.  These faces are now faces I miss deeply when I do not see them for a while.  Faces I will forever care for.

The next day we did get a chance to catch up with two of the young ladies that played a great part in Marcus' Tabor life.  They joined us for breakfast to greet Alex a belated Hapy Birthday.  Katie and Jessica are now seniors at Tabor and will soon be leaving the school behind.  Soon they will be faces that will spread farther away from us and we will miss them terribly.