IMG_0419Edward Lorenz coined the term “the butterfly effect” when he tried to explain chaos theory and the consequences of  small changes on an overall system.  He rationed that in chaos, it was possible that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings weeks before could set forth a chain reaction of events that eventually leads to a hurricane somewhere else on the globe.  This effect is  difficult to quantify and effectively impossible to predict.  The very nature of chaos dictates that we should not be able to witness the butterfly effect in action, however we can easily discern its result.  I always believed that Lorenz was right, until tonight…

Tonight as  my family and  I attended the First Annual ReesSpecht Life Kindness Games at Tackan Elementary school in Nesconset NY I looked at all the people present and could not get over the fact that every single one of those people was … Read More


Since the day Rees died I have been carrying a great weight on my shoulders that I hoped to one day jettison for good.  Today was the day I thought would mark that moment where I could discard this weight and move on to doing the things I want to do without having to overcome the inertia of the added mass to my life (sorry – I am a science teacher, can’t help but make a science reference!).  To say that my family and I are disappointed is an understatement – but do not mistake disappointment for despair.  While I had hoped to have this weight lifted off of my shoulders, I knew there remained a possibility that this weight would remain forever – a much less desirable outcome for sure.  Today I found out that I must carry this weight for two more months.  So be it.  I have … Read More



Life is a fickle friend that in one moment elicits  joy, and in another utter dismay.  One day you are living your ideal life, three kids, a home in the suburbs and a great job – and in the next instant it all changes.  In place of your only son is a void, the embodiment of loss itself.  Ironically,  it is almost as if that void, the loss itself,  becomes a real, tangible entity:  the  uninvited guest in your life that never gets a hint and refuses to leave.    The end result is a changed perspective, framed by a world that has only changed for you and those that knew Rees, yet persisting, unchanged,  for everyone else.

The realization that perspective is relative remains forefront in my mind, especially considering  recent events in my family’s life.  The asterisk in my life* following the loss of Rees fundamentally shifted my … Read More

Every day in the record of my life since October 27th, 2012 has an asterisk next to it.  There is not a evening  that passes where I do not think about what that day would have been like if Rees were a part of it.  I constantly find myself qualifying each day as “this is as good as it can be, considering my little boy is no longer here”.   This asterisk follows me constantly.  I can no more outrun, or hide from it anymore than one can hide from their shadow on a sunny day.  I see the asterisk in my wife’s eyes when she smiles.  I see the asterisk is my Daughters’  eyes when they act out in frustration.  The asterisk punctuates every major milestone we celebrate and accentuates the most trying of times.  I loved my life before it became my life*.

I wish removing the asterisk to … Read More