Watching the 2002 Winter Olympics from Sydney (where is was definitely not winter)

Jennifer and I really enjoyed watching the Olympics together. We were happy when the format changed to alternating winter and summer Olympics because this meant we didn’t have to wait four years in between. It wasn’t so much the sports themselves, though we did love watching Micheal Phelps leave the world in his wake and Misty May and Kerri Walsh dominate the sand year after year. But in addition to witnessing all of these people at peak performance, it is the spirit and over all feeling of the Olympics that we looked forward to and enjoyed. The bringing together of people from all over the world to cheer together, to feel compassion together, to hope together, to expect and witness the best we can be together. It’s like getting a glimpse of what peace might be like.

On Jennifer’s birthday in 2012 I mentioned that she had fallen in love Paris and had begun to plan a trip that she ended up unable to take. I also mentioned a print of “St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris”. This past June, Little J and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation on the south western coast of France. On our way home, we took that trip to Paris. (How could we not?)

Beach Bum - Roses, Spain

Paris, 2016

As it turned out, the actual painting of St. Genevieve was just a few blocks way from where we stayed, painted on the wall of the Pantheon. Little J recognized it right away as the painting from our living room and asked who she was.

St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris

I explained how when attackers were coming to destroy Paris, Genevieve led the fearful citizens in a prayer vigil that managed to turn the attackers away and saved the city. That through her instruction and example she led people to be more virtuous.

Last night as I was tucking Little J in for the night he said, “Dad, when I pray for things they come true. Like, I prayed not to have nightmares last night and I didn’t. And my first night of Boy Scout camp I prayed to be able to fall asleep and I did. I just pray and ask mom to watch over me, and she does.”

I thought of all of this last night as I sat up watching Kerri Walsh Jennings handily moving toward her 4th Gold Medal wearing her genuine smile and insisting on thanking and shaking hands with everybody on court. Thought of what James had just said, thought of Paris and of Genevieve. I could feel Jennifer’s big smile. I thought of how blissfully thin the veil between heaven and earth can be.

Happy Birthday Jennifer. I love you. You are with us always.

Jennifer found this dress at BCBG in Vancouver that Spring. After the Olympics we saw Misty May Treanor in a magazine wearing the same dress : )


Jennifer's 35 Birthday Party, 2004


On Sale

Happy Thursday to you!

I wanted to post a quick note to let you know that Four Seeds is now available in hardcover and softcover at both

Barnes and Noble

and Amazon

The book is currently on sale at B&N, but Amazon let’s you have a look inside. If you are moved to, please leave a comment, review, or your thoughts about Jennifer’s writing or Four Seeds on Amazon. You don’t have to have purchased the book from Amazon to do so.

Thank you, and enjoy!


Happy Valentine’s Day! Some of you might remember that February 14, 1999 was a special and pivotal day for Jennifer and me. Today, 15 years later, I am excited to share some news that I hope will spread Love…and Inspiration, Renewal, and Beauty. Four Seeds, is now available in book form!

After she had been blogging on Four Seeds for a little over a year, Jennifer began to muse that one day if she had built up enough material, she might be able to work Four Seeds into something that could be published as a book. At the urging of some faithful readers and with a lot of help from Carolyn, Mari, and Leigh, I have been working with Rowe Publishing to do just that. The book is a beautiful tribute to Jennifer and is already an incredible keepsake for Little J (who is not so little anymore). As we were cutting and gluing his Valentines last night, he took breaks to flip through the book, looking at pictures and saying “oh I remember that” and “oh that was so fun when we did that…”

The book can currently be ordered via the Rowe Publishing website and is available in hardcover or paperback. I encourage you to ask your local bookstore for it and in a few weeks in will also be available on Amazon.

I hope that you will help spread the word but most of all, I hope you enjoy.

With love and gratitude,



I can't beleive he is 8!!

We just celebrated Little J’s birthday which means that next weekend must be the Relay for Life in Sugartown.

The first time our family went to Relay we didn’t really know too much about what it was. Our neighbor Heather’s boys were participating with their church’s team. We heard that the boys had made luminaries for Jenn, that there would be a silent “Luminaries lap” after dark when the luminaries were lit, and that they hoped Jenn could come walk around the track and hang out a bit. We drove, eager and full of hope, out to the event, but Jenn was in the thick of treatment at the time. Try as she might, she was not well enough to get out of the car.

The next time our family went though…not only did Jenn participate, she captained the team and Little J led the Luminaries lap. We had all been walking and visiting all day and then we were asked if Little J would do the honor of leading the procession. I remember getting 3/4 of the way around the track and looking back to see the track filled with the people from our community stretching all the way back to the beginning, lit by the luminaries lining the track each with somebody’s name on it. It was silent except for quiet foot steps and occasional sniffles and out front leading the way was an exhausted Little J holding his torch high. Marching on. The whole twenty-four hours was an amazing and moving experience.

Last year’s Relay was hard. It was an amazing experience that would have made Jennifer so proud. We had so many people that wanted to be on Team Sugartown that we ended up with multiple Sugartown teams. Heather and Kandi took the reins as captain. Little J logged an impressive one hundred laps (which does not account for all of time he spent running around with friends and climbing the surrounding hills). He was so upset with me when I made him lay down in the tent at 2 AM. He insisted that he was still good to go right up until he fell asleep. But he was back on the track when he woke at 7:00.

This year, in true Sugartown fashion, friends, family, and neighbors are getting together to walk again and keep up the fight against cancer. For twenty-four hours we will walk in loving memory, in celebration, in defiance, but most importantly in hope.

Our team’s theme this year is Four Seeds: Love, Beauty, Renewal, and Inspiration. Love is represented by all of us coming together from as far away as LA to the south and Portland to the north. Beauty will be the plants and flowers that we will have around our camp (and will raffle off to raise extra donations). For renewal, we will be handing out packets of flower seeds. The same as were handed out at Jennifer’s memorial. And Inspiration is the kids.

Leigh’s kids had the idea to bring their ping pong table and raise more donations by charging to be in a tournament. The Thompsonettes decorated a bunch of luminarias with Debbie and their Grandma. Little J asked me so sincerely if he could PLEASE stay up all night this year so that he could walk the whole time with me. By the way, he is on the leader board for the event in the top ten highest individual fundraisers. The kid has moxy, and seems boundless.

The ingenuity and dedication of these kids is inspiring, but kids represent inspiration in another way. Remember when polio was a huge issue? Or when people would die of measles or the mumps? Or when getting a fever was basically a death sentence? No, I don’t remember that either. That’s because through research scientists eventually found ways to vaccinate against and treat these once epidemic diseases and conditions. We’re in the second decade of the twenty-first century. It’s time to make cancer the smallpox or measles of the next generation. This is a large part of why we all walk. Remembrance and celebration for sure! But also, raising awareness of the cause, and maybe most importantly, raising money that will go toward helping people who are currently dealing with cancer and money that will go toward finding a way to stop it.

I’ll post some pictures after the event. In the meantime, if you’re moved to, you can support the cause (and Little J’s fundraising efforts) by making a donation here:

Your donation of any size will be a great tribute to the memory of Jennifer and to anybody else you might know that has been taken by cancer or who are currently fighting, and it will be great support for all of the people that go to work everyday to stop this ridiculous disease.

Thank you!


I hope this finds you well and that this season has been bright for you. Little J has been diligently indulging in all of the holiday to-dos and little details: helping put the lights on the house, picking the best tree, making a gingerbread house, singing carols, wearing his elf hat… Each morning I wake to the sound of him getting out of bed, turning on the tree lights, changing the countdown-to-Xmas calendar, getting the day’s pieces out of the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar, letting the dog out and the cat in, and then crawling in bed with me to build the Legos and let me know how many days there are left until Christmas. We are well.

I wasn’t sure what to expect this season, this year. This time of year can feel bleak and dreary in a good year. But to see Little J going about his holiday chores and looking so forward to the family coming over, to singing at the retirement home, and to Christmas morning… there is so much hope. There is light.


Back in June, I wrote that although I would leave this site up, I wouldn’t continue to post on Four Seeds because this blog was really all Jennifer. However, there is a story I wanted to share with you.

My colleague Amy came into my office the other day with something she had to tell me. She closed the door and sat down. Amy explained that over the weekend she had gone to see an author speak about her book on death as a natural part of life. This author was also a medium, and as Amy waited in line to meet and say thank you to the author, she noticed that the author was doing quick readings for people. When it was her turn, Amy shook the author’s hand and introduced herself. The author looked at Amy and said:

“Oh, Amy, I see a woman who is young but sick. Skinny with really short hair, she is very sick. Actually, now the woman is beautiful. Her hair is still short-ish and very cute. She has a huge smile and is almost glowing. She is so beautiful. And she is clutching a little boy. She is pointing to the sick woman. She is trying to pass on a message. She wants the little boy to know that she is not sick anymore. That she is beautiful and happy and not sick. She really wants the boy to know this.”

Amy told me all of this a bit nervous about what I would think, but at the end confidently said, “so I am passing this message on to you so you can pass it on to Little J.”

I’m not sure how you feel about mediums (I’m not sure how I feel about them), but this story brought me a lot of peace. I am so glad that Amy shared it with me. I’m sharing it with you because I believe that Jennifer’s message, though directed first toward Little J, is for all of us.

Little J and I did talk about Mom not being sick anymore, and we’ve been looking at pictures of Jennifer pretty much every evening since. We talk about how beautiful she is, her great smile, her laugh, all the fun things we did together, and the silly things she used to say.

Wishing you Peace, Hope and Light, this season and through the New Year.




Ste. Genevieve-veillant-sur-Paris

I have had a few thoughts that I’ve wanted to share, and since today is Jennifer’s birthday, it seems like a good day to do so. Four Seeds is all Jenn, so I do not intend to continue to post here. However, because many people have asked, I do want to let everybody know that I plan to keep the site up so that you can continue to visit and, if moved to, make comments.

Some of you know that earlier this year Jennifer fell in love with Paris. It had always been a source of romance and allure but somehow, in all of her travels, she had never visited the City. After reading a particular book set in Paris, she began planning a trip. She sought more stories set in Paris, looked for movies set in Paris, asked people to forward her photos of Paris. It was settled, we were going…

A week or so after the memorial, I saw a print in my favorite Sugartown antique shop. Something about it kept drawing my attention. I finally picked it up and flipped it over: “St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris” (by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes). Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris. Among other things, as the Huns approached and prepared to attack Paris in 451, Genevieve led the fearful citizens in a prayer marathon that managed to divert the Huns and save the City. It was said that through her instruction and example, she led people to a high degree of sanctity. The print now hangs in our living room.

Everyone reading this has their own unique and personal relationship with Jennifer. However, there is a common theme from people I have spoken with and heard from which is that Jennifer met people and every opportunity assuming the highest potential. As a result you wanted to live to your highest potential. To Jennifer, it didn’t matter where you were from and what you had done. Where you are, what you do in the present, and where you are going, these are most important.

Along with our individual experiences and thoughts of Jennifer, this is what we can all carry forward together. As we do, and as we pay it forward, we will help Jennifer’s spirit live on. We will help Jennifer’s spirit continue to grow.

Happy Birthday, Jennifer. I miss you. I love you. -Dennis

Thank you all so much for all of the loving support and well wishes. As I mentioned the other day, the memorial for Jennifer will be on Monday, June 11.

This celebration of her life will be held at 3 p.m. at Unity In Marin, 600 Palm Drive, Novato. A reception will immediately follow in the courtyard.

For those who may wish to make a contribution in memory of Jennifer, a scholarship fund has been established for her Little J at Patelco Credit Union, c/o James Cooper, 140 Vintage Way #G9, Novato, CA 94945; account number 914824.

Thank you all so much.


It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that Jennifer passed away today, June 6.

On Sunday, May 20, Jennifer entered the hospital with an intestinal perforation, ensuing infection, and acute peritonitis. Surgery was not an immediate option because of the Avastin she had been taking to treat her cancer as well as an unknown amount of active tumors surrounding her intestine. The plan was to manage her pain and treat the infection with antibiotics until enough time had passed after her last Avastin treatment that surgery had a chance of being successful. Jennifer remained relatively stable until Sunday, May 27 when a CT scan showed multiple new abscesses in her intestine and increasing amounts of fluid leaking into her abdomen. At this point the very best option for Jennifer was to make her as comfortable as possible until she made her transition.

This past week and a half Jennifer has not felt any pain and she will never feel pain, fear, or worry again. She was surrounded by family and loved ones around the clock, and the wonderful nursing staff did an incredible job of honoring her grace and making this as dignified a process as possible.

Until this past weekend, there were a number of times when Jennifer was awake and alert. During one of these cherished final conversations she said, “People think I am unlucky, but I am not. “
She whispered to me, “I am ready to go.”
And at one point she suddenly woke up, smiled a huge smile and simply said, “Wow… wow…wow…”

Jennifer loved writing this blog and she loved to hear from everybody from all parts of the world. Thank you to all of you for your support of Jennifer and for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and interest in following her story. If you are moved to, could you please send one last note and perhaps include the town or country where you are from. I will collect these for Little J to have when he is older.

I will post once more when we have the details for the memorial service which will be in Novato (Sugartown) on Monday, June 11. Until then, I will leave this with a quote from Little J the morning after I told him mom was going to die. I think Jennifer would want us all to carry this with us.

“Dad, I do not need to be sad about this. Her spirit will always be with me.”



I’m at home now. The stent was place perfectly. Best outcome ever.

Now I have about four weeks to wash the Avastin out of my system before I can have surgery to remove the part of the intestine that’s bad. Hopefully they can just cut out the bad part and sew it all up.

For now, I’m blissed out on simply being home and having my family around me.



Little J stopped by the hospital this morning with a pink potted geranium and a happy mood.

I gave him so many hugs and kisses to last him until I will see him in just over a day, at the soonest.

He left me with gorgeous grins and laughter to take with me under the anesthesia in about forty minutes.





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