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Changing minds and memories

The days keep going by. I don’t get it. It’s been 4 weeks since she left us. Left me. How hasn’t the world stopped yet?

Italy was just what I thought it would be: a distraction. A beautiful, amazing one that she would have loved. I slept in, got some sun, and ate delicious food. Again, she would have loooooved it. She and I are always so easy when we travel. All we wanna do is sleep and eat and chat and be lazy together, really. Some might say we don’t take full advantage of the places we’ve been, but…that’s just who we are. I mean, when you see beauty in everywhere you are, then Japan or Germany or Italy and Fort Wayne, Indiana aren’t so different. That’s us. We could go to Walmart and find the same amount of inspiration as France. That might be a tad exaggeration, but you get my drift. Denise and I see the big things and the small things the same, of all equal importance, and that’s that.

It’s been 2 months since she left for Bali. 2 months since we spent everyday together. Did you know I left Matilda Jane to work with her? So all of 2015, up until May 22nd, was spent with her. Each day, we’d text about the gym or snoozing a little longer. We’d figure out what we’d eat for the day together. We’d be in her car all the time, running errands, buying furniture for her house, picking up the kids from school. And on the very best occasion we’d be designing some dynamic duds for The Good Ones. These activities were all part of my new ‘job’.  I’m so thankful I’ve had this year with her. We’ve had 7 years, but this year…it was just different. She was different.

I watched her change so many times over the years. When she welcomed me to design with her in 2010, I saw her change and share her creative role for the first time…ever. When we decided to get partners and go through the sale of MJC in 2012, I saw her change, suddenly willing to get help in order to “make the love of Matilda Jane explode”. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, I saw her change as the priorities in her life shifted from working 24/7 to spending every ounce of her time with those she loved. When she was told she was in remission on November 25th 2013, I saw her change and become even more gracious and giving, especially of her time and of her talent. When she quit MJC in 2014, I saw her wandering, looking for the next step, the next challenge, the next change.

And in 2015, I saw just her. Denise being Denise. No need to always be doing, or always be going, she just got to be herself, without having the world depend on her. Yes, she was bored. Yes, WE got bored. But that was nice. Being boring and talking and reminiscing. And then the painting began. Oh man, we probably spent 50+ hours in May just painting canvases and watching movies. Of course she’s a better artist than me, but it’s funny, this new Denise encouraged me so much more than she picked on me. I felt like I was giving her the perfect opportunity to poke fun, but she never did. It was one of the biggest changes to me because she never gave up an opportunity to get a rise out of me. But it’s like she didn’t even want to waste time on it anymore. She just wanted to be sweet and loving and share one of her favorite things with me (painting) and that was all that mattered.

When I saw her that last Saturday with Kayla, I was in an extra goofy mood. Just seeing her made me giddy and I was making such terrible jokes (she loves bad, sometimes inappropriate humor–ha, so do I!) and she laughed and smiled and just looked at me. That look that always makes you feel special, that she not only likes you, but she loves you too. It was pretty perfect. I also loved that I went with Kayla. Kayla and I have the weirdest history, but the past 3 years have been this crazy blossoming friendship that I don’t know what I’d do without. It just makes sense that we’d be together, in this last moment with her. Denise was so proud of Kayla and I becoming so close. You could tell it just made her heart happy. And on that Saturday I knew it was giving her a smile to see us once again together.

We spent 2 hours there. 2 wonderful hours with our wonderful friend. Then we left and I cried the moment I stepped out of the hospital, unable to breathe.

I waited to be the last one to hug her when we left. I leaned over her bed and hugged her tight, she kissed me on the cheek and said “I love you, love bug.” I didn’t know it then, but those were the last words she would ever say to me.

Soon I’ll be writing about TGO. But for now, I’m thankful The Good Ones have allowed me to use this blog as a diary of sorts. Probably a little too intimate, and probably a little too transparent for most clothing companies, but…that’s what Denise liked best. To keep it real. To be herself first. To be open and honest and to never pretend. And she knows I was never good at pretending.




July 22, 2015 - 9:02 am

Shannan - Awww, Sam. Thank you for sharing her with us. We all miss her in our own ways, and I just can’t seem to get my head around the fact that she is gone. She is someone I looked up to like so many others. I want to be able to make a difference like she did, but I know I can only do a billionth of what she did. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Reading your thoughts here is important; it’s what has drawn so many of us to MJC and TGO. You are all more than clothing companies to us, you ARE family. xoxo

July 22, 2015 - 9:15 am

Shari - Thanks again for sharing Sam! I appreciate so much! LoVE

July 22, 2015 - 9:17 am

Megan@TrueDaughterofMary - Wow – so very sorry for your loss, but glad you are able to share in this way. Many blessings -

July 22, 2015 - 9:27 am

Dana Summerville - I love ur transparency..ur sharing of real life experience. I cry with you..feel the hurt and happy and relate with similar experience with lost loved ones..Life is precious and I’m glad you show how much you embrace it! Enjoy the simple things…

July 22, 2015 - 9:29 am

Holly v - Beautiful minds…you and Denise definitely had that in common

July 22, 2015 - 10:06 am

Brittney Bell - In tears, reading this. I’m so sorry for all the hurt you are feeling. Losing someone who means the world feels impossible to recover from. Thank you for letting us all in to feel a little closer – hopefully it brings you a small amount of peace. I hope that every day a tiny smile or laugh will help mend your heart. it will take many of those, but I believe that Denise would be so proud of you for how you are working through this. I’m so glad your last memory of her was so good. I lost my grandmother a month before Denise passed and it is the first time someone so important to me has been lost. I know it’s not of any comparison but I find myself stuck in memories and thoughts that make me smile one minute and lose it the next. Thank you for letting us see a side of Denise that you knew – and miss so dearly :( Love to you, Sam!

July 22, 2015 - 10:33 am

Stephanie - Love it Sam! Thanks for sharing such beautiful insight into Denise and also you. Glad you had a wonderful trip!

July 22, 2015 - 11:09 am

HollyByGolly - Sam, this must be so devistating for you. It is like you have lost your right arm… And your right leg too… Just keep smiling as you remember all of the wonderful things you both shared together. Cry it out too. I am so glad you got to enjoy a little rest in Italy. Peace to you, David, Joe and Gabe. I hope Denise is stopping in to keep us company, to watch over us all. Inspiring us all to be good to those around us.

July 22, 2015 - 11:19 am

Nicole Martens - Sending love and light to you. Love all your paintings and I know that these memories will amazing to have and cherish. Thank you for putting it all out in the open. MJC is more then just clothes on a rack its friendship on fabric and whole lot more. Your words bring both tears and smiles, keep smiling even when it hurts.

July 22, 2015 - 4:56 pm

Annmarie Walker - The tears are flowing Sam! Thank you for your transparency–

July 22, 2015 - 11:35 pm

Nicole Bowen - Ouch. Praying for time to heal.

July 25, 2015 - 8:52 am

Bridgette Lott - <3 u Sam

April 20, 2016 - 2:51 pm

Lillie - I have had Denise on my mind so strong over the past weeks. She’s kinda like the winds, blows into my memory so strong, but never leaves. I’m sitting here crying because I cherish the long emails we shared at 2:00 am. We talked about furniture and how she loved her customers. I sent her a picture of a piece I had seen, a baby’s high chair & it was beautiful. Thanks Sam for sharing this. Hugs to you. Love ya!


One day at a time they say. You won’t be sad forever they say…

I know they’re right. I’m sure of it. But…easier said than done.

The days feel longer than ever. I swear 3 weeks ago my days were zooming before my eyes and now I feel like Spiderman in that scene in the first movie. Toby Macguire is in the cafeteria about to fight with that bully and everything turns to slow motion. He’s still moving but everything else has basically stopped.

I should be taking advantage of this. I should be soaking up the little things I preached about just days ago.. Instead I find myself going through a carousel of emotions every few hours: deep sadness, confusion, anger, confusion, distraction, deep sadness, the terrible realization that everything is real, confusion, anger, distraction, etc…

Denise was the most distracted person I know. And I loved it about her. I even knew when she wasn’t listening to a word I said. It made me smile every time. I don’t know anyone else that can do that. Maybe it’s because I knew whatever she was thinking about was worth it. She didn’t waste her time on useless things. Or maybe it’s because when she did pay attention, when she was fully there, it’s like you’re the only one in the room; the only one on the planet.

So I think she’d be okay with me finding distractions. Sometimes it’s zoning out while watching the 3rd season of House of Cards, or designing girls clothes even though I know I can’t design girls clothes right now. But every time I find that I haven’t thought about her in the last half hour it makes me sick. I hate it. I hate that I’m so deeply sad, but I hate the idea of being distracted, or god forbid happy, without her even more.

Starting tomorrow I’m going on a trip that will probably give me a little distraction, whether I like it or not. Kayla from Matilda Jane, Mark the husband, and myself are going to Italy. Denise and I decided in April that we were going to Italy this summer. And we were going to bring some of our favorite people ever with us. When Denise found out she was sick again, we all decided to postpone this trip. I mean, what would this adventure be without our fearless captain?

To be honest, when Denise passed I kinda forgot about the trip. I had already decided not to go weeks before so it was off my radar completely. But then Mark and I decided to get married 5 days after she let us on Tuesday, June 23rd. This day, June 28th, has been a special day to me for  the past several years and a special day to David and Denise separately their whole lives, but together? Together they decided to make this the most special day of their lives by getting married. And on Thursday the 25th, I told Mark I wanted to be apart of that day. I wanted to share our wedding day with Denise and David. Mark, that beautiful sweet boy of mine, agreed without hesitation.

I was worried about asking David. It’s always been their day. Not only is June 28th their anniversary but they were both born on this day too! How would he feel about me wanting to share this day with them? Well, I was wrong for worrying, like usual. He said that he thought Denise would think it was cool, crazy, but cool. That’s when I knew it was fate. Denise KNOWS I’m crazy, and I know SHE’S crazy. Crazy was always a good thing when it came to us.

Again I’m veering from my point. The day after our wedding, June 29th, Kayla texted me and said she had a dream about going on the trip still. Dang, I hadn’t even thought about it. But Kayla, she’s very intuitive and she never forgets anything. She’s thoughtful to a fault sometimes and hearing this from her made me rethink the whole thing. This was the last trip Denise ever planned for us. We had to go. We had to see what she wanted us all to see. Kayla said it best when she said, “I feel like we are supposed to be there.”

So…Tomorrow we fly. And I’ll battle the many lines between distraction, guilt, sadness, anger, and hopefully some happiness too. Actually, I promise to find happiness there. Denise would kick my butt if I didn’t.





July 10, 2015 - 6:32 pm

Mama Hope - You owe her happy. The end.

July 10, 2015 - 6:38 pm

Judy - Sam – I have too much experience with grief to count – it’s not day by day – it’s more like minute by minute – then hour by hour then day by day and I promise with all my heart someday – not soon but someday you will be able to look back and smile because it all happened instead of weeping because it’s over – keep your head up and remember these words someone once shared with me – grief is the debt owed for love – Denise loved you so purely and intensely that your grief is payment owed for her love – at least it helps justify the hurt – enjoy Italy – I promise she is with you!

July 10, 2015 - 8:41 pm

Alise - Sam~ You are so sweet~ you and your new husband and Kayla deserve an amazing trip~ thinking of you guys all the time! Hugs!!!Also my best friend is in Italy right now!!! Have a great trip!!!

July 10, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Rya - I love you Sam. I love that you can pour your emotions out in writing without holding back. I wish I was more like you. Go find what Denise wanted you to all experience in Italy. She will be there in spirit with ya girls.

July 10, 2015 - 10:11 pm

Jonelle Garofoli - What. A beautiful passage a tribute. I hope you have an amazing trip! Prayers to you and safe travels. Do you have an address I can send you a guardian angel pin while traveling?

July 11, 2015 - 12:29 pm

Carli - What Mama Hope said. Safe travels and we’ll want lots of pics <3

July 11, 2015 - 5:51 pm

Jamie - Sam- you deserve all the happinessin the world.. Enjoy your time away with Mark and Kayla! Denise will be there too. You will feel her presence. Xoxo

July 12, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Sara - Have a beautiful trip! Denise wouldn’t want anything else!


I never believed the expression “when one door closes, another door opens.” My family never had much good luck, so we didn’t go around believing, hoping or dreaming of what could be around the corner. We were usually trying to keep up with what life had already thrown at us.

I say “us” like I was the one putting food on the table when I wasn’t. That was my Dad. He worked hard. Not only did he do his very best always, but the jobs themselves were just plain tough. He either built houses or welded metal, and now he does all sorts of flooring and pretty much runs circles around his younger coworkers (maybe that’s just my personal opinion!). And my Mom was always there. Always willing to do anything for me and my brother. A lot of the time that meant she was treated like our personal taxi, although her ride wasn’t a yellow cab but a minivan with only one door that opened.

The funny thing is my Mom is always apologizing to me, like she didn’t do enough or something. She’s like Denise in that she doesn’t even realize the impact she’s made on me and so many others with her willingness to just be there.

Ahh, I digress like I usually do. I’m writing about doors. And opportunities and paths. And I don’t really even believe in luck, but how else do you explain the charmed life I’ve been living the past 7 years? Not only was I given a packing job at Matilda Jane at the young(er) age of 19, but by the age of 21 I was given the chance to travel the world to produce our designs. By the age of 23 I became partners with two of my absolute idols; Denise DeMarchis and Matt Kelley. At the age of 25 I left the best job a girl could ask for to work with those mentors (partners, pals, besties of mine) again. And now, at the age of 26 I lost one of those besties to cancer and the other I get to see nearly every day at the OLG office. Oh, and I can’t forget at 26 I married my best friend, Mark Crawford (more on that another day).

I said I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in doors. And choosing to go through each one, even if it’s the unknown. I know each one has made me a stronger, better person. I know each one has given me a step closer to realizing my dreams and full potential. I remember during one of my first trips to China I was talking to Carla (Denise’s production partner and close friend from Peru) and she said she was so proud of me just because I said yes to going. She said “Sometimes the hardest part is taking the opportunity.” At the time I thought “ARE YOU KIDDING ME OF COURSE I SAID YES?!?” 5 years later, I get it; taking chances takes courage.

I will keep choosing the unknown because of the faith I have in one person and the faith she has had in me. I will keep opening the doors, because I know they will not open on their own. I will work my butt off to make The Good Ones a successful company built on loving, giving relationships and spreading creativity to the ones that light fireworks in our souls.

And I will promise to take you on this unpredictable journey with me…

…because like you said, I got this.




July 9, 2015 - 3:22 pm

Daphne - I believe in doors, too!!!

July 9, 2015 - 3:34 pm

Kayla - So beautiful, words and pictures. Life doesn’t promise to be easy but it is AMAZING, in the big, small, hard, and happy moments. You got this girl. Hang in there. I’ve learned there is beauty in everything, even mourning and loss

July 9, 2015 - 3:48 pm

Shari - Oh the places you will go! Can’t wait to see! Thanks for sharing!

July 9, 2015 - 4:05 pm

Eva Zelinsky - this reminds me of the realness from reading denise blogging in the beginning. keep going girl… this is your outlet :) and you are helping all of us <3

July 9, 2015 - 4:20 pm

Rose Kadri - You have SO got this! Denise knew you did, and she wanted to teach you the ropes, because she knew that one day, one of those doors you open, will be the door to tons of success and happiness. Yes, you have got this!

July 9, 2015 - 5:13 pm

Lois - Oh Sam, I wish I could have been there too at that last picture. Love you!

July 9, 2015 - 6:41 pm

Val Koop - I just love you Sam. Putting one foot in front of the other is all you can do. Sometimes we get to skip (like the last 7 years that you have) and some times we crawl (like now). But keep going. We are all here rooting you on. You DO have this, even if you don’t know it yet.

July 9, 2015 - 10:25 pm

Janette - Just beautiful

July 10, 2015 - 12:04 am

Nicole - you got this Sam we believe

July 10, 2015 - 6:55 am

Meggy - A thousand times you got this. And a thousand times more, you will. Love the photos, hate the tears my Sam. <3

July 10, 2015 - 11:36 am

natalie aikens - even though I’m almost 10 years older than you, I want to be you when I grow up!

love hearing about your courageous journey and the change you have on the world

July 11, 2015 - 1:52 am

Jenelle Reali - Thank you for posting, Sam. What amazing pictures and amazing opportunities you’ve opened yourself up to!

The little things

Let me start with a thank you. Thank you for your messages, comments, and kind words. I can feel them lifting my spirit ever so gently, and hopefully David and the the boys are feeling it too.

I’ve read that these things get easier and I’ve also read the opposite. Generally I’m an optimist so I’m going to hope for the first one. But what does “it gets easier” even mean? That I won’t miss her laugh? That I won’t miss her affectionate push on my shoulder when she thinks I’m being an immature clown? Does it mean I will forget her smile or her voice? As much as I want to be positive even the “getting easier” part sounds insanely hard and just terribly unfair. I don’t want to stop thinking about her. I don’t want to stop hearing her voice. I don’t want this world without Denise in it.

As I come to terms with…whatever coming to terms means.. I’m asking myself (begging myself) to remember the little things. There are big things that I’ll never forget, but I worry I’ll forget inside jokes and car rides. We did so much of our talking in cars. Driving to and from Michigan, or to McDonald’s, or to go pick up her one true puppy love, Franklin, from Wisconsin. I want to remember she gave me my first real raise in her car. I want to remember how many times she complimented the lady at the window of the drive thru. These are the little things I’m worried will slip through the cracks of this awful mess in the end.

So today I ask you to think of the little things just like the big moments. Don’t underestimate your first handshake with someone that could be your best friend someday. Hold onto the small jokes that hardly make sense at the time, let alone now. And while trying to keep all these tiny memory bubbles in your brain, share them with those you love or those you just met. Denise built so much of her life, companies, and story on relationships. The human connection was at the core of everything she touched. Don’t be afraid to share yourself, your heart, and your stories with others. It’s scary but…it’s human. And being human is all we’ve got.

I’m trying to keep up with the writing. Cross your fingers that “I’ve got this.”



July 8, 2015 - 11:23 am

Lindsay - You said it just lovely!

July 8, 2015 - 11:31 am

Brenen (Payton Jo) - Your spirit is contagious Sam, please continue to share it with us. Keep inspiring, keep shining, and keep SMILING. I don’t know about the ‘getting easier’ thing either. It gets different, and different feels better. I encourage you to write about the little things just as you did here, those are the things that are so important to remember.
Hugs to you and the team

July 8, 2015 - 11:41 am

Kristin - When my sister in law and nephew passed away, I had many of the thoughts you are having now. I was so worried I would forget how Jett pronounced my name, or how he used to run around my house saying “popcorn, peanuts, cracker jacks…COLD BEER” after we took him to his first baseball game. I pulled out a legal note pad and wrote down every minuscule little memory. I can still pull that list out when I need to. There are still new memories that pop into my head. It doesn’t necessarily get easier (I always hate that phrase because I feel like that means I need to block those memories out or think about them less) it just becomes different. Something inside of you changes…not a bad or good change…just a change. Keep writing it will help. ((Hugs))

July 8, 2015 - 11:45 am

Rose Kadri - I can absolutely see how much Denise has had an influence on you and your view of life. So you see, you are already sharing her lessons and stories with the world, and that in itself will keep her legacy and name in the hearts and minds of people. Time does heal heartbreak and loss, but it doesn’t mean it will make us forget. Hugs from Canada

July 8, 2015 - 11:46 am

Katie Driscoll - Sam- just love to hear your voice through your writing. Denise said you were good with words and she was right. Keep writing, keep dreaming and keep remembering. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for The Good Ones and for you! Ox. Katie

July 8, 2015 - 11:48 am

Tiffany B - I needed to read this. I have a hard time sharing myself. So afraid of doing something wrong. But the best people I know are the ones that are real. Not perfect. I don’t know why I struggle with this, but good to have a reminder today. You, Denise, and MJC have always been so kind to my family and I. Don’t worry how you make people feel will never get lost. It’s ik everything. Peace and love to you.

July 8, 2015 - 11:49 am

Lois Owen - Yes, Sam, “you’ve got it” Love, Hugs……

July 8, 2015 - 11:50 am

Stacey C - Thank you for sharing such beautiful words Sam…. You’ve got this….

July 8, 2015 - 11:53 am

Kelli - Oh, Sam. I wish I had wise words to offer you. If it does get easier, it won’t be because you’ve forgotten those memories. By writing these posts, you’re ensuring that. Love and hugs for you!

July 8, 2015 - 12:21 pm

Lisa - Amazing and wonderful advice. You do got this. And if you don’t there are tons of us to turn to. Keep writing. We want to read it.

July 8, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Patricia - Losing a love one is the most terrible pain there is. Imo the pain never goes away, it’s always there, you just learn how to live with it. Part of your heart is missing and it will never be replaced. In my case I don’t want that pain to be gone, I don’t want to forget the love, joy and comfort I once had. That’s the way they live forever, remembering their laughter, finishing their goals, spreading their love. I pray for comfort for Denise’s many friends and family. She will always be with each and everyone of you. God Bless!!!

July 8, 2015 - 1:50 pm

Michelle Huesgen - I love you. I love her. I love you both.

July 8, 2015 - 2:25 pm

Wendy - You won’t forget any of it. The easier part of this just means you won’t cry every time you think of her. You’ll cry, but you’ll smile more because those memories are yours forever. And you, like Denise, will keep on teaching people to appreciate everything and everyone. I hope all of us who have been touched by her will do the same. What a legacy that will be. <3

July 8, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Jenni - This is perfect. And yes, keep writing!

July 8, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Holly V - As time goes by, our memories do fade… write everything down…everything. Someday, you will be happy you did. On the super hard days, even years from now, you can read thru them and all those things will come alive again. Her voice, her face, her laugh and yes, you will cry but maybe, just maybe they will be happy tears. xo

July 8, 2015 - 3:11 pm

Daphne - We ALL KNOW “you’ve got this”!

July 8, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Nicol - You got this and you may never, ever in your whole life be ok with Death of anyone or anything. talking, sharing and working through all your inner emotions will help lighten the sadness. I feel like sadness never ends when a special person leaves you but I will keep sending love and prayers to everyone that was close to this amazing artist and humanitarian.

July 8, 2015 - 11:34 pm

Brittney Bell - I truly believe you’ve got this. Be patient with yourself. Don’t give yourself a timeline for what everyone else in the world thinks as “normal,” for letting go or saying goodbye. You are a spark in this world that Denise saw, and she held her hands around you to allow the welcome of fire within. She was your counterpart. I can’t even imagine the hurt in your heart that you’re feeling. No one can understand, we can only try. We can only hope to lift you with a fraction of what Denise could do, but with hundreds and hundreds of hearts combining to lift you, we might be able to do a fraction of what she could. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose the little things. She will be proud of you for all of your life, no matter what you do. Keep following your heart. Peaks and valleys. Just believe. It isn’t going to get easier, it might even get harder, but I truly truly truly truly believe that you’ve got this.

Timelines and tears

Blogging has been on mind. Amongst many other things these days…

2 weeks ago today the unimagineable happened. Denise DeMarchis passed away.  And the world broke, along with my heart and so many others.

It was 9:30am when I stopped at Denise’s house to pick up the movie “The Count of Monticristo.” I packed up a DVD player from my house to surprise her at the hospital with a movie, make up, and nail painting day.

It was 9:45am when I was asked to hold off on visiting her just yet.

It was 10:10 when I asked Matt and Olivia to meet me at 433. I told them I had a horrible feeling and needed a hug.

And it was 11:20am when David called me with the news.

The timeline of these events keep going through my brain. How a little over 2 weeks ago, on Saturday, Kayla and I went together to see her for the last time. I think about how I didn’t see her Sunday or Monday. How I knew she would have so many guests and I didn’t think a little space would be a big deal. I knew Tuesday would be our day. We would see each other and we’d melt into the bubble of Denise and Sam, our very own little world.

But it was a big deal and I’ll never have that little world again.

I didn’t see it coming. No one did. Her heart beat so strong for so many years and on Tuesday, two weeks ago, it stopped.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I needed to start somewhere. I needed to start sharing and speaking up or else I’d be silent forever. I need to be stronger than I am. I need her to know I’m not giving up even if I really, really want to. I need to keep her dreams, OUR DREAMS, alive.

I’ll have more to say soon. More about Denise. More about The Good Ones. And more about getting married the same week I lost my mentor and best friend.
Until then, please keep Denise’s family in your thoughts. Send them all the positivity and love you can muster.



July 7, 2015 - 5:08 pm

Betsy - No words, other than just yes, keep sharing. Keep telling your story…her story. Peace, peace, peace to all of you.

Been watching from afar, thinking of you guys and wishing I could make it all go back to normal for everybody.

Much love,


July 7, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Emily C - Thinking of you all and sending lots of love, Sam.

July 7, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Lisa Kelly - Dearest Sam , loved forever by your amazing sister forever BFF & mentor , Denise !!
So blessed ….
We all love you ! Anyway we can help please shout out !!
Praying always

July 7, 2015 - 5:20 pm

Julia - Sending you all lots of prayers and love.

July 7, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Katie Jo - Thinking and praying for you Sam. The love that Denise had for you showed in every photo of you two together. You were an amazing friend to her too. She loved you so much <3 Hang in there! Hugs!

July 7, 2015 - 5:25 pm

Kristin - Bless your heart Sam. It’s hard when your world stops spinning and you see everyone else still turning. You are in my thoughts.

July 7, 2015 - 5:42 pm

Renae - oh beautiful we are sending you guys every bit of Love that we have. It’s such a sad reality and breaks my heart for so many and in so many ways. Know that Emilia and I love you all so very much. This fabulous woman connected all of us in this wonderful life that she created for us just by being in it. Xoxoxo Renae and Emilia.

July 7, 2015 - 5:47 pm

Nancy H. - Sending lots of positive thoughts and hugs to you and everyone effected by this great loss.

July 7, 2015 - 5:58 pm
Mama Hope -
July 7, 2015 - 6:17 pm

JenF - Hugs.

July 7, 2015 - 6:28 pm

susie - Sam….I think of all of you everyday. I can’t imagine how sad you must feel. I ran across one of Denise’s emails last week, and I’m so glad I saved it. She always started my emails with “hey you”:) It was right before AF 2013, and she was so excited for me to see the MA bag that she designed for the dinner guests. It doesn’t seem real to me either, that she is really gone:( I am praying for you and David and the boys everyday.

July 7, 2015 - 6:43 pm

Dana S. - Hugs from afar and virtual love to all her family

July 7, 2015 - 6:50 pm

Rose - Oh Sam. It is OK to cry, be upset, and to express every feeling you have. Every feeling matters and should be acknowledged. I have a feeling that Denise loved and cherished you, and every moment you spent together. She was a friend and mentor, and now she is a guardian angel watching over you and her loved ones. I have no doubt that you will continue to make her proud. Every step of the way, you will make her proud. (Hugs)

July 7, 2015 - 7:05 pm

MES - You are strong! So incredibly strong! Thank you for sharing your thoughts of these tender and most difficult moments. You have our support in helping keep alive the vision that you & Denise had for TGO! Sending lots of love to you, Denise’s family and the TGO family. xoxo

July 7, 2015 - 7:08 pm

lisa moline - It is so good to “hear” your voice again, Sam. Thank you for sharing. You are loved beyond words.

July 7, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Jennifer - Many prayers for Denise’s family but many or prayers for you, too. This made my heart ache more for you all. She was an inspiring woman.

July 7, 2015 - 7:31 pm

Ingrid - Oh Sam I love you my heart is broken too. Thank you for writing

July 7, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Ati K - I’m so sorry.

July 7, 2015 - 9:13 pm

Shari - Thanks for sharing Sam – LOVE ((hugs))

July 7, 2015 - 10:05 pm

Carrie - much love to you!

July 7, 2015 - 10:18 pm

Michelle - Keep sharing as she should be celebrated! What was the best you ever had with Denise? The one that makes you smile and warms your heart?

July 7, 2015 - 10:24 pm

Wendy - You can do it. She knew you would. Keep sharing, let it out, heal and grow. You are loved by many and definitely have been on my mind during these sad days. Thank you for posting.

July 7, 2015 - 10:34 pm

Michelle - My heart aches for your loss! Cherish the memories you have and keep them close! Sending you strength as you continue your journey ♡

July 7, 2015 - 10:46 pm

Carli - Sam, you are stronger than you know. One day you’ll look back and see it. XOXO

July 7, 2015 - 10:49 pm

Hi Melissa - I love you Sam
You are constantly on my mind. You are going to continue to do great things! I can’t wait to see them. Thanks for being aw3sam ;)

July 7, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Candice - :( Sending love…

July 7, 2015 - 11:27 pm

Holly V - Sam, sending you hugs and praying you find whatever it is that will get you through this …just know that she will live on you <3

July 7, 2015 - 11:42 pm

Steph - Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings! So many people are grieving for Denise. What a huge void she has left in so many hearts! It’s ok to fall apart. Stay true to yourself. Prayers to all of you, her 3 boys and family!

July 7, 2015 - 11:52 pm

Stephanie McCormick - They say time heals… but I sadly disagree. I DO think time makes it a little easier…maybe we get more acclimated to the changes…so we can talk about more…who knows. But Denise was such a precious gift to everyone, and an especially cherished gem for those close to her. It’s going to be so very hard to get through this without leaning on each other, and drawing on the strength of the masses who loved and will always love her.
Sam, I can only imagine how this must be for you as close as you girls were, PLEASE KEEP WRITING! Anything at all… it helps you, and we love to read it. Keeping you, her family and all of those who were near and dear lifted in prayer!

July 8, 2015 - 8:40 am

Megan - This warmed my heart to read. The love around you all is incredible. Lets keep dreaming! XoXOoXoOX Lots & Lots of love!!

July 8, 2015 - 10:38 am

Janette Puskar - I just want to give you a big hug!

July 8, 2015 - 11:34 am

natalie - you have an army of people willing to listen anytime you need it. people who support you when you can’t be strong and cheer you on when you get back up.

so many people who haven’t meet you, Denise or her family in person yet LOVE you all the same.

close your eyes and feel the love coming from all of us as you mourn the love you miss.

July 8, 2015 - 11:53 am

Lois - Keep on thinking of “Penny Lane”, of that smile, of the love.

July 8, 2015 - 1:25 pm

Andrea - Sam,
I know what you are going through, my mom and my Best Friend, passed away 5 days before Denise’ passing. It is hard every day! I sure cherish all the memories that I had with my mom as you will with Denise. You live one day at a time and keep her legacy alive!

July 8, 2015 - 1:44 pm

amy - So sorry! Sending some {{{hugs}}} your way!

July 8, 2015 - 4:30 pm

Lisa Doan - I have been thinking of all of you. I sent you some pictures via e-mail last night. Let me know if you did not receive them. I will send them again. Sending you love and hugs!!!

July 8, 2015 - 7:17 pm

denise - Hi Lisa! I received the photos and immediately sent a few to David. They are so beautiful. Thank you so much.

July 8, 2015 - 10:04 pm

Amy - Thank you for sharing your heart. Hers will continue to live on through yours and so many others who she touched. I never met her in person…but I miss her too.