Just because I am the new girl doesn't mean you can tell me to shut up! I said this during the episode, I'm saying it now, and you will definitely see it again in this blog. I will start off by talking about things that are very dear to my heart and actually important in life. I want to say thank you to all the wonderful people who wrote in to say such nice things, send genuine condolences about Jeff, and take the time to share such personal stories with me. Jeff and I decided to do this show because we knew that many people could relate to our story. It seems like almost everyone is touched by cancer in some way shape or form nowadays. Thank you to the many people that were offering to open donations in Jeff's name, that was so kind. Jeff was admitted to City of Hope and it was an amazing hospital! A lot of people continue to make donations in his name there as well. I can only hope that by sharing our story it will help educate, bring more awareness to this disease, and give an authentic view of the ups and downs of dealing with such a disease.
Jeana is correct in how the real estate market in Orange County has really taken a hit in some areas. It is extremely disheartening to me to see so many homeowners across the country dealing with such a hard loss. I cannot imagine losing a home and the place most people find comfort and joy. I am a real estate agent myself, but I decided to stop working so I could spend the time with Jeff and be his full time caretaker. Lots of people don't really understand what it takes when someone becomes that sick (unless you have been there yourself).
I had a wonderful conversation tonight with a dear woman who wanted to talk to me after seeing the first episode. Her daughter is six years old and is sick as well, and she is going through some of the same things that I experienced. She completely understood and appreciated that I was sharing my story. She has had to stop working as well and completely understood the devotion and time it takes to be the sole caretaker. I wouldn't change it for the world because I loved Jeff, but I'm not going to pretend that it was all a bowl of cherries. Throughout the series you will see the struggles both Jeff and I have while going through this difficult time.
When Jeff and I first decided to do the show, he was doing really well. His doctors even said they thought he would be fine to do the show. Unfortunately cancer has a mind of its own and can take over at any point and with no warning. Jeff became very ill about a month after shooting began and had to go into the hospital full time.
I spent 95% of my days in the hospital with him, and what you see on the show is really about 5% of where my time was spent. Jeff really wanted and encouraged me to live my life even while he was sick. He was always a very unselfish man. Jeff loved riding Harley's and he really thought having something like that to do together would be so much fun. He wanted to go look at bikes that day and I practically begged him not to because I knew he wasn't feeling all that well, but what some people don't realize is that even when you are sick sometimes it is better for the soul to still feel normal and go out and do things that you would normally do. When I would harp on him about staying home and resting it made him feel like a sick man and he didn't want to ever be a sick man. When you stop treating a sick person like a sick person it is very liberating for them. Jeff taught me that (and it took me a little time to really understand it.) I wanted to protect him and make sure he was always cautious of his illness, but I had to realize that he was always going, going, going, and for him to now be constrained to the couch or a hospital room was so very difficult for him to deal with. Just for the record - Tamra can be the hotter one! I really don't care enough to be concerned with having that title. She was the one that stated she was hotter, and therefore she is in that competition with herself. I have other things to be worried about. Gotta give her kudos though on looking super hot trying on lingerie...and good on her that she is trying to keep her marriage hot! There are a lot of people that forget how important it is to do that. And Tamra, you are hot even without makeup! It's not the outside that counts anyways!
So at least I am not naive to the fact that the women were talking crap about me as I walked down the driveway. The good news is that I have a good sense of humor and am not easily ruffled by others comments. I find people that are jealous or catty will say things behind your back. Unfortunately I already saw that coming when I got in the limo. I wish they made their comments to my face instead of going behind my back. The funniest part to me is when they wonder why I don't respect them. Huh?! Tamra's comment, "Hold on to your daddies" was actually hilarious, and how can I not expect comments like that? Too bad she didn't get to know Jeff better - she would have seen what a young and wonderful soul he had. Hopefully throughout the series people will be able to recognize the truly special person he was and the relationship we had despite the age difference. It seems like the women can't make up their minds either. One week they think I'm lying about having real breasts, then the next week they say I don't have any breasts. Then they ask why my breasts look so big. Oddly inconsistent, don't you think? Well, I have to say I am still not sure what the actual definition of a gold-digger is or if that is even how you spell it. But if a gold-digger qualifies as someone who has a education, worked her butt off to own her own home, paid all her own bills, and was one of the top selling agents in her office during the six years of working in the business, then I guess the other women have me pegged. My story is very straightforward - I just happened to fall in love with a man who was older than me and he loved to spoil me. What girl wouldn't want that?
Vicki, Vicki, Vicki - what a funny gal she is. I admire her tenacity when it comes to working. I understand being devoted to work and loving what you do because I did it, but sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. If she didn't want to go to the spa, enjoy her day, and spend time with us, then she probably should of stayed home. She says it is such a stress to be away from her computer, and that business comes with responsibility (I completely agree), but at what expense? At the expense of others and her own family? I might be younger, but I have words of advice for her, simply from experience. Life is way to short not to stop and smell the roses. I am only thirty-one, but I learned this past year how quickly life can change. Vicki didn't get close to me because she had a love affair with her computer. If she was really interested in getting to know the real Gretchen, then she should have stopped questioning whether or not I was genuine and she should have listened to me, especially when I was talking about something very emotional. For her to say that I rarely talked about Jeff off camera proves to me that she was never genuinely listening to me. When she said that she has better things to do then chitchat about "death," I was very offended and upset. I would never say that to a person who was loosing a loved one from such a horrible disease. Unfortunately, she was so wrapped up in her tap, tap, tapping that sometimes she couldn't even see that she was being offensive to others.
So many funny things happened at the lunch at Sonya Dakar. I think the women can be very mean and catty - it reminds me of high school. It makes me laugh to see the women ask me questions and then answer them before I can say anything. If they gave me a minute to talk before throwing in their two cents, then they would know that I didn't leave my husband cause he was poor, or that I certainly don't have Daddy issues. (My Father is truly one of my best friends.) The women love to make snide comments, then when they don't like what I'm saying they apparently think it's OK to tell me to shut up.
Everyone seems to be a little scared of talking back to Vicki when she's being rude, but I'm not. So I felt it was necessary to let her know that just because I am the new girl, it doesn't mean she can tell me to shut up. She picked the wrong one to tell to shut up, and Bravo picked the right one to tell her that. So all of the fans out there that are experiencing something new, try to remember that just because you are the new one it doesn't mean anyone can tell you to shut up! Thanks to all the fans that are supporting me - you are the reason I can keep it real. P.S. Vicki, I really rather just be your friend. So it is off to the clubhouse to laugh over a drink (I'll even buy) or are we on our way to another round of tennis? Ball is in your court.