How an f-bomb changed my life

Home / Featured / How an f-bomb changed my life

To: To those who read about my f-bomb,

From: Chris Cimino

Charity: Leukemia Research Foundation

Sponsor: Alyson Cohen Therapy

To those who read about my f-Bomb,

My phone started ringing. Text messages from friends across the country began to pile in. Then, I saw for myself. My f-bomb became a national story. While you may have read in the paper or on the internet about my gaff on air, what reporters didn’t write is that the f-Bomb wasn’t just a headline in the news, it was a breaking story in my life.

When Chris dropped the f-bomb on air it became viral news.

Before and after the f-Bomb feel like two very separate lives – not just a different chapter but a new book with a unique cover.

I would entitle the first novel, “Thanks for the journey.”

When I said that inappropriate word across the airwaves, I was supposed to be giving the local weather forecast for NBC in New York. For 24 years, I was the local weatherman. But at that moment, I got lost in conversation about my late wife, Nancy. I was talking about how when she died a part of me had to go with her.

I told my co-worker, “It’s a f*cking weird thing.”

That’s the part you probably heard. That’s what the media wrote about online and in the paper.

Nancy and I met back in first grade. The love bug hit me at our eighth-grade graduation celebration, where we started to dance and never stopped. We got married, had two kids and lived an amazing life together.

Chris met his late wife, Nancy, in first grade and began dating in 8th grade.

My wife was a strong and liberated woman, but still very rooted in family. While she gave up her career as a CPA to raise our children, which she thoroughly enjoyed, her brilliance was still quite apparent. I took three years of calculus in college, but I probably forgot all of it once I got a diploma in my hand. Not Nancy. When our son needed help in calculus, she remembered it all.

Her mission was always to guide our children to be their best in life. We had honest conversations at the dinner table because Nancy was a straight shooter. Your head would snap because she would be so blunt. While shocking to some, it kept the channels of communication open with our kids and with ourselves. Nancy was the center of our family.

Nancy and Chris have two children together.

In 2012, Nancy was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis, a blood cancer. Cancer is very unforgiving. It was not only painful for me to watch the physical toll it took, but things like the loss of her hair seemed to rob her of her dignity as well. At work, I would do research, trying to find out if anywhere else in the world discovered an alternative method to treating her illness.

But I couldn’t find a cure. I couldn’t make her better.

On her last day in the hospital I noticed her body movement was strange. Her eyes didn’t move. She didn’t blink. When I spoke to her, there was no indication that she could hear me. Then, just like a Hollywood movie, I noticed the heart monitor. The beats were becoming more and more distant. She started turning blue. I laid down next to her, told her it was OK and that she should go in peace. I heard her last breath, as I held her in my arms.

Nearly three years later the f-Bomb hit. Between Nancy’s passing and the f-bomb, there were not only times of sadness, but some real ugly depression. At first, I tried to be dad and mom for my children, but that wasn’t possible. Also, there was a large sense of failure that I didn’t fix her. I couldn’t fix her.

I can remember finally starting to laugh, but even though I was physically laughing I was still dead on the inside.

When the f-Bomb hit I was removing pictures from my work computer. They were from the last trip we had as a family where Nancy was doing well. Three weeks after that curse word hit the air and then subsequently the entire internet, my bosses told me they weren’t re-signing my contract after 24 years at NBC. My bosses were ending my employment, but insisted their decision was unrelated to my slip-up. Nonetheless, the f-Bomb impact was still there.

I can remember finally starting to laugh, but even though I was physically laughing I was still dead on the inside.

The f-bomb was the true start of the second book in my life. While it is still being written, I would title this story, “The Sun Will Rise Again.”

My wife will be with me forever. The time I spent with her and the love we shared is ingrained in me. It’s a part of me. However, I continued to get out and socialize, which eventually led to me experiencing real joy again. I finally realized that I have to let go of the day-to-day emotional connection that I shared with Nancy. This is embarrassing to admit, but I never lived alone until my wife passed away and I didn’t know how to fill out a check until I was about 50 years old. I had to put on my big boy pants, paying bills and learning about our finances.

As I was forced to become more independent, I realized that, through the years, I may have lost a sense of self. My identity was tied to being a husband and a father but when I step out of those roles, there is still me. There is this core of who I am that I had lost touch with through the years.

My approach to life right now is much less conservative than in years past. When I am confronted with a challenge or asked to try a new task, I dive right in as opposed to shy away.

Chris enjoys traveling the world with his girlfriend, Edmi

I started to travel, which led me to a new lady in my life. We’ve been to Singapore and South Africa, trying different foods and meeting people from all over the world. Traveling has opened my eyes to humanity, helping me realize that all of us are a lot more similar than we think. People create differences by drawing lines, such as religion and race.

All my new experiences are not only enlightening me about the world but they are helping me to learn more about who I am and what makes me happy.

Looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently in my life, whether it be my relationships or my career. On the surface, I have been through some terrible and hurtful periods recently, but on a deeper level, I am evolving and I am growing.

These last few years taught me if you love someone, don’t bother complaining about little things.

I promise you, no one ever said to a person they loved on their deathbed, “Gee, I wish I yelled at you and busted your chops even more.”

Also, I have come to understand that life is truly a gift and I am going to enjoy it for as long as I have it.  Right now, I consider myself in the bonus round. If it all ended tomorrow, I had an amazing life.

But to realize all of this – it took the f-bomb.

All of our experiences, good, bad and devastating, make us who we are today. And while in the news, my f-bomb was the moment I said a foul word, in my life my f-Bomb was the point where I freed myself to move forward.

With clear skies and sunshine ahead,

Chris Cimino


Written with Lauren Brill

About the author:

Chris Cimino spent the last 24 years working as a meteorologist at NBC’s flagship station, WNBC, in New York City . He served as the early morning meteorologist for Today In New York, the newscast that preceded the Today Show.

Repost, React and Give Back:

Alyson Cohen, LCSW is a NYC based psychotherapist specializing in adolescents, young adults, families and couples. Alyson has successfully helped clients work through many life stressors and transitions, including the devastating effects of chronic illness and the tolls it can take on individuals and families. Alyson Cohen Therapy is donating $50 to Leukemia Research Foundation in honor of the first 50 shares of Chris’ letter. Alyson Cohen Therapy also made the donation in honor of Jim Brooks, who is battling stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The Unsealed will match the donation if we get 100 new Facebook followers and 100 new subscribers by 10-17-19.


Share This


drag the video player below and add it into any row!

Leave a Reply

[…] enough, in the email was your letter to your late father, former NBA basketball star Anthony Mason, talking about your struggles after his death. You wrote […]

Sweet Lauren, I agree completely with the promise that Brian asked you to make. Frankly, it is the only way that I know to love; totally, completely, wholly and unconditionally. You deserve nothing less, nor does your future love.

Wow. What a truly moving and powerful story. We often take for granted the small gifts we give each other just by being present. I'm sad for the heartache. I'm glad you stayed and became. Who knows what little girl or boy will be attributing their life's purpose to some kindness you shared. Peace and Sunshine

You’re welcome Lauren looking forward to all the future stories :)

Thank you Tony. I appreciate all your support.

Thank you Tony. I appreciate all your support.

I’m sorry to hear about Brian but he was right you are too beautiful to not receive roses Lauren:)

[…] Here is why you need to stop being nice and start being loud […]

Thanks for this! So what movie set did you get on?

So nice Roger <3

Pat, Your letter touched me in a very profound way. It left me in tears in the middle of my work day. It made me want to share something with you. On a July morning in 2007 a police officer answered a 911 call I had made when my Mother went into cardiac arrest. Between that officer, my best friend and the fire fighters who showed up minutes later they were able to restart her heart, however at the hospital she passed away an hour later. At the end of his shift that officer stopped by my home to check on the situation and cried when I told him the unfortunate news I received only 4 hours prior. He tried to apologize to me. I looked at the anguish in his eyes and asked him directly what for? He described the ways he felt sorry. What I want to leave you with was my reply to him. I told him he had nothing to be sorry for because he answered the call in what was the darkest moment in my life. I told him that he was a hero regardless because it takes a special person to answer calls like that. You are a hero to people Pat. No one can ever take that away from you. I understand the process you're going through as I've been there myself and like you I still struggle with it when no one is looking. You aren't alone in this. I hope your healing process continues on and you can regain the happiness in this beautiful life. You'll always be a hero to those people, because you were there when the call came Best wishes Roger Chamberlain

Ruth, your letter moved me to tears. Once upon a time I was very closed off about the LGBT community but over a course of several years, I turned my fear into understanding and I actively stand with the community for their equal rights because it is the right thing to do.