It was 5 years ago.
It was 60 months ago.
It was 269.7 weeks ago.
It was 1,825 days ago.
It was 43,800 hours ago.
It was 2,628,000 minutes ago.
It was 157,680,000 seconds ago.
It was Yesterday.
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Tomorrow will mark five years since I became a mom for the first time.
It was one of the best days of my life, without a doubt.
And, also, oh-so bittersweet.
Tomorrow marks five years since I saw Susie, Tommy, Thomas, and sweet Vivi…for the very last time.
It’s definitely a lot of emotion to sort out in this busy mind of mine, but I do know one thing for sure.
I’ll never let that day hold anything other than joy for Luca. The alternative would be completely unfair for him. He’s far too young to be burdened with such adult heartbreak and emotion and, as his mom, it’s my job to separate the joy, from the desperation and heartache, that tomorrow brings.
And, I can.
And, I will.
Because, I have to.
So, today, I will mourn for what I didn’t know were my last moments with them.
Today, I will be grateful that each of them were allowed to meet Luca before they were taken from us, ten days later.
Today, I will not try to stomp out the sadness and the pain. But, instead, I will let myself feel it…all of it.
Today, I will soak them in.
Today, I will replay in my head the last moments I had with them, over and over again, until night comes.
Today, I will cry.
Today, I will scream to the sky how much I miss them.
Today, I will be angry at a world that has chosen to keep turning without them in it.
Tomorrow, I will wake up and celebrate the day I became a mother to one of the most amazing people I know.
Tomorrow, I will smile and laugh and serve a doughnut with a birthday candle in it for breakfast.
Tomorrow, I will let Luca eat anything he wants.
Tomorrow, I will make his eyes light up when I give him his new, big boy scooter.
Tomorrow, I will leave the umbrella at home, because the dark clouds of today will have moved on, if only for a spell.
I met Leslie Gaworecki during my search for our wedding photographer.
Even before I saw her work, I knew she was the one for me.
I could sense her gentle spirit and her kind soul….and we just clicked.
And, she did not disappoint….as a photographer, or a person.
She captured so much that day.
And beautiful keepsakes of the four family members we would unexpectedly lose just two years later…
She’s given us a huge gift, allowing us to measure our children’s growth through her photographs…
And, she’s stuck with our insane family all these years, capturing memories sure to have otherwise been forgotten…
Nearly seven years have passed since I met Leslie.
And, things have changed.
I’m no longer the giddy, naive girl I was that day I walked into her office.
I’ve been hit with hard-cold life, tragedy, and blessings too big to count…each event written in soft lines around my eyes.
It’s no longer just me.
My family of one is now four.
And my dear friend is still beautifully chronicling this funny little journey called life.
Thank you, Leslie, for putting up with my crazy. And, for knowing me just well enough to capture who we are.
I’m forever grateful for you, my friend.
Last night I thought to myself…
Tomorrow will be easier than years past. After all, it’s just a date. They were gone yesterday and they’ll still be gone tomorrow.
I woke up to leaky diapers and demands for a Nuttela sandwich. It wasn’t until things had calmed that it hit me.
Four years today.
As much as I want to pretend it’s just another day in this whole nightmare, my heart is aching immensely and I feel like I have an elephant crushing my chest.
Grief is a sneaky beast. It waxes and wanes. Some days the load feels lighter and you think to yourself, “I’ve got this.” Then, the very next day the initial shock and despair and panic come rushing back, like not a day has passed.
Susie, Tommy, Thomas, and sweet Vivi, there will never be words to explain how much you are missed. Nothing will ever fill the gaping hole you left behind in our lives and in our hearts.
We hold tight to your memories, and we carry you with us everywhere we go.
Every second, of every day…for eternity.
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I’ve never been an arsty girl, in any sense of the word.
The only ounce of creativity I’ve ever possessed is with my words. Some may call it creative shit talking.
I can’t even color inside the lines. I totally sucked at it when I was little, something I was always self-conscious about.
When Luca started coloring, I decided to give it another go. And, it became clear, that at 34 years old my ability to use a crayon has not improved. At all. I still can’t stay inside the lines if you paid me.
Back to my point…
We live in a 1930’s cottage-style bungalow, which has been added onto by it’s various owners throughout the decades. A second floor was added at one point, and then the attic was expanded later, adding one more small bedroom.
It’s a hodge-podge of history, this house, and I love it.
We considered buying a new place at the first of the year, something with a little additional space for our boys to destroy. But, we decided we could make it work for at least another couple of years, if we fixed all the shit that bugged us.
A new backyard, organizing, and my brilliant, if I do say so myself, idea of creating a kids’ art/work/leave mommy alone for the love of god stop touching me for one minute space.
I decided, rather than asking someone to do it for me, like I always do, I’d take it on myself and share it with you guys YOU’RE WELCOME!
Upstairs, outside the three bedrooms, there is a small common area to chill and watch TV. There’s a huge walk-in closet that opens up to this space. Up until now, we’ve used it to store shit.
You know, like boxes, yearbooks, picture frames, and dead bodies.
The previous owners installed an Elfa shelf system from The Container Store, a big bonus for what I want to do.
One night, after too much wine, a vision appeared to me. Much in the same way the Virgin Mary appears to people on grilled cheese sandwiches, only a little less bat-shit crazy.
I would turn the closet into a art/work space for my boys.
So, without further adieu (whatever the fuck that means), here’s part one of my closet to kid space renovation.
The common area it opens up to with artwork by Thomas and Vivi Jacomini:
This is what I hope to turn this space into, and I’m one step ahead with the Elfa system already installed:
I’m still deciding what color to paint it.
And I’m going to attempt to cover the god awful floors with this:
It seems I am well on my way to success.
Things have gone incredibly smooth so far.
And, by incredibly smooth, I mean that when I attempted to change the light bulb it fell, bounced off my lip, crashed to the floor, and shattered into one million pieces.
I mean, honestly, who even needs a handyman?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab an icepack for my fat lip.