Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baby Showers and Memories

Hi Everyone! Where does the time go? I have been really busy working a lot. Seems many people do not like working there and have quit!! So we are very short handed and very busy. Still not liking it, but it is a job and it does help pay the bills.

I am still doing much better. A few times last week I got a little teary, but nothing like before. With the changing of seasons, it makes me realize how long Wo has been gone. I miss her so much and I still talk to her every day and tell her that I love her about 100 times a day!

I was looking for something the other day and came across some old Mother's Day cards. I always save stuff like that and I am so glad I did. The things all three of my kids have written to me are priceless. But having things like this from Wo are so special to remember her by. I always wondered why I saved their artwork, old cards, baby teeth, and locks of hair. Now I have my answer.

I must be getting better because this month was the second month in a row that I have totally forgotten that the 9th was the anniversary date of when Wo passed. I feel bad the next day when I realize it, but I also feel good knowing that I am no longer dwelling on that day, but just remembering the good times. It has already been 10 months that she has been gone!

We put new lights up at Wo's gravesite. They are really bright and one lights up her face on her stone. We can see them from the entrance of the cemetery when it is dark and it makes us happy. Mark and I were there yesterday and a young girl was walking through the cemetery as we were leaving. She walked right back to Lauren's grave!! I was so happy to know that people still think about her. Thank you, whoever you are!!

I had a fun day last Sunday. Stephanie and I drove down to Columbus for my niece, Katie's baby shower. She is married to my nephew, Matt. He is my sister, Linda's son. Kristen and my mom were also there as well as Linda. There was a big crowd and Katie and Matt got tons of presents for their baby to be. We are so excited to welcome this baby. The last baby born into our family was Ryan almost 23 years ago! I didn't get a clear photo of Matt and Katie, but here are a few of the rest of us.

Selfie time with the grandma-to-be, my sister, Linda.

Sis and Stephanie both looking so cute!
Another one of Linda and me. Love her so much!! Notice I am trying to be more adventurous with my earrings.

Two of the great grandmas. My mom is on the left and Linda's mother-in-law is on the right. Two of the sweetest ladies in the world!!

Please keep two special people in your prayers. Our good friend, Lisa, had hernia surgery this past week. She has the same cancer as Wo had. Little Billy, my good friend, Dawn's great grandson just had surgery last week as well. He is only 3 and has a cancer called neuroblastoma.

As usual, I will leave you with a pic of our sweet Wo. Thanks for continuing to care. Your support sure does help! Much love to each and every one of you.


My beautiful kids.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Hi Everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit, but I have been working a lot and I am just too tired. I had a day off today and thoughts in my head, so here goes. Thanks for continuing to be interested in what I have to say!!

I am still feeling much better! My heart doesn't ache all the time and I haven't cried for a long time either. I feel so much stronger, which is something I never thought would happen. What a blessing to feel alive again! I know Wo would be so happy to know I am feeling better. I still miss her like crazy and have irrational thoughts at times, but I am on the mend!! Right when I go to bed is the worst time. I close my eyes and see Lauren in the hospital or in her casket every time. I try to get the vision out of my head, but sometimes it won't budge. I still talk to her all the time and tell her I love her and miss her. Mark and I still visit her gravesite every day. The candles I ordered came the very next day and are wonderful. They burn for 5 or 6 days and we are so happy with them. I have noticed that Mark and I both kiss our hand and rub Lauren's pic on her stone as if we are touching her hair. We then kiss our hand and touch the little angel sitting by her stone. We both do this every single time. I can't wait until the weather gets warmer and we can plant flowers at her grave and we can build her memorial garden at home. My mom and dad gave me the most beautiful angel that will be perfect in Wo's garden. I was thinking about a small flowering tree as well. Any suggestions for a smallish flowering tree?

The angel statue my mom and dad got me. I love it!! I think it looks like Wo when she was a little girl.

I was talking to Mark the other day. We talk about Wo all the time and Mark said something about having hope. He said hope is what makes him get up every day and go to work. I started thinking about all the things I have hope for. I guess the easiest way is to list them.

I hope Kristen and Ryan know that I love them more than anything. They have been put on the back burner for a few years, but I love them both so much and hope both of their futures are so bright! Of course, I wish the same for Bruce and Stephanie as well.

I hope Mark will find happiness and joy again. He is always so supportive and loving to me and our family.

I hope my mom and dad will live forever and remain healthy!

I hope my sister and her family will all remain happy and healthy. I can't wait for the newest addition!!!!

I hope my little doggies that bring me so much joy remain healthy.

I hope my great friend, Dawn's, great grandson makes a full recovery from cancer.

I hope all my friends with cholangiocarcinoma live long and happy lives. Clean scans and normal labs, baby!!!!!!

I hope Gio finds happiness and comes to see us one day.

I hope Wo is happy in heaven and is not cold, lonely, or scared. She was so cold in her casket and that really bothered me. I hope she is so happy that she doesn't miss us. I know she is around us all the time, but I hope she knows we feel her with us. I hope she is not scared being without us.

I hope one day I can have a reading with the Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo, so that I can have peace of mind that Wo is ok. I love her!!

I hope one day to be a grandma and to be called Nonni, which is Grandma in Italian. This is what Wo was going to have her kids call me.

I hope one day I find a job that will make me feel happy, appreciated, and valuable.

I hope anyone else that has lost someone they love finds peace and happiness again. Life is precious.

Thanks for continuing to care about what I have to say. As long as you keep reading, I will keep writing. Love to all of you,


Wo with Grandma Tommie and Papa Ron. She loved them so much. Papa Ron just celebrated his 82nd birthday this past Tuesday!!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wo And Her Crazy Earring Collection

Hi Everyone,

Not really much going on right now. I have been working a lot and Mark always works a lot. The weather has been crazy here as usual. One day almost 70 and the next day a snowstorm. We can't wait until spring. Mostly so we can plant flowers at Lauren's grave and I also want to make a memorial garden in our yard. I have a vision of a heart shaped garden framed with rocks, flowers, and an angel statue. Ryan said he would help us make it! I just ordered 10 grave candles. I bought a lantern a few months ago and we put it at Lauren's grave so it would always be lit and we have gone through every candle we had in our house!! I tried making my own candles with Crisco and it didn't work very well. Hopefully, these will arrive soon.

I'm not sure what happened to me, but I feel like a new person. I have willed myself to get better and so far I'm doing ok. No more daily sobbing and feeling so sad. I have been warned by others that this might only be temporary, but I am going to try my best to be happy and remember the good times with Wo. I still have a hard time at night when I first try to go to sleep. I usually get visions in my head of Wo in the hospital and the most unimagineable things she had to endure. I hope one day I won't have those pictures in my head.

I have tried to become a little more adventurous and wear some of Wo's crazy earrings. Most of them are just over the top and I look like a crazy lady in them, but I have worn a few of the tamer pairs. You don't believe they are that wild? Let me go get a few pairs and show you what I mean. Ok, I'm back. I put on some makeup and one of Wo's crazy lipsticks. Here we go:

The sophisticate. Hello daaahhhhling!

The dinner plates.

The party girl pink fringe.

The biggest hoops in the world!!

And last but not least, the bunch of grapes!!

I really cannot believe I just did this because I really hate seeing myself in pictures. But it was all in good fun to show you the wacky, yet unique style Wo had. She was one of a kind and I miss her so much.

Mark and I are going to visit my mom and dad this Saturday. Sis and Bruce are also coming since my mom and dad were watching their dog, Buzz, while they were on vacation and they need to pick him up. It will be nice to see all of them since it has been a while. That is about it for now. I will go look through the pics and find a nice one of Wo. Like I say probably 100 times a day to her, "I love you Wo and I will never forget you."

Thank you all for your support.

High school graduation with Grandma Tommie and Papa Ron.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Remembering Wo On Her Birthday

Hi Everyone,

Well, we made it past another difficult day and we are doing ok. Yesterday was Mark and Lauren's birthday. I was getting ready for work and Mark called and said he was coming home from work because he just couldn't do it. He has had a birthday with Wo for 27 years and it just was too difficult for him. So, I followed suit and called off too. Mark worked out for a long time and I took a long nap. That is what I do to escape, sleep!!!

Mark woke me up and said he wanted to go for a drive. So we got in the car and drove and drove. We ended up in Columbiana County and were seeing names of towns we had never heard of. Mark said we would stop at the next small restaurant we saw and eat lunch. We did stop at the next place we saw, walked in, and turned around and walked back out. Ok, we'll stop at the next place we see!! We found a small bar and grille and were about the only customers in there. Mark had a big burger and fries and I had two sliders and fries. I felt better because I had been really hungry which makes me grumpy and I was woken up from a nap, which anyone that knows me knows that is a major no-no unless you want your head bitten off!! I had been trying my best to be nice because it was Mark's birthday.

We stopped in Alliance and got an ice cream cone for dessert. Butter pecan, Yumm!! We had to drive down to where I work and Mark had to go in and pick up his birthday cake. I sat hunkered down in the car so nobody would see me!! I'm so bad.

I kept asking Mark if he wanted to celebrate his birthday and he said he would rather celebrate it on Friday and let the 6th be Lauren's day. So we are having his birthday today. He wants barbecued chicken thighs on the grill, potatoes and onions in foil on the grill, whatever veggie I make, and birthday cake (white cake and white buttercream frosting). He will also get to open presents.

We wanted to do something special for Wo's 28th birthday. I remember seeing big paper lanterns that had a flame underneath them on tv once. I looked on the internet and found some so I ordered 10 of them. I wrote Happy Birthday on one of them and Mark, Ryan, and I went to the cemetery last night. I was kind of afraid we would get in trouble, number one because the cemetery closes at dusk, but we break that rule all the time to go see Wo, and number two because the lantern has a big flame and I was afraid it would land on a nearby house and burn it down!! You wouldn't want to light one of those in the summer when it was dry. It went straight up and got wobbly a few times, but just kept going until it was out of sight. It was so cool. It was nice to have Ryan with us. We had a group hug that was so great. I wish Sis could have been there too. And of course, Bruce and Steph.

I don't know what has happened to me, but I am doing much better. I got a little teary yesterday a few times, but nothing compared to the non stop crying I used to have. I think I am finally coming to terms with the idea Lauren is in heaven and not coming back. But, I am lucky in the fact that she is always with me now!! I feel her around me and get little signs from her often. I tell her that I love her and miss her probably 100 times a day. It made me feel good that so many people liked and commented about her on Facebook. I know she is not forgotten and she affected many people's lives. I will do my best to keep her memory alive.

 Thank you for all of your precious comments. I read every one of them and keep them in my heart. Ok, picture time. For those of you that didn't see what I put on Facebook, here you go plus a few other special ones.



Wo always looked up to her big sister.

And always looked out for her little brother.


Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm So Glad This Past Week Is Over

Hi Everyone,

Well, I made it through last week!! I have to say it was so difficult and so emotional. I worked most of the days and I would get teary there every day. One of the days, a cashier asked how I was (My standard answer is usually "Good, how are you?"), but this day I said "Not great." She asked why and I told her that my daughter had passed away in the summer from cancer and that Saturday was to have been her wedding day. There are only a few people at work that know this and I don't go around telling everyone. I busted out crying and she said she was so sorry. This guy that is in charge of memberships came up to us to tell us something and saw that I was crying. He said, "Oh, I am not very good at handling emotional stuff" and turned away. A couple other cashiers came over to see what was wrong. He came back and said that he was sorry and didn't know what to do. Another cashier walked toward me and hugged me and said "This is what you do." It is so weird how uncomfortable some people are with their feelings. I try very hard never to become emotional at work, but this day it was just too much. I left every day last week crying as soon as I hit the door and cried all the way home. My eyelids looked like water balloons. I was a mess. Friday and Saturday were the absolute worst days because I was thinking about how happy Wo would have been.

Mark sat me down and we had a huge chat. I have to try to be happy or he is afraid I will die from my unhappiness. I have to let go of hoping Gio will ever be in our lives again. The reason Gio was in our lives was because of Lauren and now she is not here, so he needs his own life. It is like I am grieving him as well. I keep saying that I want Lauren back and he keeps telling me that will never happen. I told him that I cannot go on being this sad and all I want is to be happy. I am the only one that can do this. So far, yesterday and today, I have been some better. I try to focus on the good things and try to push the bad thoughts away. I was watching the Olympics one night and a mom of a snowboarder that had died of a head injury was being interviewed. The interviewer asked her if losing her daughter was the worst thing she could imagine. She said no. The worst thing would be never to have had all the years she had with her daughter and she was grateful for all of them. This is how I have to think. I had so many wonderful times with Wo. I need to focus on those instead of the sad times. I think what is holding me back is the hurt of not being able to see her, talk to her, or hug her. I do talk to her all the time, but I wish she could answer. If I am not feeling better soon, I may seek professional help and see about switching medication that I am on because it is not working anymore.

Sometimes I cannot believe I write about such personal things, but it is my choice to reveal my thoughts to you. I don't talk about my family's personal feelings because that is private and only something they can talk about if they wish to. Also, if you are sick of hearing what I talk about you can quit reading this blog. But, by the number of people that are reading, you must find it interesting. I hope you are getting a first hand view and realize that family is everything and children are so precious.

Here is to feeling better and being happy!! I will leave you with some great pics. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support on Facebook.


Sis and Wo one Halloween as old ladies. Ryan was an M&M. I can still hear them doing the Dany Carvey "church lady." Isn't that special.

Wo and I used to work at the same grocery store, Giant Eagle. On my 50th birthday, she gave me flowers, balloons, and a gigantic card. She was always so thoughtful and caring as are my other children. I love them all so much.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sad For the Day That Will Never Be

Hi Everyone,

I think this is the hardest week I have had so far and it is only Tuesday. It is not just because of my grief, but because of my feeling bad for poor Wo. She was supposed to be getting married this Saturday to her beloved Giovanni. I know Giovanni now has his own life and is moving on to try and find happiness. I think that is great and I wish him all the best. I will always love that kid with all my heart. I just can't get past Lauren not being able to have her one day that she wanted more than anything. It seems she always got dealt the bad hand her whole life. From having seizures when she was a toddler to being teased about her weight when she was in school, she has always faced hardship. Gio was her bright spot. Life was never fair for Lauren, but she never lost her optimism or her smile. She and I had so many plans for the future. She wanted 6 boys and I was going to help take care of them. She wanted them to all have Italian names. She wanted to cook big dinners and have us over to her and Gio's house. She wanted us to be together every day while the men were at work. And now it is all gone. We did have Lauren's wedding dress and veil buried with her. I hope somehow in heaven she can wear it. I can honestly say now that I think I have sunk to my lowest low so there is nowhere to go but up. I sure hope it happens soon, because the pain is almost unbearable. I don't want pity or sympathy. I just want to not be in pain anymore and to find joy again. That is it. I have a wonderful husband that loves me so much and two living children that need me to be a good Mom to them. I have a son-in-law that loves my daughter and Ryan has a dear girlfriend. I have two sweet chihuahuas that love nothing better than to sit on my lap. I have an old dog that finds comfort when I am around. I am lucky to still have my Mom and Dad who always worry if I am ok and are so sweet. And I have a terrific sister, brother-in-law, two nephews, a niece, and baby to-be coming in May. I am so blessed to have all of them, but it will just take time to fill the gaping hole in my heart that is called Wo.

That is all for now. I will try my hardest to have more uplifting posts in the future, but right now I can't promise anything. I will leave you with a few pictures of my choice. Thank you for your support and caring.


Lauren was head over heels for Gio.

I miss this girl so much.

Wo and Sis. Sisters forever.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Another Month Without Wo

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well. It has been pretty quiet around here. We are just trying to get through this winter and dreaming of spring! At least we have had some sunny days, which seems to make this weather more tolerable. I have been watching a lot of the Olympics, but I don't have the excitement for it like I used to. I'm sure like with everything I do, it is because Wo is not here.

You all know that I am not loving my job, so I have been applying different places. I feel I am safe talking about this here and nobody will see this where I work because it is fairly hard to get to know people like at past jobs. We are usually really busy and don't have idle time to get to know anybody. I was excited to see an ad in the paper for a doggie daycare. I have always said that would be my ideal job. Playing with dogs all day!! Nothing better. The position had already been filled. Darn. I did have an interview at a large touristy restaurant near me, but they are very conservative and I definitely am not. I told them I wanted to work in the bakery or the gift shop. It was a very grueling interview with an HR person and some guy that must have been an executive. I was thinking, "Are you kidding me, I'm not applying to be CEO of your company!!" Just a pie maker. Haha!! I did ok on the interview until the last question. They asked if I had any visible tattoos. I said that I did and showed them my tattoo I have with Lauren's name. I said I got it in memory of my daughter who died from cancer. They looked kind of uncomfortable and said that they would need to do a second interview and they would call me if I was chosen for that within three weeks. Well, it has been two weeks and I have not been called. I don't want to work anywhere where a tattoo is a deal breaker. Good grief, this is 2014, not 1950!!!

Mark and I have been having a very hard time lately dealing with Wo's death. It was the eight month anniversary of her passing on Sunday. We visit her grave every day, but Sunday was especially difficult. Since we got the lantern for her grave, Mark makes sure the candle is always burning. I think we have gone through four or five already!! The ache in our hearts from missing her is unbearable at times. I just want to hug her and kiss her and smell her hair. I want to hear her laugh her precious laugh and see her face light up when Gio comes over. I want to see her walk through the door with tons of bags of "stuff" she bought at Marcs because she might need one more nail file or mascara. She probably had 15 more still in the package in her room!! She was one of a kind.

I will look through my picture files and find one that jumps out at me. Thank you for continuing to support us through this difficult time. I am still getting many views of this blog. I am up to over 129,000 views. That is amazing! As long as people are reading, I will write. If one person can find some kind of help or comfort in reading my blog, that is all that matters. Love to all of you,


Wo with her Grandma Tommie and Papa Ron. They have always been there for us and we are forever grateful!!

I couldn't resist this one. It is so sweet. Lauren and Mark.