Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I guess it's all relative because sometimes 3 months seems like a long time and then again it can feel like nano seconds. I'm not sure which way I am leaning today -- but more times than not it feels like an eternity since I held Johnny in my arms.
Sunday was the first time since September 23 we've been together as a family -- we stopped by to visit Johnny, and it was Sophie's first to visit since he passed. Of course the kids did well, it's Mike and I that have a hard time. Everything looked beautiful -- My sister dropped off a stocking for Johnny a few weeks ago. It's 'Stewey' from Family Guy and has a photo of my nieces, Sophie and Johnny playing together. My mom bought some Christmas greens for Johnny too.
Mike was named after his Grandfather, so it's a shock for Joey to read this:
But this is the one that gives me the chills:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
If you've been looking for JR products I know of a couple of shops on the island that still have stuff.
Ohana has shoes, decks, hoodies, and t-shirts. I think they may have the Spitfire JR wheels too.
Surf Specialties has hoodies, and at least one full JR board with his last deck design, thunder trucks, and JR wheels.
In Houston Surfhouse has JR decks and wheels, and they may also have the t-shirts and hoodies. There may be a few other shops that have Johnny's stuff, so you should check with your local shop first.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I guess grief comes in waves -- for awhile I was doing pretty good, but lately it's been rough. The pain is crippling -- it's sucks big donkey -- well you know what I mean. But instead of talking about how much life bites the big one right now, I have a good story...
Okay, this part sucks, but it gets better -- Johnny's headstone is in. On the way home from Joey's paintball party Saturday, Mike stopped by to check it out. It's cool (duh), and reads 'Roll Forever'. Mike also had the boys with him, Joey, Kyle, and Joseph -- just as things started to get a little emotional -- BAM! -- out of nowhere the cutest little bunny runs out from behind the headstone giving everyone a heart attack. They all thought it was odd how the 4 of them had been walking around the very small area and none of them saw the bunny -- it just 'appeared'. They laughed their butts off knowing it was Johnny telling them to 'knock it off!' Johnny loved scaring the crap out of people (apparently he still does!).
I stopped by on Tuesday. Super hard day. I cried a lot -- and begged Johnny for something big -- a 'sign' -- to let me know he's okay. But nothing. No rabbits, no butterflies, no dragonflies, no birds, no antelope, no grizzlies, no crocs ( you get the picture), -- or anything you read about that might symbolize a loved one is with you. More tears. And it was pouring down rain. The harder I cried, the harder it rained -- I would stop and the rain would stop. I got out of the car to see the 'family garden', and cried some more (FYI: buy Visine stock!). One thing I love though, waaay before May 26 was ever a reality, Johnny wrote in the steam (or what some would call the 'grungy film') on the inside of my sunroof: 'MOM' with a bunch of stars all around it. It makes me look up to heaven and smile. Okay... I'll take that as a 'sign'.
Typical Houston weather yesterday, rainy and muggy -- not good for the hair... For strictly vanity reasons, I almost turned the a/c on in the house -- but heard it might be cold in the morning (today), so held off. MAN it was friggin' cold this morning and only got colder as the day went on -- it was still flat and gray, with rain.
This morning was 'Morning with Moms' at Sophie's school -- something we've done since Joey was in Kindergarten here -- it's breakfast for Moms only and of course their kids. There I saw fifth graders who were in Johnny's Kindergarten and First grade classes. They had play dates together, I saw the girls who used to fight to do his homework for him, I was their room mom for two years -- and it really sucked to be surrounded by hundreds moms with their little boys. Of course I had my Sophie who always makes me smile, brightens my day and makes me hug a little tighter - but this morning still sucked.
Tonight was our orientation at Bo's Place and I had to pick the kids up early from school -- it was still cold and rainy. (More sucky stuff -- Bo's is near the Medical Center so it was the first time I drove the 'route' since September). Bo's isn't 'therapy' -- it's a peer support group, geared for kids and parents who have also lost a sibling/child. I'll fill you in later ...
We do our thing, yadda, yadda, yadda... and as we are leaving Bo's, it started snowing -- well, probably more like sleeting but in Houston, we call it snow. Mike and I drove separate and I followed him as he decides to go through the Med Center -- right by TCH, already decorated for Christmas (it was the quickest route home...). I tried not to cry, but it didn't do so good. Sophie announced she missed Johnny, asked why he had to die and said she thought he was always going to live and be okay. I agreed with her and told her everyone thought the same thing. The harder I cried, the harder it snowed. This time big fluffy flakes we don't normally see here. The last time it snowed in Houston was Christmas Eve 2004, 5 months before Johnny was diagnosed. I remember it well. Everyone was at my parents house and the kids were going crazy -- we all were -- it was snowing!!! WOO HOO!
Tonight Sophie was beside herself with excitement -- this was the first time she remembers seeing snow (in 2004 she was only 2). Then it hit me. I said, 'this is Johnny's 'big sign', letting us know he's okay'. But I still cried. Like the day before, the harder I cried the harder it snowed and the flakes got even bigger too. When the snow let up Sophie said, "Johnny's just filling up his bucket" and then it would start snowing again -- crazy hard too -- I'd guess you could call it a "Texas Whiteout" (you could still clearly see in front of you).
Yesterday was in the 60's -- and all last week and really, all through fall, the temps never dropped much below 50 for more than a few hours. Tomorrow's forecast as well as the rest of next week will be back in the 50's and almost 80 by the weekend. But today it decided to snow.
Christmas Eve 2004 it snowed and everyone was happy and healthy (no cancer) -- then it didn't snow until now -- 4 years later, and I like to think that we are all healthy (no cancer) and on our way to being happy. someday...
(.... it still sucks big donkey balls though!)
Joey is 13... YIKES! I can't believe it -- I used to ask 'him what happened to my baby?', but then I finally figured out he ate my baby. Mike and Joey share clothes and shoes -- but it won't be long before Joey is giving Mike hand-me-downs. He was very specific about having a BIG family birthday party, so that's what we did! Joey was the first grandchild on both sides, way before anyone else -- so this is what a 13 year olds party looks like in our family:
I'm pretty sure the kids had a great time
A house full of family
Tessa LOVES the doodles (and I mean, LOVES them)!
I was nervous about letting the doodles run free with all of the little ones around -- I didn't want it to look like Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom -- you know, the dogs taking the kids down -- and everything happening in slow motion. As we let the dogs out to 'run free', they became the hunted and were chased by kids screaming, "DOGGIES!!! DOGGIES COME HERE!!! DOGGIES I WANT TO RIDE YOU LIKE A PONY!!! DOGGIES DON'T RUN AWAY!!!" Both dogs hauled ass and and ran for cover. They got a little taste of their own medicine... it's good for them.
The following weekend Joey wanted a paintball party with all of our friends, obviously it was a hit. He invited his best friend Joseph -- who had never been before, but we knew he'd have fun. I caught a glimpse of him as he was 'preparing for battle' and I could see the fear in his eyes -- he was white as a ghost -- you couldn't even see his freckles. Turns out he loved it and wants to do one for his birthday party.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Today we buried my great aunt Katie. She was my grandmother's only sister, and her youngest sibling. The service was held at St. Rose this morning, and then aunt Katie was laid to rest at the small cemetery where her parents are also buried. I think she would have been happy with both services.
Aunt Katie was a very kind woman. She will be sorely missed and her passing is very sad, but it also marks a significant event for our family. After my grandmother, Sarah (Colonnetta) Romano, passed last February aunt Katie was the last remaining member of the first generation of the Colonnetta family raised in America. I know that the ties that bind the Colonnetta family together are strong, and will remain so, but sitting in the church today I couldn't help but think that we were not only saying "goodbye" to Katie, but also to a whole generation, and a significant link to our roots.
I also have decided that I'm tired of funerals.