Some days it's so hard to believe you're gone, it's been a while now and I have finally stopped referring to you in the present tense. I can't believe how many times I almost caught myself telling Tim that he needed to call his Mom. How upsetting. I promised that I would take care of your boys and I'm doing my best.
Now you have a new little boy to look down on and protect. Dominick is the apple of all our eyes. You would be so proud of the man that Jared has become and he loves his son just like you loved yours. He and Jessielea are really great parents and the whole family helps them whenever we can.
Tim's doing ok. There are a lot of days when we both are overwhelmed with missing you. We all spent so much time together, but yet it wasn't enough. We weren't done taking you places and doing things with you. We still joke about your cooking and probably always will. No one will ever be able to duplicate your special Thanksgiving gravy - you know, the one with the Vanilla instead of the Gravy Master?!?!
It might be a while, but eventually we'll be able to focus on some of the wonderful traditions that you instilled in the boys, and ultimately, in myself and Jessielea. I'm confident that some day we will have the biggest, most beautifully decorated Christmas Tree ever, we'll paint cookies (which I still think is a wacky Island thing) and Tim will find it in his heart to play Santa for Dominick and Stephen. We'll get there...it just takes time.
I never told you, but I am so proud of how hard you fought and I don't mean in the end. Your life was never easy, but you did everything in your power to ensure that Tim and Jared were happy and had whatever they needed. Maybe they didn't have the fanciest things, but they both turned into such wonderful men and it is ALL because of you. I can never thank you enough for allowing me to share my life with Tim and for being my friend. It's funny how close we became after we first found those awful sores and had to go to Binghamton every week. I will always cherish those times that we had to just talk and laugh (and cry and swear about those doctors). I know I never really had a name for you, we talked about that, neither one of us are the mushy-gushy type, but I know you knew that you were "MOM", even if I couldn't say it until it was too late.
I don't think there is a person who knew you that will ever see a frog, hear the Carpenters or play Bingo without smiling. Some day I hope those of us who loved you most will be able to smile without tears, but that day is not here yet. You did so much for those folks at Peacock and in return, they were a big source of comfort for us when we needed it. It really is true that one hand washes the other.
Please know that you will always be loved and will never be forgotten.