Friday, August 27, 2010

A Hero

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. -Joseph Campbell

Over the past week I have been trying to make sense of something that I am not sure I will fully understand myself.

For those who have not heard, my cousin, Sargent Steven DeLuzio, was killed in Afganistan last weekend. Since hearing of his death, I have tried to think of him, find photos, read posts and comments, remember every last memory that I could. Plus I want to shout at everyone I see. I want them to know about Steve, what kind of man he was, how much he loved his family and this country. I want everyone to know him and never forget that he gave his life for them.

I've been trying to balance all the pride I feel with all the sadness that I feel. It is tough! Plus then if it tough for me, how impossible it must feel for his Mom and Dad, Diane and Mark; his brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Vicki; and of course his fiance, Leeza. I have wished more than once this week that there was a way for me to lessen the pain they all must be feeling.

Many people don't understand the war, and I am not sure I really do either, but when I think about Steve and Scott, who was serving over there too, and any and all the men and women over there I think, all I really need to do is support them. This is what our country has decided to do, or forced to do...whichever way you choose to look at it, supporting the troops has to be what we can do as Americans.

Our Governor has requested that all flags fly at half staff until Steve's funeral, which is a wonderful thing. My brother-in-law said that he wants to personally thank the families that have lowered their flags and I feel that same way too. But on the other hand, there is a flag at the end of a street close by that has not been lowered, and I want to march myself up to their doors too and ask them to lower it.

Steve was an outgoing, always smiling man, who made anyone and everyone that he talked to feel comfortable around him. He would take the time to ask you about yourself. He would take the time to let the little kids know they were important too. I remember when Charlotte was just over a year old, and we went to Christmas Eve at his Aunt Joanne and Uncle Phil's house. Steve and Scott both were there themselves. Charlotte was a very shy little girl. They both waved at her during dinner, and then when there was less people around, and she was comfortable to walk around herself. They both sat on the floor and played with her or tried to get her to come and play with them. So cute!

Oh Steve! If there was something I could say to you now, it would be this. We are all so unbelievably proud of you. You gave your life, no only for something that you believed strongly in, but for all of us. Choosing to do this with your life is so amazing. I will miss the razzing you gave me about the Red Sox. Almost every time I posted a status on Facebook related to the Red Sox, you would comment. And even at home, Red Sox razzing became the norm. An avid Yankee fan, through and through.
Even in Afganistan, you were so upbeat about everything. I can remember a couple of posts about "Dear Rain, Enough is Enough..." or "Afgan Dancing 101" or "The best part about being up at four am...". You could make us smile even from half way around the world. You are a true American Hero Steve. You will forever be remembered for the ultimate sacrafice that you made for me, our family, this country, and the freedoms that we all take for granted on a daily basis. You will be missed, but never forgotten. I miss you Steve. I will never forget all you did for us. Rest now. Love you.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Remember...

I remember the ups and downs.

I remember the nurse calling and saying "you're pregnant"!

I remember telling Daddy you were coming!

I remember the last MD appointment. Dr. Mihalek said "Are you ready to have a baby?" Me "NO!" Him "Yes you are. Let's do it tomorrow".

I remember not sleeping that night.

I remember going in to the hospital with butterflies in my stomach.

I remember thinking this is what we've wanted for so long!

I remember shaking when I got my IV.

I remember getting my epidural. And then it not working on one side.

I remember having a mirror so I could see you coming.

I remember Daddy saying "It's a Girl!" And crying, crying, crying!

I remember holding you for the first time. My little baby girl. My gift from God.

I remember naming you "Charlotte" because we wanted you to have a special name. Named after a special guy. And your middle name "Anne", after a special lady.

I remember Grammie coming to the hospital after midnight to see you...she couldn't wait.

I remember Nana and Grandpa coming to see you, and Nana wore pink!

I remember so many aunts, uncles, friends, cousins, etc. etc. etc. came to see our little miracle. Lots of them wearing pink!

I remember bringing you home. Sitting in the backseat with you because we were so nervous.

I remember writing down every little thing you did, or we did for that first year.

I remember your first day at Lisa's. Oh how I cried!

I remember your fluffy head!

I remember when you started talking...could it be only at ten months old! Yes it was!

I remember your "open mouth kisses".

I remember your first birthday! On the Places You Will Go!

I remember you were the one who started saying "It's just gas"! :)

I remember you and your siblings are what truly matter.

I remember having you tell the world that you were going to be a big sister!

I remember you being do excited to come visit Ian and me in the hospital.

I remember how much you wanted to help.

I remember what a wonderful big sister you became to Ian.

I remember your giggles.

I remember how much you love books. You used to want to sleep with them. Beg me to take you to the library!

I remember your hugs.

I remember so many of the things that you said.

I remember your first day of dance. You were so scared. Now we can't stop you from dancing!!

I remember your first day of preschool. You were so excited. And I cried! Oh how I cried!

I remember your excitement when we told you we were having another baby.

I remember you insisted it was a girl. We tried to prepare you for the fact it might be a boy.

I remember you were right! You were the first person we called when Genevieve was born, and you said "I told you it was a girl"!

Oh Charlotte, I hope you will always know the joy you brought and continue to bring into our lives. You were our first miracle.

Now with kindergarten looming on the horizon, I just can't believe it is time for you to grow up that much more. Everyday I look at you and think you grew a little more overnight. You're not my baby anymore. You're not a toddler either. You are a little girl, who loves Barbies, playing hide and seek, stuffed animals, making friends, and who is a light in our lives!

I hope all your dreams come true. I hope you stay the happy girl you are today!

We love you Charlotte!
It's time for kindergarten! *deep breath*

Monday, August 2, 2010


What is fear? Is it something that is in your subconscious? Is it mind over matter? How do you control or calm fears? I have been thinking about this so much in the past few days and weeks.

Why, you ask?

I have struggled my whole life with fears. Most are little things and some are somewhat bigger. I have resided to the fact that these are me, but I won't let them rule my life. I don't want them to be the things that are constantly on my mind. I need to let them go as much as I can. I'm trying. I hope I will.

But, in the past few weeks and such, my little boy has become almost crippled by fear. He has always been, from the moment he was born, and extremely strong startle reflex. He would literally shake when presented with a loud noise, or and unexpected sound. Now, picture the fourth of July. Fireworks and all. My poor little boy has not been the same since.Knowing how it feels to be afraid, and how it can over take your mind, I of course don't want that for my boy. I want to help him to not be afraid. I want to be sure he always feels safe. But how?

The OT in me wants to give him some sensory strategies that will help him to become almost desensitized to loud noises or even those noises that just may be unexpected. But the Mommy in me wants to hug him and tell him it's all ok. There's nothing to be afraid of. Then the woman in me, just wants to reason with him, explain what fireworks are, why they are not scary, etc. etc.

BUT HELLO....he's TWO!

So, I guess putting it out there makes it less of a fear of mine that he will continue to be crippled by this. I will help him through it. I will try to calm his fears. I will hold his hand and make some modifications for him when I can, so he feels more comfortable.

I love you, Ian. You are safe. I will always be there for you no matter what your fear. And in the mean time, I'll buy you some earmuffs????