Category Archives: Jude

“Mia”

“Mia”

It happened organically. My daughter-in-law and daughter always asked me what I wanted to be called when the grand-babies came. I never had an issue with being called “GrandMa” like many of my friends did. I told them whatever the kids called me was fine with me. But, I didn’t like “Grand-MAW” though. I like “Grammie” just fine. They called me “Grandma” and that was fine with me too.

But, one day something amazing happened. Around the age of 18 months Jude began to talk. He started showing an interest in family photos. Lindsay would drill him on who was in the photo hanging on the wall. Samantha, Lindsay’s longtime friend created a small book where each page was a family member. Jude quickly caught on. One day, he called me “Mia”. We all loved it.

His other Grandmother is “Mimi”, so maybe “Mia” is a shortened version of that. We don’t know, but it sure is fitting.

The other Grandchildren were not sure if they wanted to change my name. But, soon everyone was calling me Mia.

The other day when Jude was reluctant to take his afternoon nap he called from his crib…”Momma”…”Mia”….”Momma”…”Mia”. Lindsay and I just laughed. This was the perfect thing for a one quarter Italian baby to call out.

Today our angel turns 2! God blessed us with this little carrot to make it through the tough times.  We thank God for him every day.

Today our angel turns 2! God blessed us with this little carrot to make it through the tough times.
We thank God for him every day.

Purple Stride – 2015

Purple Stride – 2015
Delivering my speech before Purple Stride race begins.

Delivering my speech before Purple Stride race begins.

In June, 2010 I went to cooking school in the foothills of the Appenines just south of Florence, Italy with a good foodie friend, Kelly who is here today. We prepared our meals in a 300 year-old stone barn that had been renovated into a rustic kitchen. I learned to prepare tasty meals with limited organic ingredients. I fell in love with Italy, Italian cuisine and my teacher Chef Laura. So much so that I returned with 4 more of my friends in 2012.

In April 2014, when I lost my inspiration to cook, my appetite and my yearning for a great full-bodied cabernet, I knew something wasn’t right.

Mayo Clinic Docs found a mass in my pancreas and surgery was scheduled two weeks later.

Our sixth grandchild was presented by our only daughter and her husband a week before my surgery. They named him “Jude”. This was the single most important honor that has ever been given me.

I underwent 9 and ½ hour Whipple surgery by my hero Dr. Horcio Asbun. The human I credit with saving my life.

Many of you here today know first hand what that surgery entails. I lived thru the recovery, a serious infection, the chemo and the radio chemotherapy taking my final treatment Christmas Eve.

I stand here today 16 months cancer free.

What I do want to share with you is what my husband, my family and friends learned from our trial.

Tom, whom I now call Joseph, who led our family thru this dessert- and I leaned that God is in control .We agreed to say “Yes” to anyone who offered help. People want to help. They don’t know what to say or what to do or how they can help…but …if you answer “yes’ you will see the love of God thru them. They are His hands helping you and loving you. You are blessed and they will be too by making a meal, changing your bed, rubbing cream on your feet and hands. I felt God’s love in every action and our family did too.

When I was at my weakest point, Joseph, (Tom) asked me what I wanted to do in my life, what I dreamed of. I told him it was to take our family to Italy. He said “DONE”.
In July we flew 13 family members, our children and grandchildren to Milan. We took them on a tour of the Vatican and Rome. We rented a house on Lake Como and threw a wedding for our son and his bride in a small Catholic Church on that beautiful lake.

God winked at me that week. While I was walking 60 meters from the boat ramp to our rental home on a stretch of narrow road, my Chef Laura from cooking school saw me as she was driving from Milan to Billagio at that very moment. She stopped, came to our home, met my family and shared an hour with us.

Quite frankly, I never dreamed I would see Laura again. I believe God made that happen.

Laura Giusti, my Chef and my friend.

Laura Giusti, my Chef and my friend.

This disease is a beast. We all have an expiration date. Those with PC realize that date could be sooner than later. The vulnerability permeates to your family and friends. It shows them that each family member is a treasure, friend is a blessing, each moment of every day is a gift.

If you or your loved one has PC, remember this. God is in control. He loves every one of us. Put your faith in Him and give your worries and your fears up to Him. He will lift that burden from your shoulders and show you His love.

Todays walk will raise awareness of this dreadful cancer and increase research funding so that early detection stops the growth of this disease and doesn’t let it gain status of becoming the #1 cancer killer within the next five years.

NEGU and give your fear and your family up to God. He will bless you beyond your belief.

Thank you for being here today to walk by our side in this battle.

The walk was exhausting for little baby Jude

The walk was exhausting for little baby Jude

Goodbye baby – hello toddler…

Goodbye baby – hello toddler…
Lindsay, Matthew and Jude. The Garrity's celebrate ONE

Lindsay, Matthew and Jude. The Garrity’s celebrate ONE

Today I washed and put away baby bottles, cleared the counter of the bottle warmer, pacifiers. No more bottles for our little Jude….he is ONE! The pediatrician said he doesn’t need to take a bottle any longer. He weighed 21.5 lbs. and is in the 85 percentile in height. He is thriving and performing all of the usual behaviors of a 12 month old. He is eating table food, most of the time organic, prepared by his Momma or Grammie or Mimi. He loves the smoothies Momma makes him. He is drinking out of a sippie-cup.

In the past few months we have packed away his Momma-Roo, his doorway bouncer, his wheeled walker and many of the infant “must haves” to await the next angel God sends us. We washed and packed his newborn, 3-6 mos. 9 mos. and even some 12 mos. outfits in a big plastic bin. Could this be possible?

No longer will he lay on my chest to sleep, when I can smell the fine hairs on his soft little head as I listen for his gentle and steady breathing. No longer will he lift his wobbly head off the floor during tummy time and stare up at me in curiosity. No longer will he crawl around on the floor or sit quietly shaking his rattle while he hones his motor skills. He is a toddler.

He loves to go on a wagon ride and play with his riding fire truck, pushing the buttons warning his dogs Duffy and Finn to get out of the way.

If he sees the stairs are not blocked, he hurries and climbs up checking behind to see if we have discovered his shenanigans. (He doesn’t know how to go down….just up.)

He walks everywhere but does occasionally come to us with arms outstretched to be picked up and carried. But, he is on the move and we guard him closely.

He loves to sit on your lap and look at this books as we read each page. After, he will mimmic us babbling in his own words what he heard us say and pointing just as we did. He is the supreme copycat.

His vocabulary is expanding. He knows many words we speak. This can be proven if we give him a command to bring us his teddy bear or ball. He knows “no”, “hot”, “bye bye” and much more. He is forming his language right on target. (We think he is brilliant of course.)

He is obsessed with buttons of any sort. Momma doesn’t want him to use cell phones, but I admit, he grabs mine whenever possible and knows how to talk to Siri and how to scan the apps and photos. It is amazing how they pick this up. Every remote is exciting because he can see on the television how the buttons react.

He seldom cries when he is laid down to sleep. He truly enjoys his alone time. He loves his teddy bear and “silly monkey” lovey who usually accompany him to bed. You can hear him talking in a high pitched voice to them just like Grammie does when he is put in his crib for a nap.

He is a really good baby. I remind his parents, they all are not like this.

Could the difference be that this baby is loved beyond belief by his parents, both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He is loved by his parents friends and more. He gets loads of quality attention and all else he requires. Jude is blessed, and so are we.

So, welcome little toddler. We can’t wait to see what year number two will be like. We know you will soon able to tell us exactly what you are thinking.

We love you over the moon. We thank God for you every day. What a gift He gave us to get through this difficult year.
God’s most important request of us…..”love one another…as I have loved you.” John 15:12.

Jude & Grammie pic