Tag 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

I love technology……almost as much as I love my Jude.

I love technology……almost as much as I love my Jude.

Our Little Gondolier

Our little Gondolier

Our little Gondolier

Jude Video Hey Mom……
Click on the above colored words and this is sure to cheer you up after reading all of the sad things.
Lindsay sings to baby Jude
Seems my Blog has become a bit morbid with all of this PC stuff! Thought I would lighten things up a bit with some great shots and videos of the greatest gift God gave us to help us during our journey.
Jumpin myself to sleep.....

Jumpin myself to sleep…..


Grandpa is babysitting......

Grandpa is babysitting……


Lookin like Shrek

Lookin like Shrek

5 mos and 8 days...

5 mos and 8 days…


Wedding Attire.....

Wedding Attire…..

My first Halloween Costume

My first Halloween Costume

Each morning Lindsay captures a cute shot of Jude and sends it over to start our day with a smile. We have grown to expect them and if one doesn’t arrive we are slightly disappointed. Here are a few to share.

The birth…….

The birth…….

photo

“Our baby is having a baby! Lindsay, our youngest and only daughter is due to deliver our angel baby on May 5th.”

We shared this fact with our surgical team who told us “….this is perfect….go home, take a week and enjoy this miraculous life changing event with your family.” Dr. Asbun explained the tumor had been there growing for probably 15 years. Delaying the surgery one week more would not be a problem. So, we scheduled the surgery for May 12th and began to pray our little angel would arrive during TPC week on schedule…or close to it.

When Lindsay shared our great news last October, we could not have been happier. Louis had moved out so I immediately went to work on transforming his room into a nursery. Both Grandma’s would share daycare for the angel so Lindsay could go back to work. It was so much fun picking the baby furniture and painting a day bed and putting it all together in anticipation of May 5th, the due date.

Both Lindsay’s and our nursery were completed by April. We were all set.

When the news of my diagnosis on April 29th was shared with the family everything changed. It was a very difficult time for everyone, but especially for Lindsay. She was already hormonal and uncomfortable and anxious about giving birth for the first time. She amazed us with her strength. On her next weekly doctor visit she explained the situation. Her doctor agreed she should deliver by the due date and assured her the baby was completely ready to face the outside world. They made plans for inducement and we knew we would have a baby by May 5th.

Grandpa Lugi had arrived a few days before ready to relax and enjoy the golf tournament. This week was our 21st Player Championship week in our home. While I must say this week eclipsed all years prior…it was a roller coaster of emotions. Grandpa handled all of this extremely well.

We had begun a backyard project in October that felt similar to what Lindsay was experiencing in knitting the baby in her womb. The project seemed to go on and on and of course, the deadline was TPC week. The back yard was filled with carpenters, plumbers, stone workers and more. The street in front of the house was lined with trucks and trailers. It was coming together, but we were not really positive it would all come together in time.

So much going on…..

Matt told us they were at the hospital early in the morning hours of May 5th. The inducement was not necessary…little guy was ready and God was in control!

Tom and I rested alongside one another praying for a smooth birth for Lindsay and a perfect little baby boy. We got up early and prepared to spend the day at the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital, we sat in the waiting room. The Garrity’s were there, all of Matt’s sisters, and of course the Zitiello’s. It was a full house!

Lindsay and Matt requested to be alone in the delivery room …..their own family unit. We all honored the decision but waited in anticipation to hear that the baby was delivered and healthy.

Suddenly over the loud speaker was a doorbell sort of sound playing “lullaby and goodnight“. We asked the nurse if that meant a baby had been born…. Could it have been the Garrity baby? “Yes”, she confirmed. Within a few minutes, Matt emerged from the double doors to announce the baby was very healthy in fact almost 9 pounds!

He asked Phyllis and I, the Grandma’s to come in to see him first. We quickly followed Matt to the room and instantly fell in love with our perfect angel. God had blessed us, He had brought us a symbol of life, of hope and of His love. He blessed us all with this perfect child on this day, amidst this uncertain trial, to show us that life is precious and perfectly timed.

Then Lindsay announced…….”Come and meet Jude“…..It might have been the happiest day of my life.