Tuesday, May 26, 2015



It’s official.We all LOVE NY!  Nikki and the kids joined me for a road trip. It was time for a break after all the stops and starts we’ve experienced since January 3rd. I can tell you with confidence that your children are not yet road warriors! As Nikki set the car in reverse to get us out of the driveway, Addy piped up with “are we there yet”. Five hours including four stops seemed an impossible goal at the time. After our first pit stop, Gammy decided to jump into the back seat and position herself between the two to provide bottle feeds, head rubs, binky reloads and DVD changes. It did bring the decibel sound of the crying down a bit and we arrived in one piece, along with a McDonald’s Happy Meal Pony toy (we had a weak moment and were trying to improve our pit stop time. NASCAR has nothing on us!) 

The change in geography did us good. We laughed. We laughed so much reminiscing about you. Feels so good to laugh—belly laugh, laugh till your cheeks hurt Laflamme laugh, Nikki’s storytelling is identical to yours. Truly felt like you were with us. Joy, Matthew. We actually reintroduced ourselves to joy and she welcomed us with open arms!

Addy did a lot of running around outside. So much for her to see; the barns, the pond, the acres of fields and all the beautiful spring flowers. Matty II is housed outside for the summer and has two blooms—one for Addy and another for Bear. I love watching Addy—the way each of her legs travel in a semi-circle in opposite directions as she runs. Did you hear her yelling “It’s AMAZING”? I thought I could hear you say "Mom, my kids are so special". We went to the park and the Bouncy Pillow in Accord and the Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie. Daily trips to Saunderskill were the highlight for Addy. Uncle Ryan makes her feel so special. He gives the same big, tight hugs full of love and affection that we grew so accustomed to getting from you. She told Nikki and me “he gives the best kisses”. She runs to him, he picks her up and snuggles kisses into her neck. She giggles and squirms and loves every minute. I’ve seen you give her the same kisses. They are the kisses I give her. She talks about you daily. The resilience of childrenfor now we can fill her heart. It’s the little bit later that I worry about.

Bear Bear charmed everyone with that big smile of his. Such a happy baby. He must have felt like he was in Crawling Boot Camp all week. Goal accomplished! Saturday Bob and I witnessed his crossing the finish line. It is pure bliss rocking that baby to sleep. I feel the last remnants of Matty in those moments. I don’t have a name for that emotion. It’s love, regret, gratefulness and longing all rolled into one. He loves his face and head stroked. He is so content to be sung to, enveloped in loving arms. Thank you for the gift of your children.

With all the good feelings that we experienced, the Universe decided to serve up the duality card on the ride home. Grief is giving me a much clearer picture of “what goes up must come down”. Nikki’s song, the song she chose for the two of you after your passing; the song that comes through as a sign from you to her so very often; Daddy’s song; the song that brings me to my knees and fills me with the deepest sadnessEd Sheeran’s Thinking Out Load played not once, but twice. The first time I heard the song I was with Nikki coming back from running errands. The lyrics and the melody fill every cell in my body with a deep, deep sorrow. My limbs feel weak. My head fills with a swooshing sound. I get so fatigued. I can’t help but cry this very primal cry that comes from the depths of my soul. My soul that is Earth bound, the soul that has temporarily forgotten its heavenly purpose for this lifetime—the soul that feeds the heart despair. I feel as though I can handle my grief. We had an exceptional 36 years together you and I. Gratefulness truly fills my heart. I just don’t know how to handle the grief that I feel for Nikki’s loss. The lyrics . . .

. . . And I can't sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks
And darling I will be loving you 'til we're 70
And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23 
And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand Oh me I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am
So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are
'Cause honey your soul can never grow old, it's evergreen
Baby your smile's forever in my mind and memory
I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it's all part of a plan . . .
Oh maybe we found love right where we are
And we found love right where we are 

I’ve asked myself repeatedly over the last few days why I have such a visceral reaction to this song. It haunts me. It’s the inability to grow old together. The absolute shock of finding a love that completes you only to realize that it was so short lived. It’s the Memory when you really want the Forever. It’s the loss of something that was just so right. It’s the end of the physical part of love.  It’s the cherishing that completes the love. Wedding vows include the words to Love and to Cherish, but what do they really mean? When we cherish, we care deeply, we give a piece of ourselves to each other and that creates the ‘Us’. Our love becomes selfless. We are entwined in our love, we are one. We cherish each other daily by our words, our actions. A blessed marriage is one that keeps the act of cherishing at the forefront of the relationship. It’s the small considerations—the cup of tea in the morning, the “I love you” calls throughout the day, the daily picture of your babies sent to your cell to keep you connected. 

I know cherishing. You know cherishing. You lived with a wonderful example growing up. You learned how to cherish by watching Dad cherish me. You experienced how small simple acts keep the love alive and bind you as a couple; allows you to make a withdrawal when sailing in rough waters. It’s the loss of the acts of cherishing that I grieve for Nikki’s loss of you. I will continue to be cherished. Nikki will have the memory of being cherished. That is what I would like to fix. An unrealistic thought. Impossible. Out of my control but oh! So sad. Helpless, not something I wear very well. 

So Sweetheart, the joy is accompanied by the ache. This week—we’ve been given a glimpse of what our new normal looks like. 

I pray for your peace in Spirit. I ask that you bestow peace onto ours.
Love you so much—forever.




  1. Diane - so glad you and Nikki and the kids were able to get away this last week and were able to laugh and enjoy life. Not sure there would have been a better place for you to go. I was so pleased that we would have a chance to see you and spend some time sigh you. I saw first hand what a good Gammy you are and mother-in-law . What a gift you are to that precious mother and kids. What a precious gift they are to you.
    Much love to you all. Will continue to pray for you.

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    2. Thank you Debbie. Was wonderful catching up & so happy you got to meet Nikki & the grands.


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