I’d like to open up by saying thank you for all the love. Debbie, Jorge, Justin and myself are overwhelmed by the waves of love that have poured in through texts, phone calls, Facebook posts, grat lists, flowers, gifts, donations, cards, prayers, and all those who came to honor Anthony this past Sunday.
Even though I may not have replied to all of the messages, I want you to know that I’ve read & listened to every single one of them. I’ve shared some with Debbie, Jorge & Justin and will continue to share with them in the coming weeks, as each and every one is worthy of being heard and read.
I’m not going to lie….it has been a horrible roller coaster ride. My brother had an incredible will to live. Every operation, every procedure, every painful moment, he faced them all courageously. So many procedures, operations and setbacks by things that were unimaginable. We just couldn’t keep up. Deb & I would talk late at night to try and sort through it all and talked about creating an excel document because there was just so much to keep track of.
Me? I would’ve given up. I would’ve been like ‘Ok, I’m ready. Come and get me. Basta!’ But not him. Anthony had an incredible will to live.
And he suffered a great deal as a result. No one should have to suffer that much...especially my brother.
We had all hoped for a better outcome. All of us, his family and friends, we were all in it together. But apparently it wasn’t his journey. And so, here we are.
But I don’t want to only talk about this latest part of his life. It was a small segment of who Anth, Anthony, Uncle Anthony, Ripper, Tony was. I want to talk about the person who brought all of us together to honor him because he touched us all in a unique and different way.
I want to talk about the Anthony who was a talented mother f’er!
The Anthony who loved music and taught himself how to play guitar…also played keyboard and drums. Like someone else in our family (wink Nuzzi).
I want to talk about the Anthony who loved drawing and painting, and who did amazing airbrush work. Many of you have posted on Facebook or have written me personally sharing the work he did for you. It warms our hearts that he will be remembered in this way.
The above won him several awards and the cover of a popular industry magazine.
Like my father and grandfather, Anth was also great with his hands. He didn’t always finish the projects he started. God knows there are a million of them out there still waiting to be done…insert hands in strangle pose here. arghh gotta love him!
But the one project he did finish is my absolute favorite and what I consider to be his greatest achievement in projects….Mom’s pool. That pool gave our family so many hours of joy. My nephew Justin learned how to swim in that pool! Many of you reading this had the chance to swim in it so you know what I’m talking about. It was an oasis. I will forever be grateful to him and Mom for that pool.
As Mom is gone 6 years today, I wanted to share this blog now, for obvious reasons. And, I thought it was time to share the video of her and Justin below. It’s been too painful before, but now…well I couldn’t leave it out. See for yourself below.
I want to talk about the Anthony who loved Christmas and decorating. He got, it as we all did, from our Dad and Grandpa G. Christmas was magical with them. Anth and my Mom continued the tradition and were a force to be reckoned with. They had decorations not only for Christmas but for every holiday: Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, July 4th, St. Patrick’s Day. Valentine’s Day…the list goes on and on…How do I not have more photos of their work? There was actually a spare room upstairs, that should have been a bedroom, but nooo…they needed a room for all of their decorations. And how excited they’d get when they found lights that could segue from one holiday into the next…for example the pumpkin lights that they’d put up for Halloween but that naturally flowed right into Thanksgiving. Oh joy! Mom’s house was a favorite spot to visit by people in the neighborhood as a result. Now they’re together again. Maybe they’re even decorating today. Hmm I’d like to see that electric bill!
I’d like to talk about the Anthony who loved to cook. I’ll miss his mushrooms at Thanksgiving and his baked beans at barbecues. As sick as he was for Thanksgiving he managed to make his famous mushrooms. He checked himself out of the hospital despite recommendations not to. He had to be with his family. Deb & Jorge wound up having to rush him back to the hospital the very next day. But he got what he wanted, and we got to spend one last holiday together. We even had the chance to play some dominoes.
I’d like to talk about the Anthony who loved his family, especially Justin. As Christmas approached he was still in the hospital, going through so many things. Through it all he wrote Deb & I…’You have to do me a favor. One of you has to get the Hess Truck for Justin.’ He had been buying them since the year Deb became pregnant with Justin. He never missed a year and it was important for him to not miss this one.
In the last couple of months he was talking a lot about our Dad. He especially reminisced about their times spent together on the boat fishing, and how much he missed him.
In honor of those memories, we have decided that in the Spring we will scatter Anth’s ashes in the waters where he and Dad used to fish out in East Moriches. We know he would be extremely pleased with our decision.
There is so much more to say and feel about Anth, but for now I’d like to leave you with a collage of photos that cover some of the Anthony that we all knew. Me, Debbie, Jorge & Justin invite you to share in the comments section below as well. Feel free to share a story, or a sentiment, or a prayer, or even lyrics from a song that reflects how Anthony showed up in your life.
I hope he can see this and feel all the love that’s been pouring out for him since he left us on February 9th. If he’s able to be watching, like we all hope, it would be great for him to know how much he was loved.
Thank you again on behalf of Debbie, Jorge, Justin & myself. We are grieving and are in pain, but all the love you’ve sent our way is helping us to reminisce, smile, cry and heal. We absorb all of your love and we thank you with full hearts.
Please hug someone you love today. Big Love, PatriciaG