real life

"To my baby boy, on our first Sunday without you."

Dearest Vito,

Here’s our first Sunday, my dear boy. Our first real Sunday.

I have said it before, yet I say it again. There is no word for this pain. This utter, piercing pain. It hurts every cell of my body and every ounce of my being.

At times, I lie in bed unable to cry because the convulsions from my tears hurt too much. There’s a lull in my heart as I walk, as if something is missing, yet something is stuck.

But then there are times of utter joy. As I look at your pictures, as I remember all the joy you’ve brought to our lives. Your smile, how it brightened the world. Stories of people who never met you, who love you.

As I miss you, my dreams come and dance in front of my eyes. My dreams of you, my dreams of your brothers, my dreams of the world. I live for my dreams — not only of my wishes for you, but also of my wishes for your brothers.

I dream of a world of people who can put down their hate and cherish the love.

I dream of peace in all of our hearts, true peace and acceptance — that each breath is cherished.

I dream of always cherishing the scent of fresh grass.

I dream of feeling your warmth as the sun soaks into my skin.

Valiant Vito. Image via Facebook.

I dream of you running and jumping and saying, "Mum, look at me!" and the openness of my mind and patience to always look, even for the 100th time.

I dream of those hours spent worrying about bills, paying for treatment, instead of cuddling and cherishing. Always cuddle over worrying.

I dream of holding you by the shoreline while the waves crashed into the Earth and the mist hit our faces.

I dream of you as we watched the skies open and water fall to the ground, cleansing it and renewing it as the sky lit up and the Earth shook with thunder.

I dream of your giggle as it pierced through the room, even as others turned their nose at its difference, and remember the joy it brought to my ears.


Oh my Vito, my amazing Vito. I am not perfect; my past is full of mistakes. Yet I am ever so honoured I was able to call you mine for the ever-short time it was.

On those days when my heart turns sad -- when hate, anger, bitterness, greed and selfishness get the better of me, in all their unseemly ways -- I think of you. I think of how I would want to raise you and your brothers. I think of the world I wanted you boys to live in, free of all those things. In order to have that world, I must work on that world within myself and your brothers.

Vito before surgery. Image via Facebook.

So here we are, our first real Sunday. While last Sunday was technically our first Sunday without you, we were busy planning your funeral. We were too numb to really know our pain without you. This Sunday was much quieter, as I watched our favourite cartoons alone. I miss feeling your head on my chest and hearing your giggle in my ear.

As I welcomed each of my children into the world, I was amazed at how my heart could grow. How a heart so full was able to stretch more to love more. Yet, with your absence, there's such a huge void that can never be filled, that can never shrink because it was stretched with pure love.

I can never replace what was in that void, nor will anyone ever fill that void. For that is love, love looking to be spent. We will use that love to share your legacy, Vito. Your legacy of love. Your legacy of strength. Your legacy of an ever-resounding resilience.

When I get consumed with all my wants of life, I remember the biggest want I ever had: the cure for your cancer. Then I remember how your purpose in life was above my want. I wanted your cure, yet you were meant to change the world, never to cure cancer.

Vito, you are unstoppable.


Your mother, who will always love you and carry your legacy of love.

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Learn more about Vito's story here.