Today, while hunting for a good pork milanese recipe, I stumbled upon a journal that Kimmy had started years ago...her idea was to write about our family and experiences, inspired by one that my Pop had done back in the early 1900's and that my Dad made my sisters and I copies of. Here is an excerpt:
Sept 22, 2003
"Today, I will begin to write about our life. We had meant to begin this years ago, but never did. Antonio, now 10 weeks old, laughed at me for the first time today. I wanted to record such a wonderful milestone. Cody and I were changing his clothes and we were blowing on his tummy, making silly noises. It struck Antonio funny and he laughed some short giggles. I thank God every day for the blessings I receive from these three children. They are such a joy."
Ahhhh, these three children...they are a constant source of inspiration. Tonio was the one having a challenging morning, missing Mama. Aut put her arm around him and stoically walked down the long sidewalk to his classroom, giving him a big hug and telling him 'I love you Tonio'...it was the sweetest thing and made me so proud. Mrs. Schrantz picked up on Tonio's melancholy today and gave Tonio special jobs to do, so that, by the end of his day, Tonio was his usual smiling self. I know I've written about the fabulous teachers and staff we are blessed with at Cottonwood, but they just keep giving and helping the bambini's. Today, Mrs. Hoover called me to let me know that Autumn and Tonio were doing fine, that she had checked in on them. That's peace of mind.
Meanwhile, I did some red tape surfing. More Cottonwood connections helped! I met with a lawyer, Mr. Daniels (father of two great teachers, Mrs. Montes and Mrs. Bunch, who taught the bambini's in kindergarten), who assisted me in figuring out where I'm at, and where I need to go - incredible guy. I stopped by one of Kim's favorite places, the DeGrazia gallery afterward and sat in the little chapel that DeGrazia had erected on the grounds there, shortly after his family emigrated here from Italy. It is so peaceful and tranquil there. Also, working on a Kimberly Memorial Foundation, and seems like we'll do something private, with St. Joseph's, as most of the people I spoke to advised that doing it privately would allow more money to go to those who need help, rather than being eaten up in administrative costs that the larger organizations incur...a work in progress.
This evening, Father Harry took time out of his busy schedule to come visit with our family. I told him our house was so cold without Kimmy...he agreed. And he fielded questions from the bambini's like 'can we fly over our house?'...yeh. We're both big soccer fans (his Man U. is in first place in the Premier League, while my team, Juventus, in the Italian Serie A, is having a tough season and is in 6th - but look at Napoli!! 1st place??), so we talked a lot about the season. He has been a huge help to our family.
Tomorrow, time to get rolling on the nitcho...still a little sore after loading and unloading the materials, but it is a good sore.
And, we went outside and said our goodnight's to Kimmy - the stars brilliant in the night sky. Autumn letting her know I had refinished my desk for her...the boys praying that she is warm in Heaven, as it is still pretty chilly here!
And now, enjoying a Menabrea (thanks Vito, who fed me and kept me company on a cold afternoon!), and getting ready for some sleep...
"Take whatever He gives and give whatever He takes with big smile."
- Mother Teresa