2021 has been a particularly challenging year. Somehow, I feel I did not get the messages from my past. Live life! Do not take people for granted, as they will not always be there. I was in Italy earlier this year because my mother was not well. When I left, I assumed she would be there like she has always been there for the many years I have been visiting. But she isn’t. Five days after I returned home, she passed away.
My sister asked me to stay a few days longer. I had already been there six weeks. I made some calls to change my flight, but due to Covid, it just seemed like I was fighting an uphill battle to rearrange my flights. I should have pushed harder. Would it have changed the outcome? I don’t know. In my heart, I want to believe that it might have made a slight difference. At the very least, I could have been by her side.
I remember all this today as it is also the anniversary of Laura’s passing on September 13, 1999. Twenty-two years have passed. Laura would be thirty-six, and I still wonder where she would be and what she would be doing. In me, the proud dad still believes that she would be living close by so that we could always be together. This morning I have that pain in my chest I felt thirteen years ago when I started writing about Laura for the first time.
A dear friend brought my flowers yesterday for Laura and today I light a candle. But I will burn more than one candle. I will light one for Laura, my mom, and my aunt, who was like a second mother to me growing up, Zia Pina. There isn’t much more I can do other than honor their memories with what I write. And although I think of them constantly, this is the day that has significance.
This morning I re-read the blog I wrote back in 2008. https://frankguzzo.blog/2008/09/13/september-13-1999/
I described in detail what happened to Laura. The memories of every minute I was with her. Recently I was told stories of what my mother went through when she came to see Laura one last time and how she was treated by Laura’s mother and her side of the family, and I was shocked. I had no idea. Things I could not have imagined, and some 20 years later, this dark side showed up.
I miss Laura. I miss my mom. I see them both in my mind and feel them in my heart. I wish I could have done more in so many ways. Perhaps this is how everyone feels when losing a loved one. I don’t know. I will write and share stories of them both for as long as I can. I want their memory to live on outside of me. This is my small way of doing so. So today is dedicated to My Laura who carries my last name. Laura Maria Guzzo. I am a proud father, and as Laura always put it … “daddy.”