Gone. Not Forgotten

Lazzarevich Family Session (7)

Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I write you today.  On October 22, 2019 at 11:20 AM my Maria, my Wife, my light, passed away.  I was with her at her passing holding her hand, surrounded by family.

The last year has been a struggle for us all as we all watched Maria’s body and mind degrade.  She was always a shining light in my life.  Even on the hard days she would find a way to shine through if just for a moment.  The evening before her passing was especially rough.  I did not think she was going to make it through the night but she did because she was a fighter.  The next morning she ate and drank a light breakfast.  She spoke with Alexander and asked him to show her his show and tell for school that day.  This was an important moment for us all, especially Alexander, because I had told him to say goodbye the previous evening.  Alexander excitedly shared his show and tell with Mommy one last time.   A few hours later she was gone.

My world, the world, became a little darker with her passing.  But I am exceedingly lucky to have had Maria in my life.  I never thought I was going to be someone who would get married and start a family.  But when Maria was rediscovered in my life and we began dating, my love for life grew and I knew that I had found (or more accurately she found me) someone I wanted to spend my life with and have a family with.  Maria always wanted children, I was always apprehensive, and proposed we compromised and get a dog.  Maria was made to be a mother, she had the heart, brains, energy and personality to love and nurture a child.  And on July 16, 2014 we welcomed Alexander into our lives.  Maria was ready, she was excited, she had BIG plans for Alexander.  I was scared.  We were going to travel together, she was going to teach him Spanish and share all of her passions, hopes and dreams.  It was going to be AMAZING.

Three months later we were overshadowed by the diagnosis.  We were all devastated.  Things did not look good.  But, as we have all come to learn Maria was a fighter and the strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.   And so, for the next five years Maria OUT LIVED IT.  We traveled with Alexander, going to Hawaii, Florida twice to see the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Animal Kingdom.  We went to North Carolina with friends and family, California and Disney Land.  Maria and I traveled to Spain.  Maria went to Colorado to rock climb and Costa Rica for more adventures with her First Descents friends.  It was AMAZING, she was AMAZING.

Now here I am, Alexander is in bed sleeping, and I’m reflecting on our Amazing life together, next to a pile of used tissues.  I was privileged to have been with Maria for 13 years and  married to her for 9.   Together we traveled the world and met far too many people for me to remember all of your names. So please forgive me.  Maria’s personality drew people to her.  She would often come home from the grocery store and tell me about the new friend she met in the check out line. “I just have an approachable face” she would tell me.   And she did.  She always had a smile ready for whomever needed it, or had her tongue out if she was concentrating on something.  Even towards the end when someone would come into the room and speak with her, Maria would give them a smile.  She often would not remember the visit but I know we all remembered the smile.

I never thought I would get married but because of Maria I did.  I never thought Maria would proceed me in death.  She had the personality to move on to meet someone new or draw into her large LARGE group of friends.  I never thought we wouldn’t reach our 50th anniversary, let alone miss our 10th.  I never thought I’d lose her and have to raise Alexander on my own.  I was scared before, I’m terrified now.

But.  I believe if I can channel just a portion of Maria’s heart, of Maria’s light I can be a great father for Alexander.  Because Maria was a GREAT MOTHER even though it was too short.  So that is my goal moving forward, to be the father Maria wanted me to be.  I will stumble and I will fall but as long as I have Maria in my heart I know I will succeed.

So, now my friends I must ask something of you.  Maria biggest fear was Alexander would not remember the Maria we all knew and loved.  The energetic, kind, loving Maria we all fell in love with.  She feared he will only remember tired sick Maria.  Alexander loved, loves Mommy.  I know this because “Mommy” was his favorite word, he was always asking for Mommy, tired or not he wanted her affection.  So, in the years to come I ask you to share your stories of Maria with Alexander so he never forgets what a wonderful person she was and how much she loved him.

Now I must say good bye.  I hope my words have not cheapened Maria’s more eloquent writing.

Maria,

I love you and I miss you dearly.  This past year and the last few months have been especially difficult for me.  Please forgive me if I hurt you or did not spend enough time with you.  My deepest regret is that I was not more open with you.  I tried to share but more often turned inside.  Please forgive me.  I will do my best to raise Alexander the way you would have wished.  I promise to do my best to be the father and man you want me to be.

I will alway Love you.  I will alway miss you, now and forever.    You will always be my lil buns, my friend, my Wife.  I will always be your thunder calves, your friend, your Husband.

Love,

Tim

 

 

11 thoughts on “Gone. Not Forgotten

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  1. Tim,

    This is one of the most touching things I have ever read. It captured the beauty of Maria that we all saw in her and shined the light on the amazing life that you were able to experience as her best friend and partner in life. Maria would be so proud of you for sharing this for everyone to see. Love you buddy,
    Tom

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  2. Dear Tim,

    You probably don’t remember me but we’ve met here in Spain, where I worked as an assistant teacher in the same school of San Sebastian. My thoughts and prayers have always been for Maria, you and Alexander as they are still.

    My words now are, especially for you and Alexander. Maria was special and that is putting it mildly. Like you mentioned above, she lived life to the fullest and did so many wonderful things, and choosing you, Tom, was one of them, don’t ever forget that. I still remember her raving about you just before you made your first trip here.

    My sweet Alexander, your mom’s smile was so contagious and it’s what I most remember about her. She lit up a room with it. She has loved and still loves you and your dad so much and will always, ALWAYS be up in heaven looking and smiling and taking care of both of you. You have a huge part of her inside you and even though, I can see from the pictures how much you look like your dad ( and that is a great thing!!! ) every time you put the two corners of your mouth up and smile, you will be wearing your mom’s smile and people will see her in you. So whenever you can, smile Alexander, because the world needs that part of your mom that you have in you. Hugs!

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  3. Tim, My heart breaks for you and Alexander. Your words were eloquent. I sobbed while reading them. I didn’t know Maria as well as some, but her time at Lemoyne Preschool was so special. Although I moved out of the area in 2015, I continued to follow Maria’s blog and pray for her. I greatly admired her spunk and her joy in serving the children in the IU. I will continue to pray for you and Alexander as you begin a new chapter in your lives. I know it will be hard for you, but I know you will be held up by many who share lovely memories of her and will be supported by many for years to come. God bless you all.

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  4. Beautiful words from your heart , Tim ! Maria would be and is so proud of you ! May God Bless you and Alexander and keep you in his care !

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  5. Tim,

    I love you and Alexander! Your words touched my heart and soul! I promise you, that Xander will never forget his mommy! She was an unforgettable person and will live on, in our hearts forever!

    Andi Taylor

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  6. Tim,
    Your words are absolutely beautiful. You and Alexander were the world to her. She loved you both SO very much. She often said to me what a wonderful father you are to Xander. Remember this- anyone can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. You are the best dad for Xander. It’s terrifying, I get it, but you have an army of people to help. Just reach out.
    Xander will never forget Maria and her love because I know too many people who promised her that he will never forget her.
    Watch that boy as he grows up. He’s got a lot of Maria in him and that is how she will be with you forever. I love you Tim

    Peg, Mommom

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  7. Such beautiful words, Tim.

    Maria was truly a bright light. We all miss her dearly.

    I am a speech therapist who worked w Maria.

    I want you to know that God will provide.

    Seven years ago, my mom had a stroke, and four months later, my brother passed away unexpectedly.
    My niece was seven.

    Somehow God has provided for
    Our family. The first Easter, we celebrated in the nursing home
    Bc my Mom was there. The first Christmas, we didn’t have many desserts bc my mom always made lots of desserts. The next holiday, we had too much food bc my brother wasn’t there to eat everything.

    But we celebrated together. Now my niece is in middle school, and we all go to lots of soccer games to see her.
    God has provided for us.
    Love to you and your family.
    I believe Maria is now a shining star watching us all—probably dancing and laughing.

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  8. Your words are so beautiful, Tim. I know we all, and Maria of course, can feel your heart and soul in all that you shared.

    I am an occupational therapist who worked with Maria at the IU. I want you and Alexander to know that your wife, his mommy, was such an extraordinary person. I remember the very first time I met Maria, when I had a family who was Spanish speaking and I needed Maria’s help, just being in her presence was like a breath of fresh air. Not many people have that effect on others, she certainly did.

    The world certainly is dimmer with her passing, but it is also so much better with the mark she has made on so many in her lifetime.

    My continual thoughts, prayers, and love will be with you and Alexander during this unimaginably difficult time. Don’t be afraid to eventually smile… every time you do it is her smile she is sending to you.

    With Love,
    Melissa Roberts and family

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  9. Tim…

    I was lucky to know Maria through my best friend, Kristi. Maria was a shining light and showed such strength and grace throughout this most difficult journey. Her life, though cut way too short, has inspired so many and will be a constant source of strength for all who knew her and a wonderful example for Alexander. When my father was taken unexpectedly and under awful circumstances, I found these words. I had them printed and handed out at his memorial. They gave me comfort and I have heard from many who received the cards, that they have helped them as well. My wish is that they can give you and your family a bit of comfort also.

    A butterfly lights beside us,
    And for a brief moment
    Its grace and beauty belong to this world.
    But then it flies on again,
    And though we wish it could have stayed,
    We feel so lucky to have seen it.

    Please give my love and hugs to Peg (we knew each other when we taught together in Selinsgrove) and to Alexander and I send you all my comforting thoughts and energies also. Alexander is so lucky to have you as a daddy. Maria’s love and light will continue to guide you and be with you forever.

    Most sincerely….Lynn Fiedler

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