Thursday, December 17, 2009


Dear Family,
thank you for bringing flowers and the cute bear to our baby girl. We really appreciate you doing this for her and us. We thank you for your support and love we feel every day. I know Vittoria loves her bear, thank you cousins!! We love our daughter and miss her tremendously every single day.
And thank you Friends for checking on us, visiting with us, calling and writing and for your support and care.
We love our Families and Friends and we are grateful to have you in our lives!!
We CAN'T do this without our Faith and all of you!
James and Valeria

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Quick Hello

(Aunt Tori)
So today makes it 4 months that we have missed our sweet Vittoria. Since Val and Jacomo are in Italy and James will be in Price today, but busy with work, Grandma Bonnie and I stopped by to say hello to our little princess. (Aunt Jana and and Aunt Joy had little sickies, or they would have been there too.) As extended family, we can't believe it's been four months. We can't even begin to know how it's been for James and Val, but we want the two of you to know that we never stop thinking/praying for your family and love you SO MUCH! Our hearts ache along with you. We will always be here for you and hope you know that.
We love you!

the little bear (with the beautiful purple sweater) is from all the cousins

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Back to Vittoria's School

August 28, 2005
Vittoria's first day of school. She is 4 years old and ready to learn!

(Her school is in the background)

(Mom's Turn)A few weeks ago, as I putting Vittoria's backpack away in her closet, I found a book in it called "A Vampire's Vacation". I remember the day she brought home from school so she could read it. I had to smile: the cover has this funny looking vampire on it and I thought it would provide her some amusing entertainment in her free time. And I also knew very well why she had chosen that specific book: she had just watched "Twilight" and I think she thought this book was something like the movie. I never did ask her, and now I can just guess. I don't know why I waited so long, in my heart maybe I was hoping that she would have to come back to finish reading it.
Anyway, last week I finally decided that it had to go back to the school among other things and so today, James, Jacomo and I went to Vittoria's school.
I think I can speak for James too, when I say that we were anxious and nervous, maybe a little bit scared this morning. As we pulled up in the parking lot, my heart was pounding so loud and my hands were shaking so bad, my eyes were already swimming in tears, and I was trying my best to keep it all together.
There is something I have to say about this wonderful school: as soon as you walk in, it's like walking among family, you get hugs, tears, support and love, all in one. And as we walked in Vittoria's class, we got welcomed and greeted by the awesome teachers that Vittoria absolutely adores and her classmates whom Vittoria enjoyed so much. Jacomo I think was the main attraction: he got surrounded by maybe 10-15 of Vittoria's friends and he was loved, hugged, taken on a tour of the class and made feel he was among his friends. Some of these incredible kids even came to the funeral and today they gave us the sweetest and most moving letters they wrote to us and Vittoria I could ever imagine.
They even asked to hug us, and let me tell you, there is nothing more touching and comforting than a child's hug: it's sincere and heartfelt.
The whole time I was in the class, I could "see" my little girl, among her friends and favorite teachers, just showing off her little brother and walking around her class looking at the many different works on the walls. We can't say enough about the remarkable teachers who have taught and supported, encouraged and followed, and cared for our little girl throughout the years. Thank you, Ms. Debbie, Ms. Brooke and Ms. Gimenia! And to Ms. Valerie and Mr. Jeff, thank you for letting our daughter be part of this awesome school!

This picture was taken on March 10, 2008 at 8:19 am. We were waiting in the car in the parking lot of the school, right before dropping off Vittoria. I love this photo! It's very tender! Vittoria's teachers know that even though this is what Vittoria looked like in the morning, when it was time to pick her in the afternoon, it was a whole different picture: she would come out of school looking like she came out of a earthquake zone: no hat, one glove on, the other in her pocket, dishevelled hair, the sleeve of the sweatshirt that she had on the morning, hanging from her backpack, with the zipper not closed and papers and stuff threatening to fall out at every step. How many times I made her go back or went myself, to look for things that she had left behind. But in the end, she was just being a kid.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving and Vittoria's Tree

(Mom's turn)- Another holiday has come and gone. Thanksgiving like every year was spent at the cabin with the whole Family. And once again, our hearts ached deeply for our daughter's physical presence, like every day for the past three and a half months. The cabin is one of Vittoria's favorite places, the mountains surrounding it are gorgeous and this time we even had some snow on the ground. This is THE place where all the cousins get together and play from morning until night, day after day. Vittoria loves her cousins, she would "disappear" on the "deep stairs" ( it's actually the playroom, but to get to it you have to go up some steep stairs), and she would show up just when it was time to eat, otherwise always on the go.

We miss her so much it hurts.

Christmas is Vittoria's favorite holiday. So when our friend Jeralyn came to Primary Children's to visit and asked us if she could dedicate a Christmas Tree to Vittoria at the Festival of Trees, all I could think was that by then, she would have recovered enough to go see it together. I could not wait to see her face.
So Jeralyn, her Mom, her sisters and her family graciously dedicated this tree to our beautiful daughter. The theme of the tree is "Jest" for Fun, and we think it reflects Vittoria's personality: always cracking jokes, goofing off and making funny faces, even at the hospital, after surgery. We have one tough little girl, very brave and strong.

So, on Tuesday night, Jeralyn, her Family and the three of us went to see it. As we were waiting to go in, I could feel my stomach in knots. I started tearing up even before seeing it. As we were walking among the hundreds of beautiful and very different trees, this couple leaving the Festival and walking towards us stopped. And I almost fainted. I don't easily forget faces, and ESPECIALLY the ones of nurses and doctors. Cory works in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Primary Children's and even though he did not care for Vittoria directly during the four weeks she was there, he would come by to say hi and see how she was doing. So, needless to say that with my stomach already in knots, at this point I was ready to throw up: the flashbacks of those weeks in PICU came like a freight train, I felt like all the memories, the emotions, the heartaches came crashing down on me. So, if anybody is wondering why I have a blotchy weird face on the picture, crying does that to me.
I decided to post it anyway, so that Family and Friends, near and far, can see that we have not curled up in a ball and let life go by, we try to go on with our life the best we can. Each day is a struggle, but we go on, we want Vittoria to be proud of us. We left the Festival feeling like Vittoria would have approved of her Tree, especially with the purple decorations and the elegant jesters.

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Jeralyn and her Family for thinking of our daughter and dedicating a Tree to her, for the hard work and the support for our family.

Thank you everyone for all you still do for us, for the prayers, love and support we feel every day. We could not do it without you.