It has been a while since last post, and there is some major catching up to do. This past Christmas we went to Italy to spend the holidays with my family. This was our “First” Christmas without our little girl. I had been dreading the packing of the suitcases: somehow to me, not packing for Vittoria felt wrong and not possible. It broke my heart. We used to have our bags ready to go weeks before leaving, this time it was different. I started packing a week before and on the very same day of our departure, I was still not ready. I am a pretty organized person when it comes to packing and flying, this time my head was not into it, neither was my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I could not wait to see my family, but we were leaving without our girl.
(Jacomo on the plane)
This was our “First” trip in so many ways. After almost 10 hours of flying and half of the trip spent trying to comfort Jacomo, who had a cold, and keep him calm and quiet, we landed in Paris. Trying to get to our next gate for our connecting flight to Rome was an obstacle course which turned out to be a total nightmare. Two hours before our flight to Rome, I was sitting at the gate playing with my little boy and I started feeling weird. I felt dizziness, nausea, shaking and feeling faint, and it kept getting worse and worse. I was terrified. Here I was in a foreign airport, alone with my baby and on the verge of passing out. A couple that had traveled with us from Salt Lake City kindly played with Jacomo while the EMTs checked my vitals. They finally decided to take me to the ER in the airport. Not cool! There I was poked, pinched and checked until I started to feel better so I could get out of there and catch my flight. What was all that about? STRESS!!! I guess the stress and anxiety and everything we had experienced over the summer, showed up just as I had started to relax a bit.
For the following week, I was pretty much out of commission. Fortunately, my parents were there for us, and I never had to worry about things. Finally James arrived a week later and our little family was together again. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my extended family that I had not seen since Christmas 2007, Vittoria’s last time in Rome. I felt safe and loved and taken care of with all my uncles, aunts and cousins around me. We hugged, cried and grieved together for the first time.
Christmas morning was bittersweet. We watched our boy opening presents. Our hearts rejoiced to see him so happy and excited with all the toys, but at the same time it ached so bad for our girl. She was supposed to be sitting there, next to her little brother, opening gifts, giggling and laughing like always. Sometimes the pain and sadness felt too much to bear. On top of this, Jacomo had not been feeling well the whole time we were in Italy. The poor little guy started getting sicker and sicker, stopped eating and became very grumpy and clingy. We spent the rest of our time with Jacomo sick, some days housebound, some others visiting with relatives and friends and walking around Rome with some dear friends of ours from Utah. I thought of our little girl and of how much she had wanted to see inside the Coliseum, especially after the project she had done at school. We had promised her that we would take her inside this time. Well, I guess she now knows what it looks like.
New Year’s Eve came and went. Vittoria loves fireworks and the louder the better. We call her “our little pyromaniac girl”. She would stand on the balcony with the “sparklers” and could go on all night long. When it was time to start the fire in the fireplace, she was there with a log in one hand and the matches in the other. This year, as James and I stood on the balcony at midnight, I looked up at the sky and held the “sparklers” for her, “drawing” and “writing” like she used to. We hugged each other and sobbed.
We flew home on James’ birthday and we have been trying to get over the jet lag for the past few days. We found out that Jacomo has a double ear infection, so once again he is on antibiotics.
These holidays have been the hardest. We miss Vittoria everyday like it was the first day. I said more than once that I would have liked to have fallen asleep in November and wake up now. I think this is why we have families, so we can share the burden, the sadness, and lift each other up. I know that if our families could take away this pain of ours, they would do it in a heartbeat. We are very thankful for their unconditional love and support for us.