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Thankful….. November 22, 2018

Posted by Waking Up With A Broken Heart in Uncategorized.

My entire life now & forever more revolves around my precious baby Sal. Although my life is tragic and difficult, my list of everyone and everything I am thankful for on this journey continues to grow, but some are so very strong and will never be forgotten.
I am thankful for my sister Maggie who flew home the day I called her to stay with my 4 other children as Steven & I flew to Sloan Kettering in NYC to start our new life trying to save our baby’s life.
I am thankful for Maggie’s husband Jeff, who had just married her months before, for his understanding and compassion.
I am thankful for my sister in law Ellen who took over for Maggie 9 months later so she could join us in our fight across the country. Bocky took care of my children like they were her own.
I am thankful for my sister in law Sara who stayed with me and Sal whenever possible in NY, which for me was, at the time, a terrifying new land. For giving Sal a refuge in Connecticut when he had a few days off treatment and for making sure we always had delicious food to eat.
I am more than thankful for Paula, an amazing, loving, kindhearted friend whom I really did not know at the time. Paula gave Sal & I a home, “his apartment” for 3 & ½ years on the upper east side of NYC. Our home away from home and Sal’s very favorite place to be besides home in Miami.
I am thankful for my friend Candace who at any time of night was there for me, to make me laugh, to talk, to cry with me, to give me & Sal our very first pair of Uggs to walk the 20 blocks to and from the hospital in 17 degree weather.
I am thankful for Vanessa, my very first nanny who took amazing care of my children when I was away from home for months at a time. My kids loved her so much.
I am thankful for Lori, my sister in law by marriage, who loved my baby so much, who constantly visited us in the hospital and who kept Sal so very happy.
I am thankful for Uncle Jason who made me laugh when I didn’t think I could. Who talked Sal into letting me go take a shower after almost 2 weeks! Who faithfully brought us dinner every Thursday night and who entertained Sal with his tales of Cosmo the Cockroach.
I am thankful for the family who donated their private jet to fly Sal & I home for 2 days on December 31st 2007, after being away from home for 3 months straight.
I am thankful for the woman who overheard me crying hysterically on the phone to my husband while at Cherry’s Pharmacy on a very rainy day @ 5:00. Sal had just been released from the hospital, we walked to the pharmacy to pick up his prescription and it started pouring rain. Anyone who knows NYC knows there are no cabs or car services available at this time. Sal was crying that he wanted to go home. This lady walked up to me and said “I will take you home” Not only did she drive us home, she went back to the pharmacy, picked up Sal’s prescription and brought it back to our apartment. Bless this woman I do not know and never saw again.
I am thankful for Sal’s caring, thoughtful and patient nurses. One time Sal wouldn’t lay still for his special MRI, he asked for Casey & she came down and talked him through the entire hour promising to stay with him and walk with him to the toy store, which she so sweetly did. The shark watch they bought that night is still on his favorite Yeti bear that I sleep with every night.
I am thankful for the cab drivers who grew to love Sal. The driver who kept pulling over so I could open the door and throw up because I was so violently ill but had to get to the hospital so Sal could get his treatment. The driver who kissed Sal’s soft bald head as I cringed (I was/am a severe germaphobe) and prayed my baby would be well.
I am thankful for my friend Shari, for her son, Sal’s bestfriend, Chase, who came to visit us in different states whenever they could. To Chase for treating Sal so sweetly and for being his bestfriend for so many years. They planned to build a tunnel between our houses.
I am thankful for Grace who lent us a computer to use so we could iChat with our family at home all the time.
I am thankful for my children, Sal’s brothers & sister, ages 6, 8, 10 & 15 at the time; for somehow understanding why mommy & Sal had to be away from them for so long and so often.
I am thankful for my husband’s constant research which helped keep our baby alive longer than anyone believed could happen.
I am thankful for Gina, our researcher who worked so feverently to try to find a treatment to save our baby.
I am thankful for the Ronald McDonald House in Minnesota & Philadelpha; for their warm and caring volunteers, employees & social workers. Sal loved staying there.
I am thankful for the Marriott across from Texas Children’s Hospital who were so nice to my baby. Who had his “very favorite bed ever” & “the world’s best room service”.
I am thankful for Guillermo Sal’s very favorite oncologist, for loving my baby, for helping him through this journey, for accommodating his wishes whenever possible, for thinking “outside the box” for being my friend and saving my own life.
I am thankful for my sweet daughter Samantha who traveled with Sal & I whenever possible, who at such a young age understood her brother’s pain and difficulties. For pretending to get IV’s in the infusion room so Sal wouldn’t be so upset, who went down to Starbucks to get me coffee when I asked, who was a friend to all the kids in the playroom, who when home was the 2nd mom to her brothers, who understood that mommy had to be away so much to try to save our baby’s life.
I am thankful for my dozens of friends who were always willing to help and do whatever needed for me and our family.
I am thankful for Corporate Angels who helped us with so many flights to & from so many different states.
I am thankful to JetBlue & Southwest Airlines for treating my baby like a VIP on every single flight. And especially to the Jetblue pilot who let Sal sit in the cockpit and taught him how to fly a plane.
I am thankful for the Red Cap worker at Amtrak in Penn Station who always helped Sal & I get on the train to Philly and made sure we were comfortable before leaving us.
I am thankful to Ana, Sal’s phlebotomist at MCH who listened to Sal and drew his blood wherever he asked her to, even though it was very difficult at times.
I am thankful for the car service driver who stayed with Sal & I when we arrived in Minnesota for the first time and no one answered the door at the Ronald McDonald for over 30 minutes.
I am thankful for Pete who drove Sal in his police car looking for a “bad guy” and made Sal feel important & special.
I am thankful for my daddy who drove Sal & I to and from the airport whenever we needed him, for taking Sal toy shopping when he felt good and for bringing his puppy Johnny to play with Sal when we were home and his counts were high.
I am thankful for the Drs & nurses at CHOP that saved Sal’s life in July 2010 when he coded.
I am thankful for Ste, Sal’s forever girlfriend, for never leaving my baby’s side, for loving him and making him feel so very special. I love you.
I am thankful for Leo for being Sal’s friend, for constantly staying with us in Sal’s final days, for loving my baby and continuing to be a part of our lives.
I am thankful for the over 700 people from all over the world that came to say goodbye to Sal at his Memorial Service at Sheridan Hills Baptist Church. I am thankful for the Pastor’s that helped us during his Memorial service and allowed us to play music that Sal loved although most of it was not appropriate for church.
I am beyond thankful for my friend Enyd for being in my life, for sharing her beautiful daughter Erica with me that was Heaven sent by her son Derek to help us get through life without our babies.
I am thankful for the love and support of my family, my friends, and my amazing community.
I am thankful for my friends Enyd, Shari, Esther, Esther, Fran, Candace, Tania & Sandy and all the others who make me laugh even when I think I never will again.
I am thankful for everyone in my life.
I am thankful for the 7 Thanksgivings I had with my baby although I wish I had more.
I am thankful for all the very loud and poignant signs my baby sends me to let me know he is with me.
And this year I am beyond thankful for Victor Dante, who helped me make a dream come true, to bring happiness and joy to kids like Sal.



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