As I sit here readying my children off to school I can’t help to think about Newtown, CT, Sandy Hook Elementary. I don’t understand it, my heart is breaking as is yours, I can’t help but think how unfair it is. The parents in Newtown should be doing what I am doing right now and they can’t and it’s shitty, horrific, and mind-blowing.
I get to drag them out of bed,
I get to comb their hair.
I get to beg them to get dressed.
I get to bark “eat your breakfast!”
I get them.
I get to wash their faces.
I get to zipper their coats.
I get to tie their shoes.
I get to compromise with them to wear a hat.
I get them.
I get to pack their school bags.
I get to devise and have them repeat our daily affirmations as we drive to school.
I get to remind them to be kind to others, to listen to their teachers and to behave.
I get to roll down the window and yell “have a good day, I love you!” embarrassing them.
I get them.
And I know that getting them is a privledge, and being able to raise them is an honor.
I pray for them, for you, for our world, and most especially for all those in Newtown, CT.
26 beautiful souls that will never be forgotten.
By Aimee Pitta
Stephanie, Therese’s sister, was number 6, she fell between myself and my sister Andrea. She was a spark plug, a tiny athletic girl with a fabulous laugh and a twinkle in her eye, a cheerleader who was always at the top of the pyramid, and a gymnast who was fearless.
The sisters, Maureen, Gina, Jennifer, Therese, Stephanie and Cynthia, were a sight to behold when they were all together, it was loud, still is, it was hilarious, still is and it was joyous, unfortunately a little less so now. Like sisters, they fought, they squabbled and even though they went to Catholic schoolfor 12 years and wore uniforms, it was mostly over clothes. Just like me and my sisters.
I spent a lot of time with the Cleary family. I played a lot games of Little House On The Prairie with them, I did a lot of swimming in their pool and watching TV and playing board games and trying on make up and dancing and laughing and eating and drinking tab at that house. Those gals always had each other’s back. Just like me and my sisters. They got on each other’s nerves. Just like me and my sisters. They fought and squabbled and stole shoes from each other. Just like me and my sisters.
They were the Cleary girls. We were the Pitta girls. We always had so much in common until now. Now they’re one less in their sisterhood, a bond that has seen them through the loss of their beloved sister in law Donna, the loss of their beloved father, and through the joyous ups and downs of this messy wonderful life.
And I’m grateful. Grateful that I got to know Stephanie, that her thick brown hair, that was usually perfectly pulled back into ponytail, her mischievous smile, and her can do spirit were a part of my childhood. I’m grateful that I got to watch her from afar as she grew up and married and had children because her sister Therese proudly filled me in on her life and her accomplishments just like I do with Therese about my sisters.
And I’m grateful that I haven’t had to face what Therese, and Jennifer and Maureen and Gina and Cynthia are about to face right now. The loss of their beloved sister. I can’t even imagine it. I know it’s inevitable, I know death comes for everyone, I’m just hoping that my sisters and I are so old and so grey and have no teeth and that all the kids are grown, so that we don’t have to come together and be strong, and courageous like the Cleary girls have to be as they fill in for their sister with her 5 young children.
Her sisters were her witnesses. To every joy, every sorrow, every triumphant, every failure and to just about every mundane moment of her life and now their intimate innate knowledge of their sister will be used to fill in the blanks for her children so they can somehow get to know the woman, the aunt, the sister, the daughter, and their mom who they will never really know.
I’m grateful and heartbroken that they can do this for each other. Just like my sisters and I will be one day.