Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Tribute To Strong Women

I am often told I am a strong woman..............

I think there are many definitions for strength and what makes or gives us strength. Loosing a child is defiantly not a walk in the park nor are so many tragedies people face each and everyday around the World. We all have a chose to get up or let it take us down. I will ALWAYS get up for Alesia and my husband and children. There is nothing that will keep us going like LOVE. it is what gives me strength. The love I receive from my husband and children and the love I give them is truly the ONLY thing that matters. Teaching our children about love will give them strength one day.

I have been blessed to have so many strong women surround me and teach me about health, love, perseverance and so much more. Today before the New Year I wanted to post a tribute to them. Just a little note that there are so many more strong women around me, I wish I could post about ALL of you.

Hivron Turanli Macchi, you have taught me more then words can possibly say. I have watched you and been part of your giving heart to the point where you had nothing left to give. I have watched you care for everyone around you. I have watched you care for yourself. I have learned that it is OK to care for myself because of you. I have learned to never take for granted a best friendship. I have learned to LOVE in so many different ways. You are a gem, inside and out and part of my strength is because of you.

Oana Silaghi, you are the calm in all the crazy. You are positivity, hope, life. You heal me and you teach me. You taught me how take care of my body and mind. Food is thy medicine and you are the one to get me started on real, good food. Without your teachings  I would not be complete.

Lisa Dimitrakopoulos, you are one of my longest and bestest friends, my koumbara, and family. You make me realize everyday that no matter how sad, how hard or how frustrating it is to have lost my baby, I still have so much to be grateful for. You make me so proud as I am sure you do your family with your perseverance,determination, and will. You have also helped me on my journey to health. I will forever be indebted to you.

Areti Koutsouflakis, you are the sole reason I started working out and loving it. Since then so much has changed in the way I look but mostly how I think and feel. You have given me so many more reasons to be strong inside and out. You are a ray of sunshine in my life and I am so fortunate to have you as my partner. You show me how to keep going.

I appreciate and thank you incredibly loving, sweet, positive, giving, and of course STRONG ladies from the bottom of my heart. I am no where near perfect and there will always be things to work on, but you have all given me the tools to fix anything.

The happiest New Year to everyone. Please cherish every moment, hug and tell the ones you love, how much you love them, EVERYDAY. Appreciate the little things and the beauty that surrounds us. Never take life or the good things for granted. Be STRONG and LOVE.

See you in 2015!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Start

        It has been years since I wrote my last Blog post. Sometimes life can change in a day, thus in a couple years we can all imagine the changes. I want to start by telling you why it has been years since my last post. Life does take over and we are all busy in this day, however if I stem deep, its probably just because I did not have the need, or that I just needed a break to be with the family I have. In some ways that also describes why I am writing a post now, there's a need in me and with all the time that has passed, we have made new friends who I would love to share these posts with as well. My primary goal writing the Alesia's Magnolias Blog was for my present children to learn about the sister they lost, to give a voice for child bereavement and to help me grieve. I believe most of those goals are met. Now on to our lives in 2014!!!!

          We have gone through many changes as we have a new addition to the family, our precious son Gaby. He is now 2 years of age and he is just pure joy. My husband Bill is now a Laval City Counselor a job he takes great pride in and loves. Our daughter Maro has grown up to be very empathetic and a true Alesia's Magnolias advocate. our dear Katerina is now in her last year of daycare and has an abundance of spunk. I am in the process of volunteering for the Montreal Children's hospital, on my younger children's daycare parent committee as well as The Home and School Association at Maro's school. I am trying to be there for my family as much as possible. Obviously not to forget we as a family and with the help of all of you run Alesia's Magnolias for The Alesia Fund.

        It has been over 4 years since we lost our beloved Alesia. There still has not been a day without her in our thoughts. I speak to her all the time, poor kid must be screaming,''Enough Ma''. I miss her oh so much!!! I wish so much to see how beautiful she would have been now at 6! To say time heals is somewhat true as, I don't cry everyday, I live! However I'm drenched in tears now, and do so out of random times of grief taking over. Yes we still grieve and I think we will forever.

       If I can say something to Alesia, it would be , "Thank You". You are the reason we have so much purpose in life and we want to help others and make a healthy life for ourselves. Without Alesia's passing my son would not be here and everyday that I think that I cringe, how can a parent choose between their children, just can't. 

      My husband and I after all that has happened feel truly blessed and lucky to have the family we do, to still be deeply in love with each other and that the family we have is HEALTHY! That is success!!

This will defiantly not be the last post for another couple years, more is yet to come!!     

Thursday, October 27, 2011


It seems as though it has been an eternity since I last wrote a blog post! Nevertheless the time has arrived. The last months have been a roller coaster ride, put simply. There has been chances for me to write a post but the need was just not in me. For a while I actually for the first time wanted to lock myself up and not talk to anyone. Luckily that lasted for a really short while.

As I am sure many of you are aware I am pregnant! Surprisingly great news! Bill and I thought long and hard after our third whether we wanted more and there was nothing telling us we did not want more but there were so many reasons not to have more. When you loose a child you start doubting many things in life. I fear something will happen to this new baby or me, sometimes, but everyday I tell myself just have faith. We decided we were not going to have anymore and that we were going to enjoy our two beautiful daughters. We used protection and since I was breastfeeding I had not gotten my period regularly yet. We believe this was just meant to happen and we cannot be any happier. Almost half way done with the pregnancy and everything looks great.

It will be a year and a half since Alesias passing in a couple of days. Do I miss her any less, NEVER! Do I wish she were here, EVERYDAY! Do I accept this as my life, I'm starting to. Is that because I have no choice or have I just made the conscious decision to, I really don't know. What I do know is that its scary sometimes how much her baby sister looks and acts like her. Sometimes I think its Maro and Alesia. This feels good at times and then it just brings me back so much that it hurts. Maro on the other hand is a remarkable little girl, she amazes me daily. She has so much love inside her. She gives her sister so much and her new baby that is coming, she kisses my tummy about ten times a day! She also talks about Alesia all the time! She says when we go on vacation as a family that Alesia will be coming in the sky flying to our destination to watch over us.

I know I have gone through a trauma and that I have post traumatic stress disorder because I replay the day she left us in my mind all the time. Being pregnant has also made me more emotional so everything is accentuated! Everything is like learning how to ride a bike, one step at a time, one day at a time. Now maybe we are not as filled with pain and the crying is not daily but still happens regularly. My children keep me busy enough that I am distracted. Things many of you think as simple like putting your children to sleep is so stressful for us. Every sound they make we jump out of bed to make sure they are OK. Life has no certainty, there are no guarantees for anybody, what we have is the moment and faith to believe we will have more and more moments. If I ever make a wish it is daily for only one that my babies die after me!

On a side note we have reserved next years Alesias Magnolias for June 3rd, 2012 at Embassy Plaza in Laval. We cannot be more anxious to continue the work we have begun. We are so proud of our accomplishment thus far and we hope that next year will just grow more and we will have more booths, more sponsors, more people, more MONEY, and more lives SAVED! Thank You again to all those helped, are helping, attended, will attend and of course SPONSORED. There is only so much we can do, without you this would be just a dream.

This is going to sound horrible but I have realized I want to be a millionaire. Not because I want to splurge, or have the big house, fancy car or even put my kids in IV league schools. I want to win the lotto so my husband can work less and enjoy as many moments we can together, because we don't know how many we have. I want to stay home and spend my time volunteering, my daughters school, the hospital, all kinds of charity events. I just want to help but life needs money so you can only do so much. I wish the hospital could call me and say, hey we need this... and I can just give them a check! I wish I could open a bereavement center for all the parents and family going through the loss of a child, unfortunately this is not a one time deal. For now all I can do is


Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Legacy

It has been two months since our last blog post! There are so many things that can happen in that time and for us, our major goal that was attained was our fundraiser Alesia's Magnolias. We had expectations but it was everything we wanted and more. 1600 people attended and $50,000.00 was raised. We are so proud and thankful for our incredible committee, for working so hard before and during the event. Nothing in this large scale of an event can be done alone and there are truly no words to describe the gratitude I feel towards ALL our sponsors, volunteers and of course the attendees. The happiest moments I had during Alesia's Magnolias was when I saw all the children so happy, that's priceless.

I am truly inspired to do bigger, better, more. I want Alesia's Magnolias to be the event of the year where children will want to come back each year, and as they grow and one day have families I hope that we will still work hard and they will be able to bring their own children. I hope one day my daughters will be inspired to direct Alesia's Magnolias, and continue what we have started.

This years event was very much a reflection of what Alesia loved and thus was a little girl oriented but next year we plan to incorporate more boys stations, and activities for tweens. As well as adult sections, and babysitting/daycare service for parents to enjoy a coffee while children are watched and playing. We want everyone to be happy and just enjoy the day because Alesia always had a smile on her face and that's all we want to see.

As a family we are trying hard to come to terms with our loss and live each day for the children we have and life that continues. Your own child alive or dead can never be forgotten, not loved, or not worth doing everything for, and we are just finding ways that Alesia still lives on. Her legacy in just one year, bringing people together and making things happen that I could have never imagined. I miss my baby ALL the time, I want her ALL the time and I HATE that she is gone ALL the time. Our oldest drew a picture at daycare this week for the first time of her family, without Alesia. She usually draws Alesia in the sky but she was not there. It is heart breaking and amazing at the same time. Our daughter is adjusting to the fact that she is gone and this is our family now, but we are still coping and are just not there. We think of her less then we used to and as time passes it will be even less and that alone is painful.

All we have now are memories and the hope that her passing will make a difference in this World for the better by us. I want to be a better person and give more then I have before.

We truly hope you will all continue to join us on our journey of Alesia's Magnolias and if you have any ideas or suggestions on improving the event, and of course if you would like to sponsor us please visit our website www.alesiasmagnolias.com

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Helps us Cope

Loosing a child is nothing like you can ever imagine. You grieve for your grandparents, eventually your own parents and as hard as that may be, the loss of a child is far greater. I miss my baby all the time, but as a mother I feel like there is something I have to do for her even though she is not here. This for me is Alesia's Magnolias, our annual fundraiser for The Montreal Children's Hospital.

There are the days when I wake up and wonder what in the world was I thinking having a fundraiser? And so close to the time she died and how emotional we still are. Is this something I needed as an extra burden. Well first of all we are way to into it for me to back down now, and second I know things will work out at the end of it, and my baby will watch over us and be proud. I am a strong woman but I feel like my strength gets tested constantly and I can only handle so much.

At times like now my body is so weak, I am trying to balance everything at the same time like most of you have to on a daily basis. Problem with this is that I am still grieving and because of that everything else is so much harder. Yesterday the detective that took care of Alesia's case came by and dropped off all the things they had taken the day she died, like her bedding and PJ's. I held her Pyjamas in my arms and cried for a good hour. I had gotten them a size larger hoping it would last longer cause I thought they were so cute. Then Maro came home and decided to wear them, yes they were tight and short but she did not remember they were Alesias so she thought I bought her new pyjamas. My heart broke because she did not remember. I know there will be a lot she will forget about her sister but it still just kills me.

On a brighter note there are many great things I hope you would want to know about our fundraiser. Our sponsors like CKameleon, Evolution cleaners, Chateau Royal,Les Aliments Roma, Houlabaloo, George Alvanos events, McDonald's, Rogers Planete Mobile, and many others are the reason our event will take place.

May 15Th, 2011 will be a day filled with performances from La Troupe Folklorique Grecque Syrtaki. We are very pleased to announce that we will have a musical performance from Annakin Slayd. There will be magicians, clowns and puppeteers entertaining the children all day long.

We will have inflatables for our youngsters and the older children. Thanks to our many volunteers we will have eyes everywhere making sure all the children are safe.

There will be various stations for the children to choose from like face painting, cupcake decorating, arts and crafts, jewelery making, mad science, planting, and yoga.

With your entrance ticket that only costs $10 you will get all the performances, food and a gift bag when you leave. You are welcome to purchase tickets on our website www.alesiasmagnolias.com or at the door. Our website accepts paypal and you can make a donation there as well if you cannot attend the day of the event or simply just to help us make this event the best it can be.

We will also have raffle tickets for sale where you will have a chance to win gift certificates to restaurants like Buona Notte, Marathons and much more. We will have beautiful jewelery pieces, gift baskets full of electronics, art work, and sculptures. For the man in your life we also have a signed Carry Price Jersey! Thank you for the donations!

Our booths like the face painting, mad science etc will be paid by Alesia Dollars. The day of the event you can purchase these dollars, which will be like monopoly money. Each dollar cost a dollar. Some stations will cost 1 Alesia dollar and some 2. We will also be selling desert items like cupcakes and popcorn.

If you would like further information on our event or you would like to sponsor please visit our website www.alesiasmagnolias.com

Thank you for all the support thus far, please continue your generosity!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time Heals All Wounds? NOT!

I cannot express how many times, people have told me that in time everything will be better. My daughter DIED, she is not sick, not hurt, not HERE! Nothing in this World not another child, not time, not being closed minded and not, not speaking about what happened will change what has happened or make things better.

It has been since Christmas since I wrote a blog post and since then it has been a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. I take the ups because they are so precious and I accept the downs because they are so needed. I have diagnosed myself as 80% of the time great, my spirits are up, and I am running life with a positive attitude trying to be the best person I can be. Then there's the other 20% of the time when I down life like no tomorrow. Life basically cannot get worst at those points. I am in anguish that I have to live without my baby, and that MY life had to be this way. I become a negative, bitter, cynical, and overall not pleasant person. The pain just takes over me completely. I guess in some ways time has made me less and less in that 20% state, however I do not think that till the day I die, I will ever stop having those bad times. I will miss what my family would have been, what I would have had, what my daughters are missing, but most of all I will just miss her.

Katerina is growing and developing her own personality it is just a joy to watch her blossom. Maro and her make everyday a little easier. I wake up each morning and I smile because my daughters have woken up, but at the same time I think of the one that will never wake up. My daughters are finally starting to play with each other which makes things a bit easier, seeing Maro have a partner again.

I find myself completely upset with the person I have become sometimes. I wish so much that what has happened could have changed me only in a good way but unfortunately it has changed me in the wrong way at times too. Things I would be happy about for others I find myself jealous at times. Then there's the fact that I could just about snap at anything that walks. Oh and forgetting things is like the plague for me these days. I guess you can say there are things I need to work on. My husband luckily in most cases is completely the opposite of me, he does not have a jealous bone inside of him, and he is always happy for others fortunes. I need to take a lesson from him sometimes.

On a positive note I am completely taken over by our fundraiser Alesia's Magnolias which has just become almost like a full time job. I love the reasons behind why I am doing this event but at times I wonder why I am putting myself into all this stress. Its not like I do not have my family to take care of right? At the end of the day I need to know that we will make a difference.

We recently found out that an incredible couple we have met, their daughter passed away from the same condition (EFE) as Alesia. This was a bit of a shocker considering we were told it was a very rare condition. Life makes you wonder. It gives us another thing to be completely on the fence about. If we really get into what is going on, what happens if we find out things that make it harder on us. At the same time we do not open this can of worms and we might just have more and more of the same case arise and 1 was already way too much, now there are 2 that we know of. At the same time EFE was told to us by our Cardiologist at the VIC that it is pretty much terminal and that if we had found it, the result would have been the same.

I'll end this post with one of the things I miss so much about Alesia. When she held us, or wanted to be held it was for US, not her, she was affectionate because she needed to give us her love not because she needed us, she knew we needed HER! Now I just go on knowing I will never have that again..........

Monday, December 13, 2010


They say when life gives you lemons make lemonade, I say life gave us crap and we are desperately working hard to make flowers. You can say as the holidays come near this year it seems our sorrow grows with them. Every get together is a reminder of what we have lost and keep missing.

Last Christmas we bought almost matching PJ's for all of us and our daughters slept with us in our bed Christmas eve. They were so happy to sleep together and although I was pregnant and taking up more space then usual, I had a blast too. Just waking up to the happiness in their eyes and their smiles meant everything. So we decided to repeat the experience New Years Eve. My Birthday Bills family came for a roast beef feast and I taped the video on you tube of my girls dancing together.
A year later I have another sweet little girl but the void in my life is so strong I sometimes feel empty. I miss my Alesia so much that my favorite season of all, means nothing. I hate every event, even though I put a smile on my face, I cry when I am home, sometimes its my only way to fall asleep.

I am so glad I have my two little amazing daughters that keep me strong, because without them I do not know how I would be. Katerina is growing all the time doing new things like turning everywhere, has two teeth, and she babbles all the time. Maro had her daycare and Greek dancing shows and did a great job, shes a little diva who has really begun to pose for the camera in some crazy scary poses ( did not get that from me).
I wrote this blog today not to remind people about our grief but because I hope this makes everyone keep their children and families closer then ever this year. Give your little ones everything you can. Do not stress the holidays, embrace them for the time you get to spend with the ones you love.