When I lost G, it wasn't just Giovanna that I lost. My grief was unimaginable. For close to three years I barely functioned, I physically had trouble getting words to come out of my mouth. My brain was locked in a vortex of a constant fog going back and forth with utter despair to wishing that I could just end my time and be with my daughter again. During that time, my daily ritual consisted of visiting her grave site in the morning to get G ready for the day and in the afternoon putting her to bed.
How my two main men in my life gave me the space to heal only just a little is beyond me. Nando was 13 years old when he lost his big sister. He was 13 years old when he lost his mother as well.
" What do you think i do in my room?", he screamed at me one afternoon at the age of 16.
" I cry. "
The veil lifted over my eyes, and in front of me stood a young man, that had grown up right in front of me and i didn't see it.
He turned 19 in April this year. My god, what an amazing man he is becoming. A heart of gold and I am so proud to be his Mother.
I may have lost Giovanna, but I have a son that's here, that is everything to me and every day when i wake up and see him, it brings me a huge smile on my face.
I am a lucky lucky person to be chosen to be this mans Mum.
Here I have been, sitting in front of a blank screen, watching the curser tick.
I know, and have known for weeks leading up to this week that it is up to me to write something in the newspaper for you.
But what does a Mama write that is worthy? Where all I want to do is wish I was writing in celebration for your 21st. But I am sitting here trying to finding the words to write a remembrance piece because you have been gone now 6 years.
How do I put in the 30 words or less what we feel? How much we miss you. How much we yearn to have you back.
On top of the day to to day stresses, throw in our home burning down 5 months, living out of a suitcase and not been able to get a good night's sleep in FOREVER due to having the images of you dying in my arms entering my mind when I try to drift off to the land of nod.
Sleep and night time are some of the hardest times.
We are hurting. And always will be hurting and missing you. Even more so, knowing that your 21st would have been this coming Saturday.
I love you so much, G. So much and forever.
Now how gorgeous are these?!?! 😉
Mary Pappas has been generously and lovingly making and donating beautiful hand crocheted blankets to Giovanna's Gift for over a year. When we check our post box, we get tickled pink with excitement to see what creations have been made 😍
This melts our hearts ❤️
To know that there are such amazing people in this world that care, take time out of their busy lives to think about others.
Mary, thank you 🙏
Your pieces of art are heading straight to Ronald McDonald House Parkville
"All the money that you raise, where does it go?"
Thanks so much for asking, we've been itching to get the lowdown details for you :)
Every SINGLE dollar raised through Giovanna's Gift goes to funding a room at Ronald McDonald House Parkville in Melbourne. Your heart filled donations also go to purchasing items, gift cards, including grocery store vouchers ( think Coles, Woolies ) Fuel vouchers and iTunes, Google Store Vouchers plus more. Since forming Giovanna's Gift, this is what YOU have helped us raise so far ❤️❤️
Over $45,000 in funds to keep our sponsorship of G's room at Ronald McDonald House. 2017, YOU helped achieve this: 24 families used the room, with more than 50% of those families staying more than 3 months! On average, families using the room stayed for 18 nights.
We cannot wait for what the rest of 2018 brings
In the lead up to what should be a wonderful weekend, time spent together as a family, celebrating your Mum - pause your thoughts for a moment and remember that many Mums this weekend will be finding it tough on Sunday.
You are supposed to go before your child, not the other way around.
For all bereaved Mama's, I hear you. I see you. And I hold how you are feeling so preciously as I too, feel the exact same way.
This is my 5th Mother's Day without Giovanna. It doesn't getter better. You just accept that grief will always be a part of you.
So if you know a Mama that will be feeling so many things this weekend, let her know you love her as these milestone days are extra tough ❤️
Ovarian Cancer Day.
A day, where I know that everyone would wish never existed as it would mean that there was a cure already.
The majority of the time, Ovarian Cancer is silent. There are symptoms that can be mistaken for other things.
Ladies, please,please,please. Listen to your body.
If something doesn't feel "right" don't postpone,but go seek a medical opinion immediately.
Life gets busy. Days turn into weeks. I get it. Make YOURSELF a priority so we can fight this, head on.
YOU are your biggest advocate for your health.
We hope to one day soon hear and learn that a cure has been found for this devastating disease.
G, lost her battle.
We hope, pray and do everything we can with love, to one day know that no one has to ever again ❤️
Giovanna's Gift was fortunate enough to be Club Merbein charity of choice last Friday night, when they hosted our Trivia Night. I could not let this opportunity pass me by as they don't come around too often. So, to help make this night a success, I had to bust people's chops to buy a ticket!!! Believe you me when I say, I absolutely dread having to ask people to put their hands in their pockets for me, especially when I know myself that there is never any $$$ in my pockets. I also understand when it seems every single person is asking for money for some cause, I know the EYE ROLL "oh no, not again" is an automatic response behind closed doors lol 😂 I get it, I do it myself too. I suppose when it comes to stuff like that your money is paying for a lippy, unlike when you support me your supporting a family you don't even know. This is why I have to work up the courage to ask for help.. As we don't have family support here in Mildura, I have to get my friends on board to take up the slack, and I have to say I have the most amazing people in my life who come and stand beside me no matter what. I can NEVER imagine living my life without them.
The Trivia Night last Friday was a HUGE success with at least 70 people ranging from young ones, to older folks who would be out past their bed time attending which is huge for little old Merbs. What a night full of laughs, it was fantastic, I LOVE TRIVIA NIGHTS...
We RAISED $2900!!
What an amazing amount that all of you put towards Giovanna's Gift. Thank you. Thank you so much. These funds will be going straight to funding Giovanna's room at Ronald McDonald house in Parkville in Melbourne.
To everyone who donated $$, bid on the silent auction items, purchased raffle tickets and attended, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
And a big shout out to our sponsors and corporate supporters for the evening, thank you so much for your support.ox
Troy Robbins ( Chef )
Mcgintys merbein butchery
Simplistik Hair Care
Pizza Cafe At The Grand
Big W Mildura
Greg and Jenny Byrnes
Therm-Ace Pty Ltd
Chemist Warehouse Mildura DC
Ritchies - Merbein
Mildura Boat Hire
Mildura Golf Club Resort
Stay tuned for news of our upcoming event in October 2018
Details coming soon.
Welcome to our new and improved Giovanna’s Gift 🎁 Page. Over the next days weeks we are hoping to catch you all up on what’s happening in our little charity that’s all about sharing love 💖. Firstly for all our newbies I wanted to introduce my little BIG family. These are my boys 😍 Hubby Fred and baby boy Nando, my loves are the ONLY reason I continue to live and breathe. Yep true story the truth is after losing my daughter I wanted to do myself in!! That need was dented in my brain for years but thankfully my heart ❣ new my baby boy was still needing his mother. So as the years rolled on that longing to be reunited with Giovanna has faded, I have slowly learnt and still learning how to live with the heart 💔 ache and my brain absolutely knows we will all be reunited in Heaven.
Last night my boy asked me, mum how old are you tomorrow, I said 40! Without hesitation,mmmm nope 👎 not even close farout more like 46! Today I tried to work out where the hell did I get 40 from? I know my brain is fryed - just one of many things (memory loss) that I lost the day G left us. So anyway I realised I have skipped 6 years yes when I was 40 I would of been able to have a family photo of 4 😘. Anyway today is my 46th birthday 🍰and whilst my girl isn’t in our family photo she is definitely with us ❣️❣️❣️
A huge thank you 🙏 to all those beautiful people who took time out of their day to wish me well. Your kind words helped this mumma to get through a day for her that’s missing one ☝️ much love to you all 💕💜💕💜💕💜💕