Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Year Mass

It will be right on his anniversary, Friday, July 3 at 7:00pm
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on 640 Glenholme Avenue, Toronto.
(Eglinton & Dufferin area)
Mass will be in both English and Italian

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reflection on Tree Planting

What an emotional day.  I think the anticipation was worse than the actual day.  Funny how our mind works us up sometimes.  At least that would be Tony's words to me.  Always had the right things to say.  I miss him terribly......
We had about 60 people join us on a very warm sunny day.  We had the BBQ going and lots of food for everyone.  The parking lot was full of family and many friends who cared for Tony.  With the word friends, I include the employees, customers and suppliers that joined us that day.

For those who couldn't make it, here's a prayer said my our dear friend Rosemary and some photos.   I did not get a good shot of me and my boys.  On my to do list....

"On behalf of the Gemmiti Family, I would like to thank all of you who took the time to be here and celebrate the planting of this tree.  Tony had always wanted a tree to be replanted here for his staff to sit under for their enjoyment.  So, today, we take comfort in fulling Tony's wish.
There was a saying that Mary had put in her blog that has stayed with me and has inspired me.  some of may remember it.
And that is what Tony did.  He kept strong for all of us.  His strength and courage helps us go on.  But these words are more true for Mary, Michael & Robert as this past year has gone by.  Strong is the choice they have made.  Tony is looking down with love and pride on them.  Hold true to these words, Mary, Michael & Robert.  Tony's life was an inspiration for us all.  So, we celebrate his life in the planting of this tree."


Our Father, we thank Thee for Trees! We thank Thee for the trees of our childhood in whose shade we played and read and dreamed; for the trees of our schooldays, the trees along the paths where friendship walked.  We thank thee for special trees which will always stand large in our memory because for some reason of our own they became our trees.  We thank Thee for the great stretches of trees which make the forests.  May we always stand humbly before Thy trees and draw strength from them as they, in their turn, draw sustenance from Thy bounties of earth and sun and air.
(Written by, Margueritte Harmon Bro)

Thank you to all that joined us in presence and in spirit.  Feel free to come check out this tree at our offices.  It's the only one on the island in the grass in the parking lot.  A beautiful Oak tree.

Gemmiti Family

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tree Planting Celebration

BBQ Fundraiser Tree Planting Celebration 
In Memory of Tony Gemmiti 
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 12:00pm

Dear Family and Friends,

In memory of our Founder, Tony Gemmiti, we are organizing a tree planting celebration in front of our offices at Delor Window Coverings. We invite you to join us in this celebration of life. Funds raised will be going towards Princess Margaret Hospital for Multiple Myeloma. We will be serving lunch as our way of saying thank you for your wonderful support this past year. If you are unable to attend, please find it in your hearts to go online and donate today.

Here is the link to our team page, GEMM Team.

Please RSVP by June 8.
Hope to see you there!
Warmest regards,

Mary Gemmiti

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The GEMM Team is kicking off the fundraising!

Hi everyone.....been a while.  I'm joining the Princess Margaret Hospital walk this year with many friends & family.  This year it falls on Father's Day, June 21st. It's going to be an emotional day for us......We are over 50 walkers strong on my team, called the GEMM Team.
I'm asking for donations for a cause so dear to my family.  He won't be with us physically, but I know he will be there in spirit.
Kindly find it in your heart to sponsor someone you know on our team.
Here's the link to the main page:

If you're having trouble finding our page, here's a direct link to my personal page with more information.

I thank you to those contributing to this great cause.  I look forward to spending the morning with a great group of people.  To my team members, I say, YES WE CAN!

Thanks everyone!


Friday, January 16, 2015

What Cancer Cannot do:

I was looking through some old photos I took on my cell phone.  I find comfort looking at memories. Photos are so important.  I came across a photo of a poster in one of Tony's hematologist doctor's office.  It was at the back of the door.  Those earlier days, when cancer was still new to us.  She left us alone in the room one time.  She had closed the door behind her.  So we just sat there, staring at the door with this poster on it.  Waiting for her return.  I remember both of us reading it.  We just read it and didn't elaborate.  No words necessary.
This is for those who continue to fight the cancer fight, because these words are so true!


Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot dissolve faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the spirit.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Cannot lie.  It's been a very rough couple of weeks.  My Christmas gift to my sons was a custom made quilt.  It was made of photos of us 4 and Tony's clothing.  I was so proud of this gift.  They both loved their blankets.  It truly was a special present.  Christmas, of course, was spent with family.

At the last minute, I decided to book a trip between Christmas and New Years with my two sons.  I was selfish.  I wanted just the three of us.  It actually gave me something to look forward to during the holidays instead of focusing on someone being absent.  Sitting at a table for 4 but only 3 of us.  I guess nowadays, with blended families and divorces, no one really looks at you thinking someone is missing.  But someone clearly was to me.  It was unspoken between the three of us.  But, we had a fantastic time!  It was a fast paced four days. We visited Key Largo, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach & Miami.  Fantastic.

New Year's Eve, the three of us went our separate ways as we have been doing since they became adults.  I couldn't hold them back and I'm glad I didn't.  I had a couple of friends come over to keep me company and it was fun.  The elephant was definitely in the room.  I am truly blessed to have key people who check up on me regularly.

My New Year's resolution is to scrapbook weekly.  A passion that means so much to me.  I have a collection of books already completed, but need to do more.  This digital technology is locking our photos on our hard drives and really not giving us something to touch.  Yes, we share pictures on Facebook and texting and emails.  But, I miss that touchy feeling.
My albums tell stories.  Stories that will be passed on to future generations.  In fact, my latest project is one of Tony's memory.  I have a collection of emails, texts, cards and donations.  I have put them in an album and have asked a selected few people to compose a letter of a special memory to share. I'd love to share this album with our grandchildren one day.  To let them read about how special he truly was and how many lives he has touched.  So, Thursday nights is dedicated to scrapbooking in 2015.  Anyone who wishes to join me is welcome.  We can work on our projects together!

Meanwhile, I have learned that life goes on.  Hard to do, but I must.  I think of him many many times, daily.  I put up a very strong front when I need to.  My children and family and friends do their very best to keep me busy, but I wonder......
I wonder for how much longer?
Does the pain in my heart ever go away?
Do the memories of his last few days remain vivid in my thoughts?
Will I ever be ok?
Tomorrow will be six, six months.  It's still hard to believe he's gone.

Happy New Year everyone.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Learning to be a widow

I came across this article, which really says it all.

Learning to be a widow is the hardest thing I have ever done

(Neal Cresswell)

I lost my husband on Nov. 29, 2011, a statement that implies I merely misplaced him in an absent-minded fit, and if I could just remember where I left him then all would be well again. The euphemism sounds better than the truth.
With spousal bereavement, things don’t get better, just different. Everything feels wrong. A rift exists between us, as I go on and he doesn’t. Time comes between us. When sutures refuse to hold, the wound opens unpredictably. So it is for the widow or widower: The world assumes that time has done its proverbial work and “healed” us. No. We bleed still, our amputation aches. The wound never heals because our partner is gone, forever. Time heals nothing.
I’ve read my way through every stage of life, so when abducted by bereavement I naturally turned to books. I devour books, and as a child I sniffed them, too, assuming that the place of publication (London, New York) smelled just like the book.
Bereavement literature frequently mentions waves of grief. Tiny waves may carry unsuspected currents. Then there are the tsunamis. Buddhist books suggest meditating as the waves of emotion surge: sit, and without judgment simply abide with your feelings; ride out the waves like a skilled surfer, paddling through the worst of it.
Or pedal through the cycles of anguish, say other experts. There are three cycles, or four – opinions differ. Some cycles tear the victim asunder, while gentler cycles numb, a welcome respite from what has gone before and lies ahead, which you begin to recognize because these are, after all, cycles and any fool can spot a pattern after the first few weeks.
But sometimes there are no patterns. Loss struck me as the graph of a bad tech stock, where today’s all-time low is a mere prelude to tomorrow’s new rock bottom. Then, perhaps 18 months on, bereavement was more like learning to walk again, minus childhood’s tottering charm.
This is what I now understand: Some emotional land mines we can brace for, such as a wedding anniversary, the date of diagnosis or death, the first holiday without them. But most land mines are unexpected: a few bars of music, a mental snapshot, a handwritten note. You cannot protect yourself from these, and they are everywhere.
In the first fresh agonies of separation I howled like a distressed animal (which I was). Sanity receded. My centre gutted, mindless chores helped to ground me. I struggled against the desire to call out for help, not wanting to trouble others, sensing even early on that few would understand the depths in which I floundered.
Our grief-illiterate society lacks the Victorians’ polite shield of mourning dress: Then, one glance proclaimed both an individual’s emotional fragility and the relative degree of sorrow. Today, many deny death’s reality by doling out advice (“keep busy” or “take a trip”) with more enthusiasm than logic, as if all the bereaved need is distraction.
Alternatively, we are encouraged to “remember the good times.” but that only reminds us of who and what we’ve lost. Once we lived in technicolour, now all is black and white. We are first with no one. After decades at the head table we’ve become “ … one that will do/to swell a progress, start a scene or two … ” or, more prosaically, fill a last-minute gap in a seating arrangement.
I need to come to terms with the fact that nothing will ever be right again, for his death was the death of “us,” and when he died “we” died, too. The edifice of our 27 years together was abruptly demolished in the four months from diagnosis to death. I’m left sifting through the rubble with my half of the memories. The only other person in the world who shared those remembrances is gone. I fear that without his reinforcement of our memories I will gradually lose even my half of the tale of “us.” And as our life together equalled most of my adult life, I may in time forget much of my own personal history.
Worse, I worry that over time he will slip away completely.
My mind automatically sorts memories and events into before or after his illness and death. The last weeks of his life are welded into my being. I relentlessly replay specific scenes as if hoping for a different ending. The flexibility of time destabilizes me: Sometimes it seems he disappeared decades ago, but moments later I imagine that he just stepped out of the room. Along with time, the magnitude of loss shifts – from bottomless pit to manageable sorrow – further disorientating me. Am I going mad? Has anyone ever felt this way? In my mid-50s, I’m like a confused teenager again. Who am I? What should I do? I’m a stranger to myself.
Small things overwhelm me. Life without Michael is both too much and too little. Even the altered vocabulary jars: an official form with the box “widow” ticked, the word “late” in front of his name. Surely someone has made a mistake?
Learning to be a widow is the hardest thing I have ever done. I proceed grudgingly with this business of fashioning a new identity and becoming fluent in the language of life, after.
Joy Tyndall lives in Toronto.