Happy 70th Birthday in Heaven

Dear Greg,

As I sit down to write this, my heart is filled with a mixture of joy and longing. Today marks your 70th birthday—a milestone that should have been celebrated together, just like we did a decade ago on your 60th. I remember that unforgettable night so vividly, the only surprise I ever managed to pull off for you. What a night it was – a celebration solely dedicated to you, a rarity in your 60 years. The laughter, love and warmth of friends and family filled the room. I can still  recall every detail, every surprise, but most importantly, our last dance. How I dream about the chance to dance with you again. To simply celebrate together, side by side. 

Today, on this celebration of your 70th year, we should have been recreating those beautiful moments, celebrating your life that was meant to continue for many more years. Unfortunately fate had other plans for you, cutting your life short way too soon. Now, I find myself here, and you’re “there,” wherever that may be.

I often imagine that “there” is somewhere over the rainbow, a place where skies are forever blue, and dreams really do come true. Yet, deep down, I grapple with the reality that the dream of celebrating your 70th birthday together didn’t materialize. If dreams had the power to come true, you’d be here with me.

Today, I want to focus on celebrating you—the you who brought immeasurable joy to everyone you touched. Your smile, kindness, generosity, and compassion defined you, making you a beacon of light in our lives. As I reflect on the 70 years that should have been, I choose to honor the blessings you brought, even though we were robbed of more time together.

It’s challenging to face the absence, but today is about cherishing the beautiful memories we created. Each shared moment, each laugh, and every bit of warmth you emanated remain alive in my heart. Your legacy lives on in the impact you had on those fortunate enough to know you. You touched countless lives, leaving a mark on this earth and a legacy that will be with us forever.

Greg…I wish you a heavenly birthday. Though you’re not physically here, your spirit lingers in the love and memories you left behind. As I raise a glass to toast to 70 years of your remarkable journey, I am filled with gratitude for the gift of having loved you. Despite being “there,” you are forever present not only in my heart, but in all of our hearts. Happy 70th!

I love you forever

Gregger Pitti-Uomo-June-14-606

Happy 48th “Should Have Been” Anniversary

Dear Greg,

Today would have been our 48th anniversary, a day we always celebrated as our own. Each passing year stood as a testament, not just to our love, but to the life we created together. While I will forever remember this day with love, it has become bittersweet, overshadowed by your absence and the emptiness in my heart. For nine years, I’ve continued to commemorate these moments as if you were still here. I whisper “Happy Anniversary” as if you can hear me. I hang onto impossible dreams that you might walk into the room, that we could celebrate in the joy of each passing year together. But reality dictates otherwise. Our day arrives. There are no exchanged cards. Surprise gifts. Or toasts to the years conquered together. 

Why do I hold on so tightly? Why does this day mean so much to me? Because it was ours, a day we chose together to celebrate our love every single year. 10 years ago we vowed to be together for 75 years. We made plans. But fate took over. Fate won.Those dreams will forever remain unfulfilled. In this “would have been” moment there are countless things I wish I could say to you.

Reflecting on what could have been, it’s the small moments I miss the most. I would trade anything for the warmth of your touch, the sparkle in your eyes, and the contagious laughter that once filled our days with  both joy and tears.

Our journey began at 21, young and innocent, in love but knowing little about life and marriage. We learned and never gave up, navigating moments of pause and rediscovering our way back to the beginning. It was in this space that our love, foundation, strength, and bond grew and strengthened even more.

Together, we faced challenges – raising our family, building a business, navigating highs and lows, and dealing with loss. Through it all, we knew it was always the two of us in the end. 

Being a widow on this day is painful, yet I count my blessings for the 39 years we shared. You were my soulmate. Best friend. Partner. Our journey, imperfect but perfect for us, is forever etched in my heart. I raise a toast to our “would have been” 48th anniversary. Loving you was the best thing I ever did. I only wish our fairytale had a little more time.

As I write my 48th anniversary love letter to you, I reflect on our life. We experienced the best and the worst. I cherish both because they shaped us into the great team we were. Our struggles taught us gratitude, communication and compassion, qualities that defined our relationship. Even after 38 years together, we wanted more – more time, more love, more us. 

You will always be the best thing that ever happened in my life. Others may question that statement. Why not my children? My grandchildren? But, without you, they wouldn’t be. You will always be the best. Guiding me. Teaching me. Helping me become a better and stronger me. The void you left is indescribable, but I find strength in your lessons. I miss you beyond words, but I continue on, knowing that life is too short to merely exist. 

Cheers to 48 years of “what should have been.” I will forever celebrate the love, happiness, laughter, and tears. I was blessed to share my life with you and the beautiful family we created. I love you always.

Happy New Year 2024

As I sit here reflecting on 2023, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of memories and emotions. 2023 was a year woven with threads of joy, sorrow, triumphs, and challenges. Reflecting on the past twelve months, I find myself pondering age-old questions: “What could I have done differently? What changes would I make? How could I have been better?” 

I don’t have clear answers. 2023 was a complex puzzle, a mix of experiences that defied simple categorization.  It was life. Unfiltered. A blend of happy moments. Losses. Success. Despair. And the vast spectrum of in-betweens. Each day brought forth something new. A formidable challenge. An unexpected obstacle. A moment of pure joy. Or a wave of stress that threatened to swallow me whole.

As I close the chapter on 2023, I seriously consider the real essence of my life – not the version I show to others, but the one I live every day. My life including the personal inner struggles I face. Over the past nine years, I’ve embraced hope, gratitude, positivity, and strength. Yet, in the silent corners and quiet moments, I wage battles against personal demons. Each passing year feels like a loss of opportunities. Life slipping away. Hope seems to drift farther, despite my efforts. I begin each new year with fresh beginnings and optimism, but, as challenges, stress, obstacles, and shattered dreams pile up, hope slips away. The year ends, and I’m left, once again, with an emptiness, eagerly awaiting the next year for a chance to start anew. 

With each passing year, the struggle intensifies. Despite projecting an image of positivity and hope, my inner self struggles with disbelief. I pray that 2024 will be THE year, where hope can find its path, and genuine happiness can once again become a reality.

As I look back on the past year, I see that each day was an opportunity. An opportunity to grow. To learn. To evolve into a better version of myself. Faced with choices, I could see challenges as obstacles or as opportunities to better myself. I chose the latter. Each obstacle became a lesson, offering resilience, patience, and the art of navigating the unpredictable roads of life. I may not always get it right, but I tried my best, and I realize that trying is the best I can consistently do. 

2023, despite the ups and downs, was a year of gratitude. I faced each day with a grateful mindset, not for the material possessions, but for the priceless people in my life – family and friends. It’s easy to overlook one another, getting caught up in our day-to-day routines.  Too often we forget to pause. We take each other for granted. We go about our daily lives. It’s in the pause that we recognize and appreciate life’s richness. I believe that’s invaluable.  

As I close the chapter on 2023, I carry with me the lessons I’ve learned, the memories I’ve made, and a renewed commitment to appreciate the blessings in my life. My goals for 2024, much like in previous years, are simple: to be better, to do better, and to live better. I aim to take time, pause, and be present.

Approaching 2024 is like opening a new book. Will it unfold into a fresh chapter, a new verse, or merely the continuation of an old story? Its pages are blank, waiting for my words. This book is called opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. Let’s make it a good one! Here’s to 2024—a year filled with joy, laughter, love, and peace! Cheers!

Thank You!

As the final weeks of the year unfold, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to friends and family who have been a constant source of love and support throughout 2023. Your presence, especially during the challenging times, has enriched my life in ways words cannot capture. I am so thankful for each and every one of you.

In moments when I felt isolated, I drew comfort from the knowledge that you were there. In times of need, your friendship was a reassuring presence. I hope, in return, I provided the same support to others as well. True friendship and love have the power to bridge any distance or miles that may separate us.

As we approach the new year, my heartfelt wish for all of you is a year filled with health, happiness, abundant love, and enduring peace. May 2024 bring joyous moments, shared laughter, and continued connections that make life truly meaningful. Thank you for being an integral part of my journey in 2023.  Here’s to another year of cherished moments together. Cheers to 2024!

Trying To Find My Why…

Trying to Find My Why…https://votefab40.com/2023/mikki-eveloff

This morning I awoke with an overwhelming sense of melancholy. Once firmly rooted in the roles of wife and mom, I now find myself treading unfamiliar paths. Life’s unforeseen twists force me to redefine my very being. Wrestling with questions about my purpose and identity, I long for a sense of fulfillment and clarity. Who am I now? What is my place in this world? My purpose?

As the roles that once gave me definition change, I struggle with a feeling of disorientation. I’ve tried to fill the void with various activities, ventures. Yet, I realize these external pursuits are merely fleeting distractions.

Though my recent commitment to the Fab40 campaign, dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer has been rewarding, it has also presented its own emotional hurdles and challenges. Confronting a world burdened with grief and loss, I’m overwhelmed with a complex array of emotions.  Seeking “votes” or “donations” during such turbulent times evokes a sense of guilt within me. Where does my loyalty belong? Am I doing the right thing? Making the right choices?

Life is a journey. This is another path I must explore to rediscover my purpose. I reflect on the values that have guided me throughout my journey. What brings me joy. Fulfillment. A profound sense of connection with the world? It’s easy to retreat during these moments. Seek solace in the familiar. The comfortable. The safe. Yet, in doing so, I miss out. On life. On living.  I may not find the answers today. Tomorrow. Or even months from now. I will embrace the process. Allow myself the space to grow. Adapt to the changes life presents. Trust that I am resilient to navigate the uncertainty. Uncover a renewed sense of purpose that resonates deeply with who I am now. Who I hope to become. 

Today, I will continue to fight for those who are unable to do so themselves. My belief in this cause remains unwavering. The statistics speak for themselves – 1 in 8 women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. With no known cure, early detection is crucial for survival. I hope you will continue to stand beside me as we join forces in this critical battle.


#NBCF #BreastCancerAwareness #PinkRibbon #StrengthInNumbers #TogetherWeCan #HopeForACure

Double Duty

Being a mom has always been more than just a title to me. It is my most cherished role. My favorite “job” in life. The love, joy, and challenges that come with it are a constant source of fulfillment. However, everything changed when Greg died. The shift was seismic. Suddenly, being a mom was tougher than I’d ever imagined. I was confronted with the daunting task of becoming both mom and dad. 

Greg was more than my husband. He was my rock. My sounding board. My partner in parenting. He was the one I turned to in tough times. The one with whom I could share my worries. Concerns. The one who provided a fresh perspective. Unwavering support. But suddenly. He was gone. An aching void impossible to fill. 

In the earlier years of parenting, a scraped knee could be healed by a simple kiss. A colorful bandage. Those physical hurts were easily soothed. I could reassure the kids that everything would be okay. But, now as adults, the hurts they face become more profound. The solutions aren’t as straightforward. Emotional wounds and internal struggles cannot be fixed with a bandage or kiss.

Navigating these complex emotions and uncharted waters of solo parenting has been a journey filled with both heartache and resilience. In this new chapter of my life, I find myself facing a myriad of tough decisions that seem to bear down on my shoulders. Heavy. Relentless. 

Once, these responsibilities were shared. A shared weight between two people who balanced each other. But now, it’s my heart that bears the brunt of it all. From the mundane choices of everyday life to those pivotal, life-altering decisions, I’m the one who must shoulder the burden alone.

As I stand at these crossroads, I’m often plagued by self-doubt. Uncertainty.  I find myself reevaluating my decisions. Wrestling with the overwhelming uncertainty that life can bring. Despite my growing belief in myself and the strengthening I’ve undergone over the past nine years, there are moments when I still doubt my own worth. My capacity to make important choices. I miss Greg’s guidance. Perspective. And insight that once steered us through the intricate passages of life’s twists and turns. It was reassuring, a source of comfort, knowing that we could tackle even the insurmountable challenges. 

The burden of being a single parent, carrying the weight of every decision often becomes overwhelming. There are moments when the load is too heavy. The struggles insurmountable. Yet, I choose to hide the depths of my struggle. I put on a brave face. Stand firm in the face of adversity. Offer reassurance that they can lean on me. Some days, on the outside I am the mom holding it together. The pillar of strength. While inside, I’m wrestling with relentless pressure to live up to the expectations I’ve set for myself.

The journey through motherhood continues. It looks different than it did when Greg was alive. I’ve learned to lean on my own resilience. Find support where I can. Navigate the complexities of life with everlasting love for my kids. I will continue to redefine my life. My role as mom AND dad. Doing the very best I can. Every. Single. Day. 

Staying Alive

These past 9 years, I have gracefully juggled extreme emotions. Navigated the intricate dance between happiness and grief. Joy to tears. Tears to joy. Finding the delicate balance is tough. One moment. Embrace life’s joys. Live in the moment. The next. Acknowledge the sadness. Fraught with emotions and uncertainties, I struggle to balance on life’s tightrope.

I cherish the moments of genuine happiness. Milestones. Celebrations. Laughter with family and friends. Simple joys. I smile. Enjoy the present. But there is an underlying awareness. Greg is not here. He will never share these joyous occasions.

Grief is a constant companion. It’s a shadow that follows us through the brightest and darkest moments. It’s that unexpected guest who arrives unannounced, barging into our hearts when we least expect it. It’s a void. A hole. An empty space that reminds us of the bonds we once shared with those who are no longer with us. And it can surface in the most unlikely of places.

A few weeks ago, my sister and her husband were in town. It seemed like a simple plan to meet them for happy hour. A casual gathering of family. But for me, it wasn’t so simple. The anxiety welled up inside me, threatening to overwhelm me. The anticipation was overwhelming. 

To make matters more complex, several of my sister’s friends joined us. The conversation turned to travel plans. Places they would visit this year. Dreams for future adventures. These were the same dreams Greg and I had once shared. Dreams of exploring “bucket list” places together. Creating lasting memories. I sat there. Silent. An observer in a sea of animated conversation. What could I contribute? How could I explain the giant void in my heart? No one knew the pain I carried. The emptiness that gnawed at me from within. Why would they? Or why would they even think those were my thoughts? 

As the conversation flowed around me, the ache and pain inside me grew more pronounced. I wanted to escape. Retreat to the sanctuary of my car. Turn on the music. Let my emotions flow freely. Music has always been my refuge. A comfort that washes away the sadness. I wanted to cry. Scream. Release my pent-up emotions. When I got to my car, that’s just what I did. Cry. Scream. I let the grief pour out of me. It was a moment of release. You’d think that after all this time, I would be past this. That grief would have loosened its grip on me. But the truth is, I’m not. Grief is not a linear journey. There’s not a perfect beginning and end. It’s a constant companion, always lurking in the background, ready to rear its head when we least expect it.  

There are many days when I’m okay. I carry on with life as if grief is a distant memory. And then there are days like that one. Grief surges to the forefront, demanding to be acknowledged. On those days, I feel it intensely. I let it wash over me. I honor Greg’s memory. And then, eventually, I’m okay again. Grief may be a constant companion, but so is resilience. I am able to find moments of peace and acceptance amidst the storm.

Rediscovering the Pen: Writing Brings Hope

Life is a tapestry woven with joy and sorrow. I never imagined my life to be as it is. My life was nearly perfect. On the trajectory to lifelong togetherness. Living our best lives. Together. But fairytales don’t always end with the “happily ever after.” Mine did not. So, here I am. Still figuring it out. 9 years later.

Life continues its relentless march forward. I “do” life. Fall into the mundane rhythm. Yet, the shadow of grief is ever present. Not all encompassing. But there. Time is a complex companion.  It is not a healer. Yet it transforms. Changes the way grief affects me. I can’t wave a magic wand. Make “it” disappear. My sorrow has been altered. Redefined. Mellowed. Softened. Moments of heartache. 

My journey has been a tumultuous one. Peaks and valleys. Acceptance and surrender. Longing and despair. The beginning. Raw pain. Overpowering, engulfing every aspect of my life. An all-encompassing force, like a fierce storm raging within my soul. The world seemed colorless. Life lost its meaning without Greg beside me. Every day an endless struggle. Memories brought meaning and solace. Cherishing our treasured love, laughter, tears, joy, and challenges, softened my sorrow.

How have I learned to live forward? Redefine my grief? Acceptance. Acceptance that there is no “cure” for grief. Acceptance that grief does not go away. Acceptance that grief exists because we shared a beautiful love. Acceptance that it’s okay to not be okay. Acceptance of a normalcy in my life. A new rhythm. I know Greg will no longer walk through the door. His voice an echo in my mind.  

My journey is one of resilience. Strength. Strength that I never knew existed. Strength borne out of necessity to move forward. My journey continues. There is no end. No choice. No option. I am here. Alive. And living. I need to live. 

Throughout my journey my one beacon of hope was The Power of the Pen. Writing. In the beginning, I wrote for me. To keep Greg alive. But the stories ran out. What could I say? Did anyone care?  Now. I’ve discovered hope. Again. “Embracing Ink..A Journey of Moving On and Navigating Grief” is a tale of resilience. Growth. Discovery. As I expose my personal navigation through grief, I hope to offer solace and understanding to anyone treading the same path. We can get here together. One breath. One moment. One step. At a time. 

I realize it’s okay to be happy. Laugh. Live. I understand the love that Greg and I shared will forever be a part of me. It CAN coexist with pain of loss. I embrace my reality. Grief is not a sign of weakness.  It is a testament to my love. 

Grief is not a linear process. There’s no fixed end date. It’s a lifelong journey. A path I continue to walk with courage. Grace. Resilience. My love for Greg is my guiding light, illuminating the way forward even as I carry the weight of the past.  I know my life will never be the same again. I can accept the change. Grief has become a gentle companion. It is an integral part of who I’ve become, coexisting with happiness and hope. As I move forward I know that Greg’s memory will forever be a cherished presence in my heart.

May we find peace together in our journey…life is meant to be lived.

9 Years

August 30, 2014. Nine years ago. An eternity. Or yesterday. It feels one and the same. The day my world turned upside down. Changed forever. The day Greg left this world. Yet, the absence remains imprinted on my heart. This journey. A rollercoaster of emotions, filled with highs and lows. Crashing waves. Moments of solitude. Reflecting on my grief journey, I realize how profoundly my world has changed. Most difficult? Learning to embrace the present, even in solitude.

Today I celebrate Greg. I celebrate his life. One of honor. Integrity. Love.  Compassion. On this anniversary (as others) I am enveloped in a bittersweet embrace of sorrow and gratitude. Sorrow for the life we lost. Gratitude for the life we had. 9 years later, the pain of losing Greg remains, but I am grateful for the legacy of love and cherished memories. Sorrow and sadness. A testament of our love. Greg was not only my life partner. He was my soulmate.  My best friend. A piece of my heart was taken away that August day. I’m not sure it will ever be whole again. 

Amid the sorrow, there is an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude for 40 blessed years. The precious moments we shared. The love that continues to sustain me even in his absence. I am grateful for every smile.  Every laugh.  Every argument (let’s be real!).  Every tender touch. All that we experienced throughout our life together. The years we had were a gift beyond measure. We created our own world. One of love. Trust. Understanding. Our life was full of joy, challenges, and growth. For that, I am eternally grateful. Greg brought immense joy and meaning to my existence. While I may not have realized it then, I am thankful for every second we had. We just didn’t have enough of them. The twinkle in his eyes. His “squeaky” laugh. His raucous snores. The warmth of his hug or touch of his hand. These memories are etched in my heart and bring warmth to the most difficult days. Greg’s love will forever guide me through life’s journey. I find strength in his memory and draw inspiration from the beautiful person he was.

Today I choose to honor his memory, focusing on the joy and love we experienced together. I will honor Greg by embracing life with courage and grace, just as he did. I will cherish the memories we had, knowing they are my greatest treasure. I will continue to carry forward his legacy by emulating the compassion, kindness, generosity, and humility he embodied. Greg’s memory will forever remain alive in my heart and the hearts of all those whose lives he touched. “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they are gone, the light remains.” Thank you for being my light. Today it will shine just a bit brighter. Forever loved. Forever missed. Somewhere over the rainbow…

8 Years

8 years. 

“When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.” In that moment life changes. 8 years. 96 months, 35,040 days, 840,960 hours, 50,457,600 minutes, 3 billion seconds. Somedays it seems like a minute ago. Somedays it seems like forever. Yet. The facts remain. You’re gone. Forever. Death changed me. The loss. The pain. Death forced me to face my toughest choices. I spent 40 years of my life envisioning my whole future with you. We were going to grow old together. Plans. Build memories. In a flash they were gone. And I had to choose. Fall apart. Or be better. Find the strength. To keep going. 

What do I miss most? Normal. Simple moments. Talking. Sharing. Holding hands. Kissing. Cuddles. Watching TV. Sunday coffee. Neighborhood walks. Costco/Target shopping. You. Just you. And everything  about you. Silly. So silly. But, oh so simple.

Grief. Never fixed. Dormant. Concrete. It ebbs. Flows. Hitting hardest in unexpected moments. Lessening over time. It never goes away. Buried under layers of love, memories, pain, and loss. I grow. I get stronger. I adjust. I accept. I function. Day by day, month by month, year by year the weight lightens, lifts and I “go on.” Life goes on for the living. And so must I. I smile. Laugh. Attempt to love. But, the grief, the pain, never goes away. At any moment, it emerges. Striking my heart. Creating salty tear drops from my eyes. I’m okay. Doing the best I can. It’s a moment. And I need to be. In that moment. To feel. Sad. Lonely. Lost. Alone. These moments never go away. They will always live within my soul. Because I live with the “love you left behind.” A love I will never forget. I was lucky to find my soul mate. A love I will cherish forever. A love I was blessed to share with you. “You’ll survive. That’s the first thing they tell you after you lose someone. You know what, they’re right. In time, we all find a way to pick up the pieces and move on. What they forget to mention, however, is survival and happiness aren’t always the same thing.

8 years. How can that even be? I saw this the other day. “Your choice and why. Blue door: you go back in time and change one thing in your past. Red door: you get 10 million in cash tax free.” No Brainer! BLUE DOOR! We would not go to Hawaii! Would that have changed our lives? Would you be here today? Would we be living our best life? I will never know. The why’s and what ifs haunt me. I was supposed to bury them. With you. They sneak up. It’s hard not to think. Wonder. But we can’t go back. Life is forward. Breathe. Accept. Love. Be grateful.

I think of you today as I do everyday. I try to live my best life. I see the best of you in your children, grandchildren. Life’s blessings. I am forever grateful. And always will be. For our time. Shortened. But beautiful. “Goodbyes hurt the most when the story was not finished.” Our story ended but the love carries on. Forever in my heart. Today, tomorrow, always.