Gregger Pitti-Uomo-June-14-606

Here We Go…Year 3

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Dear Gregger,

Two years. Is that even possible? It seems like the blink of an eye. And then it seems like an eternity. So much has changed. So much has stayed the same. The one constant. You aren’t here. And I miss you as much as the day you left this earth. My heart still aches. I thought it would get easier. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t. I keep going. I live. Parts of me are even happy at times. But I’m empty. My soul is empty. I just can’t fill that void. I don’t know that I ever will.

I haven’t written for a long time. It was too hard. Too sad. I didn’t want to expose myself. It was easier to hide. Smile. Pretend. And cry behind closed doors. Everyone has their cards. Their issues. Their crap. So mine is mine. I own it. How was this year different? Reality hit. You weren’t coming back. No more celebrations. No more hugs. No more holding hands. No more conversations. The first year? I muddled through the motions. Made changes. Adapted. Held on. But now? Time just passes. Days blend into each other. And then what? Where do I go from here? I don’t know. I feel stuck. My life was with you. My feet were planted. Grounded. And now they’re not. I’m drifting. And I want my feet back on the ground. gregger 1b

The move was good. Some thought I did it too soon. No. It was good for me. It was right. No regrets. I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m building. But it’s slow and steady. You gave me the framework. And I’m so grateful. I’d be flat on my face without that. I’m not. I’m standing. I’m strong. Stronger than I ever believed I could be. Thank you. But year two. It’s been a struggle. Stress. Sickness. Anxiety. Loss. Without you. Alone. That’s a mountain to climb. But I’ve survived. That is success.  

Year three? Who knows. I believe it’s a year of Hope. Happiness. Rebirth. And lots of love. For this family. We are ready. Arms open. Bring it on.

But for today, August 30th, we remember. We remember the loss. The love. And you. A beautiful blessing to all of us. We honor you. The incredible man you were. Husband. Father. Son. Brother. Friend. Humanitarian. The best of the best. Your smile. Your kind, giving heart. Your gentle soul. Forever missed. Forever loved. Forever etched in our memories.

Pitti Uomo June 14' 606


02.05.1954 – 08.30.2014.

My Angel

angelsI believe in angels. I believe they “show up” when I’m seeking guidance. Comfort. Support. Sometimes nothing. But I believe. Angels guide me in the direction of truth. Awareness. Light. Faith. A rainbow. Clouds. A penny from heaven. Music. Or messages that repeat over and over. Whatever the shape, size, or entity, I just know. My angel is there. So I listen.

angels 1These past three weeks have been the second toughest of my life. Fighting the fight with my baby girl, Lucy. Reliving the horror of her attack. Evoking memories of Gregger’s passing in Hawaii. It all blended together. One after the other. I tried to find answers. Blank. Nothing. I kept sinking into a deep abyss of sadness. My heart ached. I felt empty. I couldn’t find my way out. I didn’t know if I would find my way. I didn’t know if I deserved to find my way. Maybe staying in the abyss was safer. I couldn’t really get hurt at the bottom. It seemed so unfair. But life isn’t fair. 

IMG_1862 (1)And then my Angel came to me. Not in the form of rainbows, clouds, pennies, or songs. But in a tiny, furry body. Big, brown eyes. Perky ears. 1 pound, 14 ounces. Angel. There was an empty place in my heart. And she is filling it again. Her warm, wet nose. Her sweet kisses. Her snuggles. Some may think it is too soon. I hesitated telling people. What would they think? I’ve always worried more about others than myself. I’ll be selfish this time. I needed her.

I will never be “over” Lucy. She comforted me during my darkest moments. Renewed a spirit I believed was lost forever. I will always love her. Angel is not replacing her. But she is filling a void in my heart. A void in my life. I want to smile. Feel joy. She gives me a purpose. A reason to wake up. To come home.  Love. She is my Angel. And she represents the beautiful “angels” who left this earth far too soon.


stars in heaven

Stars in Heaven..Keep on Shining

IMG_1461Gregger was so much to so many people. And he played each “part” perfectly. You rarely saw him without a smile, a bounce in his step, or a sparkle behind those fashion specs. Whether your chum, crony, or cohort, he made you feel as though you were his #1.

The Friend: To everyone. Gregger never met a man/woman/child who was NOT his friend. Everyone loved The Gregger. He left an imprint on your soul. A smile in your heart. The twinkle in his eye. The sparkle in his smile. It touched you. And made YOU feel special. As if you were his favorite. If he asked, “How are you?” He meant it.

“He changed the world by asking, ‘How are you?’ because he really wanted to know.”

He listened. He asked questions. And he waited for your answer. A man of compassion. A rare breed. A devoted, loyal, true-blue friend. He was there in the noise and the silence. Honest, a man of principles, a man of truth. Gregger made sunny days brighter and brought rainbows at the end of a storm. He loved unconditionally. No terms. No limitations. No judgments. Your way didn’t have to be his way. Gregger was the “every man’s friend.” He accepted and liked you for who you were, not who he wanted you to be. And he was fun. Charismatic yet good-humored. 100% genuine. He was grateful. And that gratitude came back full circle.  friends 2 (1)

Dear friends and family stated:

“You were present. You were supportive. You stood by us in times of uncertainty, sheer happiness, and inconsolable grief. You were an integral part of our family, Greg. The loss is insurmountable, but the imprint of love, kindness, and wonderful memories will always be with us. Thank you, Greg, we love you so.”
“Thank you for shining that ray of sunshine into so many lives including ours. You truly have a gift for spreading happiness to other people and making this world a better place. With Greg’s passing, we all suffered a tragic loss of brightness and color in all of our lives. We can only be grateful for the precious time that we spent with him.”
friends (1)“For as long as I knew Greg he ALWAYS was a kind, loyal, giving, funny, caring, generous individual, but most important, a wonderful friend. Whenever a customer or friend would run into Greg, he would always ask, “How are you? How is your family? How are you doing?” It was always about you! Not Greg. We are heartbroken about losing the friendship of such a wonderful individual. Greg, you will always be in our thoughts, our hearts and we will NEVER forget your humor, kindness, sweetness and your infectious smile!”
“Greg touched so many lives it would be hard to line them all up. I don’t think I have ever met a more positive person in the business world. He was always concerned abou how YOU were doing..never concerning others with any challenges he might be having. When I walked into The Clotherie, it always was an extremely uplifting experience, always something positive. I will always feel that I am a better person having had the wonderful experience of knowing, admiring and loving the man.”

do good 2 (1)The Humanitarian: Gregger was a giver. Not only to friends and family, but his community. While he was personally responsible for creating philanthropic events several times a year, he never turned his back on anyone. And he only cared about the “giving.” Never about the “getting.” With his commitment to giving back, Gregger continued to give after his passing. Friends and family honored him with mind-blowing donations to his favorite charities so his legacy could live on. He would be so honored by this glowing tribute.

“Greg made a tremendous impact on this community. I feel lucky to have known him.”

I was the lucky one. I am blessed every day. To live. To love. To remember.

To be continued…

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Stars in Heaven…Still Shining

stairway-to-heavenI never imagined a year ago that I would be preserving Gregger’s memory. We should be celebrating life. Together. “If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.” But I can’t. So I’ll hold onto the memories. The photographs in my mind. He was unique. Extraordinary. One-of-a-kind. There will never be another Gregger. And so I remember…

The Gentleman: Before he became The Gregger, he was just plain Greg. Simple. Modest. Unassuming. Gregger was a “Gentle” Man and a Gentleman all rolled into one cuddly delight. Big heart. Soft soul. The “gentle” man was considerate, kind, tender. He could melt my heart with the touch of his hand. Tears rolled down his cheeks at the first sight of his daughter in her wedding gown. He was the “softie.” But he was a true Gentleman. Courteous. Honorable. Respectful. To me, his children, his parents, his colleagues, his friends, his clients and himself. One of Gregger’s favorite sayings was “treat others as you would want to be treated.” This was true for everyone. From grocery bagger, waiter, or call center attendant to colleagues, friends, and family, it made no difference. Smile, be courteous, and always say, “thank you.” As Gregger said, “Being nice will get you EVERYWHERE!” I believe he was right. Gregger was first class. A colleague stated, “Greg was one-of-a-kind. He was a great businessman, had unbelievable style, but, more importantly was a wonderful human being who kept up with our careers and was the ultimate caretaker. He will be remembered as a true gentleman and friend.”

Greg best imageThe Man of Integrity: Gregger was a man of integrity. A man of principles. Honest, trustworthy, selfless, and gracious without a need for recognition, acknowledgment, or accolades. Committed, faithful, loyal. Selfless. Nothing came before family and friends. Gregger was last. Every. Time.

“If all bosses could learn from Greg on how to treat employees or just random acquaintances, everyone would feel as important and loved as he made us feel.”

A leader as well as a team player. Confident, never cocky. But so very humble. I don’t think he ever really knew his true value. If I could call heaven right now I’d say, “You have left one helluva mark on this planet! I told you so!” Simply put, he left this world a better place.

“Thank you! Thank you! These words are completely inadequate for what you have meant to me over the years. Your untiring acts of kindness always humbled me. Knowing you has made a huge difference in my life. I recall the years of joy in working with you daily and the funny ways you had in expressing a resolution to a problem. I miss you and thank you so much for being part of my life.”

Courageous. A fighter. Determined to get to the top but do it his way. Nobody gets hurt. Competition was not good for the soul. Principles. Listen. Pay attention to detail. Oh, he was the best. I was oblivious. But he was spot on. Ying and yang. He nailed it. The little things. He just got it. Knew when to apologize and when to forgive.

Funny, playful. From sensibly serious to lighthearted laughter, Gregger could pan out the jokes or be the joke. The true evolution of Greg to “The Gregger.”

“I liked Greg the moment I met him. I knew working for him would be a great experience. It was. What I didn’t know is how much I would grow to love him, and his family as well. He always treated us with respect and compassion, all the while inspiring us to do better, to BE better. I miss him everyday. His smile, his positive energy, and how he made me feel will forever be etched in my heart and mind. I am a better person for having known Greg.”


And finally, the PERFECT role model for his children. They are the true legacy he left behind. I know he is beaming with pride.

Gregger…I could not wait to be your “Mrs.” To stand by your side. To be the half to your whole. I was so proud. Still am. Of you. Your journey. Your success. A husband. Father. Friend. Brother. Son. And so much more. You did it all. With grace. Humility. And strength. Straight to the end. I miss you every day.


Stars in Heaven

“Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storms of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year, and you will never be forgotten. Your name and your good deeds will shine as stars in heaven.”

15This was Gregger. He is truly a shining star in heaven. He lived for something. He lived for a lot. His family. His friends. Truly anyone who crossed his path. He did good. He was full of goodness. He left behind a monument of kindness, goodness, and generosity that time will never erase. He will never be forgotten. He was one of the good guys.

As most of you know, this is a rough month. The anniversary of Gregger’s death. But I am trying not to be sad. I am trying to see the light. The positive. The growth. And the strength that came from the “shining stars in heaven.” His spirit. I want to honor that spirit. Gregger’s memory. He deserves it. So I will write about who he was. What he stood for. And the legacy he left behind. So well deserved. I will share messages sent to me. Messages that convey his most honorable attributes. There isn’t a Reader’s Digest version. So bear with me. The rest of the month is dedicated solely to my one and only.

Scan 19The Gregger: Where do I begin? Kind, compassionate, funny, generous (to a fault), hardworking (to a fault, again), courageous, and full of love. So full of love. Others said, “It is amazing how many people were impacted by Greg. His personality was genuine. He was kind and always positive. I will always remember his smile.” Five months ago, I wrote, “Because of his smile, he made my life more beautiful. His tooth-bearing, eye-twinkling grin melted my heart. In the worst of times, his boyish grin could mellow my ranting rage to a quiet calm. If Gregger smiled at you, he touched your heart. His smile was like a warm hug on a cold winter’s day.” It has now been almost a year since Gregger’s smile graced this earth, but it is etched in stone upon my heart. It will always make my life more beautiful. It brings me sunshine on a cloudy day. It raises me up when I’m feeling down. It gives me strength when I think there’s nothing left to give. Thank you Gregger. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. I love you.

DSC_1002The Professional: Gregger began at 8 years old and worked his way to the top. He not only had a passion for his industry but for his clients. He followed in his father’s footsteps and then created his own path. Five months ago I wrote, “The Gregger never settled. He climbed his mountain all the way to the top and enjoyed it every step of the way. The challenges. The struggles. The joys. But most of all the people he met along the way. He truly loved “his” people. They were all part of “his” family. Colleagues stated, “The industry lost a giant. Greg’s ability to recognize change before it happened made him a pioneer and someone that we all aspired to emulate. Well beyond the passion he displayed for his chosen career, he set the standard for behavior and overall level of professionalism. He was a class act who raised the bar for all of us and taught us all how to treat others. He was as kind as he was gracious, challenging all around him to be a better person.”
“Greg was a wonderful soul and human being! They have one heckuva haberdasher with a great heart upstairs.”

If only I had one more day. Just to say, thank you. You made me a better person. You gave me strength. You gave me courage. And you taught me the meaning of selfless love. Love for others. Love for myself. The greatest gift of all.  I miss you.

To be continued…


Channeling my Gregger

anger 2A few weeks ago I was challenged by one of those life situations that just gets me in the gut. I was writhing in anger; not my prettiest moment. I don’t like feeling angry. It’s ugly, gets the best of me, and seems way too powerful. Rewind 8 months, a year. Gregger was my vent release. I’d shout, curse, blow off steam and he’d listen, sometimes patiently, sometimes not, but, bottom line, I knew he was there. Where do I go with this anger? I get angrier with myself just for being angry. It is truly a hideous emotion that sucks the energy out of me. I am a positive person. I don’t have time for such pointless emotions. Good riddance to this monstrous soul that is sucking the life out of me. So today I look to my Gregger for the angel who will bring me peace. I hear him whispering his beautiful Greggisms in my ear and offering me solace when I need it most.beinggratefulquotesBe grateful for the blessings in my life. (So many blessings, so much gratitude)

Say “I love you” a lot and mean it. (I do, I do)  

Everyone deserves a second chance…learn to forgive and love again. (I hear ya!)

Be kind. It gets you everywhere. (This is a biggie and has really paid off in your absence!)

Don’t compare your life with others. Envy is a waste of time. (You pounded this into my brain…got it Gregger!)

Focus on the positive – make peace with your past so it won’t spoil your present. (I’m trying…really I am.)

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile and laugh more. (Again…I’m trying…really I am but I miss your laughter!)

Agree to disagree; you don’t always have to win. (Okay, I relent!)

No one is in charge of your happiness except you. (I take charge TODAY. Let me see what I can do about this!)

Each day do something good to or for others. (Even if it’s smiling at a stranger or letting someone cross the street, I think of you.)

Cherish every moment; you never know when it will be your last. (You taught me the importance of this…I cherish, I love, and I believe.)

cherish the moment

Gregger you are with me every day giving me strength. So the Greggisms will continue to get going when the going gets tough. My rock, my salvation, my angel.