Monday, August 8, 2011

Saying Goodbye, and Hello...

Just back from Mass in town at St Joseph's. I am remembering 3 of my friends tonight who died one year ago today in a tragic car accident. It still seems surreal to me. John and Pat died on the scene and Nana a few days later. I miss John and his awesome laughter. I miss Pat and her gentle soul. Nana was sweet and adored Pat. Gosh I really loved John. He was a really colorful man. We spent many hours together talking about life.

Moments before he died, he waved a big long wave to me. It will stay with me, always. I can still see his hand in the air. At his funeral I met his brother Steve for the first time (a fellow New Yorker). He told me his email address in passing that night. A few weeks later when Fred and I were missing John late one evening, on impulse- I wrote to his brother. A friendship was born. Over the year we have managed to keep in touch with one another fairly regularly and get to know each other as well. John and Steve are so different in personality and yet there is still so much 'feel'of John when I read what Steve writes. Isn't that strange?

It has been a gift this past year to be able to call Steve my friend. Somehow friendships we make in sorrow have a deeper quality to them. I think I could tell Steve just about anything. He has a heart not unlike his brother. I am grateful to God for him.

A few times this past year I have reflected on how in saying goodbye to John and Pat, I said hello to Steve. I think one day when ( and God willing if) we get to heaven, we will realize how many times in our life we  felt like we were saying goodbye when God was trying to help us say hello.

John and Pat would have wanted ( heck John would have demanded) me to ask each of you to remember to pray for their souls, so I am asking that now. Please continue to pray for them and for those who they left behind who still miss them so much! John and I spent hours in his basement editing film together. He told me once I had an uncanny knack for putting the right music to the feeling I wanted to convey. I have  felt sad on and off today thinking of my friends but also happy for the gift of their life and the new friendship God shared with me in the process in his brother. So I'll leave you all with the following song, a little happy but just a tinge  sad, in hopes John was right and I haven't lost my touch.


  1. I've been thinking of them a lot today.

  2. I love this, the song was perfect and I love the picture you posted, it's how I want to remember them. I believe that was from my wedding at the Grotto where we later discovered your son was the alter boy :) John was so happy that day. For those of you reading this that my sister or I didn't get a chance to thank for being there, thank you so much. I don't think John or Pat in their wildest dreams would have believed the incredible turn out. We learned so much more about their life and friends in Emmitsburg from all of you. That helped fill some of the emptiness that was left with their passing. My sister and I will never forget the memories created and shared while talking with so many of you. Ellie, you're the greatest and I am so happy we've connected. You have shared so many moments and memories of my brother that always make me smile. "Are we OK", "Yes John, we're okay" :)

  3. Hello Ellie,
    I am the third part of the Cillo family. I am John & Steven's sister, Linda Suppa. I may have met you at the funeral but there were just so many wonderful people I cannot remember them all. It makes me so happy that so many are still remembering my brother, Pat & Nan and how happy it would make him to know there are so many still praying for them. We returned to Emmitsburg for a very brief visit this past weekend and it was more difficult than I had imagined but also healing in a way to visit the cemetary and the grounds of the house. Thank you for the beautful photo, blog and song. What you wrote was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.