Gregory with Dad

That very year, the days were the same as this one.

Monday, May 1, 1995 I packed and planned.

Pack baby’s clothes.

Pack his play wallet with expired credit cards

Pack the Matchbox cars

And the chunky book he cannot tear,

Pajamas, toothbrush, jacket, little jeans,

Sun hat, sunscreen for the beach.

We are headed to the Hamptons

Where we used to live.

Wave goodbye to the other three boys and their dad,

As they roll out of the driveway headed north.


Tuesday, May 2, 1995

It’s just the two of us.

Who dropped us off at the airport?

I can’t remember now.

It’s important but it doesn’t come to me.

I push the umbrella stroller through RDU

In the Southwest terminal.

He wants the noisy, battery operated truck

I decline and he fusses and cries.

I offer him some chips in exchange.

Doesn’t work but I don’t cave.

We board and he nurses to keep his ears from popping

He falls asleep in my arms as we fly.

We land at La Guardia and the Toyota Previa awaits.

We are so glad to be altogether again,

Nicholas, Peter, Oliver, Shep and now Gregory and me.

We stop at my grandparent’s cemetery because it is close.

Then, to my mother’s house in Queens

Which is difficult because, she is

And typically she is both mean to me

And clawing onto my neck in desperation.

We stop to visit Shep’s aunt in Long Island

Too many boys in a household without kids

Makes for too many nervous moments

And when one gets stung by a bee

There is a trip to the ER too.

I try to keep my cool, but not so well.

We stop to see my lifelong friend in Long Island

And eat a chicken dinner with her family

While Gregory puts his handprints on her wall mirrors.

We finally drive out to Southampton

Where we stay in a house a friend is loaning us

And it is right next to our old house.

Oddly, Gregory goes to sleep snuggled with his dad

In a bed away from mine.

Unusual behavior.


Wednesday, May 3, 1995

I want to read The Southampton Press

But kids won’t allow

I am frustrated and resentful

And fight for my rights laying on the sofa.

We eat lunch but Gregory keeps leaning over the deck rails

Which makes us all too anxious so we head inside.

Should have let him fall, in retrospect.

After lunch, we head into town

And stroll on Jobs Lane and Main Street

In Southampton.

We run into the mother of Peter’s Little League friend

His name was Rocco, but I can’t remember hers.

Gregory is trying to push Peter in the stroller

Because his bee stung leg hurts and we’re all giggling.

We head back to the house and try to decide whom to visit first

The choice of seeing newborn trumps all others

Including my best friend.

We will go to Westhampton after dinner.

Shep makes us spaghetti

Which covers Gregory’s blue and white outfit

So I change him into a yellow sweatsuit because it is chilly.

We head out to visit the newborn and her mom

Who I knew from La Leche League meetings.

Her baby nurses, my toddler wanders in and out

He nurses too for a bit but resumes his travels.

The new baby’s brothers and two of mine do same.

Gregory finds a swimming pool

And we all find hell on earth

That appears as a floating yellow sweatsuit.


Thursday May 4, 1995


Hold tight in arms.




Fall to knees


It is done.

There will be no resurrection.

Six lives lost in the wind.

Unable to stand up.

Damned to repeat the days

Once a year

For eternity.

Though the agony lessens

And the torment subsides,

The unquenchable love remains.

It is the same four days

Once again.




  1. Fiona Rea · May 1, 2017

    Unimaginable….no words could possibly help. Sending a heartfelt squeeze and much love. Xxx

  2. Pam · May 1, 2017

    Much love.

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