Thursday, July 7, 2011


I think that firsts can be a beautiful thing - first kisses, first loves, first dates, first day of school or a new job - there are so many positive connotations that go along with firsts.

I've always thought of firsts as being a positive - a place to start, and grow from, and a place to learn lessons.

Lately though, I've learned that firsts can also be a really difficult thing. I hate to keep bringing up Poppy in like, every single post, but since this is my blog and I believe in being truthful, I have to say that I am having a really, really hard time with losing him.

As a family, we have bonded together through the loss. We've been there for each other through some of the difficult firsts - the first June 11, which would have been Poppy's 88th birthday, a day that we all would go to the Boathouse in Central Park (Poppy's favorite) and celebrate together; the first graduation ceremony that he wasn't present for; the first birthdays that have come and gone without phone calls from him singing Happy Birthday in his ridiculously off-key voice.

The power of family is a beautiful thing though, and we have grown together through this experience, especially on Father's Day - another day where we would all have been with Poppy.

I don't write this post as a way to elicit pity - I write it to say that through this really difficult time, I'm experiencing another first that I didn't realize would be so powerful - for the first time, I'm leaning on my family for support and for help, because they're the only other people who really understand what we're going through.

Before, we were all wrapped up with our immediate families, and we counted on Poppy to bring us together for birthdays, holidays, everything. Part of me had worried that him being gone would be the catalyst that would tear us apart - and I'm so, so grateful and happy that we've been closer than ever.

And so together, while we feel the loss so heavily, we're growing closer together. We're telling each other "I love you," more, we're going to baseball games, soccer tournaments, birthday dinners and celebrating one another more, we're expressing our feelings, our memories, and the things we like about each other, and we're calling each other just to check in more (my heart almost stopped when Patrick called me a few days ago to see how I was doing and to talk about his new job - definitely a first!).

My dad now talks and has lunch/dinner with his sister and brother at least one a week (which NEVER happened before), my aunts and my mom are constantly on the phone, and my cousins and I have been meeting at least once a month to hang out and catch up.

So while each new first will be bittersweet, I've come to see my family as a support system. And that makes me happy - because that's exactly what Poppy instilled in us.

So this is how we've been dealing lately, through all the birthdays, graduation parties, and things that have come up.

Cheesy (I was going for sentimental!) Father's Day gift (along with the promise of lunch in the city - on moi!).


Tom's grad party celebration.

Slightly excited to be graduating.

Copious amounts of food/drinks help.


Homemade by moi.

Vodka watermelon.

Happyyy birthday, mom!





Love you all - as always, thank you for all your support and kindness. You're all such special people to me! <3

Currently listening to: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex


MizzJ said...

Aww that's so awesome how this tragedy has had at least one positive aspect!

Elisa said...

what a heart felt post Allison. You are always so true and honest. I wish I could give you a big hug.

Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

I was really moved by this. I felt this way when my grandpa died four years ago, but I've never been able to put it into words like this. what a beautiful legacy this is.

Sara Louise said...

I really appreciate your honesty, and your beautiful outlook and positivity. You're a gem! :-)

Ash said...

I agree with the other peeps, it's great that some good came of such an event. I'm glad to see that you and your family pulling through, and it's even better that you're all closer to each other. I guess it's a lesson all of us can learn, to make the most of our time with the people we care about, and be truly appreciative of each other.

Great post.

HiFashion said...

I agree: first's are great, but can be difficult when a loved one is missing. And it's great the yor family is pending so much more time together.
The cake for your mum looks delicious.

Also, off topic, but your nail colour is amazing!!

Legally Brunette Kate said...

My grandpa died in November and we've been going through a lot of the same stuff that your family is going through. It's been really hard, but having the support of a great family really helps. It does get better with time...happy memories start to replace the sadness and grief.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I'm so sorry, Allison :( I lost my grandma unexpectedly (in a car accident) well over five years ago and it's still hard. Firsts are something that make me the saddest. To think she won't be at my wedding or get to see my children (please pray those thing happen for me one day LOL!!). I'm glad that your family has grown close though. Unfortunately mine really broke apart after. So despite the pain, know that you and your family are lucky in that aspect ♥

And I want your mom's birthday cake! lol!

amy b.s. said...

we recently experienced a loss in our family and although it was quite tragic, it's done nothing but bring people in the family together in ways i didn't think were possible anymore. it's a nice way to remember.

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Nicole Linette said...

Hi Allison!
It's really nice to hear that your family has come closer in spite of everything. It looks like you've been keeping busy though, I love all the pictures and confections you've made! The cake for your mom's birthday looks wonderful (I should try that for my own mom!) and I hope taking over your Poppy's space is going well too.

Talk to you soon!
♥ nicole.

Gracey said...

I've definitely noticed that loss brings people close together. We lost one of our very much loved classmates this year, and it brought the whole school together. Girls that HATED each other sat there and hugged and cried with each other. You explained it well, it's bitter sweet! I hope everything continues to go well for you and your family :)

Sarah said...

Looks like a fun time with lots of wonderful drinks and treats! :)


ChinkyGirLMeL said...

I'm sorry for your loss. What a bittersweet experience. It is good to know that you have a wonderful support system. I know that your Poppy must be really happy to see all of you supporting one another, I'm sure that is what he would have wanted.

I love the family pictures! Oh and vodka watermelon? That sounds interesting!

Leslee said...

Beautiful, thoughtful and well written post!

I'm sorry for your loss, but as often happens deaths cause many family changes. I'm glad yours Dad is closer to his siblings again...

And look how gorgeous you are!! Sucha talent for baking and entertaining!!!

Tamara Nicole said...

Such a sweet post. Love your outlook and positivity.

Also, fun party!!!

Tracy-Girl @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

You have such a beautiful connection with your family... i love reading about it!

Audrey Allure said...

I felt the same when my grandma passed away, but it definitely is nice to have such strong family support.

Such lovely photos, and what a beautiful cake!

cailen ascher said...

it's so lovely when we're able to find the beauty in tragedy. i'm glad that you're family has become stronger and closer even though you're still mourning your loss.

Morgane said...

I love this post ... I know what a loss can bring ... And i admire the way the entire familly respect the memory of your grandpa by being closed as he certainly wanted you to be ...
I love the way you write : i share your feelings and i think you're a great person...

Diego R. Wyatt said...

The amazing thing is that your loss is bringing you such amazing gains. You are spending mre time with your family and it seems your family is trying to stay close-knit. Of course you know Poppy's passing isn't something thay will just vanish from your mind, but it will get better with time.

Beautiful post...also your cake looks scrumptious.

All the best and lots of love,


Erica said...

We also experienced a loss in our family and it bring people in the family together in ways i didn't think were possible anymore. it's a nice way to remember.

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la petite fashionista said...

I can completely relate to your loss allison-- my gramma was such a central part of our family, losing her really shook everything up. it truly will never be the same. But i'm so glad it's brought your family closer together!

P.S. ive been serving everything in mason jar lately. your smoothie looks awesome!


Em [The Writer] said...

Awww love the pix and the fathers day present! Where did you get that darling thing? I definitely know what you mean about firsts, they can be very bittersweet at times!

Have a great week dear!

Love, Lolli said...

i love how close you and your family sweet!! The cake looks amazing and the book for your dad was so thoughtful!!