I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
Of happy memories that I leave behind when day is done
The poem above was written on my son’s prayer card and distributed at his funeral. Alex was born on January 31st 1988, Super Bowl Sunday. He was my first child and my only son. He taught me the meaning of unconditional love. He taught me that there is no greater love than the love of a mother for her child. Throughout Alex’s childhood and beyond, I told him many times, “I will always love you, no matter what”. And I always did.
Alex was born and lived his life of 29 years in Rhode Island. He was a video game enthusiast, a computer genius and a very talented musician. He was kind, smart, funny and had a smile that could light up the room. His laugh was infectious. His kindness toward those who needed a friend or a shoulder to cry on was a gift. To know Alex was to love him.
Alex had a happy childhood. A childhood filled with love and laughter and good times with family and friends. His two younger sisters looked up to him for guidance, support, love and companionship. I would often find him with his arm around his baby sister, ever her protector. He loved our camping vacations during the summer throughout New England. He and his sisters delighted in sneaking up through the bushes while his dad and I were enjoying a peaceful campfire and scaring the crap out of us. He especially loved riding on the back of his dad’s Harley to each new adventure with the “Wolf Pack”.
There wasn’t a game that Alex didn’t excel at. He beat his first video game at the age of 4. He patiently coached his sister and me while our Mario characters kept banging their heads into the wall. He loved family game night and won almost every game. And how he loved to talk. He would come out on top of every argument. If there had been a debate team at the local high school, Alex would have been the champion. At the age of 11, our family purchased our first home computer. Alex taught all of us how to use it.
When Alex was 8 he started taking piano lessons. At 10, he began to play the alto sax in the school band. Music became his passion. At Rhode Island College, he played in the Wind Ensemble and the Jazz band, excelling on the alto sax as well as the tenor and baritone saxophone. During one concert, he shared the stage with Doc Severinsen from the Tonight Show. Alex was an inspiration and mentor to his fellow classmates.
Alex discovered drugs and alcohol around the age of 15. Unfortunately, the drugs and addiction eventually took over Alex’s life and shattered our family. They stole his smile. They stole his kindness. They stole everything that was good in my son and in the end, they took his life. The drugs won. Alex died from acute fentanyl intoxication on May 13th, 2017 at the age of 29.
Now, I sit and look at Alex’s picture and reminisce. I look at his alto sax and listen to the silence. I look at the stars and imagine what could have been. Oh, my sweet Alex. I miss you so much. I miss your beautiful smile, your kind heart and the beautiful music you made. I will forever carry your beat in my heart.