I never made it to my chiropractic appointment in Natick on Tuesday, or my track workout in Waltham for that matter. Heck, I never even made it past the 495 exit on the Mass Pike in Hopkinton. About 50 minutes after I published my last post and hit the highway, I ended up back in Worcester, at the Emergency Room of St. Vincent's Hospital, where my world was flipped upside down.
I'd rather I was there because my car had flipped upside down, but no, I didn't get in an accident. That I could have lived with, even if it killed me.
What transpired in the minutes after I parked my car and found my family is a scary scene I'm having trouble trying to close the curtains on, and one that I'm still having a hard time believing happened altogether.
"They...think...she's...dead...Mario," my brother Matt finally choked out in the hallway outside of the waiting room. Opening the door to that waiting room to see my usually stoic Dad sobbing hysterically made this surreal nightmare a morbid reality.
She - Shirley Marie Kirwin Fraioli - Mom to me, my brother and two sisters, husband of 27 years to my Dad, daughter of 50 years to my Papa Billy, sister to her seven siblings, Auntie Shirley to her dozens of nieces and nephews and Shirl to a countless many friends, had passed away unexpectedly at home about an hour earlier. She was 50 years too young.
It's hard to believe all of this transpired in the last 36 hours, and as I said before it's hard to believe that any of this has happened at all. Mom's sudden death is a shock to all of us and a day later it still just doesn't seem real, but the fact of the matter is it's a shocking reality, not just the bad dream we're all hoping to wake up from tomorrow morning.
As a family, I hesitate to say we're doing OK, but we're doing the best we can right now. The Fraioli Family and the Kirwin Klan are a tight-knit bunch, and together we're gonna get through this - we always do. Plus, we've had a little help from our fantastic friends, and as I and the rest of my family have come to find out in the last day or so, there are many of them. To all of you out there, your support means a lot, just as my Mom means a lot to all of us.
So keep my Mom in your thoughts and prayers, and be sure tell your own Mom, Dad, or whoever it may be that you love 'em. They'll love you for it, believe me.
I love you, Mom, and already miss you more than I can put into words.