I had not seen it when I wrote my blog yesterday. I decided to check it out on my way to my kickboxing class. I did not know what it was going to look like or exactly where it was located. I parked near the bridge and began walking down the path along the brook and I saw it immediately. I was so touched by the sentiment. It was engraved and across the top it read, “SOUTH ORANGE – MAPLEWOOD KIWANIAN ELLIE Y. GIANNI. The bottom read, “MRS. SINCLAIR’S TUSCAN SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN 2013.” I took some pictures of it and immediately began texting them to my siblings, my dad and a good friend. As soon as I got home, I emailed last year’s Kindergarten parents and let them know how beautiful the bench was. I posted the pictures on Facebook as well. The responses were beautiful and touching. I feel so much pride knowing how much my mom was loved. One person summed it up so well. She told me that if we can’t have her smiling face on the corner bench in front of the store, it is the next best thing.
I sat on that bench for about ten minutes before class last night and talked to my mom. I see memories of her everywhere, but I think I have finally found a place that I can go and feel a sense of peace, as if she is sitting there by my side and I am wrapped in one of her hugs.
Thank you Kindergarteners and Kiwanis. My mom – who was rarely at a loss for words – would be speechless and truly honored.