My Beloved Son

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mrs. LaRizzio, I just want to thank you for the amazing award it means so much to me. I remember when I first met Adam in 7th grade when I first moved here and he always gave me a high five. Then a couple years later I saw him once again at the school where him and Matt played music for the volleyball tournament where I fell in love with his music and even today I still ask Matt Dunbar what bands are good to listen too. I also got to get to know Adam more when he worked up at split rock (where I also work at now) I was only 16 and I loved going up there with my friend Talon Fogal. Every time we went up we got lucky and saw Adam at work. Some great memories I had with him was when he would let us play pool or ping pong when we weren't guest of the hotel and also my favorite memory was when Talon and I sat in the hot tub, Adam knew Talon and I were young but let us go, yet once Adam saw young teens who were already bad sitting in the hot tub he would kick them out but told us that we were fine and talked to us about school and of course girls. Not only did Adam help us stay in the hot tub and play games, but he also showed me a lot about myself, Adam loved his town and loved good people. Him showed me to only to love one's town but to love life and to love who you are. I love knowing that being yourself is the best thing you can do in life. I am finally graduating this year and have big plans for my future. I am going to attend university of south Alabama in mobile. Where I am going to major in meteorology and also be apart of AFROTC where I will become an officer in the Air Force after college. I promise you that I will work hard and make Jim Thorpe along with your family and Adam proud. I hope to one day meet you and show my thanks for this award. I thank you so much once again and I promise to make you proud.
"So when you fail, relax. Fail again. Fail faster. You're doing wonders for yourself. There are no mistakes in life, only lessons that will allow you to go farther and farther in your journey"....

Monday, May 16, 2011

"We falter and we fall, but we do not have to fail. We bounce back and resume our journey with renewed energy. That is the power of resilience"...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Please remember me, happily
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin, the time when
We counted every black car passing

Your house beneath the hill and up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range, a piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention

But please remember me, fondly
I heard from someone you're still pretty
And then they went on to say that the Pearly Gates
Had such eloquent graffiti

Like 'We'll meet again' and 'Fuck the man'
And 'Tell my mother not to worry'
And angels with their great handshakes
But always done in such a hurry

And please remember me, at Halloween
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white, by midnight
We'd forgotten one another

And when the morning came I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world and then returned
And now you're lit up by the city

So please remember me, mistakenly
In the window of the tallest tower
Call, then pass us by but much too high
To see the empty road at happy hour

Gleam and resonate just like the gates
Around the Holy Kingdom
With words like, 'Lost and found' and 'Don't look down'
And 'Someone save temptation'

And please remember me as in the dream
We had as rug burned babies
Among the fallen trees and fast asleep
Beside the lions and the ladies

That called you what you like and even might
Give a gift for your behavior
A fleeting chance to see a trapeze
Swinger high as any savior

But please remember me, my misery
And how it lost me all I wanted
Those dogs that love the rain and chasing trains
The colored birds above their running

In circles round the well and where it spells
On the wall behind St. Peter
So bright on cinder gray in spray paint
'Who the hell can see forever?'

And please remember me, seldomly
In the car behind the carnival
My hand between your knees, you turn from me
And said the trapeze act was wonderful

But never meant to last, the clowns that passed
Saw me just come up with anger
When it filled with circus dogs, the parking lot
Had an element of danger

So please remember me, finally
And all my uphill clawing
My dear, but if I make the Pearly Gates
I'll do my best to make a drawing

Of God and Lucifer, a boy and girl
An angel kissin' on a sinner
A monkey and a man, a marching band
All around the frightened trapeze swinger

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Slip away...I didn't feel it...
How could you leave sudden...not a plan?
And how can life keep in motion without you here?
There was laughter one day...and then silence...which follows me...everyday
I miss the sounds of you...I miss your smile...I wake each day still hoping I was wrong...that you're not gone... one knows the pain I must carry...the smile I paint on and the face I hid I cry myself to sleep each night...wondering if I could have done anything differently and if you'd still be here?
I miss how you made me a mother...the pride you placed upon me...
I know you loved me...and I know you felt loved...
I'm angry fluctuates from God....
I wonder why me???? What did I ever do to deserve this? I watch and hear others interact with their families and see the void in mine...
And I am told that my Faith needs to be hold me up and lead me to you one day...
Nothing's fair...will God lighten the burdens cast upon my heart and soul...
or will that slip away???

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thank you Karen for sharing our your beautifully written article...

Surrounded and supported by a community they loved, the LaRizzios realized there were two things important to them keeping their youngest son's memory alive, and giving back to the community that had been there for them in their hour of need.

Helping them do that were Adam's friends, who within a few short weeks of his death, pulled together an event they dubbed "Eggfest" to celebrate his life. Held at TB's 903 Pub in Penn Forest Township, over 200 people attended while four bands entertained for 10 hours. The event raised $2,500.

"Adam's nickname was Egg," says Lori, explaining that the moniker was teasingly bestowed upon him by a friend of his older brother, Jordan. "He liked the name and it stuck."

Adam loved music and was a talented and promising musician. He was outgoing and personable says Lori, and Eggfest was a testament to everything he loved, and what people loved about him.

"It was a celebration of Adam's life with music, fellowship and food," she says. "Just friends listening to bands and socializing."

Eggfest was the idea of Earl and Julie Kunkle of Jim Thorpe, who were helped by many of Adam's other friends. It was held the day before the Jim Thorpe St. Patrick's Day Parade, an event Adam loved and would never miss.

Knowing that friends who had moved from the area or were away at school would return for the parade made it the perfect weekend for Eggfest.

"Earl was one of his best friends and a brother figure," says Lori. "It was their idea to host this. The bands donated the music for free. All of them remembered and knew Adam."

Although they were still reeling from their grief, Lori and Teddy wanted to give back. They knew it would be a way to help them start to heal.

Soon after Eggest, they created the Adam LaRizzio Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Last year they gave a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior from Jim Thorpe Area High School.

This year, Adam's friends again came through with Eggfest, which will be an annual event. Held at the American Legion in Jim Thorpe, it raised about $2,000.

Another $1,300 was added to the fund when members of the Diligent Fire Company, in the Heights section of Jim Thorpe, hosted a Valentine's Dance. Adam had been a social member of the fire house.

In addition to random donations over the past year, Rob Kovac, the girls basketball coach at the high school, hosted an elementary school basketball tournament and donated the proceeds as well.

While presenting a qualified student with scholarship money in Adam's name is a noble gesture, the LaRizzios realized they want to do more.

With the money raised at the dance, Teddy purchased a 55-inch high definition television and the couple donated it to Jim Thorpe Area High School, where it hangs in the weight room. A custodian at the high school, Teddy's coworkers helped him install it.

"They were so grateful," said Lori. "They will be hanging a plaque in memory of Adam."

In addition to being a football player, Adam was a power lifter at the high school and would frequent the weight room.

"As much as he liked sports and all, he loved to go into the weight room and socialize," recalls Teddy with a smile. "Minimal work; max with the talking. He was a great conversationalist; he definitely was social."

Jim Thorpe Area High School Principal Tom Lesisko has fond memories of Adam.

"Adam strove to make people smile and feel good about themselves," recalled Lesisko. "Whether he used humor, a hug, or listened, he made people feel special. This included people from all walks of life and ability levels.

"The Adam LaRizzio Foundation follows the philosophy lived by Adam and by his family. The foundation will carry on Adam's drive to keep people positive about their lives and find a place where they may excel," Lesisko added.

While the LaRizzios, including son Jordan, 25, plan to focus the efforts of Adam's foundation on helping students at Jim Thorpe Area High School, it is also important to them to offer help to others who have suffered a similar loss.

Before Adam's death, Lori was a hospice nurse. Although she faced death and sadness every day, it brought her a sense of fulfillment to prepare people for their final journey, and to help comfort and support their loved ones.

In spite of being unprepared for her son's death, the knowledge of how to deal with it served her well, and helped her and her family deal with their loss.

"Teddy and I did everything you need to do to survive," says Lori, hoping to someday share that knowledge with others.

"Counseling, support groups, faith whatever that is to you, you need to cling to it. Surround yourself with positive friends you can't be around negative people."

Teddy agrees.

"Friends helped us through it, without a doubt," he says. "The pain doesn't end after the funeral. Friends are even more important months later. There is nothing to say. Just be there. Sit. Cry. Tell stories and share happy memories."

Lori says they are lucky that the support of their friends never ended.

"People believe in us," she adds.

Friends like Lisa Williams, Lori's best friend since kindergarten, and others from the community where both Lori and Teddy were born and raised, came together in droves to support them.

Over 1,000 people waited in line to pay their final respects at the funeral.

Another thing that Lori credits with helping her survive such a devastating loss, is her husband.

"The biggest thing I have is Teddy," says Lori of her high school sweetheart, and the man she has also known since kindergarten.

"He's amazing. I feel bad for people who don't have that. He loved Adam as much as I did, so he's there for me.

"He's such a good person."

After Adam died, it was difficult for Lori and Teddy to return to work. It took Lori four months, and then, she found she could no longer do hospice work.

"It's just too painful right now," says Lori. "I learned a lot (as a hospice nurse). Having that background helped me a lot."

While it is too difficult for Lori to work in hospice now, she would like to use that background to help other families dealing with a similar loss.

"I would like to be able to share this with somebody who needs it," says Lori. "I'd love to help someone else, if I can."

Lori is thinking about starting a support group for people who have experienced a sudden, tragic loss.

"It was suggested by the therapist that I do that to help other people," says Lori, who is no longer in need of grief counseling.

"If a couple would approach me, I would open my home. If a need arises, I would definitely put a plan into action."

Understanding how hard it is to return to work after this type of loss, the LaRizzios also realize the financial difficulties. They are exploring ways to help others in similar situations, even if it's just paying for a week's worth of groceries for a grieving famly from money raised through the foundation.

"We're not sure what we will do yet," said Teddy. "Other families could benefit. We would like to give back."

"We want to help people," added Lori. "If we can help one this year, and two next year, imagine how it's going to grow."

To allow them to accomplish more, the LaRizzios plan to change the name of the foundation from the Adam LaRizzio Memorial Scholarship Foundation to the Adam LaRizzio Memorial Foundation.

They will continue to award a scholarship, but in order to help more people, the amount has been changed to $500.

Those wishing to learn more about Adam and the LaRizzio family can visit Lori's blog at

To contact the LaRizzio family send them an email at

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be kinder than necessary,
For everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly,
And pray continually.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
it's about learning to dance in the rain...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

...I held you...and your little hand....
I watched you grow...I smiled through the years of living in your laughter...
and watching the happiness you bestowed to all of those around you...
I was watchful...and encouraging, I thought you were perfect...
you'd come to me...when you felt down...or needed to share thoughts...
many already had the answers...but felt like you needed my agreeance...
I trusted you...I trusted "us"...knowing in my heart...we had a bond like no other...
I didn't get to have that "moment" slipped away one night...
and never came back...I hold other hands...and close my eyes...often pretending I can feel you through their touch...I pull the sheets tightly around me each night and ask God to allow you to visit me in beautiful dreams...and often you do... continues...and it's is harsh at times...the roller coaster of ups and downs...I have so much faith...that you know how I am feeling...and want this pain to subside...I keep looking for signs...and waiting for better things to find lift me up once again...