another goodbye

January 25, 2012

Breast cancer has stolen another friend and rendered another set of children motherless in the spring of their childhood. Alison, you fought a good fight, you made strength and grace look easy. But what choice did you have? None of us would have chosen this path, it simply belonged to us, that path, didn’t it Alison? The path of disease that renders us speechless when we look into our children’s eyes, that was our path to walk. Words, the ones about dying, about cancer, they do not come naturally to a mother. We talked about how to tell your children when they still thought you were going to get better someday. Did you get to tell them Alison?

This is our path, one of quiet fears and regrets, a path where sometimes you are left alone to cry. We have cried alone, you and I and the other mothers. We cry for the grand babies we will never meet, we cry for the motherly advice we wont be there to bestow, we cry over the hand we can not offer when a hand to hold is what they will need. We cry for the tomorrows in which we will not be present. We cry when we lose a friend and cancer forces us to say another goodbye. I’ll cry for you today Alison. Today, I will cry for the two of us. But after a while, I will dry my tears and deny cancer any additional sad moments.

I certainly pray Alison that you had only rare moments to cry alone, and many beautiful moments to cry tears of joy, of love, of gratitude. I pray that your path, like mine, was sculpted with love and grace, kindness and generosity. I pray that before you turned toward the clearing, before the end of your path, at some time before then you too were rendered speechless by the kindness of a friend, the generosity of strangers and the support of a community that loved you, and cared for you, and honored you. Rest my friend. That community will take up where you left off with your children. They will describe your smile, your grace. They will tell stories about how wonderful you were and how you did funny things sometimes. They will talk about your strength and grace and about how much you loved your children. They will hold hands for you, children’s hands when those hands need to be held. And they will remind each other, that you are not really gone, but that you live on, in our hearts. They will cry for you, we will all cry for you, for just a little while. But then we will stow away our sadness and we will replace it with a celebration of your life, inside of us, in a place to be recalled, remembered and reminded.

Alison Liotti

Alison Liotti

Comfort comes in having known you Alison, in knowing that you read this blog and in thinking that these words may have helped you, if only a little, in your journey. I celebrate you. I honor those who loved you the most. I pray for grace and strength upon their hearts during their time of grieving. Yes, comfort comes in having known you Alison, in having walked this path with you and in believing with my entire heart, that the path you walk upon now, has no place for regrets or for tears cried alone.

Rest in peace, Alison, my strong, beautiful friend.


Alison would have turned 53 next week. She was incredibly loved by her husband of 15 years, Ron, her son Nick (13), her daughter Anne (11) and her beloved puggle Cookie. She was respected and adored in the design community, but nowhere more than at Waterworks in Chicago, where her team and extended family will miss her more than words can say.
Her obituary can been found here,


13 Responses to “another goodbye”

  1. Larissa Says:

    I’m crying with you too, Ronnie. Peace.

  2. Kendra Says:

    Thank you Ronnie. Your gift for words never ceases to amaze me. Alison would have been so incredibly honored by your tribute. She is smiling down on us. All my love, Kendra

  3. Evelyn Feal Says:

    My dearest sympathies go out to you and your loved ones, my prayers are also with you. I did not know Alison but I am a fan of Fight Like A Girl, I joined this fan because of my daughter which I lost on 12/23/11 she was a 5 year cancer survivor and was only 39 y/o when she passed, also leaving behind four beautiful children and husband, my heart goes out to you in a big way. It truly touches my heart when we see these amazing women struggling and fighting for their lives, they are all an inspiration to life in itself. I only pray for a cure to help all the ones still struggling with this devastating disease.I grieve with you and for your loss as I’m still grieving and the missing part is a huge pain in my heart. God bless you and yours. A Friend Evelyn

  4. Jane Sanchez Says:

    Ronnie although I don’t know you or your beautiful friend Alison! Your words were so beautiful about Alison and her courageous battle with Breast Cancer! I will be a 6 years Breast Cancer Survivor in April. It’s a fight that some us win and some of us lose but we never give up and with the Love of our Family and Friends gives us the courage to fight the fight! God Bless you and Alison’s family in their time of grief! She was blessed to have a friend like you!

  5. Andrea Says:

    Oh my tears were flowing reading this and thinking of her beautiful children. God bless her family…I don’t know Alison, but share the pain of cancer…RIP fighter sister 🙂

  6. Jenny Says:

    I didn’t know Alison, but it’s touching to know she had such an amazing support team and that her children will be loved and cared for, even after her passing.

    As a breast cancer survivor, I think one of the greatest fears is not being around for our children. And I truly believe it brought Alison, great peace in knowing she was leaving those she loved the most, in the hands of her earthly angels.
    God bless to all of you that continue to fight the fight, but more importantly, God bless the care-givers that suffer right along with us.

    Jenny K.

  7. Wonderful tribute to a beautiful fighter.We are all saddened when we hear of another loosing the battle.

  8. Tinamarie maldonado Says:

    Peace Be With You Alison Liotti…. Rest In Paradise. My heart goes out to her family.

  9. Barbara Jarvis Says:

    Ronnie, such a moving blog. The two of you had so much in common. And it sounds like she walked the path with dignity and grace as I see you walking your path.
    Granted it was not one chosen but since it is our path I too want to walk it in dignity and grace and as you said to only give it sad moments at times and then move on with life.I do not want to miss the wonderful times of daily life.
    I am so sorry for the loss of you friend.

  10. Tahnie Says:

    I found you from the Fight Like A Girl Club on Facebook. I’m crying with you and my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. I am a young mother (28) and fighting like a girl so I can be here on earth with my daughter who will be 2 next week. I wish, oh I wish I had endless money to throw at research. We need to cure it all.

    love, light, & many blessings to you.

  11. What a wonderful post!

    I have been friends with Alison since High School. She was so much fun to be around. I am grateful that my friend Jan and I went to Chicago and spent time with her this past Fall. I will miss her a lot as I know her family will.

    So sad, such an amazing, talented and very cool woman. I have spent a few days sobbing.

    We will all miss you Lu All!

  12. […] A link to Al Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post […]

  13. ROCCO Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: