Loss of a Loved One

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Deb with my Dad

September is OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. Please know what some of the signs are for Ovarian Cancer: SIGNS OF OVARIAN CANCER

Our family lost a loved one. Ovarian Cancer took her. By this point I would imagine all of you have come to know me through my posts. I normally don’t share deeply personal things. I’m usually private about my family, as well as personal things taking place in my life. However, this time I’m sharing just a little bit. I hope you all don’t mind.

Shedding light on Ovarian Cancer Awareness after a loss of a loved one

My cousin, Deb, was a Long Island gal. More importantly, she was a Bayport, Long Island gal! She didn’t grow up there in her early years. However, she moved to Bayport after marrying. It’s where she chose to raise her kids.

Her love of Bayport led to her own kids raising their kids in Bayport. If it was up to her, her entire family would be living in Bayport. Believe me, she tried! Deb was a real estate guru. She loved finding people homes to raise their families in, just as she did.

Last summer, I called Deb first, in order to start our serious hunt for a house. True to form, she dropped everything to take my call, as well as start the house hunt. I told her where we were looking and she said “What? No Bayport?” Lovingly, I told her “you’re not sucking me into the Bayport Bubble, Deborah. Forget it.” She was over it, quickly. I fed her a huge list of homes I scoped out online.

A passion for real estate

My cousin knew what I should look for: basement, garage and two pots (that’s bathrooms for those of you who didn’t know Deb). We thought we had it on the first house, but they played us and we walked away. The search continued. We found another house right before my cousin went on her annual two week Florida vacation.

However, while she vacationed, our inspection didn’t go well. The house was a money pit. Off I went to the internet to find another house in the same area. Luckily, even with Deb on vacation, we were able to snag a visit during an open house.

Upon her return, she did a double take at the address. Quickly, we brought her up to speed. Since she drilled it into my head a house needs: a garage, basement and two pots, I knew what to look for. I managed to find a house with not only a garage, but also a basement, and two pots. Deb was proud of me. She took over and dealt with all the stuff I didn’t want to deal with. Everything worked out and in August of 2009, we moved into our house.

Loss of a loved one from Ovarian Cancer

Deb with all her “sisters”, Daughter-in-law & Mother

Personal touch

It was a mess for a while, but one day, out of our mailbox a familiar scent drifted. I knew my cousin had sent me something. My cousin had a signature perfume/scent. You could smell her before you saw her, you knew when you got something from her in the mail and her gifts always had her scent on them.

If I walked into my parents’ house after they getting something from Deb, I could find it immediately just from the scent. So this one day, I knew she sent me something. It was a gift, as well as a thank you for asking her to be our “go-to” gal in our house hunt.

I hunted for my thank you cards, so I could send her one. After weeks of hunting, I couldn’t find them. Instead, I wrote her an email to thank her. She replied, all caps as she always did, with a wonderful email and finished it with “always, my very, very best, cousin deb.”

How important Deb’s email is

I swear I could smell her scent when I got the email. I kept the email, and still have it in my inbox. She wrote the most amazing thing about knowing my mother.

“Knowing your mother has been one of the shining experiences of my life.”

Now, for me, this solidifies how amazing my mom is and why, each day, I strive to be like her. The next thing my cousin wrote made me cry, which doesn’t happen often. I’m not a cryer.

Deb wrote “and I can see the apple does not fall far from the tree.” Deb was able to, in one email, instill a lot of confidence in me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a confident person in general, but not when it comes to my desire to be more like my mother, and how she “touches” people’s lives. Deb changed me with her email.

Matchmaker Deb

Deb is the reason my parents met. She introduced them. Knowing both my mom, and dad, enough to realize they’d hit if off, she introduced them through snail mail. I owe my cousin so much: my existence in this world being one of many things. Deb is the reason I have a home to raise my children in, with a basement, garage and two pots. She leaves behind so many that loved her and, knowing Deb, some that did not.

Goodbye my cousin. I know you aren’t far from your beloved “Bayport Bubble.” Ovarian Cancer may have taken you from us this Earth too soon, but you live on our hearts, memories, and homes.

By | 2017-10-29T19:42:20-04:00 June 26, 2010|Family|6 Comments

About the Author:

Staci loves to write, and loves to share her "take" on everything thrown her way. Movies, entertainment, food, fashion, shopping, money, travel and family. There's nothing off limits at NovemberSunflower.com, and Staci's always telling it like it is: good, bad, and all that lies in between!


  1. Marla June 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    That was a beautiful story Staci. Not everyone has a story like that to tell! :) ..I am very sorry for your loss. Please give my condolences to your family.

    • November Sunflower June 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks Marla. I have so many stories about Deb. Great ones. But that one is my favorite, as she truly gave me such a gift with that email…..even now, she just made me chuckle from wherever she is with her wishes for after her passing.
      My cousin was a gem and I wish everyone had the chance to know her.
      As my cousin Jenny said – we were lucky to have her while we did. Could not have said it better myself.

  2. Heather July 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your cousin. I’m so sorry for your loss, but it’s nice to know you have so much in you just for being a part of her life.

  3. Sofia's Ideas July 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    This was beautifully written, Staci. I could feel your heart through your words…
    I’m still hugging you…


  4. […] 2010 is winding down, I’ve had sadness from the loss of a wonderful cousin who passed way too young, way too fast and way before her time here was complete. She left behind a fantastic legacy in Bayport that included her kids, grandkids and her amazing zest for finding families “a home” of their very own. She did it for me, not in Bayport, but here on Long Island. I don’t want to tear up before I get into my blog post, so I’ll just ask you to read my post about it here –> Deborah Giglio […]

  5. Little Orso | November Sunflower February 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    […] who happened to be my father’s cousin, Deb. I’ve written about Deb. We lost her to Ovarian Cancer. I miss her every […]

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