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Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs. Rose Ciesco is at peace.

POSTED July 02, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Former Torrington boys basketball coach, Tony Turina, works the crowd at a pasta supper held to help out his sister-in-law, Rose Ciesco. The event was attended by at least 800 friends and family who came by to pay their respects to the beloved mother of two. Rose Ciesco passed on Friday morning but leaves behind a devotion to her family that was second to none.

TORRINGTON: While the above mentioned words are part of a classic 1970’s song sung by the Five-Man Electrical Band, they ring true for sometimes non-believers like myself.

Late Friday morning, Rose Ciesco lost her long battle with bile duct cancer of the liver.

It has been a three-year struggle and an and down journey for the entire family, but now the mother of two boys, Bruce and Michael, and wife to Gary is at peace.

No more pain; no more needles; no more medication.

Just peace and memories to last a lifetime, right up until the end.

And those signs.

I never really believed years ago that there was anything other than black and white explanations for why things happen.

Logical, practical, reasonable and pretty much what things appeared to be.

That’s how I used to look at the world.

That all changed a few years back when things happened to me that defied all of the above.

My older sister Patricia, died from colon cancer at the ripe young age of just 48.

It was a devastating roller coaster of a ride, similar to the ride my friends in the Ciesco family and countless others have and are going through.

When my wife Debbie and I returned home from her funeral, I was putting something on the top shelve of the closet in our bedroom when a napkin floated down out of what seemed to be no where.

I picked up the napkin and written on the back where two dates. The day my father Williams was born and the day he died (April 1, 1974).

We had written those dates down on a trip to his grave with our kids a few years earlier.

Why on earth did this napkin fall down at just that time after what we had just gone through?

Was it a sign that Pat had made it to her final destination?

Was it intended to give us peace? It seemed to do a little of both.

Years passed by and we dealt with another case of cancer, this on with my Aunt Patricia.

She battled several cancers for a number of years until she too, was brought home like Rose Ciesco, to pass on in her own home.

As the days appeared to be getting short, we made the trip down to Sparkill, New York, a small town near Nyack were we spent a great deal of our youth hanging out with cousins, aunts, grandparents and the like.

Deb and I were the last family members to see my aunt, I went in first and told her how much I appreciated all her love and support over the years. My aunt was like that. You were always a rock star to her when she saw you.

As Deb made her way in after I left, it was perhaps just a minute or two later when Deb called for my cousin Debbie to come into the room.

My aunt has passed. The last family member had been seen and told her what her son, daughters and sisters had told her: it was okay to go.

A sign? Too much of a coincidence.

Flash forward to this morning. Good friend and family member Tony Turina relayed this story to me Friday afternoon.

“For the past three weeks or so, my wife Joanne would pick up her mother late morning and bring her to visit Rose, either at home or at the hospital,” Turina said, “This morning though, Michael (Rose’s son) picked up his grandmother early and brought her to see Rose.”

“When Joanne couldn’t reach her mother on the phone, she went instead right to the Ciesco house, where she found her mother. They were about an hour earlier on Friday morning. Rose had both her mother and sister with her at the end. If they had followed what they had done the past three weeks, neither of them would have been there.”

Signs, signs, everywhere signs.

A momentous sign came out on Wednesday night when over 800 people jammed into P. Sam’s for a benefit dinner and more importantly, a chance for friends and family to show how much they loved and appreciated Rose Ciesco the person.

Hundreds will gather next Tuesday and Wednesday to pay their final respects. Almost a thousand did already, another sign to this brave woman that it was okay to move on.

This has always been a sports family; all three boys (Gary is the biggest fun loving kid) played football.

Gary Ciesco told me that the two boys where going to lead their mother onto the Stairway to Heaven, another great 1970’s song.

Bruce would block, Michael had the ball at quarterback and they would help mom score a spot on the ultimate sideline.

Put both those arms straight up boys; touchdown, you got mom home.



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