Mackey Balcony.jpg

I See You

I watched Mackey looking out over the horizon and thought, what a shot!  As he turned to look for me, I gave him my best “I love you forever smile,” and, raising the camera to my eye, I focused and zoomed in on his face.

As the shutter opened and then shut, the click … click announced with confidence the photo had been taken. Looking into the preview screen, even I was surprised to see what I’d captured.

I’d captured us and I wasn’t even in the photo.

Orphaned Caretaker

Just days later, on September 12, 2011, I rushed upstate from Long Island, timely to follow my youngest, Lindsey and her husband Erik, to the hospital to witness the delivery of their first child.  Baby Maxton had been long awaited.

I was crying constantly now. Maxton was here and Mackey was leaving. There wasn’t any stopping it. 


There were four generations from our Gaslight beginnings, loving us so, and willing us onward and into our next adventure. Little Lincoln was on the porch with his Mom, Marissa; his Gaga, Doreen; and his Great-Papa, Louie; all waving goodbye, arms flailing, smiles generous, just about jumping up and down with happiness that we were here and we were going there, wherever there was.  We felt it too. 

Thank you for going along with us ...

Baseball and the Jersey Shore

"Facebook was dinging and bleeping with post after post, the Salmon’s on the beach, on the deck, in the surf, photos by day on the porch, and by dusk on the beach."  

What’s Better Than This? 

Off we went to our room, somewhere in Sloan where we were not expected.  It was a private room. I dimmed the lights. “I can keep you company,” Mackey offered. 

“Like hell you can, lie down, close your eyes, and give me a foot; you’re mine for the next few hours …  I don’t want to hear a peep out of you.”

Mackey closed his eyes, and as his head sunk into the hospital bed pillow, he said, “What’s better than this?"

I See You

My smile said all I felt and it told all I needed.  All I needed was Mackey and he was right there, beside me. 

And, Mackey, his smile said it all too. It held the pieces of him, of me, of his past and his family and of all that was important to him … and then I understood he was smiling at Lainey too. She held the phone up to take that photo, to capture us in that bed, as cute as we were, and the shutter sounded click … click

Baseball and the Jersey Shore

Then the DeCarolis and Mackey posts lit up Facebook. The party was a ball game. Yes, an MCU stadium ballgame. Oh, my God, Mackey had fun and our memory boxes were filled with once-in-a-lifetime photos of Mackey and Kiernan on the field and playing ball. There was one particular photo where they all piled together, smiles and wide-eyed, happiness so present it leaves the photo and lands on you.

There are some photos that are so terrific, all you see is who wasn’t there, who missed it.  But this photo is the kind that brings you into the moment, makes every observer the photographer, and so it was that I was there too.  

They were all there, as they always had been, these two families, long ago melded into one and observers could see the glow coming from the ball field lights, and it wasn’t even game night.

Counting Days

In 2012, only months since Mackey died, I received a text from Colleen. She was pregnant. No one knew yet. She would let me know when I could “know” that Mackey’s grandchild was coming. I began counting the days until He would be here again.  And on April 18, 2013, he was. His name is Aidan Thomas Mackey.  Soon he would roll over, sit and stand. One day he would play ball. 

And we all began counting his days.