My best friend Angie’s dad has been very ill for quite some time. He got worse late last year, and in late September he started living in a hospice. He hasn’t gone home, except for Christmas Day, since then. He is deteriorating rapidly, and this past Valentine’s Day was more than likely his last.
So what do you get your parents, one of which is dying, for Valentine’s Day? Well, you recreate one of their happiest memories, their first date.
In Angie’s own words:
My mom and dad, Irene and Paul Boisvert, had their first date at Tony and Ann’s Pizza in Massachusetts in 1970. My dad forgot his wallet and Tony let him slide. …And when times were tough and my dad broke his back, Tony and Ann’s would send food over for us, without question. My brother and sister and I have heard these stories over and over again, and heard my parents always say there is nothng like Tony and Ann’s pizza. ‘You just can’t find anything like it around here.’ Well, Tony and Ann’s reopened recently, same family recipe and same incredible family. I heard about Tony and Ann’s reopening and we thought about sending mom and dad back from Miami to Massachusetts for a date night but never got the chance. My father is dying. He’s in hospice and things are getting tough. What do you get someone who can’t leave the hospital, can’t leave his room, can’t get out of bed??? How do you make your last Valentine’s Day together special? We could only think of one thing to do… we got in touch with Tony and Ann’s and asked them if they would do something for us. Even though they were not prepped for frozen deliveries, we ordered and they shipped 6 frozen pizzas from Massachusetts to Miami, 2 day UPS with dry ice and the works. Everyone in Miami was excited and anxious and when the UPS guy got to my office with the pizzas, he must have thought he was famous. The office was running around saying, “the pizzas are here, the pizzas are here”. LOL. I ran home to put them in the freezer. I called my mom and told her, “you’re never gonna guess what I have in the backseat of my car… Tony and Ann’s pizza!”
My dad has his good days and is becoming increasingly confused as time passes… but I have to tell you, he thought I was nuts when I walked in with a thermal bag, said Happy Valentine’s Day and told him I had Tony and Ann’s pizza! He looked at me like I was crazy. I explained we got together so he and my mom could have their first date all over again. My mom had to tell him that I wasn’t joking… we actually had Tony and Ann’s pizza shipped from Massachusetts just for them. My dad was without words. First I want everyone to know that Tony and Ann’s made my parents last Valentine’s Day together incredibly special. I want everyone to know how much I love and cherish my parents and how amazing it is that they are still in love after 39 years together. We documented this journey via photos from the box arriving in my office, to my parents sitting together and enjoying the meal they had on their first date. Finally, just to prove there still are good people out there, it has to be said that Tony and Ann’s sent the pizza, covered all the charges and THEN sent me my bill… who puts out their hard earned money before even sending me the bill? (p.s. the check IS in the mail Paul! My parents signed a ‘Thank You’ card to be included with payment…LOL) Tony and Ann’s is the best. The pizza was amazing. The sauce is sweet and yummy. The crust was perfect… My parents were right, as usual, you just can’t find pizza like that around here. I have secretly hidden one pizza for myself (not so secret anymore, I know).
To mom and dad, I hope Desiree, Ronald and I were able to give you one last amazing Valentine’s Day. We love you both so much. ? ? ?
To Paul and Irene: Your children’s actions two days ago are a true testament of the example you have set, and your love for them and each other. I love you both and am so happy you got to spend Valentine’s Day reliving those beautiful memories.