Tragedy struck dear friends of ours on Tuesday. Cheeky's best friend Alex, who lives downstairs from us and has been a constant playmate for the last two years, died in a boating accident. She was 3 years old.
Oodgie and Alex's mom were close, having lived through the early travails of motherhood together. We'd periodically babysit for each other, and you could usually depend on Alex's mom to be there whenever you needed something. They are among the few people we truly called friends in our neighborhood, and we are utterly heartbroken for them.
I know that the darkest depths of my imagination can't even begin to conceive of the suffering they are going through. As a parent and friend, I'm struck with a sadness I didn't know I was still capable of. Our hearts go out to them and their family.
There's so much more I want to say, but I just can't. No words I can muster would suffice.
We'll all miss you, Alex.
ADDENDUM: THANK YOU everyone who has sent messages and posted comments of support. We all greatly appreciate your thoughts. The funeral was yesterday, and was an emotional but cathartic experience for everyone. (For the record, I never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever want to see another father bury his daughter.) Alex's family has shown tremendous strength and resolve in the face of this heartbreak, and if you're so inclined they have asked that donations be made to support the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian in Alexandra Vitale's name. Donations can be made by calling (212) 342-0933.