Champions of Extraordinary Marriages

On an Island… December 15, 2009

Filed under: marriage,Spirituality — Tony & Alisa @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , , ,

Are you on an island?

Close your eyes and think of your favorite island.  Where is it?  What memories do you have of your time there?  White sandy beaches, fruity drinks, and the smell of the ocean.  An island is a marvelous place where the sun is shinning, the surf is fantastic, and the sunsets are gorgeous.  My most memorable island experience was when I got to spend 3-weeks on the big island of Hawaii. Nothing short of amazing.

The island I’m talking about in this post doesn’t resemble the perfect island experience.  I’m going to talk about the isolation island. That island we are on when something bad happens in our lives.  We have an argument with our spouse, lose a child, have severe financial issues, etc.  In our mind we are the only one going through such an issue even with 6.6 billion people on the planet. Joy, love, and happiness is happening all around us, but we are isolated and alone.

Alisa and I have been on such an island.

On December 14th, 2004 we lost our second child, Andrew, when Alisa miscarried at 18-weeks.  It was a low and dark day for the both of us.  The joy and anticipation of a child had been stripped from us.  Friends and family were around to support us during this difficult time, but we were alone, separated from our Heavenly Father, wondering why us?  The days, weeks, and months that followed were some of the toughest in our marriage.  Alisa and I had difficulty talking, being around each other, or even parenting.  We went through the motions of marriage and parenthood, but the fog was so thick we couldn’t see. The pain was deep.  I stuffed it away so as to not have to deal with it.  Alisa went into a mild depression.  We should have sought help, counseling, therapy, something, but didn’t.  Instead we did nothing.  We existed in a house together, but that was about it. Satan had us where he wanted us, alone, secluded, and afraid.  We were on an island.

The old adage that time will heal a broken heart is true in this case.  We needed time to process the loss, but we also needed time to get back on track with our marriage.  A couple of months after the loss of Andrew, Alisa and I made the decisions to get off that island.  It was tough, but we began by sharing our hurts and pains, listening to one another, and encouraging each other to be the best person we could be.  It worked-slowly.  On November 29th, 2005 the joy and happiness returned when a beautiful baby girl was born.

It’s time to get off your island and experience the fullness your marriage has for you.   Make the effort to connect with your spouse even though it is tough.  Recognize that whatever is causing the isolation is not going to go away with the snap of your fingers you are going to have to put forth effort to rekindle the spark, the enthusiasm for your marriage.  Now is the time to get in the boat and start paddling toward a brighter marriage.

What’s your isolation island?  Are you ready to leave it?


17 Responses to “On an Island…”

  1. I am very happy you shared this website with all of us. It makes it easier to learn about you both more then I can on a daily basis being so far.

    Isolation Island for me is called: Deployment time- Time when Paul is away for the Marine Corps in long amounts of time. The worst was this past deployment when he has gone for 13th months and all the things that surrounded it came crashing down on us. While he was in Iraq, I went to 4 funerals in a 3 month period 2 in which we both huge players in our lives together. Both our Grandfathers passed away within weeks of each other. Paul and dealt with grief in much different ways and alone, not together, like most marriages can. So in turn we hit a path that almost led us astray from each other. Talking with a Chaplain and taking some time together to just talked helped and still helps. There is much more I can say but I believe that can be saved for another time. Thanks again for sharing and giving others the opportunity to get involved.

    • Tony & Alisa Says:

      Amy, thank you for sharing the difficulties of being a military wife (spouse) whose husband has been gone on long deployments. Living in San Diego we have a number of friends in the military and know, through them, that deployment is one of the biggest stressors on a marriage and very much creates a sense of isolation. Especially when you face so many life changing circumstances such as the funerals you mentioned. What a testament to your relationship that you and Paul realized that you needed to talk not just to each other but to a counselor (the Chaplain). I get a sense from reading your comment that you and Paul are deeply committed to one another and have made a conscious decision to put forth the effort to make your marriage work. Marriage is not easy but it is so worth the energy that you put into it. Thank you for being a part of our community.

      • Amy Says:

        I know this may sound weird or odd. After Grandpa’s funeral we all took a drive to the cemetery and but the Grandkids bouquet on Jamie’s grave- Andre and I were the eldest ones there from the group of Grandchildren. As I placed the flowers down and prayed. I prayed for Jamie, Aunt Judy, My Mom and you Alisa. I have never known that pain from losing a child. I was told I couldn’t have children and then is September 2005 I had Mia. I found out the same week I was pregnant, that you lost Andrew. In some ways, I felt a small tiny connection to you at this point, A twinge from the pain you must have felt and then thankful. Like God shared your Angel with me. That may not make any sense. I felt guilt and despair too. I told my mom that I didn’t want to tell anyone because it would cause you and your family’s pain at that time. I know God works in mysterious ways and I believe that Andrew is an Angel that helped me – Like Jamie and all the children my mom lost. As well as my mother in law too. I have never told anyone but my Mom and Paul this side of my story. I believe Grandpa is with them all and that may be why he had to leave. From your struggle and devotion I believe we all learned and grew stronger. Silence sometimes in our family is ‘Madly Deafening’. It takes courage to be open about feelings and I am so proud of you. I also am glad to be able to finally say the words that I wanted to tell you. I love and Miss you – and I hope your days are strong and your years are happy.

      • Tony & Alisa Says:


        It’s taken me a few days to process your message. I never made the connection that you would have been finding out that you were pregnant at the same time that I was losing Andrew. So much of my life at that time is a blur as Tony’s cousin had twins the week before we lost Andrew and so there were new babies around when our baby wasn’t-very difficult. Thank you for sharing this with me. What a burden it must have been on you to have this wonderful, exciting news and yet to have it tempered by my loss. Thank you also for believing that Andrew is an angel that helped you. I do believe that he is an angel and that his life, short as it was, was incredibly significant. I know that I have been able to help others who have also experienced child loss, it has given me a perspective that is impossible unless you have lived it. I appreciate that you have the courage to break the silence. I truly think that our generation will be the one to make a change in our family.


  2. Tony,

    Thank you for sharing your experience in such an open and honest way. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, especially that late in pregnancy. I’m sure your witness will help many.


  3. I feel you, Tony (and Alisa). Sharing certainly makes things a lot more bearable than isolation.

    You can read my own story of loss and return to happiness at 35-hour baby.

    • Tony & Alisa Says:


      Thank you for the strength to share the story of your son. As I read his story I cried fresh tears for both of our boys. Child loss is devastating and makes one feel so alone, especially when friends and family don’t know what to say or so often don’t say anything. I am confident that your openness has helped, and will continue to help, many.


  4. What an inspiring post you guys! We’ve had our highs and lows as well but we realized we’re the only ones who can change our relationship with the other person.

    • Tony & Alisa Says:

      Thanks Justin. Yes, we’ve all been through our good and bad times. Coming together, working on our marriage, and eventually changing our relationship takes work and effort. It’s well worth it though. Since the loss of Andrew, Alisa and I have done all three and enjoying an extraordinary marriage.

  5. Luis Says:

    Alisa and Tony, we were on that Island with you… I still remember that call on a Thursday… You broke the news to me that your secret pregnancy had gone from normal on Tuesday to AT RISK on Thursday… Here we were thousands of miles away and the feeling of helplessnesss was overwhelming. Our daughter was in great pain and we could do nothing but pray for her and our grandson in the womb.

    Two days later we were at your side… as we watched you attempt to hold on and give life to Andrew.

    On the 14th… we lost Andrew. Again the feelings of helplessness were of such magnitude… we were there for you but how do we comfort each other… how do we stop the tears that well up inside… how do we not speak the unspeakable. That event has forever changed my Christmas… eveytime I hear Silent Night… my thoughts return to those 17 days we spent with you and your family…. See More

    The next three comments are the poems that I wrote about those days.

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Luis Says:

    Thoughts to Andrew

    Christmas 2004, you were to be our big surprise
    A Christmas time present from Alisa and Tony
    Surprise! We are going to have another child
    Surprise! Your are going to be grandparents, again

    But, Oh, what a surprise… you came too early
    You only weighed 7 ounces
    You were only 17 weeks in the womb
    You were only 11 inches long…

    In the hospital, a new born baby cries
    You didn’t cry, we did, not just once… but often
    Some times in the silence of the early morning hours
    Some times in the quiet of our hearts, we cry for you

    You came with a beautiful quiet continence
    You came with perfect little hands at your chest
    You came with long skinny legs
    You came with a beautiful face… you came too soon

    Oh how my heart aches for so many reasons
    I have only known you for one week…
    You captured my heart in your struggle to live
    You captured my heart because you are mine

    Life will never be the same, having known you for only a week
    The miracle of childbirth, the joy of holding a newborn
    The pure happiness of watching a child grow
    All that has changed because of you, Andrew

    My faith in God, my prayer…
    Father, Thy will be done in my life, today
    Tells me that your short time with this family
    Was all the time you needed, my heart tells me differently

    My heart aches for having lost you
    My heart aches for not knowing you better
    My heart pains at the memory
    My heart is broken because you are not here

    May the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ
    May the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete
    May God the Father
    May they all-in-one, welcome you and bless you forever
    Andrew, I have your picture to remind me
    I have the broken heart and tears to remind me
    I have the hearing of a baby’s cry to remind me
    To always remind me of you… May God bless you for ever

    Andrew Mark DiLorenzo, born December 14, 2004
    Andrew Mark DiLorenzo, died December 14, 2004
    Weight seven point two ounces
    Length eleven inches

    Son of Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo
    Brother of Alex DiLorenzo, age 2
    Grandson of Vince and Carmen DiLorenzo… Banning, Ca
    Grandson of Beth and Luis Torres… Westerville, Oh

    Nephew to Paul and Melissa DiLorenzo
    Nephew to Andre’ Torres
    Cousin to many, many in both families
    Loved by many, missed by all.

    Luis A. Torres
    December 16, 2004

  7. Luis Says:


    In the dark of night when all is quiet
    You can hear the quite of a gentle breeze
    You can hear the quiet of a breath of air
    You can hear the quiet ache of a broken heart

    Silent night, all is quiet, except my heart
    Silent night, it is quietly crying for you
    Silent tears cascade down my face
    Silent tears of sadness, silent tears for you

    Silent night, holy night, all will be calm
    All but the pain in my heart, for you are not here
    Silent night, holy night, all is bright
    All but the visions we had for you

    Silent tears shed in the quiet of the night
    Silent tears shed in the darkness of my heart
    Silent tears shed in the stillness of time
    Silent tears shed in the sorrow of you loss

    Holy night, the angels sing
    Glory to God in the highest
    Holy night, our angel sings
    Glory to God in the highest

    For surely you have joined the choir of angels
    For surely you have learned the songs
    For surely you are watching over us
    For surely you are with the Most High

    Silent tears shed in the quiet of the night
    Silent tears shed in the darkness of my heart
    Silent tears shed in the stillness of time
    Silent tears shed in the sorrow of you loss

    Luis A. Torres
    December 18, 2004

    Written in memory of Andrew DiLorenzo
    December 14, 2004 – December 14, 2004

  8. Luis Says:


    I think of you often
    It always saddens me when I do
    I do not understand the why
    I do not understand the reason

    You were so tiny
    You were so small
    Yet you evoke such sentiment
    I cry in the silence of my heart

    I know your mom
    I know your dad
    I know both sets of grandparents
    We all cry for you, in silence

    I have seen the tears in their eyes
    Tears that well up at the thought of you
    Tears that are fought back, not released
    Tears that hide a big hurt

    In the stillness of the night
    When no one is there but me
    The tears are not held back
    They flow like an open wound

    I cry for you, I cry for me
    For you – your life was oh so short
    Your struggle to live was lost
    You were lost

    I cry for you, I cry for me
    For me – I would have loved you with all my heart
    I would have cared for you
    Now only in my heart do you live on

    I cry for you, but I do not cry alone
    Your mom and dad cry for you
    Your grandparents cry for you
    Those who knew you cry for you

    May the God of Love and Mercy
    Hold you ever in his hand
    May the Lord of all
    Treasure you and keep you safe

    Andrew, I love you
    Andrew, I am sorry to have lost you
    Andrew, I think of you often
    Andrew, I cry for you, but I do not cry alone

    Luis A. Torres
    December 29, 2004

  9. Luis Says:

    Just one more thought… As I sit here at this computer, on my printer there is a little sign… “Andrew DiLorenzo … December 14, 2004 – December 14, 2004
    We will never forget you”…
    In my work cube, on the monitor… there is a similar sign

  10. […] This post was Twitted by ChiefExecMom […]

  11. Hi! Thats a thouroughly interesting blog post. Its funny that I wouldnt have considered a few of the aspects that you mentioned but its defintiely given me some food for thought and a few things to consider. Thanks again for the post and keep it up! Cheers James

    • Tony & Alisa Says:

      Your welcome James. I’m glad that is has given you something to think about and hopefully when you are on an island you can see why. Glad you are liking the blog.


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