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Who was Victoria Paisley D’Agostino? She was a gift of pure joy and love. She truly loved every moment of her short life. What have her friends said to me about her?
“Victoria always had a smile on her face.”
“Victoria always had good ideas to play, without her we don’t know what to do.”
“Victoria taught me how to skate, ride my bike, floss my teeth and pee like a boy.”
“Victoria was so smart!”
“Victoria always made me feel good.”
“Victoria was so much fun!”
“We think about her everyday.”
Victoria showed a caring for others and an intuitive sense of what others needed, beyond her 8 years. At 7, when a friend’s father died, she lay in bed and said that Nicole’s heart lost ¼ of its love. She felt so badly for her Mom, sister and brother. At 6, at a sleep over at her Grandma and Papa’s house, she made all the beds for her Grandma without being asked. If I, her mother, was having a bad day, I would come downstairs and find the dishes being washed and put away by Victoria. She was a quiet leader, a person who everyone wanted to be around. Her brother Matthew could see all her talents and encouraged her to be a professional skater. Victoria figured that she could do that and be a teacher too, her career of choice. She was a gifted student, athlete and teacher. She taught us patience in others, true humbleness, living life to the fullest and always loving others.
The Victoria D’Agostino Book Prize is awarded annually to students in Waterloo who demonstrate some of Victoria’s remarkable qualities. These include academic excellence, athletic accomplishments and sportsmanship, good citizenship and a loving and generous spirit. Victoria had a special gift of generosity. At 6 years old she stated that she was prepared to die to save the life of one unborn twin cousin because she had lived six years and they hadn’t lived at all. I remember being totally shocked that she would say, and genuinely mean, what she said. This statement never left me, and it is what made the decision to donate her organs an easy one. I believe that she had said that so that I would know her wishes.
I designed this quilt block in memory of Victoria. Both my mother and I are avid quilters. The block symbolizes an angel (Victoria) flying from her favourite colour (blue) to the light of God and Heaven. I chose fabrics from my Mother’s collection. My Mother’s maiden name was Paisley and that is where Victoria got her middle name. I chose paisley fabrics and ones that Victoria would like. One piece came from Victoria’s baby quilt, another from a quilt that my Mother and I made for her brother, Matthew. In the last summer that we had with Victoria she was 8. Matthew was at camp for two weeks and Edward was at home while Victoria and I were at the cottage. We made beaded bracelets, beaded wine glass tags and read Harry Potter – The Chamber of Secrets in the lazy early mornings. The beads on the angel are beads that we used to make our bracelets.