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Your resting place I visit
place flowers there with care
but no one knows the heartache
when I turn and leave you there

A million times I've needed you
a million times I've cried
if love could have saved you
you never would have died

It broke my heart to lose you
but you did not go alone
for part of me went with you
the day God called you home

Author: Unknown

The following is a speech given by Stacey Malegni at various MADD occasions and high school drug and alcohol awareness talks. Please pass this story on to as many people as you can to help raise awareness for this cause and to help keep Dominic Malegni alive in memory. 

Before I introduce myself, I would like to ask you to listen closely to the following story: 

Picture if you would a woman and two children driving down a very busy road of approximately three lanes on either side of a large median. 

The two children, a boy and a girl are in the back seat of the car, while the woman is driving carefully, mindful of the children she so generously loves in the rear. The three have just left a toy store and have just spent the better part of the day together; laughing, joking, playing, hugging and talking. The love they share is effortless, real and true.  Do you see them? Try to imagine the deep love they share together. 

The two children are now discussing, with delight, what it is that they have just recieved at the store. One child, the boy, has a paint set sitting on his lap that he has opened. His head pointing downward as he looks at it with excitement. Meanwhile the fate that is to become them, enters the road way some ways back. The family members continue their conversation, and the woman is unsuspecting of the careless driver following from behind. 

Picture the driver's long dark hair covering part of his young face, still absorbed with alcohol from the sleepless night before. He is talking to his friend beside him. His drunken eyes struggling to see the road in front as he tries to make the turn to the left. 

Can you see him? 

Try as he might, he cannot do it. Maintaining control of the car is not within him. The front tires are split while pieces of cement are thrown, as the car first impacts the median. He is now air born, and then sent into the side of the woman along with her precious cargo. The dark haired driver is three times over the legal limit for the consumption of alcohol. Perhaps you might wonder how he even made it into the car that day, or why his friend trusted him to do so. 

As I now picture this family, as I hope you are, I am bothered with the thoughts of the car plowing into the side of these loving people. 

Can you picture it? Replay the accident again in your head. Can you see it? 

Can you see the blood, and broken bones of the boy, and his beautiful face left perfectly intact? Perhaps it's a chance for someone to see his angelic face one last time before they say good bye to him. 

Do you want to run to him? 

He is still trapped in his car seat. The very seat that held him defenseless against this dreadful car. His spider man shoes he loved so much are still on his feet, still clutching the store bag and toys. 

Do you want to take his hand and tell him how much he is probably loved, as his still, little body sits there? 

Do you still want to help him? 

As much as you might like to, you cannot. It is another who runs to him and puts her kind hand on his forehead. Sadly, there is nothing she can do. The stranger kneels down and cries because she has realized the boy she wanted desperately to help is gone. 

Perhaps there is hope. Maybe God took the small boy, before the back of his head was laid open, with the weapon of the vehicles deadly side view mirror. 

The woman in front is semi conscious. She is alive, but has serious internal injuries. The crash was so violent that her seat belt has ripped into her delicate body. 

Do you see her? 

She is flown by helicopter to the nearest critical care hospital. It will then take three weeks and 5 surgeries, but to no avail. Her family will soon be forced to turn off her life support. They will continue for what seems, 30 eternal minutes, watching in agony as her misery finally comes to an end. 

Now, I want you to picture, the arrival of the surviving family to the hospital where they find the boy. They look down at his lifeless body, and then realize why it was, just the girl, the policeman walked to the door that day. 

The boy is still lying there on the cold steel table. 

Do you see him? 

The white towel soaked in his blood, covering the wounds around the back of his sweet head. The family is now crying uncontrollably for the boy they loved so dearly. There will be no more Birthdays for him, he had just turned five, and now is forever frozen in time. 

Before turning away from this story, imagine that these are your family members. Perhaps it is a sister, mother or aunt. Or father, uncle or brother. Perhaps it is you with your own family. 

My name is Stacey Malegni, and the story that I have just narrated could have easily have been yours or someone close to you. But, luckily for you, it was not. 

This is not a fictional story, but a tragic event in my own life. 

Did you think I was the girl in the car? Or, at first, the woman in the front seat? 

I truly wish it had been me instead of the ones I loved. I would have gladly have been a participant in place of my mother in law in the front, or my son and daughter in the back. 

There is not a day that goes by that I do not picture the violence of this accident. In fact, I suppose I torture myself, playing it over and over, again and again in my mind. 

I often wonder why I do this to myself. Do I think it will suddenly turn out differently? Is it because I was not there to bear witness? I must not have thought the worst could possibly happen to me, to us, and to our family. Because, no one ever does. 

It is so easy, as I sit strapped in my own seat, day after day, to put myself in their position on that terrible afternoon. I ask you to do the same when you sit inside the safety of your own car. 

It is easy, if you try, to see them; as they were, what became of them, and how it has affected my family's life. A husband living each painful day without his only son, a daughter playing without her brother. And I looking on, at this family, in the face of tragedy. A family that has been, and forever will be changed. 

I'd like for you to know, it is for my beautiful son that I am no longer afraid of dying, as often many people are. I secretly long for that day to come in order to see his beautiful face once more. For there is not one day that goes by, that I do not fight the tears and the deafening agony of my heart, overflowing into my head. 

I try extremely hard not to let it consume me, as it is a constant struggle for me to feel any happiness at all. What's worse, is that this is how I am to live the rest of my life....without him...a life without my son? 

His name was Dominic Malegni. He died on a busy Atlanta road, at 2 O'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, November 7th, 2004. He was hit by a young man of just 19, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, ironically with the intentions of having a better life. He is now serving out his 20 year sentence in a federal penitentiary. 

Again, before you turn away from this story, think about being an ambassador for this innocent child. Tell others of him. Take with you his story into your heart and think of others by choosing not to drink and drive. Or, by convincing someone else to do the same. 

Administrators, educators and parents, empower your kids with this information.   And teens, stand up to the pressures of youth with conviction. 

I am putting the memory of my son, Dominic, in your hands. It is my hope, that with you, his name will continue to live on and perhaps even save a life. 


Thy Will Be Done

"I'll lend you for a little time
A child of mine," He said
"For you to love there while he lives
And mourn for when he's dead

It may be six or eleven years, or
twenty-two or three
But will you, till I call him back
take care of him for me

He'll bring his charm to gladden you
and should his stay be brief
You'll have his lovely memory
as solace for your grief

I cannot promise he will stay
since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn

I've looked this wide world over
in my search for teachers true
And from the throungs that crowd
life's lanes, I have selected you

For I know you'll give him all your love
nor think the labor vain
Nor hate me when I come to call
to take him back again

I fancy that I hear you say
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done
For all the joy my child shall bring
the risk of grief we'll run

We'll shelter him with tenderness
We'll love him while we may
And for the happiness we've known
Forever grateful stay

But should the angels call for him
Much sooner than we've planned
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand

Author: Unknown

DOMINIC JOSEPH MALEGNI 

Dominic Joseph Malegni, age 5, of Woodstock, Georgia, passed away Sunday, November 7, 2004. Dominic was the cherished son of Nick and Stacey Malegni and the adventurous little brother of Nicole. Dominic is survived by his parents, Nick and Stacey Malegni; his sister, Nicole; his paternal grandparents, Antoinette Russo and Sam Malegni; his maternal grandparents, Pete and Paula Phillips and Bruce Crow; his great-grandmother, Eileen Thomas; his aunt and uncle, Joseph and Stacie Malegni; and his cousin, Joseph "Jake" William. 

Dominic was in kindergarten class at the American Heritage Academy in Canton, GA. He dearly loved his teachers, classmates, friends and family. His favorite sport was Dodge Ball. His favorite pastime was spending his allowance at the Dollar Store. His best friend was his sister. His greatest comfort came from being in the lap of his mom; and if you asked him who his hero was, he'd smile and say confidently "my dad." 

A prayer service is scheduled for Wednesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. with visitation from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Woodstock Funeral Home, 8855 Main St., Woodstock, GA 30188. The memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, November 11 at St. Michael the Archangel, 490 Arnold Mill Rd., Woodstock, GA 30188. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Children's Health care of Atlanta Foundation in memory of Dominic Malegni, 1687 Tullie Circle, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329, 404-785-7300, www.choa.org/foundation. 

Guest Book
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 11/10/2004. 

When we lose our parents, we are orphans. When we lose our spouse we are widows or widowers. But there is no word for a parent who has lost their child.

"Grieving is a process. It's okay to experience 
that process. To deny the bitterness of the sorrow 
is to deny some of the sweetness of the comfort when it comes."
Chieko N. Okazaki 


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