Morris County News

More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

87de6b6aaa5fcb104478_36661ba06ae3e92ea8ee_IMG955657.jpg
Christopher D'Amico Credits: Laura D'Amico
8f5237b1f78d677104d0_4bf72fed6b01c86be494_IMG955656__1_.jpg
Christopher D'Amico and Maddie Martino Credits: Laura D'Amico
37dd5fa0efc6c30e6335_7785801f2bf3aa8e0c4d_IMG955654.jpg
Christopher D'Amico with rose for Maddie Martino Credits: Laura D'Amico
5776b98610caa028b6dd_IMG955658.jpg
Christopher D'Amico Credits: Laura D'Amico
9505cb7a38af1c138544_IMG955660.jpg
Christopher D'Amico at Maddie Martino's soccer game
5c494c36a16ffdad1c61_da3c1734c57ffd494bc9_IMG955661.jpg
Tattoo on ankle of Maddie Martino Credits: Laura D'Amico
c0f906d9510bfe9d9f4d_1cd0e75cd6ab3ed11ee1_IMG955652.jpg
Ring given to Maddie Martino by Christopher D'Amico's parents on behalf of their son Credits: Laura D'Amico
87de6b6aaa5fcb104478_36661ba06ae3e92ea8ee_IMG955657.jpg

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry store not long ago. They left with a Tiffany ring for Maddie Martino, the girl Christopher fell for when he was eight years old.

Now a Roxbury High School senior, Martino was in eighth grade when that happened. Christopher was only in third grade.

Sign Up for E-News

He didn’t care, according to his mother.

Whatever you do, don’t suggest that Christopher - being just a little kid - wasn't really in love, says D’Amico. Nothing else explains the way he behaved when it came to Maddie Martino and only to Maddie Martino.

“In grammar school, he would see her in the hallways,” said D’Amico in an interview. “He would go up to her and hug her. He would totally hug her. There was something about her he liked ... He totally did whatever he could to get her attention.”

He Would Wait For Her

The other day, motivated by something she saw on Facebook, D’Amico decided to write a long post on the social media site. She called it “Our Favorite Love Story“ and put it on the Kindness for Christopher page, a site dedicated to the international movement inspired by Chrstopher’s tragic death. As of today, the story’s received more than 700 “likes” and nearly 70 comments.

“He drew pictures and taped pictures of her next to his bed,” wrote D’Amico. “We used to make fun of him, but he didn’t care. He heard that she had a boyfriend and would say it was ok. He said he would wait for her. He was 5 years younger than her...it was a cute crush.”

Her son’s affection for the girl with the long, blond hair only increased during the ensuing two years before June 24, 2015, the day Christopher fell off a pontoon boat and was struck by its propeller, D’Amico said.

After Martino moved on to high school, Christopher’s desire to be around the girl led the family to regular attendance at her soccer games. The boy would watch Martino’s every move.

“You couldn’t talk to him while she was playing,” wrote D’Amico in the Facebook post. “He told her mother he was going to buy her a ring one day. It was just the cutest thing. We let him go with it.”

But Christopher was serious. He began saving money to buy the ring, said his mom. “When he died, we found his wallet with money in it for her ring,” she said. ”We left the money in the wallet. It will stay there forever.”

The Perfect Ring

That’s not what Christopher had in mind and his parents knew it. Although Christopher was gone by then, something told D’Amico that Martino’s 16th birthday was a good time to fulfill his wish.

“When Maddie turned 16, I don’t know what made me think of it, but I told Chris, ‘I want to get her a ring,’” she said. “I said ‘I want to get a special ring for her from Christopher because he never got a chance to get her that ring.'”

Hence the trip to the jewelry store. “We found the most beautiful Tiffany ring that was perfect for her ... from our son,” wrote D’Amico on Facebook.

At her Sweet 16 party, Martino lit a candle for Christopher, D’Amico noted. “Warmed my heart like nothing else,” she added.

Christopher’s over-the-top sweetness for Martino never seemed to bother the young girl, says D’Amico. Even at the outset, when the kid showed no restraint in expressing his feelings in public.

“It was almost embarrassing because we didn’t know her well,” said D’Amico. “But she just thought it was cute. He always made her smile.”

Earlier this week, Martino did something to prove Christopher’s unabashed love meant something and made a mark. “Tonight, she went to get a tattoo in her ankle … number 86 in honor of our son,” D’Amico wrote on Facebook. “The number "86" was his football number that the football community retired after he died.”

Martino “will always be a part of our family now,” added D’Amico. “She holds a special place in our hearts. We don’t know why people are put in our paths/journey, but I know this girl is something special and will do something special in her life. Christopher knew it years ago ... that’s why he loved her.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Denville

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

May 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Join the Fight, Morris: Water + 7 Days = Mosquitoes

May 23, 2018

With the sun finally expected to show itself starting tomorrow and over the Memorial Day weekend, Morris County residents can reduce the number of all mosquitoes, including the aggressive Asian Tiger variety, in their own backyards by taking action now.

The ankle-attacking, aggressive Asian Tiger variety transmits viral disease and bites all day long, unlike many other varieties that come out ...

May is Older Americans Month: Time to Give Back to Morris County’s Seniors Every Day!

May 23, 2018

The June 5th Primary has entered the home stretch.  For the first time in 8 weeks, there is no where I need to appear other than at the doorstep of a registered voter to ask for their support in the election booth.

Since I decided to pursue the open Freeholder seat in March, I have been all across Morris County.  I have been out and away from my family every day since, attending such ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...