49.6 F
Delaware
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Grieving Family Remembers Brother with Hidden Rocks Campaign

Must Read

As COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths decline, state stops vaccine waiting list

State health officials said vaccines are so widely available now that its own system is no longer needed.

Body camera training underway in Wilmington as new bill calls for statewide policy

The bill would require all law enforcement and some correction and other officers to wear a body camera

Republicans announce legislation to review voting roll laws, require photo IDs for voting

One measure would require all voters to show photo IDs when they vote or seek an absentee ballot.
Christy Fleming
Christy Fleming
The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.
 

Thomasine Bianchi says there are two enduring memories about the character of her brother-in-law Marco Bianchi that stick with her the most.

“My two absolute favorites were his love of a good hidden surprise and his desire to help the underdog without wanting an ounce of recognition,” says Bianchi of Marco, who passed away at the age of 38 last year.

“Of all my Marco memories, my favorites include the ones where he showed that side of himself that was just pure magic. He made you feel special, included, and truly loved.”

 
 
 
That inspiring legacy has led Bianchi to creatively honor the memory of her brother-in-law, on the occasion of what would have been his 39 th birthday.
 
The coronavirus pandemic got Thomasine thinking of an idea where her brother-in-law’s spirit could touch others beyond the family.
 
“I enlisted my girls to help me paint 39 rocks – one celebrating each year the world was lucky enough to have Marco in it. We then added some words of encouragement. We are hiding these rocks around town – on walking trails, in neighborhoods, at Marco’s favorite spots. I laugh because I know he’d think this was absolutely the corniest way to celebrate him,” Thomasine laughs.

Marco’s birthday would have been Friday, April 10th.

 

Marco grew up in the west-Wilmington neighborhood of Arundel with Thomasine’s husband Alex, and the family was well known across the surrounding areas.  So Bianchis, along with Marco’s girlfriend Melissa Pisani, are targeting Alex and Marco’s favorite local haunts like Delcastle, Carousel and Paper Mill Parks where they are tucking away the painted rocks.

They’re also hitting the neighborhood Marco and Alex grew up in. That place, too, has special memories – not just for the Bianchi brothers and the friends they made, but for one special person who will never forget Marco’s kindness.

 

One child on their street, about the age of Marco, was wheelchair-bound and suffered cognitive disabilities. According to Alex, Marco was always kind to this neighbor when Marco saw him each summer at the community pool. But after one particular Halloween, when Marco was in middle school, Alex remembers that their mother received a phone call from the mother of the young boy who could never go out trick or treating. She called to tell Mrs. Bianchi how appreciative she was that Marco came by and to give her son half of his Halloween candy.

Marco hadn’t told a sole he had done that.

“That was just his thing. His life was filled with spontaneous gestures like that,” said brother Alex.

 

Alex Bianchi’s daughters Natalie (Sanford ’20) and Hailey (Sanford ’22) each picked out their favorites and placed the first two river rocks at Marco’s gravesite on Saturday. They continued their river rock drop at Delcastle, leaving some where walkers, joggers and basketball players might find them. Marco was crazy about basketball.

They miss their uncle terribly, too, and they hope the rocks with their many inspiring messages can lift someone else’s spirits. “He was always hiding a Justin Bieber sticker on our backpacks or inside a birthday card – he would do anything to make us laugh,” said Hailey.

The rocks say things like Smile. Believe. Be kind. Be happy. You rock. Inspire others. Be you. Joy. Spread love. Be positive. Choose kindness. Be the change. Make a wish. “We hope it just makes somebody happy during all this mess. It’s the best way we could think of to do it,” said Thomasine Bianchi.

 

Their viral campaign encourages people who see the rocks to snap a picture, share it with the hashtag  #Marcorocks and tag them in it. (Given concerns about the coronavirus, the rocks don’t need to be touched, but they have been thoroughly cleaned.)

Already some folks have shared their rock art discoveries on Facebook. And that makes the Bianchi family happy. “We hope that it reaches people so they know that it’s from Marco. But they might not even know, and that’s okay,” says sister-in-law Thomasine. “We’ll know that somebody out there somewhere will have that same sort of happy feeling.”

“It’s really overwhelming to see how people have responded to this,” said Alex. “Sometimes you take for granted when people are around, and you don’t really realize the impact that people make until they’re gone. It’s amazing to see the impact that my brother had on other people – even people that we never even knew who knew him. He used to do so many selfless things,” he said.

- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

Latest News

As COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths decline, state stops vaccine waiting list

State health officials said vaccines are so widely available now that its own system is no longer needed.

Body camera training underway in Wilmington as new bill calls for statewide policy

The bill would require all law enforcement and some correction and other officers to wear a body camera

Republicans announce legislation to review voting roll laws, require photo IDs for voting

One measure would require all voters to show photo IDs when they vote or seek an absentee ballot.
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

More Articles Like This

%d bloggers like this: