Submitted by: Patty DiRenzo
My Tribute: Sal was born on April 11, 1984, two months premature. As my sister-in-law stated after his passing “he came into this world early and left early.” Sal was an absolute beautiful child with a heart of gold. Sal was truly an old soul.” He was kind and sweet and cared so much about everyone. If you met Sal once, you were his friend forever. These next few words are borrowed from Sal’s brother Vincent. “There were so many layers to Sal. At his very core, he was fiercely loyal, loving, sensitive, and moral. To coax a real smile from Sal was the greatest victory, but how beautiful it was!! Sal touched so many people during his life. Anybody who had met Sal knew that you couldn’t do anything but love him”.
Sal struggled with addiction through his high school years – he was embarrassed of his disease. From the time he was 18 years old he tried to get treatment and was in and out of rehab facilities never getting the proper treatment because he was never afforded any more than 11 days at a time – We always struggled with insurance trying to get approvals, never enough funding and/or beds to take him. He wanted help desperately but sadly never received the help he needed and deserved. In June of 2010 he was, for the first time approved under state funding for treatment. We were all so hopeful and happy because this was he first time he was able to get approved and we all believed this was a gift and Sal was on the road to recovery. 11 days later, we received a call that his funding had ran out and he was being released – his release papers were clearly marked “high risk for relapse” – but they still released him. We called every treatment center in the area to get him into another place, no one would take him – we lost Sal on September 23, 2010 from an accidental overdose. Sal was not alone when he died, but the person using with him left him alone to die -without calling for help – my son was left to die. As mentioned earlier, to get a smile out of Sal was not easy – but when he did smile it was beautiful and the one thing that made him smile was his son – Salvatore. Seeing him look at his son with pride in his eyes was amazing. His son was 18 months old when Sal passed. I miss everything about Sal. He had a quiet, beautiful presence, he was thoughtful and kind. Sal never went to bed without coming into my room to say good night and tell me that he loved me. I miss him popping his head in my bedroom to say I love you – good night. I just miss him being him and giving me his quirky smile – it was truly priceless. Sal and his sister Blake would sit on the back deck just about every night and talk – I miss looking out the back door and seeing them sitting together talking. Sal is forever missed and loved.