Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The other night I woke up with the usual arthritic pain in my left arm and decided to go into my office at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM and sit for a while as the aspirin kicked in. I didn’t want to bother or wake up TLW (The Little Woman).

On my desk was a packet of papers that have to do with the past. In this manila envelope was some photos and letters, the letters addressed to me. The photos were of my mom, and the occasion was her 80th birthday party, held in an Italian restaurant called: Umberto’s.

As I perused the memory bank, I recall all the people I never met before who knew all about me, and by my looks, that I was Lena’s son. I made a speech in her honor, and realized it was a speech on her parenting techniques, the old-fashioned methods that included verbal sighs and well-armed disciplinary tools. (A wooden spoon)

Then further in the packet of papers was a letter my son sent me years ago and mementos from my work as a professional going way back to the beginning. What was happening was I was living my life again through those icons and symbols.

As I looked back, all the feelings I had about life came flooding back, the days on the trains and the days working, raising a family and loving it all. Funny how you can dismiss the pain and sorrow yet know it lies right under the surface. There is the pain of losing a child and the pain of mourning a daughter every day, a daughter who can’t communicate with me except to demonstrate her love.

I will take all those years, and I will embrace them, the simple life of the past and the wonderful future I realize as I look down the road, at the journey my children will take, and at some point, I will be left behind.

As I sit in my 70’s, I know it is coming to an end soon, my body is telling me that as is the conversations with my doctors. There is nothing I am worried about except that peace remain in this world of conflict, and that the safety and well-being of my children and grandchild be preserved and fashioned to grow better.

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect life with the woman I married and the children she gave me. I am happy, I have already lived enough to be saying that I am happy.

In my collection of pictures there is one that stands out, taken at #1 Son’s wedding, after the reception in a bar, I say among all the young people that made friends at the place I once worked for and #1 Son came to first intern and then start his career. These are people I love to this day, and am grateful for their friendship with my son. All of that past led to my beautiful granddaughter; Darby Shea!


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