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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

THE MANY SHOES OF AN OCTOPUS

There is a saying in my house: “When does the next shoe drop?” When does something terrible occur?

My wife and I started our life together with large hopes, dreams that were not greedy or were we crazed for money. We wanted some children, a house, and a car, maybe a bar-b-q and a house party. We wanted to sit in the evenings and just chat or watch TV, share a snack or even a cocktail. It isn’t much to ask for and the treasures of health were so inviting, as we hoped to grow older together.

My favorite phrase that I repeated to TLW often was: “Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”

But life is not a predictable event, there are hopes but not the kind you want, the kind that brings joy, or laughter. Our hopes are always to avoid a catastrophe, a calamity or more bad news.

They say that God gives you only what you can handle. If so, God lost my personal profile a long time ago.

The first time I met my daughter Ellen was by chance. I had my first professional job as a designer and got the call at the office to go to the hospital at Bay Shore. My first meeting with my newborn daughter was as I stood in an elevator as the elevator doors opened, Ellen was in an incubator across the hall being moved out to another floor. It seemed the procedure went pretty normally, or so we thought. It wasn’t long before we got the news that she was not developing like she should, that she was a little slow in some developmental areas for a child her age. She had brain damage. Just like that, we were straddled with a child with developmental problems! They would play into problems raising another infant a year later!

After my son, Anthony was born and we had a healthy baby boy, we decided about six years later to have another, another boy to help Anthony fill his days as a big brother. His name was Joseph. He was a beautiful baby and kind of resembled me a little. Coming from a home with four sisters two sons was the greatest feeling in the world! Two sons! It didn’t last two years as he contacted issues that took his life at 21 months.


Mental depression is a horrible thing that affects not only your personality, and your confidence and robs you of all happiness. It takes away your life. Both my sons had one.

In 2007 I flew out to Los Angeles to be with my oldest son and begin to see what his depression was doing to him. But he had a tremendous support of core friends such as Laura and Justin, Jason and Pete the Teacher and Minnesota Pete. His old friend Steve the one who convinced him to go out to California and his beautiful wife Christina offered my wife and me help and made the burden and fears less, God bless them all! They were where goodness comes from the Earth, where when you are falling their hands stop you from crashing into the ground.

In the recent sadness we suffered, there they were, once again, all of them, not only their faces but, their hearts!

Now I worry about my son as I do my other son, thankful for the fact that they are both alive. I don’t understand how a newborn baby can come into the world on his birthday, the same day his mother dies. And for my granddaughter, how do you protect her from the pain that she has lost her best friend in life at only four years of age? Gradually we will survive until we no longer live.

But the octopus has many shoes to drop, but nothing like we have.






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