See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have been taken on a roller coaster ride in the past few days, unlike any other. That is what happens when someone close to you passes away-- you become filled with emotions, like a dam that once held back, is now bursting forth, revealing a lifetime of information, at a torrential rate. As if all these thoughts aren't enough, the comments that others make, or things that you may observe, magnify this state, creating in you an awareness that becomes an overloaded circuit. At best-- an "informational overload". My mind is working "overtime". The what, where's and when of it all, while on the inside, your in often another place, trying to understand and deal with what your feeling-- Beyond sad. Other times, I'm laughing and crying at the same time. As a wise person used to say, "this too will pass" and "nothing lasts forever". It's this last one that I take issue with. Yesterday, I planted some flowers in the wood, next to my bird house. I did this thinking that when I look out of my kitchen window, I will be reminded of Stan and that living continues in all its glory, each thing having its special time frame and purpose. Even though it has its season, usually short, it will come again. Everything takes its rest. My brother is at rest, we haven't seen the last of him. It is helpful to remember some of the comments other's have said. One said that we all have our own special demons within us--some loneliness, sickness and poverty of all sorts. I think he was talking about the unknown sufferings. We saw the many physical ones. My cousin said, "he never caught a break" another said, "I wish I would have had a chance to speak to him, knowing he was afraid, I could have said something." Many diseases are inherited and he had so many of those ailments. Then came another comment "we're down to three." Where did the time go? Another said, "we all must go down the same road." We will all beat up on ourselves for our regrets and shortcomings, I'm sure. Another will recall his last words to him, at a party, that even though he slept much of the time, and carried an oxygen tank with him, he managed to enjoy himself very much, thanking his guest with a kind word. Stan was that kind of person, he always tried to make others happy, even if it was sharing a cup of coffee. I hope in some way, that he found happiness, too. Several days ago I learned something from two people giving their condolences. One said it had been forty years for her--you never forget. The other couldn't look me in the eye without sadness presenting itself, she turned away quickly. Stan, your presence will always be inside of the hearts of those who love you and in the safekeeping hands of the love of Jesus, forever. You are such a big part of us. Love is all you take with you and, at the same time leave behind. Christ gives us all the assurance of eternal life and eternal memory... I heard this song today, and thought of you......The song is by: Elton John, (Sorry, seems to be the hardest word) "What am I gonna do to make you love me... What am I gonna do to make you care... What'll I do when lightening strikes me.... and to wake and find that your not there.... what am I gonna do to be heard.... what'll I say when it's all over.....Sorry seems to be the hardest word"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Remembering Stanley

Stanley was the first born of the five children born in our family. I was the next in line, born approximately 19 months later which made us both immediate baby buddies. He was already sitting up and walking but, it didn't take me long to catch up, walking at eight months. As big brothers would, he'd share everything with his baby sister. I have vivid memories of him sitting on the wooden step with me, I was wearing in a pretty dress and had ribbons in my hair, he in a stripped t-shirt and shorts. We were both blue-eyed blondes. Stanley had eye surgery, due to the illness which crossed his eyes, "measles". It didn't stop this intellectual from learning, and books were number one on the list,(one summer, we were interviewed on WESO Radio, having completely read twenty books). Then came his rocking horse, and--Hop A Long Cassidy, a popular TV fare. We had, a very small picture TV that came out around 1948. I also recall that each afternoon, as we walked home from school for lunch, we would watch, cartoons and raising our glasses of milk, would say the pledge of allegiance of the flag. Of course, there was Clara Bell the Clown every Saturday morning on, "It's Howdy Duty Time". Along with Hi Ho Silver, and Buffalo Bob and many other shows, like Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan. Gosh, I even can recall seeing us in front of the set, wiggling our ears, (Micky Mouse Hats) that we would put on in the evening. He liked tinker toys, and building things, rubber stamps and had a coin collection. I know he had an interest in print and would use clay to capture comics from a newspaper. He was particularly proud of being able to speak French, which enabled him to engage in the language of my mother and aunts. Stanley was named after my mom's dad. He carried both grandfather's names as was the custom then, Joseph was his middle name. As I recall, even as a youngster, he wanted to help mommy and auntie Doris, who lived on the first floor getting into household things which got him into trouble. One day, he put comet all over auntie's floor, with his cousin, Susan, preparing it for a wash. This intellectual had difficulty learning to ride the red Columbia bike that my parents got for him, and I still can see my dad running after him, and picking him up after the crash. I recall, he was not the athletic type. The summer brought pic-nicks and fireworks and a circus that used to come to town, at Henry Street Field. There was always Sunday Mass and fishing which he didn't care for. We would fly kites and blow bubbles, and catch insects, to place in a jar. There were the usual birthday and Halloween parties. One time, he couldn't see where he was going and walked into a pole on the sidewalk, (getting a concussion was no fun). Holidays were special at our house. Stan loved classical music which he shared with me. I know he sang in the choir, but I don't remember that he had an exceptional voice like my sister Ruth. Photography was his thing. I recall the time he got one of those instantly developed black and white cameras which we could see the image as it dried. Thankfully, he provided many of the photos that he so proudly kept of us through the years. We spent many Saturday nights going to the drive-in theatre, Strand theatre, and bowled at the Hippodrome. Stan enjoyed purchasing movies for the kids to watch when they visited grandma, which became one of their favorite past-times together. Stan loved to eat, especially whoopee pies, and would buy us donuts when he came to visit. He was always just a phone call away. (Many knew he had to have a phone in every room.) I'll never forget how excited he was about his first new car. I think it was red. I remember his speech the day of graduation, being valedictorian of his class, having graduated from Cole Trade, as an electrician, which made the family so proud of his accomplishments. He always thought about pleasing others. Charity was at the top of his priority list. Many times he would surprise my mother with large appliances and purchased many things for the home, like dimming light fixtures. While he was in school, he worked under a school sponsored program, giving over his full paycheck to mom, to help care for our family, during the absence of our father, who was hospitalized due to illness. He loved going to New York to visit me in the city. Stanley was close to the family, keeping for us names, addresses and phone numbers. We could always depend on him for information and help, when needed. He was a 3rd. degree Knight of Columbus and former Exalted Ruler of the Fraternal Order of the Elks. The baton is now being passed on --as his remains will be placed over the mother he spent a lifetime loving, she having died some years prior from cancer, and along the side of my dad. Stanley, will be given a Christian burial on Wednesday, and will share in the hope of Resurrection and life eternal. We will see you again in a better place. Thanks for the many things you've done for us and for me and my family. Stan, may you know the peace of Christ and have the knowledge that you were and are loved by many, my friend and brother. I will miss you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mercy and Peace

It is well to learn the meaning of these two words. We are at the mercy of others and we need to be merciful toward others. The result of mercy is peace. Your health is reflective on how your relationship is toward others. If your not healthy, your not happy, no matter how many wordly goods you may acquire. Stressful relationships can destroy your peace. Avoid stress and acquire Peace! Being nasty or unkind is a decision. Choose kindness. Be merciful and charitable. It is the better way. Learn to turn your head instead, avoiding conflict. Deflect injury when you can. Learning to avoid a fight helps maintain a balance within your body which results in good health. Be a good communicator. Look into the other persons eye, keep your tone down, and listen to what someone else has to say. Agree that at times you must disagree and that is okay. Work on patience, some things take time. And, remember the word "Love One Another". Some things are better left "unsaid." Work at not provoking another. Are you a muller? Someone who rehashes things that people have done to hurt you, whether in word, or something they did. Reliving negative events will take its toll over and over in your body. "Let it go". Some people live to hurt others, and they know how to get to you. We can't control others, nor are we responsible for their actions. Forgive, forget. Let go of the past. You can only exist in the moment. Sometimes, you simply must walk away, leaving it behind you. Try, and if that doesn't work, try again. Everything has it's limit. You've heard this before, "You reap what you sow." ....When you hurt others it comes back to you. What happens interiorly when thoughts are released from your brain and heart that are negative or harmful toward any living thing, or (yourself)is a reaction that destroys the natural balances in your own body, which result in illness, and sometimes death. One of the best ways to prevent sickness and aging is to keep the body in an even keel. A forgiving, positive, and prayerful soul is a well-tuned instrument created by God, who reaps the full enjoyment of their being, in good health, and exists in peace.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding the Narrow Road

Are you on the road to destruction? Then, possibly you are over-stressed and over burdened, and most likely lacking peace. The peace that brings about healing. Some of us travel on the wide road until rather suddenly, we are slowed down. Did you ever feel like your on a roller-coaster ride and want to get off? You just want to stop the madness. Maybe there is time to smell the roses before it is too late. We are told that because of our stressed lifestyle, our health is at risk. Coupled with toxins, external and internal, we are literally dying with each breath. The quality of our life is determined by our choices and we want to be able to enjoy life to the fullest, not being robbed by sickness. So we exercise, exercise, exercise, throw out the cigarettes, a known carcinogen and we eat anti-inflammatory foods. We pay particular attention to our brain, stimulating the neurons with activity, avoiding alzheimer and dementia.Awareness of brain-killing chemicals and substances keeps us at realizing our best intellect. We are told that we can ward-off cancer by consuming proper nutrients, which are rich in protective spices, and anti-oxidants. Of course, we heed to the the required 7 to 8 hours of rest to assure good balance and repair. All this is good, but if you haven't "unloaded your stress," that which is causing you to become ill in the first place, you are waisting your time. Billions of dollars have been raised and utilized along with radiation, therapies and pharmaceuticals--to no avail. The secret to good health is balance. Bad habits produce bad result. Along with the stress that you have acquired over your lifetime, possibly you have learned and taken on to yourself undesirable behaviors, like undesirable eating habits, which help lead to your demise. There is a road to healing, that is the "road less travelled," which leads to healing, powerfully. Orthodox Christians are called to the practice of prayer, bible study, and the correct worship that opens the door to permanent and lifegiving healing. (Matthew 7:7)"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible). There is a factor which has been overlooked. Until you unload the burden that holds hostage your emotions, releasing that which prevents healing, spilling dangerous cortisol output into your system. This can lead to weak adrenals, sleeplessness, and ultimately poor health. It's like a drop in a bucket, or sweeping it under the carpet. The build-up will take it's toll, eventualy. The first thing we say at our worship service, (Liturgy) is: "In peace, let us pray to the Lord." Are you lacking peace? Becoming forgiving and calm, helps to silence "interiorly" unhealthy static and creates a balance that leads to spiritual and physical healing. And on this path of wellness, you will find happiness.

Friday, July 13, 2012

America Awakes

Today we awake to the news that our lawmakers are furious to learn that Olympic unifoms, as tasteful as they appeared, were manufactured in China. What a surprise! Many of the things I purchase today are made in China and other parts of the world. They are "willing" to work. Somebody has got to do it when we fail to produce our own for whatever the reason. It was noted that on a news clip, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-Nevada, took particular exception to the out-sourced tailoring. Maybe we need to wake up and smell the roses, so to speak. This is not a recent behaviour, it has been going on in our country for a long time. If you want something done, you must do it yourself, an attitude which has fallen by the wayside, showed the determination of past generations to succeed, no matter what it took. Now, its, for the most part, let someone else do it. They can and they do. I for one, still dream of a day when I will wake up to find that our lawmakers are concerned with their jobs, like having a budget, for example. Lets roll up our sleeves and work together for a better America. All we need be is responsible for doing our "own" job. The question is: What did we accomplish today, or are we waiting for someone else to do the job for us? Especially, when we are elected to fill the job of the lawmaking of this great country. Wake up, America. The world is watching. Are we just beginning to open our eyes? When you do open them, do you like what your seeing? If not, let us work to change first of all our attitudes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The importance of a two-letter word

As a child, I heard people say that the biggest word in the dictionary was "if". If I were a millionare how different would my life be? If is a pretty big word. What about the word "no". This was always a word that carried it's weight. No is a defiant word which I never allowed my kids to use, or, if they answered me back using that word, they knew it meant --in modern terms, a "time-out". Parents are always the boss, at least they should be. That's how I raised my children, and that is how I was raised. Today I'm thinking that my little grandson loves to use the word "no" because he is aware of what it means. Learning to say "No" is a good thing, that perhaps, I can learn from my grandson. He has a little mind of his own. And, he is not afraid to express himself. If only I could say "no" to many of the sweet things that I know I'm not supposed to have, wouldn't I'd be better off? Today, I think the most important word in the dictionary, if people still utilize one, would be "NO." Should the word "NO" be supressed? Was Dr. Spark right after all? I wonder. How can I correct my little grandson from saying "NO" when I have to learn to say NO, myself? Maybe, "No" is not the biggest word in the dictionary, but it certainly carries it's weight.