Being Here

It was some shocking news I read yesterday.

I am coming up on my 40th high school reunion in the fall, and of course, there are pages dedicated to it where you can find out the latest news.

A few days ago, I hit on a page and saw a girl that I shared foreign language classes with had passed away.

**sigh**

Yesterday, I read that another classmate passed away, and from reading the information, gathered she must have been battling cancer for a while. What makes it even more sad for me is her husband and I worked together for roughly twenty years. He adored her.

Here I am, semi-retired, three cancers later, writing a blog post on a computer.

Survivor’s guilt? You bet.Oh, I know that I am here for a reason, but there always comes a reality check. That’s why I thank God when I get up in the morning and manage to have two feet on the ground.

Rest in peace, Cheryl and Gloria.

Dziadziu on East Street

Dziadziu, in Polish, means Grandfather.

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My Mom’s family lived in Manayunk, a section of Philadelphia, and “Dziadziu” on East Street was always referred to as that to distinguish him from my Dad’s dad, or my other Dziadziu.

Dziadziu on East Street was a kind man, and very patient.Some of my finest memories of my childhood are sitting with him on the bench in the back yard and him letting me babble on.He would let me sit with him and count the freckles on his balding head and chuckle about it.

Today, 46 years ago, he left me quite suddenly.Pneumonia took him from us in three quick days.We were all in shock.I have no doubt that he is with my Babci, Grandmother, in heaven.That is their wedding picture in this post. They were married in 1920 and he passed away in December 1970, a little of 50 years later.

It’s a good way to wrap up this year, remembering him and his life.He was a good guy.

I miss you everyday, Dziadziu, and will love you forever.

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Eighteen years ago, I lost my Dad.

Usually, on this post, I would write something about his passing but in reflection, I want to write about something that I shared with Dad.

We went together to work for a number of years via public transportation.

I never was squeamish about walking to the bus or sitting on the bus and talking to my Dad while going to work. I am sorry to say that it was something at the time that I guess, I took for granted.In hindsight, it was a glorious time.We would talk about a lot of things, and Dad would give me a lot of his advice.I remember when I had someone steal my wallet out of my desk, and I was able to walk a few blocks over to where my Dad worked. It was a comfort to be able to commiserate with Dad over the theft, get a token to get home with, and know tomorrow would be another day.

As I usually would say about missing Dad, some things will never change.I am thankful of the memories that we shared through the later part of his working career.What a blessing it was, in hindsight, to have the time with him. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.

I miss you terribly Dad but will love you forever.

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Mom…it feels like a lifetime

Today marks four years since Mom passed and I have to offer what I had written in last years post. The meaning is even deeper, as is the heartache.

I miss her every day.It’s a hole in my heart that I know might be healed over by the time I pass away.I find her in little things, and especially, while in the process of moving, I unpacked her sweater and sat with it on today.I made waffle batter this morning in one of her mixing bowls. Tomorrow I am going to look for a book to put her handwritten recipes in. I know she is at peace,and that is the only thing that makes the pain of loss a little bearable.

I keep a picture of her on the table by my bed, and see her every morning.It’s a shot of her before she fell into dementia.On the computer I see pictures of her in her hospital bed when she was in hospice.Today we got the new issue of AARP magazine and they had, on the cover,pictures of everyone who had Alzheimer’s/Dementia and they were people who had passed within the year.

I cherish the memory while God still blesses me with one, and cherish every day I am on two feet. I figure the best way I can honor her legacy is to keep going as best as I can.

Doesn’t stop her from missing me, though.

Tech

We visited our friend, Max and his Mom, Norina, last night.

They lost their Dad/husband Mario, and we used to see him when he was in rehab, and took some video of him. As they really didn’t take anything like that when they were taking care of him, we let them know we had it. They came over this morning to see it and, now, we are saving video to the flash drive.

It is awesome how far technology has come. I am happy to do this for Max and his Mom , but it is bittersweet. Jim and I miss Poppa Mario: he was a character. I think we also wish we were able to have our Dads via technology. 

We miss them both. Below is a picture of my Mom and Dad.

  

Seventeen

I was one of those fortunate girls.

I loved my Dad and he loved me. Don’t get me wrong- he loved all of us, but Dad and I were buddies. My brothers weren’t really into actively following sports, so he was happy when he found a willing disciple in me. We spent a lot of good times together. At the bottom of this blog post, I have a picture of Dad in the car when we were at Penn State for a game.

It’s seventeen years ago today that I lost my Dad. I remember,in many of our talks, how he would tell me about life after he would be gone. I believed him and always kept it in my head. You only have one Dad and no amount of time can replace the hole left behind in your heart when he leaves.He didn’t tell me that, but it’s what I learned.

Miss you terribly,Dad, and will love you forever. Kiss Mom for me. 

 

And here comes August…

Bad enough that my “weekend” is over, but here comes August.

If you have read this blog for any period of time, you could recall that August is quite the bittersweet month for me. I lost my Dad in 1998,and I got married in 2002.When I was a kid, my Dad always took us to the shore during the last week of August.

The best part of August, though, is the promise of fall. You can muck through the hazy, hot and humids of August and know that sometime soon the fronts will be coming and cool things off.I know my Mom always would warn me against wishing my life away, but this is one summer that I can hardly wait until the first 70 degree day comes.

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