The gift of learning each day.

Every day I wake I am very happy as it is gift and I get to share it with the ones I love. I learned in life that we should never take things for granted as we are only here for a short while and we need to always remember that. We must try to make the most of each day we are here and live it to the fullest. Life is a wonderful gift which offers great joy, disappointments, sorrow and challenges along the way. We try to learn from these experiences and treasure the memories of the past and our childhood which brings a smile to my face because they were special times and give me wonderful insight in how I relate to my wife and son today.

My parents were responsible for giving me a wonderful upbringing with my two sisters, a proper education and the values of respect, dedication and perseverance. They taught me to try my best and to always be a kind and caring person and to live a life full of promise and joy. I have learned a lot from them and I am inspired by them and their memory. I feel sad that they are no longer here to share my life and family with them and I feel an emptiness and a loss but realize we must honor them and cherish their memory and live our lives knowing that they were a big part of our lives and still are. I am still learning and I live one day at a time and try to teach my son the same things my parents and teachers taught me.

As a parent I learned that understanding and patience are very important in raising a child and certainly when that child is autistic you need to have a lot of compassion and perseverance in addition to understanding and patience. My wife and I have had times where we were not sure how to address some behaviors exhibited by our son and sometimes our inclination is to explain that the behavior exhibited is not proper and we try to reinforce that the behavior is not acceptable and should not occur again but have learned that this is not always going to work. As a result we need to speak to professionals for more insight as it is not always that straightforward in dealing with an autistic child.

By nature I am a very private person and feel I am a very understanding and caring person and I am very respectful of others and will try my best to help others as this is what my parents instilled in me. One other thing I learned from my parents is that you can not help someone else until you help yourself and your loved ones. So my goal is to try to be the best person I can and to help my son be the best person he can with my wife’s love and support. If there is anything I can do to help my son I will because he is my pride and joy and he gives my life meaning and purpose and I live to see him grow and doing well and finding his happiness. The gift of being a parent is the opportunity of sharing all you know and teaching your child so they can have a life of meaning and purpose and for you to see them grow and become their own person. We are sad that our children grow so fast so we try to enjoy the time when they are babies then toddlers then growing children going off to school and learning for themselves. It is like time fools you as it seems when they are babies it is a very busy and chaotic time but before you know it they are growing children and the time when you were changing diapers and scheduling feedings is only a distant memory.

As I am on this journey of Life I am living in the present with my family and I am also remembering the past as it seems we need both to move forward. As our son grows we also remember the days when he was a baby and we go back and forth as it is nice to remember those times as well.

We all are sharing this wonderful journey together and we will all learn from each other along the way and I am so fortunate to be sharing my life with Maria, Matthew and Maria’s mom, Teresita. I am also very happy I had such wonderful parents and have two wonderful sisters that care for me and my family very much and I feel the same way about them and their families and I will cherish this wonderful gift of life my parents gave me with God’s help.

I am also very grateful for the wonderful gift I was given by being introduced to my wife and having the joy and blessing from Maria of our beautiful son, Matthew with God’s help. It is such a wonderful gift to have a child in your life and Maria and I are so very grateful and will do our best for our son because he means everything to us.

Edward D. Iannielli III

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