When I think back to the time she got sick it makes me very sad and I get very emotional and can’t help but cry for her because she really struggled and had such pain and mental anguish. All I remember about the decline of my mother’s health was that it was gradual and over a prolonged period of time and it worsened each time she had to be admitted to the hospital. We were all trying to help her through these times and I know it deeply affected my dad because he had to maintain his job and we had to continue with school. We felt the void when mom was not there and we missed her deeply. Dad would always visit mom at the hospital and stay with her until visiting hours ended and he would bring us dinner from Mc Donald’s or White Castle on his way home and then he would go to sleep so he could wake up at 4:00 am to go to work the next day. It was a very hectic time for all of us when mom was sick and it affected all of us and especially dad. He was wonderful through it all because he did what he had to do and he never complained or showed his emotion. He maintained a tough exterior and he held himself up because he knew he had to be strong. I think having to weather all of this eventually took its toll on him but he would never tell you that.
We know that mom loved us all and she was always there for us but we know she suffered terribly through her mental illness and was over medicated to the point where she became a shell of her former self. We had gone through the range of emotions that families go through with the highs and lows of mental illness and it was quite a wake up call and a very sad and difficult time. We didn’t know really how best to help her and we relied on the psychiatrist who seemed to prescribe something else to try and help her. She had so many side effects from all the different types of medication she was prescribed that she needed additional prescriptions to counteract the side effects. It was just awful what she went through and we felt so angry and frustrated and helpless with the care she received. We lost her way to early and we never really had our dad at 100% because when mom died part of dad died as well.
Knowing how strong dad was throughout the years after mom died was such a testament to him as he was truly a survivor and he had all of us on his mind. Dad was such a kind and gentle person who was always there for us and he always made it a point to visit mom at the cemetery. I know when I saw my dad at mom’s funeral it just broke my heart knowing how much he loved her and all of us and how he would always be at the hospital to visit mom. He would never miss a visit. He was very special.
In life I learned that we do not have any guarantees and there are so many uncertainties and sometimes not knowing and worrying about finances or how you will be able to provide for your family can really take its toll on you. I’ve seen it destroy my mom and dad and I’ve seen it rob them of so much. It really makes me wonder sometimes why things have to be so painful and why there is so much sadness in the world. I try my best to shield my son from all this but the reality is life is a struggle and their is so many people suffering today. It is a common fact that when you are dealing with these kinds of uncertainties and worries and you feel you have no control of the situation it can lead to very unfortunate circumstances and we try to deal with these times as best we can but the reality is that people do succumb to them as my dad did and he felt the only way out for him was suicide. I have done my fair share of crying for my dad because I know he was such a great husband and father and we were so lucky having him in our lives and we were always protected from all his hard work, support, love and dedication.
I believe my responsibilities to my family are the same and I need to make sure I provide them with all the comforts of a home, financial security, love, emotional support and strength like my dad had shown. I have a son who needs so much help in dealing with all his medical concerns and I need to make the right choices and not feel the burdens and pressures that would lead me to tip the scale the wrong way and lose everything in the process. I have to be strong like my dad was and I wish to be here for my son to see him graduate and hopefully lead a life where he will be able to take care of himself. If I can not do this then I would have failed and I can not as my love for my wife and son is what keeps me going and I need to be here for them. I wish to do all I can for Matthew and provide him good values and instill in him confidence and a feeling that he is in good hands and protected.
Matthew, I love you and your mommy very much and I promise you I will never fail you. You are my inspiration and I will make it my life’s work to help you in your life.
Edward D. Iannielli III