The happy occasions we share.

As a father of an autistic son I make it a point to emphasize the importance of family, friendship and making connections with others with my son. It is so very important to feel a part of something and to feel loved. Matthew knows how much we love him and I make it a point to tell him so everyday. I also try to explain to him that meeting kids and making friendships is what life is all about and to always develop interests and find it within himself to open up and share his beauty as a person with others. I feel an autistic child is like a flower bud waiting to bloom and it needs nurturing, love and the basic necessities to grow and blossom. When kids make friends and are accepted they then derive so much more from their friendship as they are now invited to birthday parties and are asked to do things together. They are now part of something special and having a friend to play with and to talk with is truly a wonderful thing.

As we get wrapped up in our lives as we get older and take on more responsibilities we sometimes lose sight of what is most important and we sometimes have to take a step back and remind ourselves that our family is what is most important. The time we spend with our spouse and children is precious and the missed opportunities we can never get back. So we must make it a point to spend the time with our families so we can grow as a family and derive joy with each other and be there for each other. It is family that gives us strength and helps us get through our many challenges.

The time I get to spend with my wife and son is so important to me and when we have the opportunity to do something together as a family it truly is a wonderful thing and I am overjoyed because we don’t often get to do things together. I always look forward to attending happy occasions and my most favorite are weddings because it is a time when I get to see family relatives I have not seen in years and we get to share a special day with the bride and groom and enjoy in their celebration. We had a wonderful weekend as Maria, Matthew, Grandma and I went to my cousin John and his beautiful bride, Deirdre’s wedding. Matthew and Grandma stayed at the hotel in their room while Maria and I spent the evening together with all our family relatives on the Donovan side celebrating at a beautiful reception at the same hotel. Maria and I enjoyed talking with all our family relatives and thought the occasion was beautiful. There is something special about a wedding. We were sorry we were not able to attend the church service but were so delighted to at least be there for the reception. Seeing the bride and groom dance to their wedding song was very touching and it reminded me of the day Maria and I wed and danced to our wedding song From this moment on from Shania Twain. It is now 11 years and seems amazing how fast the time has passed.

I brought my camera to make sure I took photographs to remind us of the wonderful evening. We all lined up for photos to have all the cousins together and this was truly special as we are all grown and have our own lives. It is nice to catch up with each other and I remember fondly the times when we were kids visiting each other with our parents. It seems the times have passed so quickly but the memories last a lifetime. I also enjoyed talking with the spouses of my cousins and made new friendships as a result. I was very happy for meeting everyone I had a chance to at John and Deirdre’s wedding and found it a wonderful time. All the women look so beautiful in their dresses and I admire them very much and just love looking at their styles and how pretty their dresses are. I also enjoyed getting to talk about our families with my cousins and their spouses and show off pictures of our son. Maria was having fun dancing and she looked so beautiful in her dress and she talked a bit which I was happy about as she is like me in that we both are pretty shy and only start to open up after a while of getting to listen to others and then we share our experiences.

I was happy to see my sisters and their husbands at the wedding and we got a chance to talk as well. I enjoyed dancing with Maria and seeing that she was having fun and smiling and that she finally had a Saturday night off which she so deserved. I enjoyed the table we sat at as it was several of my cousins with their spouses and my sister Kathy and her husband Kenny. Maria and I talked with my cousin Suzanne and her husband Dave from California and we found them very nice people and we very much enjoyed their company and speaking with them.

I enjoyed seeing John and his lovely bride Deirdre dancing and I just thought her wedding gown was so beautiful and she was a real lady. They are such a sweet young couple and they really had a wonderful day and they made all their guests feel welcome and gave them great joy. I thought the toasts were truly wonderful as Kevin really had some funny lines in his toast and we thought he did a tremendous job. Weddings are such happy occasions and we felt so good that we didn’t want the fun to end so most of us decided to go to a local pub and talk with one another. Maria and I enjoyed speaking with Katherine, Timmy’s wife and found her to be very nice and we enjoyed her discussing Matthew’s situation and my Dad’s tragedy. She also suffered a family tragedy in a most unexpected way and it obviously was something that troubles her even today. We promised we would send friend requests and stay in touch.

The special family occasions are a joy we love to relive year after year because it brings us close as family and allows us to keep in touch and share in the special moment and just enjoy the moment and the company.

We also had the opportunity of staying overnight which we did and Matthew enjoyed being away from home for the day and night and loves to visit at hotels. He like to experience traveling and was delighted we included him and grandma in the travel plans. This was a wonderful weekend for the family and we were very happy to reacquaint with our cousins and their families and our aunt’s and uncle’s. Aunt Pat and Uncle Kevin are always a pleasure to see and Maria gets along well with Aunt Pat.

Thank you John and Deirdre and your families for making us feel welcome and allowing us to share in your special day.

Love,

Edward D. Iannielli III
Maria Jesusa G. Iannieli
Matthew E. Iannielli
Grandma Terri

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