I did take an interest in baseball and I enjoyed reading about sport’s legends like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Christy Mathewson from the early days and ball players like Henry Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan from my growing up days. Baseball was something that I loved and I enjoyed both playing and watching the game. I discussed this in earlier posts but the one thing I truly loved about baseball was the bond it helped create between my mom and myself. She really influenced me and taught me to really enjoy the game and I have so many wonderful memories of watching Met games with her. We lived through the hapless Mets of the 1960s through to the World Champion Mets of 1969 and 1986 and they were always the team of choice for us.
In finding inspiration we seek to learn from our personal experiences and through other types of experiences. I learned a lot from my mom and dad when it came to developing a sense of myself. My dad taught me through his hard work and dedication to always work hard and strive for your best effort. I learned responsibility from both my mom and dad and acquired an internal strength to keep at things no matter how hard they become or how discouraged I may become. It is very important to have a drive and ambition to succeed and challenge myself to do my absolute best. I looked up to my dad for he had a very humble disposition and a drive to always work to do the best job he could. He had no fear as an iron worker or never exhibited it when he was on the job. He knew what he had to do and he did it. He was a bit of a risk taker but he knew what he was doing and knew there was no room for error as it could be life threatening. He had an inner strength and courage that could be described as inspiring and he was well respected among his brotherhood of iron workers.
My mom too was a very good role model and I believe I developed my sense of self from her in developing my sensitive side. My mom was a beautiful woman and she dressed very stylish and she loved to wear dresses on occasion and she looked simply beautiful. I was closer to my mom growing up and would seek advice from her until she got very ill and then I relied a lot on myself and looked to my dad for advice and just someone to talk to. My dad was a very courageous and a very caring person and he tried his best to help mom but there really did not seem to be definitive answers to helping her as she worsened and we were there to witness her complete breakdown which took its toll on all of us as a family.
In life we experience many happy times and wish to have those replayed over and over to help diminish the pain we feel in encountering the sad and difficult times we all come to experience through our life. Learning to accept and have courage is essential in dealing with the sad realities of life. We experience so many things that influence us and shape us as people. There are no answers sometimes to things we are saddened by. Feeling someone else’s pain is hard to do but we certainly understand that close family members do suffer and may not be able to express it and if they can not bear the pain anymore they may choose to do something to escape it that we may not quite understand but we can certainly forgive them and certainly feel sorry for them and grieve for them.
Given the fact that my dad was my role model and my hero the fact that he took his life does not diminish my feelings for him. My dad will always be my role model and my hero because he was a wonderful human being and a very special person and he was my dad and I love him and miss him very much. He was there for me when I truly needed him and he was there for both Maria and I when we married and he was there for Maria, Matthew and I when our son was born. Dad was special to me and he always will be because he inspired me throughout my life and he inspires me today to be the best dad I can be for Matthew who I am crazy about. I am there for my wife and son like my dad was there for my sisters, myself and my mom.
So when I look affectionately upon my son I will think of my dad and how he helped make me a man and taught me about life. I am far from perfect and I have my own issues but I know in my heart I will do my absolute best for my wife and son as they mean everything to me and I will always hold on to all the positive things in my life and remember how I have learned so many wonderful things from my mom and dad.
As I stare into the heavens I speak with sadness in my heart but also with a joy in knowing that Mom and Dad are now together in peace, the words that come to me to let them both know how much I look to them still and think of how blessed I was to have them both in my life. I wish them to know about how grateful I am to them and how inspired I am by them to be as good a parent to Matthew as they were to my sisters and I. I will always remember them and love them and will bring my family to visit and honor them.
Edward D. Iannielli III