Life Lessons: Explaining to my son what it’s all about


I have been lucky to come this far in my life as I have lost a lot of people who were near and dear to me over the years who had a big influence on me and are deeply missed. It seems we have to learn to accept the realities of life no matter how painful and sad they are. We have no control over certain aspects of our life and must learn to live knowing that. We do have control over how we will conduct ourselves and how we will interact and live our lives. We learn at an early age the importance of being responsible and respectful and developing as a person. My ideals, dreams and goals were formed from my experiences as a young child growing up.

My biggest teachers were my parents who taught me all I needed to live my life. School also provided me the education that allowed me opportunity and the ability to learn and question things. Life is very unpredictable and we all must live our life to do our very best and to try not to give in to our emotion or succumb to our feelings. We are not guaranteed tomorrow so when we have another tomorrow we should be very grateful and live each today as if there will not be a tomorrow.

The hardest part of life is the pain we all must experience. We all go through it and in order for us to grow and mature we all will experience death of our closest loved ones. My parents are both gone and I cherish them and the memories I have of them. I was deeply moved by Joannie Rochette, the Canadian figure skater and bronze medalist in the Vancouver Olympics and how courageous she was in the wake of her mother’s unexpected and untimely death. She managed to summon her strength to go on as she knew that was what her mom had expected from her beautiful and very talented daughter. There isn’t a day that goes by where the memories fade. My memories of my parents will live on throughout my lifetime and for that I am grateful as I wish to still keep the memories of them alive and with me in my heart.

Matthew has never admitted that Pop is gone. He deals with his absence in a way where he believes he is still with us but is on a vacation. I have tried to explain the truth to him but he does not want to hear it and truly believes Pop is still here and he will be back. I can not really explain the concept of life and death with my son as he does not want to hear it. I know how difficult these very sensitive subjects can be and I respect and honor my son’s request and wishes. I always treat my son with respect and understanding due to his special needs and his extreme sensitivity.

As my son is approaching his early teenage years I know how important it is to start proper channels of communication with him and to allow him to feel comfortable in expressing himself and talking about all that is on his mind. I don’t admit to have all the answers but as his dad I know how important and valuable a father’s perspective is for his son. A son looks up to both his mom and dad and they are responsible to protect, care and nurture their child and provide them with stability, love and understanding.

To me Life is a mystery and our existence which is a wonderful gift also is a mystery that we all try to understand but realize is just part of the wonders of life and we should never get wrapped up in that thinking. We should just be grateful for what we have and strive for joy, happiness, success and companionship in our life. The biggest gift I can give to my son is my complete love and devotion to him and a deep understanding and patience for him with all his struggles. He has shown such courage and determination and has made friends along the way. Maria and I are so proud of Matthew and wish him to find his joy, happiness, success and companionship also in his life and I hope I will be around long enough to see all his happy occasions and accomplishments. I live for both my wife and son as they both mean the world to me and make my life so much more meaningful and happier.

For Maria and Matthew, I Love you both always and forever!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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