Life Lessons: Prioritizing our lives



Having a young son who is approaching his teenage years and requiring more individualized attention due to his medical condition makes me realize how important it is to find more time in my life so I can share it with him. After all my life is much more enjoyable and richer because of my son and I find it ironic that I am spending less time with him in these important years. I realize I have to make a living so I can provide for my family and work is a necessity and I have to provide my employer with my best effort and be dedicated and be willing to work late so I can complete my workload and learn what is expected of me. I have learned that our lives revolve around our work responsibilities, our family responsibilities, our social obligations and our own personal agenda. We need to realize that we will have to get accustomed to hard work and we must have a lot of patience, understanding and a healthy outlook.

I know that I am just like anyone else working and raising a family and I also have many responsibilities so I must learn how to organize and prioritize my life so I can be efficient at work and do what is expected of me in a reasonable period of time in the work day and the work week. I also need to spend the appropriate amount of time with my son during the week and on the weekends. My son also has his responsibilities with school, with his homework and with making sure he is completing his assignments at school and at home. He also has to be responsible with his chores at home too. When we are together life becomes much more happier and I always wish to get as much quality time with my son that will help him and make an impact for the both of us. I have learned a lot from my experiences in life and in spending time with my son and of course from my parents when I was a kid. I also learned how important it is to spend time with my son every time I hear the late Harry Chapin song “The cat’s in the cradle” which really has a powerful message and touches your heart and scares you because of the sense of loss you feel in not being able to get that valuable time spent with your son back when you realize the time has gone by and your son is a young man with his own work and family responsibilities now.

As a young boy growing up my dad and I did not engage much in conversation but we still had a bond when we had a baseball catch which I always enjoyed. In fact throwing the baseball with my dad is one of my most favorite memories. I always wanted to have a father-son catch with Matty but he does not show interest and he does not have the necessary hand-eye coordination at this point. The sad part is that I always looked forward to having a catch with my son as that is a great bonding experience but I do not want to force my son into doing something he has no interest in. If in time he does wish to have a catch then I would ease him into it and would teach him the proper mechanics and techniques.

As I am now middle age I feel that my life is changing and I can now sense what it was like for my parents as my sisters and I were getting older and they were approaching middle age. As we get older we start to think more about the future and of our lives and we seem to try to put things into perspective and realize the important things in life which are certainly our family and our commitments. We must find that healthy balance so we don’t fall short and hurt the ones we love. The sad part of life is that it seems to be fleeting in the sense that when we are living it the years seem to drag on but when we look back on it we then realize the years have gone by so quickly. It is truly mystifying how quickly we age and how quickly our children grow up and start lives of their own.

I was fortunate to have my dad in my life through my adult years and he was always there for me and it was difficult for him at times because mom died so many years earlier and dad was alone but he seemed ok since he was with us and our kids most of the time. He loved spending time with his grandchildren as they brought such joy to him and they loved their grandpa. Life seems so unfair sometimes when I see how hard my dad worked and when he lost his wife a part of his life was taken away and he was never the same but managed to live his life until he could no longer go on. He had his share of times where he needed medical support and was hospitalized for depression and for physical ailments. His life was one of which he should be very proud but it was also a tough life and it took its toll on him affecting him in how he viewed things. He was very humble and very stoic and he had a strong drive and was firmly committed to his family. As we are approaching the anniversary of his unexpected and sudden death it hurts and brings a tear to my eyes because I am wondering how we could have helped him to prevent the tragedy. I still have no answers today as I had no answers a year ago when we first learned of his unfortunate and shocking death. All I can derive from the tragedy is that my dad was getting to a point in his life where his loneliness and his suffering was becoming to great and though he loved his family and all his grandchildren he was tired and in great pain and he could no longer take on the pain he was feeling despite the love he gave and the love he knew. It makes me very sad for my dad because I knew he was a great man and I feel he deserved a better ending.

I will certainly make sure I always honor the memories of my mom and dad and I will do all I can for my wife and son and always be there for my family and take on all my responsibilities and challenges with maturity, dedication and willingness and balance all so I can have a full and devoted life that will enable me to help my son as he approaches manhood and starts a life of his own and to share the remaining years with my wife and watching our son grow and become his own person.

Edward D. Iannielli III

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