As we celebrate the 4th of July holiday weekend with family and friends this year and enjoy the time off we should reflect on all that is important to us and cherish this time with our loved ones because it just flys by and no matter how much we wish to hold on to the moment it will pass us by and all we can do is hold on to the memories. As I enjoy the holiday weekend this year I am reminded of what I was feeling and experiencing during last year’s 4th of July holiday weekend when I was dealing with the loss of my father since April 2009 and the emotions I was living with which helped me start a special project that gives me perspective and a voice to speak with. It was last year on July 2, 2009 that I started writing this special blog about my son and autism and my many life experiences including the tragic loss of my father and growing up in Brooklyn, NY as a young child with my sisters and my loving parents.
I wasn’t sure how I would start my blog writing but as I looked at my son who was 10 years old and was having a difficult day because of all the commotion and celebrating and needed to escape to a quiet place I realized that I should focus on him and how best I could help him through all the feelings and emotions he experiences on a daily basis with his autistic ways. I was always appreciative of the times my dad would visit us and spend time with Matty and I wanted to touch upon those special times as well and touch upon my dad and how special he was to mom and all of us. As I started to find a quiet place of my own to write after getting my son settled down and playing with his cousins I escaped to a room where I started my writing after signing up on blogspot.com.
I was inspired by a sad story written by Terrence Harper who wrote a blog on blogspot called Thumping my Melon which focused on his coming to grips with the reality that he had a terminal illness that was sapping his strength and eventually would take him away from his wife and 2 children way to soon. It was his love and devotion to his family and the courage he lived with every day since his diagnosis that really touched and inspired me and the way he wrote displaying his incredible honesty with his feelings that made me truly feel for him and his family and brought me to tears. He really touched me and I knew he wanted his family to be strong and find it in their hearts to go on and live their lives in his honor and for his wife to find the courage and strength to take care of their children and to find companionship. I was saddened to find out upon finding his blog that he had already passed away in June of 2009 at the tender age of 45 from a brain tumor.
I remember as a young kid of 14 years old reading and also seeing a movie based on the book written by John Gunther called Death Be not Proud which was the chronicling of events and experiences the father, the author of the book and his wife lived through as their teenage son was diagnosed with a brain tumor and soon would succumb to. It was a strong bond the family had and a deep abiding love for their son that really touched me and made me realize that life as beautiful as it is has a very sad part to it and I remember being very touched and saddened by the story and when the movie came out with Robbie Benson starring as the teenager who displayed courage and honor knowing he was dying that I had to see it as the book had such a big influence in my life and I remember that was the first adult book I read as a teenager.
I believe the hardest part in writing is starting out but if you feel inspired and have something that is very important to you to write about then that is a strong basis for getting started in writing. I remember when my son was first born and how nervous and excited I felt which was a life defining moment for both my wife and I that this would be the basis for starting out my blog and from that moment on I challenged my memory to bring out my feelings and write it as only a father could. I was blessed in a way with being sensitive and compassionate in my views of life and it allows me to be honest and I try to share all I feel as a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a professional and as a human being. I pull no punches in my writing and I write from my heart because I care and would do anything for my wife, my son and my family.
As I have come up to the 1 year mark in my writing I still feel I have a lot to share and write about and I find I have a need to write as I am touched by my son and feel for him and all the challenges he faces with autism and epilepsy and it pains me some days to see how difficult it can be for him and my writing helps give me perspective and allows me to write on what is going on in my life, my son’s life and it helps me tap into a creative side I thought I never had.
I hope that I will be writing for the rest of my life and that I can hopefully derive some benefit financially from my writing so I can help put my son through college and help him to have a satisfying and fulfilling life. My motivation for writing is to help my son be all he can be in life. I wish to write about all his successes and all his accomplishments and my enduring love for both my wife and my son who make me feel blessed each and every day I get to share life with them both and share in the joy of celebrating holidays together.
Happy 4th of July to you all!
Edward D. Iannielli III
No matter how many years have passed since my mother’s death I always remember the special day of her birthday. She was born on July 1, 1939 to Irish immigrants who married later in life and had 5 children after coming to settle in Park Slope, Brooklyn from County Cork, Ireland. My mother was the 2nd oldest. I got to know her 2 sisters and her 2 brothers as they were all very close growing up. Some had relocated over the years but they would try to spend major holidays together. I still have the image of my mother as a young woman in my mind which brings me back to my childhood which was a special time and I sometimes wish we had that special time back. It seems sad knowing all the challenges my mother faced with her illness. She was very strong and very courageous throughout her life and she was a wonderful wife and mother. I definitely feel the void and know that we are given life which is wonderful but we also must face the reality that we all will experience death of our loved ones and one day our own death. It seems a bit overwhelming at times and we just have to put it out of our minds. We have to be strong to live our life the best we can and be there always for our children.
I know that my mom and dad are celebrating this special day together in heaven and they are so happy. They both were very special and I feel lucky to have had them in my life for as long as I did. It was a difficult day when we lost mom but we realized she is in a better place and free of the pain and suffering she endured. Dad lived for 20 additional years following her passing but he missed her so very much and always wanted to be with her. We were fortunate to have him in our life for as long as we did but we knew how he missed his wife and our mother.
The saddest thing about losing mom 20 years ago was Dad lost his true love and she never got to meet our son or my 2 sister’s children with the exception of my middle sister’s first born. He was 2 years old when we lost her. She was so proud being a grandmother and she loved her grandson. Both my parents took great joy in being grand parents together and it was unfortunate that mom got sick. We just never know and that is why it is so important to live our life to the fullest and try to do all the things in life we hope to do.
As each year passes I still feel the loss but I become a year older and a year wiser and I focus on my family. I always say a prayer for my mother on her birthday and I tell her how much I love her and dad and that I still hold on to the special memories and I miss them both.
My mom died at 50 years old and as I approach that milestone in my life it really makes you think about the unpredictability and uncertainty of life. My dad faced life after mom with courage and was very loyal and devoted and he managed to spend time with all his grandchildren through the years and we were very proud of him and knew that mom and dad were both very special.
Happy Birthday Mom! We love you and Dad very much and wish you both peace and happiness together and we thank you both for all you have done for us. Love,
Edward D. Iannielli III