Pearls of Wisdom – Starting the Dialogue with your Aging Parents: Subject Gratitude

The Beauty of Old Age

The Beauty of Old Age (Photo credit: VinothChandar)

Starting the Dialogue with your Aging Parents: Subject Gratitude.

Anyone with aging parents or other family members will get a great deal of support information from the Starting the Dialogue Blog (hey that rhymes).  Anyway, the point is – keeping people positive and grateful is important regardless of age, but age has its ways of trying to squelch the positive and replace it with an aching back, wrinkled skin and sore hips.

I highly recommend this advice as I found it challenging to keep my parents from getting depressed and pessimistic when they were not well recently.  And the affect it had on me was that I too, was getting pretty negative, critical, anxious and depressed.   But positive energy and attitude can conquer all, that’s my firm belief.  Not always EASY, but definitely worth the effort.

Thanks Laura!

I Coulda Beena Contenda- but She Actually is One

 

Trinity University (Texas) women's basketball ...

Trinity University (Texas) women’s basketball team, 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My daughter stayed home sick yesterday with a cough and scratchy throat. She is pretty tough as sixth grade girls go, so when she does complain that she’s not well I take it seriously. My husband, upon getting home from work, suggested that Julia get ready for basketball practice that evening. I began to protest, saying that she felt better but questioning his judgment.

They are going over plays for the tournament this weekend. Even if she doesn’t play, she should be there to listen, he said. When I crinkled my nose, his response, though not shocking, got me to really thinking.

“She’s an athlete,” he said. “She’s a competitor, and she wants to be there.”

My daughter is an athlete. It’s official. She is an amazing basketball player, really. Those who have seen my brags, or as my friend Leslie termed them, my ‘shares’ on Face Book already know how good I think she is. Her strength, endurance, and talent amaze me. A gifted athlete. She’s also a gifted singer, actress, leader and writer. Many things that, at one point or another in my life, I thought I’d choose to be. Recently she took one of those occupational IQ tests at school, and got matched with one of two careers – teacher or clinical psychologist. Just like me when I was in Junior High during the Stone Age.

The biggest difference between my daughter and me, aside from our height and hair color, is that instead of just daydreaming, she is doing it. She has so many doors opening to her, even at the young age of 12, that it’s mind-blowing. The times we live in provide young women with so many opportunities. More than they did 35 years ago when I was her age? Yes, surely. And way more than my mother had back in the 40’s.

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Life is What Happens…

John Lennon's quote in a Nepalese Bookstore, &...

John Lennon’s quote in a Nepalese Bookstore, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.” Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal (Photo credit: Wonderlane)

Wow, it’s been too too long. Happy week after Easter everyone. As I gear up and put the last edits on ‘A Girl From the Hill, I wanted to send a message out to anyone who is still tuning in – I haven’t forgotten you, so please don’t forget me!The book is in its final stages and will most likely go to publication in late May/early June if all goes well. I have found that the editing process takes forever, and I’m constantly finding things I did wrong and/or want to change. Between tonight and tomorrow I draw the line and just get this suckah out there. Editing OCD is not fun.  But I feel like I’m pushing a baby out of the birth canal, and trying to make every push and pant count.  This from a woman who has only given birth via C-Section.  Perhaps this is why it doesn’t come easily to me?

I have also been spending lot of time with my parents these past few weeks. My mother fell in February and dislocated her shoulder. Thankfully that was the extent of her injuries, except for a very bruised leg. She is amazingly strong and heals so well. It’s been hard for the Crow to clip her wings these past weeks, but she never gives up. I know where my daughter inherits her strength from.

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In Honor of Valentines and My Parents, a Love Story

I love you

I love you (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I know this is a little late for Valentine’s Day, but it is a love story nonetheless.My father, the Old Man, has been taken out of his home by stretcher twice and my mother, the Crow, has been taken out once in the last three weeks.  Thankfully they will be fine, but both have a long road of rehab and reality ahead of them, and they will fight it with all the emotional strength they can muster.  But a time will come when they run out of unreasonableness, and will accept the present, and its ever increasing limitations.

But they still have each other, and they still have us.  Being together and loving each other is what makes this bearable.

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Feeling Good about 2012

Generations 1 and 5 together on Christmas Eve

Generations 1 and 5 together and 3 in the background this Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy of another 3, Dawne O’Brien

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas, I sure did. I had a festive Christmas Eve full of fishes (4 of 7), family and fattening desserts. Squid salad, scallops wrapped in bacon, shrimp cocktail, my mother’s fried smelts and my sister Donna’s broccoli rabe. Decadent desserts that I simply gorged upon. And my family, who I am so proud of. We had five generations together laughing, eating, and being merry.

On Christmas Day we celebrated with the Mitchell/Naughton side of the family. I was a little more sleepy and stuffed than I should have been, but felt warm, comfy and cozy with my in-laws, who have welcomed me into their family and provide me with so much love and support, I can’t help but be thankful every day.

For what, you may ask? Well, there’s my husband, who keeps me from going crazy on a daily basis, and indulges me as I try to express myself through writing. My Julia, who is beginning her teen angst and attempting to drive me crazy on a daily basis. But she is strong, smart, beautiful, and rivals Andrea Boccelli at holding a note. It’s hard not to love on her too much now, as she tries to figure out who she is. Sometimes I can’t believe I helped make her. That we made her together. But she is both of us. The best of us both, really. And yes, she’s stubborn and emotional too, as she can’t have just our best qualities. She’ll have to learn how to balance her positive and negative energy, like we all do.

I feel blessed with so many friends, old and new. The old ones go back as far as Kindergarten, who know me good bad and ugly and still love me. The new ones from as recently as a few days ago, as I connect with writers and bloggers continually through pattytmitchell and other venues.

I know I am gushy now but I can’t apologize. This year has had its ups and downs, but I have learned from my downs, really. And I hope I’ve given something to others in return for all I have received.

The snow is falling gently here in Smithfield and I feel, at least for tonight, like I live in a snow shaker, the kind you buy in the Christmas department at Macy’s or some other big store. One that is so big and full of beautiful scenery, and iridescent crystals shimmering and floating around, with no particular destination. There are times when I have felt like those crystals, but not today. Today I am cozy and warm and reflecting on how fortunate I am, and just enjoying it.

I’ll be spending the next week going through the very thoughtful editing job that my friend Lisa made to “A Girl from the Hill.” I hope to have a final draft to the publisher before the end of this year, which is only a few days away.
Hope you all enjoy the rest of 2012, and I’ll be posting again on January 1, 2013. Till then, Peace and Love.

Uncle Joe – Guest Blogger Maree O’Brien

My mother Dahlia with her brother Joe Fiore, aka the Bull.

My mother Dahlia with her brother Joe Fiore, aka the Bull.

As a special treat today, I asked my sister Maree to guest blog. She wrote Uncle Joe about my mother’s oldest brother, often referred to by his nickname – the Bull. He kept all of the Fiore children in line and was not the kind of guy you’d want to try to fool or disobey. In contrast to his role as family disciplinarian, he was one of the sweetest, kindest men I’ve ever known. Being the youngest, I didn’t get to know him as well as Maree did, so I’m happy to share her memories here.

Uncle Joe

His face wore the tanned, leather-like appearance of one who spent many years out in the elements. Not unlike his father Giovanni Fiore, Joe, his eldest son, too, possessed the tinkling dark brown eyes and the broad grin of a kind and happy man.

Uncle Joe and I were kindred spirits. We both loved animals, horses in particular. Actually anything from toads to elephants earned our interest and affection, just by being.

Neither Uncle Joe’s wife Gilda, nor any others in my immediate family shared a love of beasts like Uncle Joe and me. He had a beautiful collie named Bonny, who lived outdoors all of her life. She did have a beautiful dog house as Aunt Gilda as always eager to point out, because “Animals didn’t belong in the house.”

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Families to be Thankful for

English: This is a 1910 postcard image of Prud...

English: This is a 1910 postcard image of Prudence Island, Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.italianamericanwriter.com/2012/11/22/my-italo-turkey-day-3/#comment-2665

I love this story written by Dr. Ed Iannuccilli.  It captures what it feels like to be an Italian American on Thanksgiving.  It most likely speaks to all of us who have relatives that came here in search of something better and are so very thankful for what they have received.

Today I am home with my daughter, she is sick, and my husband is making the annual trek to Prudence Island to be with his family.  My very caring parents-in-law offered to stay with Julia so I could go, but I can’t have a good time anywhere if I know she is home sweating out a fever.

I am thankful that I have two sets of family traditions- the Testa/Fiore’s and the Mitchell/Naughton’s.   Both sets of families are full of laughter and love, along with the usual ‘unfun’ and difficult times that we all face.  But I wouldn’t chose to be part of any different families.  I am home with both.

Jeremy please be sure to bring us back some turkey.  Mom, save me a little stuffing.

Love to All

PattyTM