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Posts Tagged ‘A Year Ago Today’

Looking Back at March

In Family, Inspiration and Motivation, Pursuit of Happiness on April 1, 2010 at 10:08 am

Each month, I do a recap to measure my progress while keeping myself accountable to my goals.

Here is my look back at March…

THE PURSUIT OF HEALTH

I wish that this was an “April Fool’s” joke, but unfortunately, it isn’t.  The pursuit of health went way off course this month for a variety of reasons.

As the month began, I was in Las Vegas attending a convention.  Over the course of three days, I probably walked as much as I would have if I had been at home.  It’s just that the walking took place in a huge convention center instead of the streets and walking trails near my home.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that conventions are not the best place to eat properly, and this convention in particular, made it virtually impossible.

Once I got home, there was a lot of follow-up work to be done.  And on top of that, my son started having football practice during the time when I would normally go for a walk.  While practice isn’t every day, it was enough to stop me from getting back into my usual routine.  Busy days and evening practices left very little time to do the walking that I intended to do.  Getting off of my routine was bad enough, but then I had to deal with some personal issues that also took my mind away from making the time to take my daily walks.

While it was a difficult month, I realize that I could have made the time to exercise, but I didn’t do it nearly as much as I should have.  It would be easy to blame my failure this month on extenuating circumstances, but the reality is that I didn’t do what I needed to do.  All I can do now is look towards the future.

This month, I will be starting a more rigorous exercise program designed by a friend.  The program will eventually be released as a DVD for others to use.  I will be sharing my progress in future posts once I get started.

THE PURSUIT OF WEALTH

Although March was not a good month for my pursuit of health, I made progress in my pursuit of wealth.  Two of the projects that I am working on took some steps in the right direction.  It’s all part of the process of laying the foundation for the future.  While my impatience tends to get the best of me at times, I realize that doing things the “right way” now is more important than taking shortcuts to reach my destination more quickly.

I’m looking forward to sharing more details about one of the projects sometime in April.

THE PURSUIT OF “HAPPYNESS”

As is usually the case, this month had good days and bad days.  I knew heading into the month that it was going to be difficult (see posts entitled “A Year Ago Today”, “Dear Dad” and “Too Hard to Let Go” to understand why).  In addition, there were some other unexpected issues to deal with.

While March had its share of trying moments, there were good times as well.  The trip to Las Vegas was good on a business level, but the highlight of the trip was reuniting with a cousin that I hadn’t seen in a long time (see post entitled “24 Years” for details).

It is said that “when one door closes…another one opens.” The unexpected issues that I had to deal with have shown me that the saying holds true.  I am very grateful for the silver lining that came with the dark clouds.

On the positive side, I am thrilled with my son’s football team.  It is a great group of kids, coaches and parents.  For the first time since he started playing organized sports, I feel that he is finally experiencing the joy that I did while playing little league baseball as a kid.

Of course, in spite of any bad days that I may have had, there was always something to be happy about.  I’m thankful that laughter fills our home at least once a day.  Although I always knew this, sometimes the bad days give me an extra reminder of how great my life is with my wife and kids.

CONCLUSION

It seems a bit silly that flipping the calendar is really a chance to start anew, but I do feel that way today.  Overall, March was a difficult month and I’m glad that April is here.  I’m ready to move forward and build on the positive things that happened in March.

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A Year Ago Today…

In Family on March 3, 2010 at 8:08 am

I was driving around taking pictures of homes for a company that I was doing freelance work for.  My phone rang as I was driving.  It was my brother calling, which seemed a bit surprising since he is usually too busy during the day to speak.  Before long, I heard the words that I always knew could come at any time, but held out hope that the day would be in the future…“Grandma died.” After finding out what happened, I pulled over to the side of the road in shock.  The sadness that I felt at the moment was nothing compared to the sadness that I would feel later on in the day.

Driving home after receiving news like that was extremely difficult as the tears made it hard to see the road clearly.  When I got home, my wife had already heard the news.  She did her best to console me as I told her that I didn’t know how I was going to tell my 6-yr old son what had happened.  There is no parent manual to prepare you for moments like this.

I asked my wife to pick him up from school at the normal time.  He walked through the door and excitedly shouted “Hi Daddy!” (as always).  Seeing the sadness on my face, I sat him down and told him that I had some bad news to tell him…“Bubby died today.” He shrieked in a way that I had never heard before, and will never forget.  As we hugged and cried together over the loss, I did my best to explain to him what had happened.  And though he understood what death meant because of the stories that I’ve shared with him about my father (who passed away before my son was born), this was the first time that he had to deal with death directly.  The only real solace came from the fact that she lived a long, happy life of 96 years.

My grandmother was the glue that held the extended family together.  She was well-known and loved by the people in the building that she lived in for many years, as well as the community at large.  It is rare to find a person that is so beloved that no one has a negative word to say about them.  But that was my grandmother.

Though I no longer live in New York, I can’t imagine driving past the apartment that she lived in when I visit Manhattan again.  It just wouldn’t feel right.  After all, her apartment was the place where the family gatherings were held, even after the grandchildren had gotten married and had children of their own.  Most of us tend to think that family gatherings need to be held in the biggest place possible.  But somehow, we found a way to squeeze seventeen adults and seven kids into her apartment come holiday time.  It was all that any of us ever knew.

I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to celebrate the holidays anyplace else, and more importantly, without my grandmother being there.  Because of the timing of my move, I still don’t know what it feels like to celebrate with the family someplace else.  Even though I wasn’t there personally, I have to imagine that it felt very strange, with my grandmother’s absence creating a tremendous void.

There is something about losing someone close to you that has a way of making it seem as though it just happened.  Though the pain fades with time, the emptiness never goes away.  Certain events and dates can trigger the pain of loss to come rushing back.  For me, the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing has done just that, but it’s certainly not the only thing.

My little one still has no idea what happened.  She likes to look at a picture of Bubby wearing a crown at what turned out to be her final birthday celebration.  She talks about Bubby’s birthday, the crown and the cake with so much enthusiasm.  Inevitably, she’ll ask when we are going to visit Bubby.  I do my best to answer, but usually try and change the subject because she cannot grasp the reality of the situation.  The blissful ignorance of a young child is something that I am envious of at times.

If I were in still in New York, I would visit Bubby today, but not in the way that my daughter envisions.  Unfortunately, I cannot visit her on the anniversary of her passing, but I’ll be there in spirit.  When we come back to New York, one of my first stops will be to visit my grandmother and my father.  I’ll bring the kids so that they can pay their respects, even if it means having my little one laughing and playing near their graves, which would undoubtedly bring them both more joy than having any of us standing there in despair.

So much has happened in my life over the past year, but somehow, one year later, my grandmother’s passing feels like it just happened yesterday.

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