MONTH #2: DAY # 31:

A whole month has gone by now and we must stay strong, for sure, One-Day-At-A-Time…I will not feel safe again until the new Vaccine is implanted in my arm…it will be the best needle I ever got ! so until that day comes….we must stay “vigilant” no matter what we hear from our government leaders and all other “politicians”……not until that needle hits my arm will I take a deep breath and slowly but surely get on with the living story of my life !

Wars…Hurricane’s…Tornado’s…Floods…Sunami’s…and yes virus’s that kill thousands and thousands of people all around the globe…..

I may have not experienced all of these catastrophe’s first hand but I have seen them all “up close” and have seen what they can do to us humans. seen them all?… up close?……… Yes ! is my answer. I will now explain what I mean by “seen them all.”

….I was 8 years old when my dad purchased a fairly new invention called Television. To this 8 year old, that 10 inch black and white Dumont mahogany console TV became my “window to the world”….what a miracle it was, I thought. I have been “hooked” on it to this day. (and hooked on the Sunday trips to the beautiful palace’s that were our childhood Movie Theaters too)! So, yes, over the next 69 years, me and so many of you remember when your parents got their first TV too, your own “window to the world”. Now we can add computers, cell phones and watches to the TV screen. These inventions boggle my mind! to our grand kids it’s just “normal every day life”….so what’s all the fuss grandpa?, they say!

……So now with this Evil Demon called The Corona Virus, I shout at the top of my lungs “YOU WILL NOT BREAK MY SPIRIT”! (I highly recommend the book I read as a teenager written by John Gunther called: “Death Be Not Proud”, this book was so well written that it made me stare death in the face and tell it “you must be so proud that you always win the battle every time, you SOB)!…..even the death of a loved one cannot break our spirit if we stay strong and don’t allow it to happen.

My dear wife’s sister Julia, who died of Cancer at the age of 39 just one year after my dad died at 61 (she left her husband and 4 little kids to come to my dad’s wake, driving 60 miles from Long Island to comfort me in my sadness)….. gave me the greatest gift I ever received…. She taught me how to die with dignity and love as she, on the day she died, asked me to read her prayer book to her…. that was the most powerful 1 hour of my life as I stood before this beautiful soul of a woman who had no bitterness and no hatred in her heart…even though she was leaving a wonderful life ahead of her with her loving husband, and 4 young loving kids who would be robbed of her upbringing. Instead she was at “peace” and was able to feel comfort as I read her beautiful prayers while she just had a few hours more to live…. through the tears and my halting voice, I made it through the hour getting stronger and stronger as I went along. I felt that she was giving me her strength and love for life that she wouldn’t have anymore…I kissed her goodbye and felt so strong as I left her room that I was practically floating instead of just walking….. overcoming the “fear of death” was the greatest gift I ever received. I thank Julia for the gift she gave to me that day, forever.

…As my dear friend Roy Campanella, the 3 time MVP, Brooklyn Dodger, and Hall of Fame catcher(more about him in a future story) would say after he became paralyzed from the neck down in the winter of 1957-58 just before the Dodgers would move to Los Angeles in his book (and movie), “It’s Good to Be Alive”. Imagine a person whose job was to use his body to perform before thousands of people….could no longer use his body….he was robbed of the joy of continuing his Hall of Fame career in Los Angeles and robbed of the use of his body for the rest of his life… never said “why me”?…..never felt bitterness or deep depression, never asked for pity…… all he could say with his happy smile was: “It’s good to be alive”……so with great “role models” like Julia and Roy in my life, no catastrophe, no dreaded killer virus will ever “break my spirit”!…..our spirit is what makes us who we are… our spirit is our soul……and no one or no catastrophe will ever take our spirit away from us !..

So my dear friends, on this Easter Sunday, let us all figuratively hug our SPIRIT and honor our SPIRIT with all our hearts….as it’s our SPIRIT that will live on in the hearts and souls of those we leave behind when we die…… as Julia’s and Roy’s spirit lives on in me until it’s my time to hug them again and thank them again for their gift to me,…. in heaven………

Read the next post Taking Stock Day 32.