DAY #30:
….. so on the ride home from the hospital, after I told him that I was going to marry that nurse,my friend Frankie Libero called me “nuts” and we had a good laugh…however I was hooked by her looks and the confidence she had while working in the Emergency Room, like she owned it !

…so a few days later I went back to the hospital to take out the stitches… when I was all done, I “chickened out” and left the hospital…but my mind wouldn’t shut off as I was telling myself that I was between girlfriends, haven’t found anyone that I clicked with or clicked with me. As I said this I reached the top of the hill and i “stopped” walking and remember seeing City Hall to my left and my Neighborhood to my right. and not knowing it at the time, I said to myself, my all-time classic line from a movie that hadn’t even been made yet. The Tom Cruise movie “Risky Business”, this classic line was said by Tom Cruise’s friend who wanted Tom to use his “parent’s gone on vacation” home into a Brothel…. Tom was scared to death (never had sex before), so his friend looked at him and said,”sometimes you just have to say ‘WHAT THE F–K”! and on a much cleaner note my professors at Columbia were teaching me that to be a truly master social work therapist you must take RISKS !…you must walk the “tightrope” between playing it safe and being reckless! …..they preached that Life was Lived and became exciting when you lived it in the “Grey Areas”… that they meant that it’s very EASY to live with “Right or Wrong”, “Black or White”, or “Good or Evil”…everyone feels SAFE in those areas of beliefs…. it’s in the “uncertainties” and “complexities” and “doubts” that real life is lived. so we must do our best work as therapists by working with our clients by truly listening to them with our minds in a “blank state” so we can focus completely on what they were saying, how they were saying it, their “non-verbal” communication, not judging what they were saying to us, and then and only then can we do our “best” work for them. we must help them to be “specific” in what they are telling us, just like we would look in a telescope and fine tune what we are looking at…and at the same time we must help them to pull back and look at the “big picture”…. take a global view to put their feelings in perspective…… wow ! how the heck did I get carried away with the great teachings of my professors…so sorry about that…back to Maria (but when you have time, please read carefully what I just wrote… these teachings of my professors are so relevant to living a wonderful life).

… after I decided to take my “risk”… I turned around (I remember this as if it happened yesterday) and walked back down the hill to meet my future wife….. the wonderful thing that happened next completely relaxed me….. my future wife’s boss saw me and hit my wife’s shoulder and said, with a big smile on her face, “he came back”! and I saw Maria’s startled look on her face…. so at that moment I saw she was more scared then I was…. “so she must really like me”, I said to myself…. the rest was easy for me, I asked her to meet me when she got off work and I would take her to Chinatown for dinner…… so that’s how we met and at dinner, the short story of her life history just won me over completely…… I really fell 100% in love with this remarkable woman. I could write a book on her “life story”. but I will just give you the highlights so you can get a snapshot of who she is. Born in 1936 she was a little girl when Hitler took over her country… She was the first born of 4 kids, her brother Andy was born in 1938 and her sister Julia was born in 1944, Maria still has nightmares of her horrible memories of the war. She came to this country in 1960 at the age of 24,with her 16 year old sister.her father made it to America and he was dying of Cancer so Maria and her sister Julia got permission from their mother to “Go to America”, Maria knew her father before the war but Julia had never met him as he was taken to a Work Camp by the Germans in WWII….and Maria and her mom were taken to Germany to work on a German farm and Maria was sent to live with a family, who locked her in a room while her mother was gone all day long. After the war, she went back to Poland and went to high school and then became an accountant, she left that job to get a higher education, so she went to nursing school in Poznan’ about 100 miles from her family….she lived in a dormitory, and graduated as an R.N, but when she came to the USA she had to work as a nurses aide until she took the state boards to become a R.N. in America… she loved this country with a passion….was a goal oriented woman, she wasn’t afraid of hard work, and I could go on and on and on….but I think you get the picture…..all of that and she was beautiful to boot, both inside and out…….. so now you know how and why I met and married my wife just 1 1/2 years later on October 11, 1969. the first game of the World Series (Sat.) between the NY Mets and the Baltimore Orioles…… the Mets lost the game but won the series and I “won” my wife of 50 years !

Tomorrow I will give you a much needed pep-talk as I become “Philosopher and Buddha” … we all need a boost on DAY #31! hope you have a Happy Easter… It should definitely be happy because we are “STILL ALIVE”……AMEN.

Read the next post Taking Stock Day 31.