Archive for September, 2011

Becoming a ‘Nana!’

Friday, September 30th, 2011

I haven’t had a chance to write for my blog in a few weeks, and for a really good reason: My oldest daughter, Jennifer, gave birth on September 13th to my first grandchild!  This adventure began over 8 months ago when my daughter told me she was pregnant.  This was joyous news and we waited until that first sonogram when for the first time we saw her, most people would say it was just a dot but for us there she was our baby/grandbaby.  It was just past the first trimester when the doctor confirmed that is was a girl and so my daughter Jennifer and her husband Austin began as most parents do trying to decide on a name.  Well they settled on Lily Grace and from that point on we called her by her name.  I would rub my daughter’s stomach and talk to my grandbaby Lily Grace.

Over the next months many of my friends tried to tell me how different it is becoming a Nana (Grandma), I would smile and nod but I didn’t quite grasp what would be in store for me.

My daughter went into labor a week past her due date, and eventually had to have a C-section. What happened next was quite alarming: The nurses emerged from the delivery room with a bassinet containing Lily Grace and they were rushing her to the NICU.  She was having trouble breathing.  I got to see her that evening with her husband, and there she was absolutely beautiful all 8lbs 4 oz of her anyet I was so worried because of all the equipment she was hooked up to.

I assured both Austin and my daughter that everything would

Me holding my first grandchild, Lily Grace!

be fine.  In fact my daughter was still in recovery and hadn’t seen Lily since the delivery room.  That night when I left the hospital at 3:00 AM it was with joy but also worried and so storming heaven with prayer seem like the nedext best step.

The next day I was back at the hospital and now they said my daughter Jennifer could be brought up to the NICU to see and hold Lily Grace for the first time.  I had to watch through the glass as I watched my daughter Jennifer hold Lily Grace for the first time.  Tears of joy streamed down my face as I watched my first born hold her first born for the very first time.  The the next day I was  permitted to hold Lily Grace in the NICU for the very first time.  All my friends were right, being a Nana is something you just can’t quite describe but it is a joy that you just can’t put into words.

Lily Grace is home now doing quite well sleeping about 3 hours in between feedings.  But every time I hold her it is a little slice of heaven and yes, I love being a “Nana!”

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Where Have All The Flags Gone

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Sept. 11, 2001 I remember like it was yesterday. It was a bright sunny morning, the sky was azure blue and a soft breeze was gently blowing. I was in the conference room at our office on Staten Island. Suddenly word came that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My thought first thought was impossible since it was such a clear day. The news was soon confirmed and reality set in as I saw the thick black smoke rising from the direction of the Manhattan skyline. The hours that followed were of sheer terror as I waited to find out the fate of the friends that I knew worked there. I was lucky they all made it out alive. But like most New Yorkers I knew several people that lost loved ones that day.
What followed in New York and around the country in the following days and weeks was a show of pride in America, real patriotism emerged. You saw flags outside of practically every home, business and building. People were wearing flag pins, flags were seen on people’s cars, children’s bikes, yes there were flags everywhere. Houses of Worship were jammed packed with people looking for comfort from The Divine. People were talking to total strangers asking how they were, if they needed anything. There was a strong sense of community here and a feeling of we would all get through this but we needed each other.
I volunteered over the next few weeks at a staging area for the many volunteers that were working to find survivors but later became a recovery mission. I will never forget the look on their faces. I also became aware that there were many people that were injured that day in the towers that were in hospitals all around the New York area. One such person was a young single Mom named Marcel. Marcel suffered burns over 75 percent of her body and her family found her in a burn unit in a hospital in New Jersey a week after the towers collapsed. Marcel lived through about a dozen surgeries only to succumb to her injuries 11 months later.
As we pause and reflect today we will hear the names read of those that dies that day in the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and Shanksville, let’s not forget to pause and remember the many Marcel’s that died also. Their names will not be read nor will they appear on the many monuments that are being unveiled today. But they too were victims of this attack on our nation.
Here in New York there is always a constant reminder of that day by virtue of the fact that there is an emptiness in the New York skyline. As a New Yorker that grew up watching the Trade Center being built, I like many others get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I look at the Manhattan skyline.
Let’s also reflect on the fact that the show of patriotism vanished within weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. The flags disappeared only to be unfurled each year on the 9/11 anniversary. We must ask why? And let’s not forget the Houses of Worship, those jammed packed pews soon went back to their usual attendance. As we pause and reflect today let’s try and recapture those feelings that we had felt so strong in the days following this attack. Let’s try and keep that feeling of patriotism, need to connect with our neighbors and the need to turn to our faith as an everyday occurrence.

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