A New Year, A New Outlook

It seems like yesterday that we were at 1999 and everyone was preparing for the technology apocalypse! Back everything up, make discs to have all your information ready to start over because it was all going to crash🥴🤔. And New Year came and nothing happened!! That in itself should have been our awakening to what the media can control. Doomsday was coming according to them and everyone bought into it, and yet nothing, absolutely nothing went wrong. After twenty years and I am sure for another twenty years, the media will spin everything they can to sway people to their beliefs. I miss the days when honest news people simply covered and presented the facts and let people make their own educated decisions. I have pretty much stopped watching the news as it is so negative. I will do my own due diligence to find out information from various sources that I feel present facts and not biased opinions, and then decide for myself.

Okay, I got that off my chest, so now on to my topic! Not really sure where that came from, but I just started writing and that’s where my thoughts went🤪

My new year started with a very calm beginning of confidence and positive outlooks. If you believe in astrology, this year, being 2020, is supposed to be an awesome year for letting go of the negatives in your life and moving forward. I am so ready for that to happen. Don’t get me wrong in the sense that it will magically appear, each one of us are in control of ourselves and how we perceive things, act upon them and create our own direction. I, for one, am already seeing, feeling and accepting a new attitude towards life, family, friends and my future. There is a tremendous gratitude in my heart and soul for all that I have, all that I feel and all of my intentions. I choose to see all the good in things and people. My level of kindness and acceptance towards people has gotten to a new level. I no longer take offense to not hearing from family and friends. I have come to realize that everyone has there own agenda and maybe I’m just not a part of it right now. And that’s okay. Not judging why or trying to figure out why it is that way is truly freeing. I have found that I, too, have often times neglected keeping in touch with people. Not intentionally, but so many times, life just gets in the way and before we know it, another month has passed. We know those people are in our thoughts and prayers. It is my hope that when the timing is right, a reconnection will happen. After all, I am a strong believer that people enter our lives for a definitive purpose for however long they are meant to be there. God knows what is best for us and it has taken me a long time to realize that it’s not always my fault when someone leaves our routine. Which brings me back to the point of being grateful for whatever time we have had with certain people. This faith has truly calmed my inner mind so that I feel much more balanced and in tune with the universe. Positive, positive, positive. There is far more good in the world than bad, unfortunately all we hear about is the bad. Be that person that shines your light onto someone else. It is a euphoric feeling and I’m loving it❤️

The kindness of others

Yesterday was a good day. Plans of meeting for lunch with one of Frankie’s high school friends, which by the way, has become one of my friends now finally happened. We met at the First Watch in Cuyahoga Falls where Danny and I would take take Frank for our weekly outing. It has been a year since we had taken Frankie there and it was a little bitter sweet, but three of the ladies that always waited on us recognized me and greeted me with hugs and so much kindness, I was tears eyed. One of them sat down and reminisced about how much they loved having Frankie there. They so much enjoyed his flirty nature with them! He would wink and smile big at each of them. Those are the moments we treasure when we realize that even in a minimized capacity, someone can touch another persons heart. So, in return, these beautiful ladies returned the favor to me by touching my heart, letting me know that Frankie had earned a place in each of their hearts and will forever live there never really knowing one another, but simply being kind acquaintances! What a wonderful world❤️

The light still shines….

Today marks the 18th anniversary of a time when pain, horror, disbelief and overwhelming sadness gripped our nation and the world. It is very difficult for me to look at the pictures and recall as if it were yesterday the unbelievable events that happened that day without tears and a heavy feeling in my heart. Yet, I can’t help remembering the pride and the unselfish acts of so many people that never hesitated to come to the rescue of people in trouble. Just as each of us have to deal with the loss of loved ones throughout our lives, the vast number of lives touched by that tragedy is staggering. Those memories are as vivid as if they were yesterday. Where has the compassion everyone felt in the aftermath of that sad day gone?! It didn’t matter what color skin anyone had, we, as a nation came together to comfort and support one another. It reminds me of history after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the country had people from all walks of life come together to do whatever needed to be done to help their fellow neighbor and the country as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, I know it wasn’t always idealistic, there was still hate and prejudice, but the majority saw past that and let there light shine to show the way for others. We need more of that light shining once again in this world, just as the beacons of light shine from ground zero. God gives us the ability of free will to make choices, He doesn’t “allow things to happen”, He gives us the opportunity to make decisions on our own. What we do with that ability defines who we are. It is the simple acts of kindness and the gentle smile that you give someone that make the world a better place and shows your light to help guide others. I’m not really sure why we need tragedy to bring out the best in people, but I know that everyone has the ability to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how simple the act. I do my best not to judge anyone as I am not living their life and have no idea what hardships they face. But, I do know that we all need each other to support and encourage one another during this journey of life. I welcome all those angels that were taken that day to help us all be better people. But by the grace of God, we are still here to do the right things. We are all very different, yet each one of us has a light to shine to help guide someone along the way. Find the joy in every day and share it, we all need to see the beauty of living ❤️

Band of Brothers

These pictures are just a sampling of Frankie’s fraternity brothers that gather for golf and perhaps some other shenanigans!! The second summer we were together, he was excited to invite me to join him for a four day excursion to Pinehurst, NC for golf and great company with his fraternity brothers. It sounded wonderful and I was really looking forward to the trip. However, two weeks before we were to leave, he informed me that none of the other guys were taking their wives or sweethearts!! I understood of course, but was disappointed!! So off Frankster went to enjoy the company of fellow brothers. He said he had a great time but missed me! So a few months passed and we were with some of his friends and their wives, and it was brought up that they were surprised I wasn’t in Pinehurst with Frankie. To which I replied that I was told, the gals weren’t included 🤪. Hah, they said, more than half the guys brought their wives and everyone had so much fun! Well, let me tell you that we had quite a discussion about that fabrication Frankie came up with before the trip. Turns out, three of the guys going from the Cleveland area needed a fourth guy to share expenses with and they convinced him that he needed to do this trip with “just the boys”!! Needless to say, I went the next year and for many years after that! One of Frankie’s fraternity brothers owned a fabulous Inn right in downtown Pinehurst and it was the epitome of southern hospitality. Huge front porch with ceiling fans and a great bar providing all the great libations you could want. Those trips were the catalyst to me acquiring some pretty awesome friendships with the brothers and their wives. Friendships that I still cherish today, and got to enjoy some great golf courses along the way!❤️😊

Finding the positive

this beautiful picture is compliments of one of my high school classmates, Roger Seidule. To me it is absolutely breathtaking exemplifying the articulate artwork of our Creator. How you can not find the positive power of such a creature and the wonder of all its glory amidst the garden of color is beyond me. These are the things that keep life in perspective for me. And it was something that Frankie took great joy in seeing and watching intently. He would get so excited watching the birds come around our patio. We weren’t supposed to put any bird seed out because the condo association said it would attract animals 😂😂. Yeah, something about that statement made us laugh!! Of course there would always be those darn squirrels that would attempt to eat the suet, so I guess they were right!! But then again, I was that kind of person that loved to buck the rules🥴😳. It didn’t help that I would put the peanuts out for the squirrels to grab. Then the little birds would come and try and carry the peanuts away, which was comical in itself!! Until the blue jays came swooping in to take it away from the little guys! There is always a bully somewhere around🤪

Being a health and physical education professor, Frankster would take a walk every day and go swim at the rec center. He knew the value of physical activity and needed to do that to help keep his diabetes in check. Of course, it was his theory that if he did that every day, it would allow him the enjoyment of having his sweets whenever he wanted!!! That was his positive spin on that subject. Being the stubborn, old school Sicilian that he was, the Frankmeister always had a strong opinion about someone or something. Me, being the glass is always half full kind of gal, would always contradict his negative opinions with things that he just didn’t even consider! It made for some interesting conversations and the longer we were together, I saw that he would tend to find more positive things in people and situations.

So just remember that positive thoughts and actions and words do make a difference. Not only in your own self being, but it creates a domino effect in the universe. That smile you share with someone, that kind word you utter, that tender touch could make a huge difference in someone’s day. Besides, it gets pretty tiring being a curmudgeon all the time, choose to be happy, no matter how tough things may be.

Every day may not be a good day, but there is always something good in everyday❤️❤️❤️

Twenty years

This month marks twenty years that I have been a part of the Giganti family and Frankie a part of mine. We did not raise children together but we certainly experienced together many of life’s high and lows as a couple. We watched five of the six kids (our blended family) get married, had the joys of nine grandchildren being born and each of us buried a parent. Frank watched his two brothers pass away and countless friends during our journey. So very grateful to have had a partner to share life’s highlights with.

We had our share of trials and tribulations that saw us both at our best and times that weren’t. But then again, that’s what life is all about, right? Ups and downs and over and outs!!🥴. Watching family and friends go through hardships and easy sailing and never knowing where that road will lead any of us. Having the faith to trust that we were where we were supposed to be, allows us to learn and file into our hearts the memories and experiences that shape who we are. I can’t even begin to imagine my life had Frankie and I not met. The countless friendships I have been granted through him are priceless to me, let alone his family!

Yeppers, we taught each other a lot! However, I would venture to say that I was the one that learned the most as Frankie always said he was always right😁😂😳. Of course he had his hands full with me because I was just a white woman who didn’t understand Italians!!!! And, I was younger than him, so I was spunkier!!

So anyhow Frankster, happy anniversary ❤️

I miss you stealing black eyed Susan’s from peoples yards😂😂😂

Just another wedding

Just two wild and crazy guys enjoying the beautiful day it turned out to be in October of 2003. Frankster with my Dad at Weigands picnic grounds celebrating my son, Henry, on his wedding day. The day started out very early as they took the stage on the lookout at Brandywine Falls at sunrise! Just as the ceremony was ending, a park ranger showed up and demanded to see the fathers of the couple!!😳. He wanted to discuss a minor incident of someone picking the lock allowing people access to a closed area! You see, the park doesn’t allow weddings at the falls in October! It might have been one of those times we forgot to obey the rules🥴. The limo driver just happened to be adept at picking locks😂😂. The ranger was a good egg though, he waited until they were done before he threatened to arrest anyone, which he did not by the way🙏. But he had to play the role of bad cop to make a point and really was a great guy🥰

So off we went to take pictures at the Brecksville reservation, then on to Weigands for a day of fun and frolic! Being October, and two weeks before Halloween, we made a bride and groom couple sitting on a bench with pumpkin heads!! The venue was just like an old trip to Euclid beach, old clapboard buildings to get your food and ice cream treats and candy and play games. The weather was sensational and we enjoyed the fabulous music of a bluegrass band.

Frankie was great keeping an eye on my Dad as they sat and enjoyed watching all the girls go by🤣😁. Some things never change ☺️.

The first of the weddings….

The big event, the first of the kids to get married, took place in July of 2000. Frankie’s oldest son, Mario, married Kim. It was a fantastic wedding and everyone sure seemed like they had a great time. The dance floor was never empty, and you rarely saw anyone without a drink in their hand. The whole ordeal of the wedding was also my first interaction with much of Frankie’s family. With the bridal showers and such, I was on the hot seat to remember everyone’s name!🥴. Of course once I understood the nature of Italian families, it helped somewhat because each families first born was named after the grandfather. Here, let me introduce you to my cousins: Mario, Mario and Mario!! Frankie had many cousins named Frank, so they always had nick names to go by, such as Butchie, Fugie, chick and probably some Italian names I don’t even know!!! Being from a small family of German and Scottish heritage, this massive congregation of Sicilian people seemed to go on and on. It truly took me a lot of years to remember who everyone was and which side of the family they belonged to. I just always apologized to most of them for not remembering their names and blamed it on being what Frankster always called me “just a white woman” who couldn’t cook !!! He was never a big fan of my basic meat, potatoes and veggies kind of dinner!! He would always ask where the pasta was😂🥴🤪!!

Watch your step…..

This is how Frankie and Scott (my daughter’s best friend’s Dad) threatened to greet the boys that wanted to date the girls!!🤪. Liz and Becky were both varsity soccer players at the high school, so Frank and Scott were always teasing the girls about being chaperones on their dates!! Of course, in their eyes, no one was good enough for the girls! We had a lot of fun getting to know all their friends throughout high school and watching them compete on the field. When they graduated and moved on to college, we both felt like we were going through withdrawal symptoms not having games and school functions to attend!! Guess that’s all part of letting go of your kids as they grow and become adults themselves. But having great memories is priceless and watching Frankie be a Dad (stepdad) to a daughter he never had was even more intriguing because he was so old school about things! That was not a bad thing. He helped bring to light some very basic rules and sparked some lively conversations! The Frankster always had an opinion to give😁🥴

Facing our hurdles

There must have been some real nerves touched with my last blog. I’m sure it wasn’t what any of you were expecting me to reveal and it is the first time in two years that I have been writing this blog that there were hardly any comments at all. That said a lot to me about how uncomfortable the topic was and perhaps finding out some very personal things was just as uncomfortable. However, that is life and it can be filled with many trials and tribulations that most people won’t share. Talking about or sharing information about things that many people feel is taboo is part of being able to dissect it yourself and hopefully come to a better understanding of the situation leading to a type of healing. Plus, the simplicity of knowing there are so many other people out there experiencing similar hardships somehow give us strength to face those trials. We may never get the answers we are looking or hoping for, but just knowing there is support helps guide us along. I have learned over the course of my life that admitting your weaknesses and being willing to seek help and support is actually a great strength. That took a long time to learn because we tend to never want to let on that we can’t be Superman or superwoman!! I can do this all on my own!!! That is such a crock of bologna. We all need each other and in my case, the daily reminder of prayer asking for strength and guidance. Mistakes and missteps are part of being human. Not letting those times define who you are is challenging. It took a lot of courage for Frank to finally confide in me that he couldn’t handle some aspects of his life and needed help. We shared our weaknesses with each other and promised we would be there to help the other one be strong. Although, I will admit that the old school beliefs of a proud Sicilian made it seem that I did more of the supporting and compromising in our relationship. But over time, I realized that he was doing the best he could, that there were factors involved that didn’t come to light until hindsight showed me the light!!

I share these thoughts with you to exemplify that we truly don’t know what can be happening in someone else’s life, that it’s important to be understanding and compassionate and above all, non judgmental. I have been guilty myself of forming opinions of someone or a situation when, in fact, I didn’t have a clue about what was real. Upon maturing,🥴🤣, it comes to me that I have absolutely no business judging anyone else, as I sure wouldn’t want them judging me!😳☺️

Have a blessed day and remember, smiles are contagious 😁😊