Friday, April 15, 2011

It's a wonderful life

You may think this post is about Jimmy Stewart and the celebrated Capra movie, but you would be incorrect.  No-sir-ee-bob, this is about my life.

I am truly blessed.  My partner, Gal Friday, still loves me even after knowing me for almost 50 years.  She has lovingly adapted to my physical degeneration and accepted her new caregiver role with compassionate dignity.  Talking about dignity, she tries her best to help me keep mine - this is no small matter to a guy in a wheelchair and so dependent on others.  Breaching the abyss between an independent leader to a wheelchair-bound minion is a gigantic shock to anyone's psyche and Gal Friday has empathetically and considerately helped me bridge this gap.  I seriously doubt if anyone else on this earth could have or would have dealt with me as well as she.  It's a wonderful life.

My two daughters, Dani and Kristy, are beautiful girls, both internally and externally.  They too are loving and sympathetic regarding my inabilities and like my partner, constant supporters and boosters of my few lingering capabilities.  They have been my guiding light through some pretty dark periods and I truly believe I couldn't have chosen two better women as daughters.  It's a wonderful life.

My daughters have given me four super grandchildren - two boys by Dani and two girls by Kristy.  Like most grandfathers, I think they're top notch, but only because they are.  OK, give me a break here; I'm allowed a little editorial license.  The boys, Drew (almost age nine) and Josh (age seven), are two kids anyone would be proud to call theirs.  They're smart, good-looking, athletic, considerate, well-mannered and socially adept.  As leaders, both boys understand and value a high standard of ethics and morals and are responsible for their actions.  In my volunteer work with children I found these particular principles absent in youngsters way too often.  The boys are really a grandpa's source of pride.  It's a wonderful life.

My granddaughters, Maddie (age seven) and Elena (going on three), are smart, sweet, determined, gorgeous, and loving young lassies who shower me with their love every time we see each other.  What more can an old curmudgeon like me ask for?  It's a wonderful life.

Through the years I have acquired many "true" friends, both male and female.  You know how people say if you have one true friend, you're a lucky man?  Well I have many "true" friends - people who would do for me as I would for them.  And it's not just the doing part, but how about listening, understanding, caring, sharing, and, of course, loving.  It's a wonderful life.

I was the youngest in a family of seven.  My parents were great showering me with affectionate love and teaching me the rights and wrongs of life by words and actions.  My two brothers and two sisters, all gone now, were terrific role models.  I enjoyed the privilege of being reared in a loving environment of not only an immediate family, but an extended family too.  It's a wonderful life.

My hometown benefited from the finest days of its history while I grew up.  The decades of the Forties and Fifties provided full employment, which meant a happy and healthy environment for all its citizenry.  The village's people were happy, patriotic and clean-living for the most part.  It was a wonderful, safe place to be reared where friends and neighbors looked after you while you obtained a top education.  The church I attended also was welcoming and the minister a man I so respected.  He was another caring mentor who guided my youth.  Because of him, I became very involved in my church and even talked to our bishop about entering the seminary.  It's a wonderful life.

My career in sales and sales management, albeit shortened by disability, blossomed into opportunities for travel to foreign countries on many continents.  What an education this proved to be; seeing other cultures and ways of living.  It certainly broadened my concept of humanity and made me extremely conscious of the benefit of being born and raised in America.  It's a wonderful life.

Now comes a shocker to many.  I believe having to leave the workforce due to disability, although not fun or very comfortable, probably was a blessing in disguise.  This early departure from my career allowed me time for volunteer work with children, which I believe enriched my life as much as anything.  I have been fortunate to share experiences with so many young children through the years; experiences I hold dear and hope my influence was positive.  I know of some cases where I did make a difference and it thrills me.  The time for these volunteer hours would not have been available if I kept working and traveling, so again I see my many health issues as an opportunity, not really a disability.  It's a wonderful life.

My free from work time also allowed me to begin my second career -- writing.  I have been published in two magazines, keep up my blog and am now completing my third novel.  I love writing and wish I had started earlier.  Many family and friends urged me to write years ago, but I didn't listen or have the time.  Now I do.  It's a wonderful life.

To sum it's been a wonderful life.  It continues to be a wonderful life and here's the best part -- I know in my heart it's going to be even better in the future.


  1. Yes, you have, and are having a good life. I am glad to have been and continue to be a part of it.

  2. Ed, you are one amazing person. In the few years we have known you and Gal Friday each visit has been a pleasure and learning experience.... Actually we only visit for the jokes and to help you drink the alcohol but life is good.

  3. I am very proud to call you a classmate,from North Street to Ilion High, a friend and best of all my cousin. Keep writing and love your Gal Friday!

  4. Danielle BroadstreetMay 31, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    I love this one, Dad. Thanks for the kind words about all of us. I think you are not the only one with a wonderful life.... thanks for making mine wonderful too!