I'd like to thank my daughter for my being able to do this piece because without her permission, she would have probably killed me.
With the invention of the Happy Meal from McDonald's, we found that in addition to the food, the toys were wonderful treats for them. These simple pleasures seemed to make them so happy. Don't get me wrong. I am not blaming McDonald's for their food being healthy or otherwise. My blame is aimed squarely on we the parents. We loved to shower our children with things that they liked but what we were not paying attention to; was that when it comes to food, everyone's body is affected differently.
By age six, the extra love through food intake was beginning to catch up with her. It all seemed to happen very quickly but it really didn't. What happened next was a child with unnecessary extra weight and a very angry pediatrician.
To be continued .........
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Wednesday, 6/29/16, Thursday, 6/30/16 and Friday, 7/1/16
October 7, 1983, 6:19 am - The Day the Earth Did Not Stand Still.
Life as a newlywed was great. Wen and I had been married for less than a month and we were already living in our fantastic second-floor, two-bedroom apartment, with a back patio no less. And pop open the champagne because the results were in. Yes, she was pregnant! Life was good and all was calm with the world. I was now Mr. Puffed-Up Chest who was ready to take on the world. I would do anything to protect my home and family.
Little did I know, there were events going on underground, about 250 miles to the north, in Blue Mountain, New York, that would spoil my beauty nap. It seems that a 5.3 earthquake was about to start there, which would involve two provinces in Canada and twelve states in the USA. Not to mention little old Bronx, New York.
Before this time, I had never experienced a quake before. I'd seen them in the movies but I'd always heard that New York City was built on solid bedrock. No need to worry about natural disasters when you're a native New Yorker. We don't have time for such things. I guess Mother Nature was not impressed with our New York way of doing things.
At 6:19 am, it began as a slight rumbling which was shaking the bed just enough to wake me up. I felt as if I was standing on the subway platform and a train was passing through but no worse. A few seconds later, the bed was moving from side to side really hard and there was a far away noise which sounded much louder than the number 5 IRT express.
I jumped out of the bed, landed on my feet and realized that the floor was also shaking violently. I stood there for a second trying to ascertain what would be my best course of action to protect the woman I loved. By now, Wen was looking in my direction and was just as bewildered as I was. The noise seemed to increase and all I could imagine was that there was a problem with the boiler in the basement and it was about to blow up. Within another two seconds, I decided to take the bravest course of action possible. With no thought of danger to my personal safety, I jumped back into the bed and used my body to shield my wife from harm.
After a few more seconds, there was silence. Wen and I looked at each other and waited a while. We glanced out the window and saw no commotion, so we then turned on the television and the radio. We found out what the rest of the area was also experiencing. There were no aftershocks. At least none that affected our area.
Some may say that I bolted back into the bed out of fear. I say that I carefully calculated the odds and proceeded to save the life of my new wife, my unborn child and also the entire city of New York. At least that's the way I'd like to remember it.
4 out of 5 Stars
Book Review -
To Valerie. I applaud you on another warm and heart-felt book. You not only delivered on your promise to continue your journey towards understanding this difficult part of your life but you have given a positive direction on how others who have a similar need might begin to heal.
I would have preferred that the book was longer but I was happy to find that you included the letters from those that love you and your mother. Without love and support, none of us can make it through the day-to-day craziness that the world throws at us.
Mom Me . . . Soaring Through The Pain: Cancer and Diabetes: The 10-Year Journey by Valerie Auguste'-Partin
4 out of 5 Stars
Book Review -
Dear Valerie. Your struggle through this difficult time of your life grabbed me from the very beginning. I moved painfully with you through your need to understand why innocence is never enough. Our only hope is to become creatures who give love and are loved. Take solace in the knowledge that you have been successful in this. As you remember the painful times, just imagine a world without the opportunity to possess so many beautiful memories. Those good times shine brightly between the lines of your wonderful work. Writing these pages release some of the sorry but they also prove that you were deeply loved.
September 1993 - Who Me? I Had Nothing To Do With It.
I thought that it was a good idea to take the kids to school and drop the wife off to work but a few other people had a different idea about how I should spend my day.
Funny how one thinks that the car you fall in love with at first site will always be your one and only. I guess that guys are fickle that way (at least when it comes to cars). This dazzling maroon 1993 Honda Civic LX was all that I had wanted in a car. Besides power windows, it didn't have anything special but it looked smooth, ran great and that's all that mattered.
We were following our usual route and were now on the stretch of Baychester Avenue, which would lead us to Wilder Avenue, where we would pick up my niece. Poor thing was going to be left out. My dear niece (photo on top, cutie on the left) was not able to participate in the fun we were about to have.
I was in the pilot's sit and Wen (the co-pilot) was sitting next to me. (For those who are curious, that's a picture of Wen, on the right, next to the chariot). The wife had made it a habit of backseat driving from the front seat but I guess that's the job of the co-pilot. Regardless, you can only make comments on another person's driving, when there is time too. This particular occasion, all judgment calls were on me.
I could see the yellow Dodge Shadow approaching and there was nothing unusual to see. That is, until the white Acura, parked in the opposing lane, decided that he was coming out of his parking space. He did this regardless of who was already in the flow of traffic and had the right of way. The yellow Dodge honked but it was too late to slow down. He was forced to swerve to his left in order to avoid the white car, which he successfully did. But to accomplish this, he also had to cross the double line and move into my lane. I quickly moved to the right to avoid a head-on collision and I was relieved for a second when this didn't happen. Unfortunately, it seemed more important for the Dodge not to hit the Acura than to maybe hit me. The front of his car rammed the rear left side of mine, causing us to spin a bit. I was able to straighten the car out but for reasons that I couldn't understand, I seemed to no longer have control of the car. The front right side of my Accord struck/scraped the nearby Plymouth causing a lot of damage and the only reason we came to a stop was because we then smashed into the an older model Civic. This video should make clear the events that I just described.
Just before I turned around to see if everyone was okay (which they all were), I glanced in my left side view mirror. I could see the Dodge sitting at an angle, across both lanes. I felt relieved that me and my family were alright and then sorry for the guy in the Dodge who had done his best to avoid all this. My emotions then turned to anger because also in my mirror, much further away, I could see the white Acura. He had driven away from the accident that he had caused and he hadn't sustained a scratch. I watched as he moved onto the highway entrance and away from the scene.
When I finally got out and walked around the car, I found that the front right and left rear tires were both totally flat. Wow! No wonder I finally lost control of the steering. Thank God the accident wasn't much worst. My two girls and the wife were not uninjured so I couldn't complain.
In the long run, the not so stream-lined Honda Civic LX was damaged beyond repair so it was considered totaled. It was replaced with a bigger, safer car because by this time it had become obvious that no matter how expert a driver I am, we all needed protection from the crazies out there.
Happy and safe driving, everyone.
I May Be Crazy But I'm Not Blind - March 1989
Many people complain about their mothers-in-laws. Seemed like I must have lucked out because I have one that I really got along with. I liked her so much in fact that dropping her off every morning didn't seem like a chore at all. I looked forward to our conversations and this particular morning was no exception. In retrospect, if we had had a terrible relationship, I probably would not have been able to speak about the upcoming events.
I had just dropped off the grand lady and waved good-bye, as I pulled away from the curb in my sleek golden 1987 Honda Accord. It had the hidden flip-up headlights, which reminded me of the Aston Martin car in the James Bond movies. Tres cool.
I took great care to check my blind spot to ensure that that there would be no sudden surprises. Over the past decade I had learned to become a very careful driver. I'd learned my lesson about driving defensively, At the age of thirty-five I'd discovered that the being speed-racer and driving with my ego on my sleeve would probably get me killed.
I had gotten to the point of my fifteen-minute return drive where there was a three-block stretch of road, which had no intersections or turns. This trek had me driving downhill for about halfway there and then coasting uphill to the light the rest of the way. As I started down the slope, I'd given the car a bit of extra gas knowing that inertia would move me along to the end of the block. In the distance, in the opposing lane, there was this light grey Grand Mercury Marquis which was doing thirty-five down his slope of the hill, the same as me.
As I got to the midpoint, just before the hill would slope upwards, the Marquis begins to turn left in my direction. I knew there was no intersection but I quickly glanced over to my right and saw that there was a driveway. If that was where the guy was headed it didn't make any sense. Couldn't he see that I was in the way! I was in the furthest right lane, which would put me next to this driveway that he was headed for. I looked back at him and he was definitely heading for the driver's side of my car and there was no avoiding him.
I began to speed up hoping to pass him and I was able to get my driver's side further forward but other than that it was too late. I couldn't avoid the accident. The front of his car hit the side of mine.
Miraculously myself and the elderly male driver and his wife were able to walk out of our vehicles. I'd seen car crashes before but the rear left side of my car looked pretty much like a lost cause. We exchanged information and since this occurred in the days before cell phones, my intention was to walk up the hill to the pay phone and call the cops. I had only gotten a few steps away when I finally heard the explanation for our dilemma. I heard the wife angrily but quietly say to her spouse:
"I told you that you should have worn your glasses."
I was stunned but I kept on walking as if I hadn't heard. As bad as it sounds, the old gentleman had driven towards the driveway as if he couldn't see me because he hadn't.
The police arrived soon after I made the call. I quietly mentioned to the officer and then later on, loudly told my insurance representative what I had heard. On the positive side, it was deemed that I was not a fault. On the other hand, my car was totaled so how great was it to really be in the right. At least I was able to buy a shiny new maroon 1989 Accord. Made me feel a little better, anyway.
To be continued...
Much like the S.D.T. (sub-dermal transponder), of Castle on the Hill: Secrets, which enables its users to speak to one another without cell phones, wearable technology has now been invented that can translate languages.
September 1979 – So You Have A Second Car
What a beautiful fall day. Not a cloud in the sky. It was about nine in the morning and I was on my was home from work. I was feeling particularly good because I was driving my wife's new 1980 Toyota Corona. Actually, it belonged to both of us but we figured that it was only safer for the wifey to drive the newer car. This meant I got the '74 Corolla which was a bit run down but it was paid for.
When I prepared to go to work the night before, I knew that she didn't have to get up in the morning. As I walked towards the parking spaces where our two cars were parked, I could vaguely hear the Corona calling my name. "Lloyd. Don't you want to take a smooth ride tonight and ride home in style in the morning?" The Corona and I looked over at the sad little white Corolla. I accepted the gold Corona's invitation and proudly held my head high all the way to work.
I know this probably doesn't happen to most guys (yeah, right) but when a man is twenty-six years old and driving a fancy new car, it's difficult not to feel a bit pumped. The sun had climbed halfway up the eastern skies and I was feeling great. I'd been driving legally for the pass year and a half with no problems to speak of. As I drove, the leather of the dark brown steering wheel felt very increasingly comfortable in my hands. I inhaled deeply and that new-car smell filled my lungs with pride. Every man should experience that smell at least once in his life.
Was it my imagination or did that good looking girl just take a second look at me. I had basically noticed her reaction in my peripheral vision but I had to make sure. I quickly turned my head just for a brief second. Yes, she was definitely smiling back and the glance was in my direction. Now that my ego was properly inflated, I returned my eyes to the road ahead and back to my expert driving. It just wouldn't be worth it to get into an accident with this new car. At the top of the hill ahead of me was the last intersection which, after making a left, would lead me into the apartment complex.
As I approached the left turning lane, there was a dark blue vehicle in the opposing left turning lane ahead of me. A more experienced driver would have known to slowly proceed with caution. There might be another car that can't be seen on the other side of that vehicle that would soon be passing that car on its right. Unfortunately, I didn't know to think that far ahead. All I understood was that the car ahead was signaling left and I could see nothing else coming.
I began my turn and as my right side passed the blue car, I could now see that there was a red car approaching me at about thirty-five miles an hour. My last thought before he hit the passengerside of my car was that he had the right of way. His light was green. OH NO!!! The video speaks for itself.
Except for my left pinkie finger being sore, I was not hurt. Fortunately, the other guy was okay too. As I stood there, learning how to exchange information and patiently waiting for the police, I didn't feel like such an experienced driver anymore.
Finally, I found that the car was drivable but it moved from side to side a bit. As I sat there, I tried not to look at how caved in the passenger area was and how much closer it was to me. As I pulled into the apartment parking lot, I dreaded facing the wifey. She would not be happy about what happened to her new car. The next calamity would not be a car crash but probably just as bad. Obviously, I had a lot more to learn.
To be continued.......
The greatest happiness you can feel is when you share with someone you love.