We are living in turbulent times gripped by a worldwide pandemic, dealing with racial injustice, unemployment levels not seen since the depression, burgeoning homelessness, food scarcity and the lack of adequate healthcare for not only our most vulnerable but more and more the so called middle class. Through it all we are trying to navigate these tough times with a leadership that is bereft of empathy and looks to divide rather than unite.
Yet despite these troubling times the last week has brought something remarkable. We are seeing a significant portion of Americans coming together, refusing to allow themselves to be torn apart by the devise minority that sadly refuses to let go of the hate in their heart. Those that seem to exist on hate. I call this The Coalition of the Righteous and it is growing more powerful everyday. As a people we appear to finally listening to each other . To be willing to put aside our differences and to take the first steps as a society to understand each other.
For myself personally I have been experienced racism and seen the ugly side of policing but I have also been fortunate to say I have friends of all colors, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations.
I grew up attending a grammar school 95% Italian in the little Italy section of the Bronx, during a time when tolerance was not the word of the day. Yet I made life long friends I met there. We do not look like each other, we do not share the same culture but we do share a bond of brotherhood. We have always been our own Coalition of the Righteous and each of us is keenly aware that above all we can count on each other and we are not afraid to say we love each other. In my darkest days, when my heart literally stopped beating, when my recovery was long and hard they were right there. I did not have to ask them to be, I did not have to wonder if they would be, they were my family so I knew they would be.
We don’t look alike
We don’t share the same culture
We are brothers
The Coalition of the Righteous – it’s a beautiful thing.
Last Sunday, I spent a good part of my morning and afternoon cooking for the week. Italian meatloaf (really turkey loaf), Cornish game hens, collard greens, black bean soup, and spaghetti with mussels. Rewind almost a year ago, and I was recovering from a cardiac arrest. Those who were there have told me the Doctors on the scene worked to bring me back longer than they should; the priest who stopped in to see me each day in the ICU called me miracle man. My recovery was quicker than was expected. My physical rehabilitation progressed nicely. Three months after the event, I went home from the rehab center and returned to work shortly after. A miracle? Maybe but more likely just another day for the Lord Almighty, who chose to reach down and touch me and say, not yet, my son, there is still work for you to do on this Earth. Now I won’t lie; it hasn’t been smooth sailing since the event some days are better than others there are bumps along the road health-wise. Despite that, every day, I wake and can see and smell the wonderful world around me and know of all the love my family and friends have for me, a love so apparent during my recovery and no doubt a significant factor in it. For this, I am truly blessed, blessed that the hand of the Lord has touched me and given me this second chance at life. It allowed me to spend a Sunday cooking for the week because despite what bumps maybe along the way, in my mind, I know He stands over me and will allow me to wake another day, so I might as well have something to eat on those days. I do not know what His ultimate plan is for me, but I know he has touched me, and he is guiding me, and I am eternally thankful for that.
So I haven’t had a new post for the blog for a bit, and there’s a good reason. After a routine medical procedure at the hospital, something went wrong, and my heart stopped. Luckily for me, I was still in the hospital, and they worked on me for 40 minutes. It was still touch and go after that, and I was heavily sedated for about a week; let me tell you if you’re heavily sedated, your mind takes you to some weird places, but here I am today. Doctors and nurses called me miracle man because of how quickly I rebounded from where I was. No doubt this has been a tough year for me medically after dealing with Legionnaires disease last summer, still wondering where that came from, but I believe the hand of the Lord has saved me twice now as if he was telling me ain’t your time yet kid you have big things yet to do. These setbacks may seem difficult, but it’s all part of the overall plan. I genuinely believe that I have the faith that he will help me through this rehab part of my healing and guide me to finding my ultimate purpose for being on this earth. This incident has taught me the overwhelming amount of love my family and friends have for me. Even friends who live outside of New York traveled to be by my bedside. Others stopped by every day, and of course, my sister Carole who has been my rock. She has not missed a day; she has slept overnight in the hospital only to have to get up at a ridiculous hour to go home and get ready for work. I don’t know what I would do without her, and I won’t even try to use words to describe how thankful and how much I love her. It is truly overwhelming to know how deeply my friends and family care about me. Their visits, their words of encouragement, and their prayers have been such a positive factor in overcoming this latest test of faith, but thanks to them, I am well on the way to doing just that, and I thank all of them.
In life I’ve been blessed with family and friends who have always been there for me in good times and in bad. One of those friends is a little different from the rest. I’ve know him for 8 years he’s my roommate and one of my best buddies. He’s a big guy but not fat by any means he’s all muscle. He struts around in his brown fur coat all the time. Because of his size and his brown fur coat everyone calls Chewbacca, you know the giant brown wookie from Star Wars. One of the best things about Chewbacca or Chewy for short is that he has never judged me. Now he also has never offered me words of wisdom yet despite his silence I know he cares about me and that he will always be there for me. Chewy is an orange tabby,
All my life I thought of myself as a Dog person but 8 years ago I adopted Chewy and in those 8 years my life has gone through huge emotional swings. I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been, the saddest I’ve ever been and all emotions in between. One thing however remained constant whenever I’ve had a tough day he always seems to know, he’ll pops up next to me and though he can’t talk it’s pretty clear what he’s saying. Hey Carl tough day? Want to talk about it? I mean I can’t answer you or offer you advise but as you know I’m a great listener. But before we begin as always full disclosure when we’re done here you’ve got to put pull it Together for a couple of minutes and fill my food and water dish. I mean those things not going to fill itself.
Animals are cool like that, they don’t judge and they’re always there for you. You should never under estimate how important they are in your life. Here’s to you Chewbacca my cool cat friend your dish is filled.