Thursday, June 26, 2008

Go With The Flow ..

I have been having trouble with my heart for years but it has really peaked in the past three months. I could be sitting doing absolutely nothing and all of a sudden I am out of breathe and/or weak as can be. When I found myself not able to walk to the kitchen sink without being short of breathe and/or dizzy and fatigue, well the first thing that came to my mind was I must be gaining weigh, Yet I knew if I was gaining it had to be fluid because it wasn’t food!

When I wet to the doctor and discovered I had lost over 23 pounds since the last visit, I knew something was wrong and I told her (the doctor). She immediately took a cardiogram EKG and after four of them, my every fear came through. She told me I had a serious problem with my heart.

Let me share something with you. All my life doctors have told me that because of my tremendous weight and fluxuation that I should be dead and the only thing keeping me alive is my heart! Now I know that my heart is not too good.

Bottom line is in the first week of July I am scheduled to go through a procedure that they will STOP my heart and then restart it. Now they tell me it will only be stopped for less than a minute. Personally, I do not like the idea of stopping my heart for even a millisecond! They also tell me it is routine, except there are some issues with me. I am 390 pounds and have severe apnea.

The truth is am I nervous …..Yes of course! Do I really think they are not going to be able to restart my heart, of course they are. When my heart is stopped and I see my mom, dad, and nana in the light calling me. I am going to wave to them and say, “Not now I’ll see some other time”!

Yet if by some slim chance that July date is the date that is written in the big book in the sky and it is my last day, how do I look at my life!

I look at my life as a very luck and blessed man. I have been blessed to love and be loved by my family. I am such a lucky man. Yet I would be lying if I did not say I have regrets that I could not be there as I should have been. I was there in many other ways.

I have been so lucky to have met, and communicated with so many thousands and thousands of people.
I have been, touched by some very dear friends, some very close friends.

I have been able to speak out about obesity and have been able to touch some lives and give hope. Do I have more work to do? You bet your bippy I do and I will be doing it.

My dear wife will be with me that day, and I know she will be nervous but wouldn’t dare show me any sign of her nerves (anyone who knows My Matty understands this statement).

I will go through this procedure with flying colors! I do not believe my maker has choosen this way for me to depart.

Therefore, the day will be here very soon, I have to be there very early, go through all kinds of test, and sign all kinds of papers etc, as for me I will take my nervousness and just “Go With The Flow”

Sometimes that is what we have to do, just “go with the flow” and let be what is going to be. Kind of leave it in someone else hands ………Like God!

Love you all now and forever

Friday, June 13, 2008


I’ve lived a full life and I am only 55 years old. It has been packed; I have had a difficult abusive childhood, yet two parents who were only guilty of loving me very much. Their problem was, that they did not know they had “issues” therefore there was no such thing in the fifties or sixties as going to therapy and airing out your dirty laundry. Therefore, you took it out on your 4-year-old son or each other and went on living “happily ever after”.

The rest of my life “in a nutshell” was packed with intrigue business situations, the ups and downs of weight losses. I have seen my body go through several metamorphoses, spent endless days, weeks and months in hospitals and rehabs. “Mr. Death” and I have had many close conversations. Fifteen minutes of fame, well I have had several! The jewels in my crown are the people and friends that I have met and made along this journey. The foundation of my life is my great extended family who I love dearly.

Then needless to say the diamond in my life is my “love of my life” my soul mate, my “Boot” my sweet dear wife Madelaine. Then with Madelaine comes the cherry and sprinkles on the sundae, my son Mikey. The blessing he was in my life. Two things I never thought I would have, the love of my life, and she accepted me at 450 pounds and then a child at almost 500 pounds. They told me do not expect it. Well I say “man plans and God laughs”, I was blessed with both. Then twenty some odd years later my wonderful daughter in law and now God bless him my little grandson, oh man do I love that little boy.

The point I am making is that life is an interesting ride and sometimes the ride is smooth, sometimes fun, sometimes rewarding. Yes, sometimes the ride is rough, very rough. Sometimes you cannot seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel (it is there, you just have to keep pushing ahead, you will see the light). It can get rough, I know! Right now, I am going through some personal rough times but I have my eye on the light.

We do not have to go through the rough times 24 hours 7 days a week! We do not have to re-live our past over and over constantly (no matter difficult). The question you need to ask is right this second, NOW, right now how are things. If the answer is okay or even if it is, just “well nothing” then why not smile!

When in neutral …! I love to observe people and now that I get out more often than I have in the past twenty years. I love to look at people’s expressions on their faces. WOW! How can so many people be so angry, all the time? One of these days, I am going to get hit! You cannot believe how often I will say to a cashier, “smile”. When my wife will pull up next to a bus driver and I look at them I will ask them “are you okay”? They say yes. Then I say “well smile”!

I do not recommend that you do any of those things. What I do recommend, is for you. When you find yourself in neutral, smile! Oh chemically then say it releases endorphins and this and that. The point is it makes you feel good!

A smile is a nice thing! It is a nice thing to hold personally and even a nicer thing to share.

A smile is a simple gift from God given to us to use at will. You know what they say, “if you don’t use it, you, might lose it!

You do not lose your smile. Now if you have not done it for a while or if you are in neutral well lets go ….

Take the sides of your lips and with the muscles of your cheeks (in your face) start pulling up! Come on, you can do it. Pull back a little more. Now do not be carried away, I wouldn’t want you to actually laugh. Someone might hear you (only kidding).

You are a good person and deserve to smile often as possible. When you are in neutral whether driving, sitting outside, watching TV, reading a book, listening, just smile.

I love to smile; it gets me through some rough times! It helps me get to that light at the end of the tunnel.

Have a great day!
You wonderful you!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Pacino, Brando, Hebranko ….

Speak Softly Love ….. da, da, la, la la. Now what can Brando, Pacino and I all have in common? Let’s see, did we all win the Academy Award? I do not think so, besides if I had won I would accept it. Actually I think Brando did accept it but not himself he sent the Native American Woman to accept it, I don’t remember the details. Anyway, back to my point. What do the three of us have in common? (Final Jepordy theme playing in the background), okay, the answer is “What is we are all Godfather’s”.

Yes, yesterday I was honored (after 26 years) of being asked to be the Godfather of a beautiful little baby girl. This is actually my third time I was honored with such a blessing. My first time was when I was 16 years old to a precious little girl, Cathy P, and then 13 years after that to a handsome baby boy, Joseph B, and now 26 years later at the age of 55 years old to this adorable Melanie H.

It is amazing how as we get older the difference in the meaning in general of being a Godfather. Unfortunately, at 16 years old I did not realize what a great honor it was. Although legally a Godparent today has no kind of responsibility, it is really more a spiritual relationship. I believe the first experience a child has with God and everything else comes from their parents. Yet as a Godparent, we should go that little extra step in helping the parent along in molding a child’s relationship and introduction to God. Yet I also feel as a Godparent and as an adult in any child’s life setting a good example is so very important. An example of loving thyself and each other, living ones life to it’s fullest and not being a quitter, and that all of God’s creatures are beautiful and to look for the good in life. These are not such bad things to try to pass on to a Godchild or any child.

I only wish I understood this with my first Godchild, I have not seen her for many years and was not a good Godfather. I did better with my second, I see him often, and just had the pleasure of having dinner with him and his finance this past week. Now my new little Godchild, well lets be real, I pray I am around long enough to be an influence in her little sweet life. Yet in case I am not and I am lucky enough to have a ticket to get into heaven, she will have one special guardian angel watching over her.

Let us talk about yesterday. It might be normal for people to be a little nervous about being in situation like being a Godfather. People who know me being in front of people, maybe talking, etc does not make me nervous. It just does not. What give me the butterflies, the anxiety and I think may of people who share my history is the logistics.

Is there a lot of walking, standing, steps, and chairs with arms and are they strong enough. Will the seats be so low we will not be able to get up easily or at all? Then in my case, I travel with a wheel chair that is wider than the average chair (because my butt is wider than the average butt is). Therefore, the wheelchair does not fit on most of the handicap ramp; it is too wide, does not fit through most doors. Then I was worried about once at the church would it get down the aisles, will I have to go on the alter, if so how? Well almost every concern I had, came through.

The ramp was to narrow, so my poor wife had to fold the chair and I had to get my cane and bent over walk up the ramp and through the narrow doors. We set the chair up and of course, it was in the wrong place. Not to mention I needed to use the men’s room which might have been handicap accessible except the hallway we had to go down was so narrow … way, not for my chair so I had to walk it and go into the bathroom stand long enough to handle what need to be done. As the ceremony went on I had to climb up the stairs of the alter and stand there while we christened that bundle of joy. It was only through the power of prayer and the help of my son and wife that I made it through the physicalness. Yes, I have to give myself credit too.

It is just ashamed that in the twenty first century that a person of size has to worry about going out in public. It is hard enough to be starred at, laughed at, and made fun at but if we are strong enough to get passed all that, we have to be concerned about the door, chair etc. \

Just a little more effort on part of businesses and public places to make it more accessible for us as, well it might help us with our self esteem when we want to be players if we can get out there and play.

Things like this can be done; we need help to get it done. We need to help ourselves, we too might like to go to a movie, school, work but we need not to cry and complain. We need to be proactive. Get our friends and families involved, talk to local business people to put a strong chair in their movie house, library, restaurant. Organize write in programs to politicians. Let us pass laws for the obese. We are people too! We count! We want to live! We want to play!

As one of the Godfather’s said “let’s make them an offer they can’t refuse” yes the offer is ...

We want to be!!!!

After all was said and done, I made it through yesterday, I had a great time, did all that was needed of me, and was proud as a peacock.

Sometimes you have to take your fears, anxieties put them in a bag take them with you and do what you have to do anyway. At the end, you look back and see you made it and had a good time at the same time.

Have a great day!!




Afterwards there was a great house party, with wonderful friends and beautiful family. It is such a blessing to be part of and included. I missed so many things and now I do not want to miss anything. Unfortunately, there was one thing that ripped my heart out. My little grandson got hurt (oh he is such a boy) his mom was standing right next to him, just a second, and it happened. A chunk of my heart went out for my baby but then I felt so badly for my sweet daughter in law. She was so upset because she tried to stop it but just couldn’t. He is doing okay today, Alleluia!