Archive for June, 2009


I have been on the Atkins Diet for three weeks. I hate it. I don’t endorse it. And I’m convinced it’s an unhealthy way to diet.

I’ve lost ten pounds in three weeks.

Today I was not on the Atkins Diet. Today I ate about fifteen pieces of pizza from my new favorite pizza place, The Chunky Tomato in Bristol.

I stuck my face into the center of the pie and kept chewing until my mouth was too stuffed to continue. When I was full, I ate some more.

Monday I’ll start Atkins again and stay with it for another ten pounds… then I’ll stuff my face again for a day.

Yeah… I can do that.


We spent a few hours visiting (and eating large amounts of pizza) with my dad today.

He’s at the New Britain Hospital for Special Care and although he has a long road to go, he should be leaving by early August.

His spirits were very high today and it was a very enjoyable afternoon as he was able to spend a couple hours in his wheelchair. We stayed outside for most of the visit despite a few sprinkles and wind.


It’s great for… umm… whatever they use it for. It is not so great as a wiffle ball bat.

The eleven year-old boy found that out the hard way on Tuesday.

He was at a friends house when another of his friends picked up a length of the thick plastic piping and began swinging it like a baseball bat.

It slid out of the kid’s hands and speared the eleven year-old in the mouth.

Just a few days earlier he had hit his first Little League home run. He was wearing his same uniform jersey. Blood was everywhere. His shorts were covered. While we were in the ER waiting room I noticed his shirt did not have a spec of blood on it.

He said he thought it was his good luck shirt until he got smacked in the mouth. I told him it still was. He could have been struck in the eye or the throat. I’m wondering when we’ll see the shirt on him again.


In the ER he was given three layers of stitches. He was very brave… not a single tear.

I wanted to puke. When I first looked at the lip, I could see his teeth right through the hole.

His braces saved him from having extensive damage to his teeth. A few short weeks ago his orthodontist was thrilled about how nicely and ahead of schedule he was.

He’s now behind schedule. His front tooth may need a root canal to save it.

He’ll most likely need some type of cosmetic surgery in another year. There’s no way he won’t end up with some pretty good scarring.

Yeah it’s heartbreaking. We always talked about his beautiful lips. And they are still going to be beautiful no matter what.
I told him if this is the worse thing that ever happens to him, he will have lived a charmed life.

His friend who was on the other side of the PVC pipe and his mom came over to visit him today. The friend has been through a lot in the past year or so. He had a tumor removed from his face. Half of his little face is paralyzed. He’s been back and forth to Boston for treatments. He’s had to have a nerve transplanted from his face to his brain.

We told him that we liked him before this accident and we like him just as much now. It was just a freaky little accident and we don’t blame him.

A brave little boy like that has enough to worry about.

I don’t think any of them will be swinging for the backyard fences with anything less than a plasic baseball bat.

Here is a picture of the big guy the day after getting his stitches. Once they are taken out, I’ll post another pic.



I just saw a fantastic piece on ESPN about the late Payne Stewart’s son, Aaron. Go to and type in the keyword: AARON STEWART.




We buried my mom exactly nineteen years ago.

It was cancer and I’ll spare you all the details of her illness as I’ve already written about much of them in previous posts of this Blog.

The funeral was actually a minor milestone for me. My brother and I had co-written her eulogy and I read it.

I had told my mom several times before her death about my plans. She’d always have the same response, “Oh you’re going to be too sad and crying too much to do that.”

Mom was sly. She knew about my fear of public speaking. She’d lived through my stuttering problems that had haunted me throughout my childhood and still into my late twenties.

We’d even laugh until we cried as I’d imitate what it would probably sound like, “A-a-and I-I-I’ll m-m-m-m-miss h-h-h-her.”

Yes Mom was very sly.

It turns out that I did read the eulogy on a sunny morning in the North End of Hartford in front of family and friends with my brother and sister at my side.

I stuttered once.

I’ve given at least ten or more eulogies since then. Look at me now. I speak in front of over 600 people every year at a youth sports banquet.

Did I mention how sly my Mom was?


It was a horrible week.

Eight days before my mom died, my Uncle Ray and Aunt Josephine came over to visit and in their own way, say goodbye to Mom. We were all there: my father; my brother and sister; and Nana.

Uncle Ray was my father’s brother and my Godfather. He was about 40 years-old as he sat next to my dying 43 year-old mother on the couch.

Aunt Josephine sat with them. She was in her seventies but very active and healthy.

It was a sad visit with forced smiles and goodbyes that were as heartfelt as they were final.

My uncle and I made plans to see each other the following week. My father walked his brother and aunt out to the car.

They never made it back to the Elmwood section of West Hartford.

A bridge on RT 6 had been under repair all spring causing traffic to use RT 10 through Farmington. They turned left at the light in front of the Silo Restaurant.

They didn’t get any further. A drunk woman went through that same light and killed them both on impact. She also died.

In the blink of an eye.

I would hope that my mom never blamed herself. I was just upset at the entire freaking world that morning. We wanted to get to Nana’s house before she heard about it on the news. We didn’t get there in time.

Before leaving the house I said to my mom, “See it doesn’t matter if you are sick or not, you can die at any time.”

Those words haunt me even today. I don’t know what I was trying to tell her. Maybe that death is so random. Maybe I was mad because I was able to tell her everything that I had wanted her to know before she was going to die but would not be able to do the same with my uncle, my Godfather.

It was a double funeral. Aunt Josephine was like a mother to my Uncle Ray.

Mom died later during that horrible week.

We have a picture of Mom, Aunt Josephine, and Uncle Ray sitting together on the same couch that night.

That was before we blinked.