Monday, November 10, 2008

Announcement of Pro Loco Naming

PROLOCO TORRICELLA PELIGNA “ALBERT PORRECA”

18 October 2008


Antonio Di Fabrizio, President of the Proloco


PROLOCO TORRICELLA PELIGNA “ALBERT PORRECA”. Yes, ALBERT PORRECA will guide this newly created association towards the cultural development Torricella so dearly needs. The PROLOCO of Torricella Peligna is determined to become a true DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION, to carry out social policies that will promote our mountainous territory. We will do this through intercommunication, which will culturally enrich those in Torricella, and those who live beyond its borders in very different social contexts, and as result, have novel ideas and values to share. A study carried out by the Ministry of Social Policy indicated that volunteer associations are the only institutions that manage to enter decisively into the social fabric, to promote civil harmony among citizens and to offer services that often seem impossible to obtain otherwise. ALBERT PORRECA, a simple and humble man, represents for us someone who offered to the entire world, in the true spirit of volunteerism, a phenomenal means of mass communication that over the years will be vital for our cultural growth. ALBERT was a visionary, ten years ahead of his time, and it is for this reason he deserves to be remembered and honored. Torricella does itself a favor when it recognizes people like ALBERT PORRECA, who silently work to build something that all find useful. We will proudly bear the name of a man who became renown for having created something for everyone, and not, as often happens, for his own personal benefit.

In 2009, depending on the availability of the family of ALBERT PORRECA and DAN ASPROMONTE, we will hold the official ceremony.

------------------------

A note from Antonio to Dan Aspromonte that offers a little background to the announcement and the work my dad did to deserve this honor.


19 October 2008
Antonio Piccoli

Thank you. You are fantastic. It is an announcement that gives me enormous delight. On behalf of Torricellans the world over, I thank you. For it was through the hard word of Al Porreca that we have now come together to communicate via this extraordinary instrument called the Internet. Our five-year-old website, a sort of Wikipedia encyclopedia dedicated to Torricella, is incredible. You can find a bit of everything on it. If you type the name of a Torricellan in a search engine, the first site that always comes up is TorricellaPeligna.com. This did not come about on its own, out of thin air. It is the product of the tireless work of a man passionate about a town he did not know, but that he knew formed his “roots”. He spent entire days, and even nights, in front of his computer, uploading news, photos, genealogy and translations. Yes, translations -- there is no other site that is as bilingual as ours!! It is unfortunate that Al passed away so soon. Yet, in the brief time he was with us, he managed to amass so much material that he will never be forgotten. Torricella has done well to recognize his achievements, last year giving him the first ever Torricellan in the World award, and now naming the Pro Loco after him. Thanks again!

Here is a link to the website....visit often. My dad will be there.

http://torricellapeligna.com/

For those who are bilingual:

19 Ottobre 2008
Antonio Piccoli

Grazie, siete magnifici.
E' un annucio che mi fa enormemente piacere.
Grazie da parte mia e penso anche a nome di tutti quei torricellani sparsi per il mondo che, per mezzo del grande lavoro di Al Porreca, 
si ritrovano oggi a comunicare attraverso questo straordinario 
strumento che è la rete.
Da cinque anni Torricella si ritrova ad avere un sito incredibile, dove puoi trovare di tutto, una specie di enciclopedia Wikipedia dedicata al nostro paese. Dove se digiti un nome di un torricellano 
sulla casella di ricerca, in prima fila ci trovi sempre 
torricellapeligna.com. 
E questo non è venuto da solo, così, dal nulla, c'è voluto il lavoro 
certosino ed instancabile di un uomo innamorato di un paese che non 
conosceva ma che sapeva essere la sua "radice". Giornate intere e 
anche nottate passate davanti al computer a caricare notizie, foto, genealogia, traduzioni. Sì, le traduzioni. Non esiste in giro un sito così, un sito bilingue!!
Purtroppo ci ha lasciato molto presto, ma in questo brevissimo tempo abbiamo avuto in eredità una tale mole di dati che sarà impossibile dimenticarlo.
Torricella se ne è accorta subito, l'anno scorso lo ha premiato con 
la prima edizione del Torricellano nel Mondo, quest'anno con la 
dedica dell'intestazione della Pro Loco.

Non poteva fare di meglio!!

Grazie ragazzi

Monday, October 6, 2008

TRANSLATION : (with love to Lee and all the family, from Marion Porreca in England)

TRANSLATION : (with love to Lee and all the family, from Marion Porreca in England)
of details about the Mass on Sunday 5th October hekld in TOrricella PEligna to honour Al's life...

Freccianera (Mario Di Fabrizio) wrote:-
I was present at the Mass in memory of Al and I would confirm that Don Peppino gave an entirely unique homily; before the Mass he wanted to remember Al and thank him for all that he had done for Torricella. At the end of the Mass, as Ada Ficca says, Don Peppino read a prayer to the Madonna, with the title “I Return to You, Oh Dear Mother” asking us to think about Al who is turning towards the Madonna.

“I Return to You, Oh Dear Mother, at the close of day, wretched and tired of life and of suffering. Oh! How beautiful are these tranquil moments passed at your feet, in the faint light of the friendly lamp. Everything in your maternal breast and in the heart of the Eucharist of Jesus I copy and joy and pain, hard works and torments; all my passions still, from whence You destroy them and make me more beautiful, more worthy of Your Love and if the glances of Your Divine Son.

I give you the final kiss and the farewell of the evening, but in nmy heart I always carry You. I abandon myself sweetly to sleep, guard me like the pupil of Your eye, and beneath the shadow of Your maternal wings I rest, but my heart does not sleep. It still beats and raises up to You the Song of Songs of love. Oh Angels, sing hymns for mr on your golden harps, with harmonies of love to the Queen of Martyrs.

Stars which embelished the skies, crown the Mother for me my Lady of Sorrows. Flowers of the fields, perfume her for me.
Waves of the sea, that symbolise the immensity of Her pains, bless her for me.
Cedar of Lebanon, Cypress of Mount Sion, Palm of Cades, Rose of Jericho, specious Olive of the fields, all which represent their beauties, adorn her for me.

And you, Oh Daisy, small flower without any perfume, speak for me, little one, or else my lips shall be mute. All the Saints of Paradisepraise her and glorify her for me. …
O dear Mother, I beg for Your Maternal benediction together with that of the crucified Jesus. I kiss you so strongly and mournfully I whisper to you: A…Dio, A…Dio – Farewell, Farewell”.

That was a very beautiful prayer, moving and full of meanings.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lee for the kind thought she had of sending us all a photo remembrance of Al, and I would like to say to her that Al will always be within our hearts.
Greetings to everyone,

Freccianera.


In torricellapeligna@ yahoogroups. com, "Antonio Piccoli" wrote

Message from Ada Ficca

this morning at eleven o’clock, a Mass was said to celebrate Al’s memory. Many people were present.
The choir sang some beautifulsongs, Don Peppino excelled himself with a homily and at the end of the Mass he read a prayer to the Madonna Addolorata (Al died on 15th September which is the feast day of the Madonna Addolorata) which was truly moving, it was sent by Pierangela Badia from Aquila. At the end of the Mass, Giovanna, Marziale Di Marino’s wife, gave out a holy card in memory of Al to all those present.
Knowing that there was going to be a Mass said in memory of Al, Lee had sent these to her in advance.

______________________________________

Ero presente alla messa in memoria di Al e devo confermare che don Peppino nell'omelia è stato veramente unico; prima della messa ha voluto ricordare e ringraziare Al per il suo impegno per Torricella.
Alla fine della messa, come diceva Ada Ficca, don Peppino ha fatto leggere una preghiera rivolta alla Madonna, dal titolo "Ritorno a Te, o cara Madre" chiedendoci di pensare ad Al che si rivolge alla madonna.

"Ritorno a Te, o cara Madre, al declinare del giorno, misero e pur stanco di lavoro e di penare. Oh! Come sono belli questi taciti momenti trascorsi ai Tuoi piedi, al chiarore della lampada amica.
Tutto nel tuo seno materno e nel Cuore Eucaristico di Gesù io riverso, e gioia e dolori, fatiche e tormenti; tutte le mie passioni ancora, onde Tu le distrugga e mi renda più bello, più degno del Tuo Amore e degli sguardi del Figlio Tuo Divino.

Ti do l'ultimo bacio e l'addio della sera, ma nel mio cuore Ti porto sempre. Al sonno dolcemente mi abbandono, custodiscimi come la pupilla del Tuo occhio, E sotto l'ombre delle Tue ali materne io riposo, ma il mio cuore non dorme. Esso palpita ancora e Ti innalza
il cantico d'amore. O Angeli, inneggiate per me sulle vostre arpe dorate, con armonie d'amore alla Regina dei Martiri.

Stelle che i cieli ornate, coronate per me la Madre mia Addolorata.
Fiori dei prati, profumatela per me.
Onde del mare, che simboleggiate l'immensità dei Suoi dolori, beneditela per me.
Cedro del Libano, cipresso del monte Sion, palma di Cades, rosa di Gerico, ulivo specioso dei campi, tutti che raffigurate le sue bellezze, adornatela per me.

E Tu, o margherita, piccolo fiore senza profumi, parla per me, piccolissima, or che le mie labbra saranno mute. Santi tutti del Paradiso lodatela e glorificatela per me ....
O cara Madre, imploro la Tua Materna benedizione con quella di Gesù Crocifisso. Ti bacio forte forte e mestamente ti sussurro: A....Dio, A...Dio".


Una bellissima preghiera, commovente e piena di significati.
Colgo l'occasione per ringraziare Lee per il pensiero che ha avuto di inviarci una foto ricordo di Al, e voglio dirle che Al resta sempre nel nostro cuore.
Un saluto a tutti.

Freccianera



--- In torricellapeligna@ yahoogroups. com, "Antonio Piccoli"
ha scritto:
>
Messaggio da parte di Ada Ficca
questa mattina, alle undici, è stata celebrata la messa in memoria di Al. Erano presenti parecchie persone.
Il coro ha cantato dei bei canti, Don Peppino si è superato nell'omelia e alla fine della messa è stata letta una preghiera alla Madonna Addolorata (Al è morto il 15 settembre festa della Madonna Addolorata) davvero toccante, inviata da Pierangela Badia dall'Aquila. Alla fine della messa Giovanna, la moglie di Marziale Di Marino, ha distribuito ai presenti un santino - ricordo di Al .
Lee, saputo che ci sarebbe stata una messa in memoria di Al, glieli aveva inviati .

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Beautiful Service

Dad's service was a beautiful tribute to his life.

The Trinity Episcopal Church in Moorestown, NJ where it was held is just beautiful. We sang 2 hymns; Joy to Thee and On Eagle's Wings. The soloist performed Ave Maria, effortlessly and beautifully in Latin. Dad would have been pleased.

There were several readers

Lauri Porreca (Michael's wife) read the New Testament reading
Bobby Reasso (Michelle's son) read the Old Testament reading
Bob Reasso (Michelle's husband) read the Gospel reading

Also, several people spoke about dad's life

Michael Porreca (Dad's son) with help from Christian (his son)
Danielle Reasso and Carly Porreca (granddaughters)
Linda Nichi (Family Friend)
Charlie Porreca (Dad's brother)
Andrew Porreca (Dad's son) with help from fiance Amy Miller
Michelle Porreca Reasso (Me- Dad's daughter) with help from husband Bob Reasso

Their speeches are below in order of reading - enjoy - it really was a beautiful tribute and thanks to so many of you who were there or were there in spirit. Lots of love was flying around amongst all the tears. :)

Michael's with Christian
Thank you for coming and supporting us.

I am my father’s first son, and this is my son Christian. He’s the first son, of the first son, of the first son of the first son. It is a meaningful bond – one we will share forever.

Today is a tough day and a rough time. We will get through this. We’re strong and supportive – my father saw to that.

Today my message is one of joy – smile, be happy and laugh when you recall your favorite memories of my father.

So who is my father?

He was so many things to so many people. Whether you called him Al, or Grandpop or Dad, or Sonny, or Uncle Al, or Big Brother or Mr. Porreca or Fortunato, or My Darling. There’s even a rumor that they called him Sanctus Albertus Magnus in his ancestral roots of Torricella Peligna – Saint Albert the Great.

But if you spent any time with him at all you most certainly called him your friend.

Was he part of your favorite foursome? I’m sure there are more than a few groups out there looking for a fourth 
Was he part of your favorite card game?
You may have been able to get some of his money on the golf course but I’d be willing to bet he took it back off you at a good game of Texas Hold-em.

My Dad loved hanging out with his friends and being one of the boys. He loved his Cigna buddies and all the good friends he came to know at his second career at WillowBrook. That’s part of who my Dad is.

Did he show you magic tricks like the disappearing penny? He’s been pulling that one off for over 45 years. Did he have you throw invisible rocks into a paperbag and tell you witty and sometimes silly jokes and make you laugh a lot?

My Dad was funny and fun – loved kids and they loved him. He was a great Grandfather. That’s part of who my Dad is.

Did he come to your dance recitals and to your games and sit quietly in the stands and admire your effort? Whether they were up the NJ turnpike or started after 11:00 pm. It was never about winning – it was about trying.

My Dad was supportive and consistent and knowing he was there always made things just right. He was a great father. That’s part of who my Dad is.

Here’s a scary one: Did you ever have to show him your homework? I know that doesn’t translate for many here. But if you did, be sure to bring an eraser.

My Dad was thorough and orderly and paid attention to the right details. That is part of who my Dad is.

Did he help steer your career, find you a job, hire you or give you advice to put things in the right perspective? When you were well into your career and lost your job (it happens) - did he threaten to go in and have a talk with your boss?

He was fatherly, career minded and a great big brother. That’s part of who my father is.

But of all the things he is, the one thing he loved the most was being a husband to my mom Lee.


I said it earlier – today hurts.
But talk to Andy – he’s the eternal optimist – he IS my Dad
Talk to Jeffrey – he’s quick witted, funny and serious - he IS my Dad
Talk to Michelle – she’s clever, and thoughtful, and has a great way about her that helps keep people connected – she IS my Dad
Talk to my wife Lauri, she’s beautiful, or my brother Bob or my sister Amy – he WAS their Dad.

Talk to my Mom – she is NOT my Dad – she is the Heart and Soul of my Dad

On a lighter note – I did learn a few things about my Father as we prepared the last few days. I went through his personal belongings at home. Your sock drawer can really tell a lot about a person. He loved watches – if you ever gave him one – he still has it. He loved eye glasses too. And if you ever gave him a nail clipper, well – first that’s a little weird – but if you did, he still has those too.

There are so many more thoughts and memories I could share. He will be missed by so many.

So please today share a smile and a story about my father – be happy for what we have. He wants it that way.



Danielle's with Carly

I am Danielle and this is Carly. We are proud granddaughters and we wanted to read a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson that we think sums up our grandfather's life. Love you, Grandpop.

To Have Succeeded

To laugh often and love much:
To win respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give one's self;
To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
Or redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm
And sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived...
This is to have succeeded.

Linda's

Era la metà di gennaio, ma la settimana che Albert fu in Abruzzo pioggia e neve cessarono di cadere per lui, ed avemmo belle giornate di sole e temperature miti.
It was the depth of January, but the week Albert was in Abruzzo the rain and snow stopped for him, and there was a beautiful sun and warm temperatures. The day after his flight back home, all the hell of winter came down from the sky, freezing temperatures, high snow, icy roads. For this and for other strange circumstances I nicknamed him Fortunato - Lucky Albert. When he was in his Torricella for the first time, he met a clerk at the comune who had lived in Canada for long years - who like everyone Al met became a lifelong friend - and that night he phoned to me from Marziale's house - needless to say Al was received like an old friend at their table. Marziale was instrumental some years later, after much research, to find his living aunt, the wife of Albert's grandfather's youngest brother, who had died young in the 1936 war, and relatives in Pescara.
During that visit back in January 1999 he came to see me and was a welcome guest at my table, with my husband preparing his special carbonara in his honor. All the time he took notes in a kind of shorthand on a little notebook "so as not to forget all the special moments". And it is the special moments I was fortunate to share with Albert that I have written down in my memory. The next morning I took him on a visit to the Museum in L'Aquila, and we met a teacher and class of my school visiting too. Of course he made friends with them all - with that special graciousness that only true royalty in ancient Europe had, as a knight of the round table pure at heart - and showed a great fondness for a girl with the Down syndrome telling me aside "they die so young - I have a feeling for her parents in my heart". There was so much room in his heart, for everyone.


Uncle Charlies's

I’d like to tell you a couple of very short stories about my brother; things he either did or said that touched my life, so you can all know even more than you already know about him, and what kind of person he was, and then how I believe we should remember him.
When we were little kids, Al was my teacher. He loved to teach, and I’m sure many of you know that. With me, Al never missed an opportunity to let me know if I was on the right track or not. Like when we shared a bed in those early years before there was enough money for separate beds. I was like 6 or 7 and Al was around 9 or 10. He made sure he taught me exactly where my half of the bed ended and his began. And if I didn’t learn fast enough, his fist would come down and show me the line, very clearly. Yeah, he was also a very effective teacher. Doesn’t this sound like him?

Later on, when we were about high school age, in the summers we would sometimes ride the Frankford elevated train for fun. We would get on the first train, go up to the very front of the car and open the half door, and let the 45 mph wind blow into our faces. One day, for some reason, Al decided to spit down onto the track, which was speeding by. So he spit – yep, right into the wind, and the swirling wind stream caused it to fly back at us and then past us, and wow, it landed on the lap of this lady’s bright yellow dress, and she let out a shriek. Well, before I could even fully comprehend what had happened, in the blink of an eye, Al looked at me and said, “Yo Chal, why’d you do that?”. Well, I was so frozen, so much in shock that I couldn’t’ even speak, and Al was already on his way over to the woman with his handkerchief out. Can you believe it? So again, Al was teaching me - he was teaching me how fast I had to think in order not to get caught in a bad situation. Again, doesn’t this sound like him?


Of course these were just a couple of the many, many, many funny things that happened in our childhood, but there was so much more to Al - he had so many dimensions.
In later years, we both wound up in the same Delran neighborhood. In fact, all three brothers – Al, Bill, myself - wound up within a couple of blocks of one another, where we raised our kids, all of whom remain close to this day. Even our parents, in their late years, moved closeby,
We did the usual family picnics and parties while the kids were growing up, and helped our parents with their later years.
And finally, when we were both retired and had become grandfathers, Al really got me started in golf. He was working and playing at Willow brook, and he was always eager to play at a moment’s notice. We played, and of course he showed me how to swing the club, which club to use in given situations, and how to conduct myself on the course. Well, not everything he taught me got through.
Well you know, we’ve all heard samples of Al’s one-liners. And over the coming days and weeks, many more will come into my consciousness, I’m sure, but one for now: It was last year, and my two brothers and their wives were over our house while my friends Bob and his wife Mary, from Kentucky, were visiting. Bob and Mary are both from the extreme rural areas of that state and both have very deep southern drawls. Well, at some point Mary said something to Bill that started with “Hey Be-ill”. And without missing a beat, Al said, “geez Bill, I didn’t know your name had 2 syllables”. Hey, does that sound like him?
So anyway, when you think of Al, please don’t think of him with sickness, think of him with these quick one-liners. Yeah, think of a time where he made you smile…….. or he made you proud. As a very wise person once said, “If you keep them in your heart, they will always be there”.



Andrew's with Amy


I would like to start by apologizing to all the people in this world, who never met my Dad.
He always believed in us, and in people in general, and that gave us a reason to believe in ourselves and each other.
He took pride, joy, and excitement in helping others and he did so in many ways
-By connecting people to their ancestry
-By giving those around him an appreciation and desire for knowledge
-And sometimes just a big warm hug
He taught us to seek that knowledge and to question and understand not to just blindly accept things as they were.
He taught us all that there was always another side to the story. He often played devils advocate that way, even though sometimes you didn’t want to look at things from a different perspective. He used that as a tool to help us understand and yet again, gain more knowledge and truly have that appreciation for everyone and everything.
Growing up I have wonderful memories of watching baseball games with my Dad, which probably explains my passion for it today. He made it into a game. He had a knack for that…teaching us Life’s Biggest Lessons in the form of a game, which is how we learned.
I have been lucky enough to return the favor in a small way. For the past few years for Father’s Day we’d pick a Phillies Game to go to together, just Dad and me. He’d let me buy the ticket and a hot dog for him and we would sit and enjoy the game and I knew he knew how important that was to me, because it was just as meaningful to him. I am so grateful for those memories and for so much more…
As hard as it is to believe we’ve been very fortunate these last five months to get to see my Dad every day. To tell him how much we loved him and just how much he meant to us all. No matter how tough his day was in that hospital, he made it easier on us with his big warm smile and amazingly his very quick wit still, which he never lost.
He told me in these last months on many occasions how amazed he was with his family and friends and especially my Mom, who was there every day…you all were, through your visits, calls, blog entries, and really just your thoughts and prayers.
He was very proud to see that all of the Life Lessons he taught us were well received and are put into daily use by all of us.
Each day when I left the hospital, we had a special good-bye. I would give him a kiss, tell him how much I loved him and we would bump fists and explode, which in return always got me a great smile from him. For that memory I will be forever grateful.

-I love you Pop!
-None of it was wasted
-Mwah! (Blow a kiss)
-Kaboom! (Fist Love)


Michelle's with Bob


I’m Michelle and this is my husband, Bob and he is proud to be known as Bob’s fourth son. My dad always treated my husband as his fourth son and I was very grateful for the bond they shared.

I am very proud to be known as Al’s daughter.
But like my dad, I go by several names – some more appropriate for today than others - Today I’d like to think of myself as “Fortunato” – which means lucky in italian and as you heard it was the nickname that was given to my dad on his first trip to Torricella Peligna.

I am Fortunato to have had him for a father and a teacher.
He taught me so many things -
But he taught me one very important thing that he must have known I would need to get through today and that is to look for the good in every situation.

He taught me how to look for the good, when it was hardest to find.
And in his honor today I choose to look for the good.

My dad taught us everything by example. My dad saw the good in everyone – and I know that’s one of the many reasons people loved him so much. Everyone of you was always welcome at our table and he made sure you all knew you were special to him. So today I will let you all borrow my nickname - today we are all Fortunati to have known my dad.

My dad also shared another great gift with us. The gift of a good sense of humor.
Just recently he gave us this quote -

"It is important to find the humor in every situation. Every tragedy has humor in it and it reduces the trauma of the tragedy."

The gift of finding humor in every tragedy came in very handy in the last 5 months. We cried a lot but we also laughed a lot and he knew that and was proud of us for learning it so well, sometimes too well. .
We were all willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of a good joke.
Some of us sacrificed more than others and you should all - all be very afraid of what I decide to use the next time I want to try and make you smile.

I am also Fortunato because app 55 years ago my dad was in the right place at the right time. Apparently my mom was out shoppin and shoppin and she picked my dad.

And today I commend her for that – not just because she told me too – but really mom I commend you for picking the best dad, the best grandpop and the best father-in-law. We are all Fortunato.

And I commend him for picking you. You were his best friend, his biggest fan and forever his bride. Apparently, he ran out on quite a few card games just so he could get home to her. And he tried really hard to get home to her this time, too. He only fought for as long as he did for my mom. He loved her very much and he loved her very well for many years - and for that mom – you know you are Fortunato, too, just as he was. And like dad, you are strong and kind and optimistic and very funny and surrounded by people who love you and will help you celebrate his life and move you forward.

How could I possibly speak about my dad without acknowledging “his boys”. I know all of you ladies are totally jealous that I got to grow up with these 3 handsome guys! If you didn’t have a crush on my dad - you most likely werein love with one or more of my brothers. I have to tell you to keep your hands off Mike and Andy they are well-spoken for but feel free to be “hands on” with Jeff – just trying to help a brother in his time of need!

I am not one of the boys- but they never make me feel like that – they even let me golf with them – probably because my dad told them they had to. And for that I am also very Fortunato because they are in my favorite foursome.

Not only do they look just like my dad – more importantly they inherited all of his wonderful traits. Strong, funny, optimistic and most importantly I think, they are all very kind.

Michael spoke about the other boys so I think they won’t mind if I just speak about him for a minute.

He is our captain now.
And we are in good hands. I believe that when God gives you something difficult to handle he gives you the tools and the dignity to deal with it. God and Dad gave us Michael. You have big moccasins to fill – but you have proven time and time again that are up to the task.

I bestow on you the title that Dad would want you to have - Sanctus Michaelmas Magusus! We are going to enjoy calling you that!

My dad was so very proud of him and all of us. And we are fortunato that we knew that – always. So many people that came through the line last night that were friends of my dad and said “of course, we know you - your dad talked about you all the time”. We knew we were special and for that we are fortunato.

I could talk to you all day about my dad and my family and I’m sure I will do just that. I hope you do too. Talk to one another and to us and about what he meant to you and tell your funniest Al Porreca story. Bobby Cuva better be telling the story of my dad’s car accident last year. That is one my favorite stories. In my mind my dad was ALWAYS right – except that time.
But it’s a funny story and my dad would absolutely not mind sacrificing himself so we could get a laugh.

So let’s do what Sanctus Michaelmas told us to do and be happy today. Celebrate the fact that you knew him and that he believed you were special, too. Try to laugh more than you cry and remember we are all Fortunato!

My last words have to be my dad’s…

I miss you all.

Ciao a Tutti!

Michelle the Godess!

To Michelle!

You are unbelievable and have been an angel and an unbelievable connection to your dad and your family. I just wanted you to know how much you are appreciated for all the work you've done for the last 6 months keeping everyone informed about dad. I know I didn't call your mom every other night and bother her with wanting to know details because of this blog. I know I can speak for alot of people when I say you have been informative, hysterical, positive and a genius in keeping people informed with your wit and personality and it is a true testimate to your dad because he would have been the same way and done the same things as you did. POSITIVE! You are sooooo your dad! The funeral was one of the saddest I've ever witnessed because it was such a loss to all! His body was just sooo tired! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication to all of your dad's fans (and your family in general). I can't tell you how much your effort and flawless reporting is appreciated! I know your dad is proud and unbelievably loved by all he ever met.

Thanks again for all your efforts! You are a sweetheart!

Love you to pieces! Kim and Ryan

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'd like to share

My heart is broken as all of yours is...

I want to tell you a little story about when I was 10 or 11 years old..I was sitting down to dinner with Aunt Lee and Uncle Al and we had corn on the cob (Fresh of course being from Jersey) and when I asked for the white corn as anyone would...because there where only a couple of white ears of corn Uncle Al said.."Why do you want that"? Because it is sweeter of course...Then he said "Well how do you know that"? Because it tastes better of course......Do you know he put blind folds on us, and made us tell the difference..I won't tell you the outcome because it may break someones heart.....but there you have it...That was 36 years agos..imagine how many memories we all share..

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Torricella Peligna's tribute to Dad

Please take a moment to visit the the website my dad co-founded. The link at the bottom will take you to a page dedicated to him, but he would love you to look around the site and see what they created in an effort to reunite families with one another and their heritage. He was so pleased and so proud to do this work. It is a great pleasure to know he was so well-loved for it.

Torricella Tribute

http://www.torricellapeligna.com/Al-Condolences.htm

We are deeply appreciative. We were happy to share him with all of you. We are also sorry for your loss. We know how much he meant to all of you. Please know that you meant to so much to him.

He has left us with countless, countless wonderful memories. They will help us get through this sad time. Enjoy them, please! xo


Condolences

May God bless Al Porreca and keep Lee safe until they meet again. I am heartbroken for Jeffrey and the entire Porreca family over Al's passing. I have followed your dad's web site since Jeff told me about it years ago while we worked at EMC. I would ask Jeff what Pop was doing with his spare time after retirement - the answer was usually, "Working on that web site of his!". I could see the pride, love and effort that was put into it. I regret we never had the chance to meet (even while working at the Delran Lowe's for three years our paths just missed crossing on many occasions). Michelle, Mike, and Andy - if you're all anything like Jeffrey - I would call your dad's (and mom's) mission in life a huge success. A great family is a parent's greatest legacy. God bless you all.
Kevin Vitale
Lumberton, NJ
kmv61@verizon.net

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

He's home...

I haven't posted to the blog yet, not sure exactly why, but I was feeling today like I needed to say a few words. I was so blessed to have "Dad" come into my life when I found my true love, Michael. I remember the first time I met Dad. It was in the Black Baron house and I was meeting the family for the first time after dating Michael for a month or so. When we walked into the house, Michael and his parents greeted each other so warmly and Michael walked up to Dad and hugged him and kissed Dad right on the lips! At first I thought, "how strange". But within minutes I realized that his family was so warm and welcoming and they were definitely not afraid to show their affection toward each other. I knew from that day on that Michael was going to be a wonderful husband and father just by the way he interacted with his parents. Needless to say, Michael and I married and have 3 wonderful children that have also been lucky enough to have Dad/Grandpop in their lives. He was so caring, kind, funny, thoughtful, and kept us all on the right track. I was so fortunate to have Dad in my life for these past 17 years. He was truly like a father to me!

I think that Dad was the kind of person that was at "home" wherever his friends and family were. It didn't matter if he was travelling to Italy, Florida, or within the state of New Jersey. Home was where he gathered with those that he loved. So I know that now he's in a new kind of "home" where I am sure he has already found his parents, Mom Mom, and all that he loved that paved the way before him. I know that we'll all miss him so much, but we will see him again and he'll be the first to welcome us "home". I can see him smiling!

I love you Dad! Lauri

Condoglianze

Le più sentite condoglianze da un nipote di Italia Croce e Mariano Porreca, lontani parenti di Albert. Alessandro Melograna e famiglia

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sad to say...

This was one post I was hoping not to have to write but, we had to say good-bye to my dad yesterday.

We are grateful to all of you who followed his progress and prayed for him and for our family. It meant the world to all of us and most importantly, to him. He knew how much he was loved by his family and friends all over the world.

We enjoy the thought of him reuniting with his family and friends that have gone before him. I'll bet he's drinking that cold glass of iced tea, eating fiadone and singing italian songs! Ciao, Pop!
We know you loved us very much, but you also loved us very well. Thank you. We'll see you everywhere xo


Here is what will appear in the newspapers:

Albert M. Porreca
Beloved husband, father and friend

Passed away peacefully on Sept 15, 2008 at the age of 73. Al was son to Albert and Nettie and was born and raised in Philadelphia. He later moved to Delran where he and his darling wife, Lee, raised their 4 children. In recent years, they moved to Cinnaminson.

He spent 49 wonderful years married to his best friend, Lee (nee Carrigan). He was the big brother of Charles and William and the loving father of Michelle Reasso and her husband Bob, Michael and his wife Lauri, Jeffrey, Andrew and his fiancée Amy Miller. He was Grandpop to Danielle, Bobby, Christian, Carly and Allie and a beloved brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, and friend to many. He will be dearly missed by all.

Al retired from CIGNA in 1998 as a VP in Information Technology, but went on to enjoy a second career at Willowbrook Country Club where he loved playing golf and cards with his family and many friends.

Al devoted much of his time and derived much pleasure from researching his ancestral home town of Torricella Peligna in Italy and was instrumental in developing a website that was devoted to bringing families of the Abruzzo region together to celebrate their heritage. In 2007, he and Lee travelled to Torricella where he was honored for the work that was so important to him.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Al’s life celebration and viewing Friday Eve 6- 9 pm at SNOVER/GIVNISH of Cinnaminson 1200 Rte 130 North. His funeral service will follow on Saturday at 2 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church 207 W. Main St. Moorestown, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you perform a random act of kindness in his memory.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Al from Piera and family,
Diana came to Abruzzo to visit, we are out for a pizza tonight before she flies back to Lansdale on Thursday 18, she sends her best wishes too.
I am a Virgo like you and is my birthday today. We know what we Virgos can do, and this means we will do it, taking our time. You can do it, take all the time you need, but not too much please...
Next year is John Fante's 100th birth anniversary, so you really must try to finish what you are doing before then.
Congratulations on you for what you achieved so far and for having such a wonderful, wonderful family and so many friends around you. After all we called you Fortunato back in January 1999...
Un grandissimo in bocca al lupo!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Albert Schweitzer said.....

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.

Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

It is with deep gratitude that we thank all of you, and one another, for keeping our flame of hope burning bright. Did I say bright? Well, most days bright, some days we just manage to keep it lit - and that is enough.
(Sometimes we have to hide our flame from the doctors)

We still have a long road to travel. The good news is, my mom and dad have an incredible love for one another that keeps them plugging away at this day after day. They have much to be grateful for and much to look forward to.

Dad is back in ICU where they can better monitor him. We appreciate being back where he gets the best care.

Again, many thanks to all of you for your continued love and support.

Michelle and family

PS Dad loved reading the Toricella updates - and especially about the latest recipient of the Toricellans in the World Award. Congratulations! We are all coming to the ceremony next year! It looked like such fun and is near and dear to my dad's heart. Dad is looking forward to the webcam on the Corso so we can visit anytime!





Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Hi Al,
Happy (belated) Birthday and keep up the steady progress! We've been following your recovery on this blog and keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
Rob & Mirella
Al- You don't know us but I met your amazing daughter Michelle through the Pancreatitis Place website. My husband went through what you are going through. A year later he is home but still look towards a surgery or two. We're praying for one but you never know. He seems to like to take the more complicated route! LOL! I know this journey you are your family are on is loooooong we're still on it a year later, but know that there is an end in sight and that you will be up and walking and reclaiming your life:) It sound to me from what I've read on your blog that you are a strong and amazing guy and that and a lot of prayer will get you home to your family. I'm so blown away by the love your family has for you and their strength in all this! You are so blessed and I know you'll be home with them soon. We are praying for you daily!
Love,
Karen and Greg Gleason

P.S. Happy belated Birthday!

Friday, September 12, 2008

TGI Jeff!

The boy is back in town.

Visiting with mom and dad all day and then this evening he'll be mom's lucky escort to Helene and Jack's anniversary party! Sorry to miss that one. I know you all know how to have a good time :)
And, congratulations!

Dad is just doing his thing. Trying to heal from the surgery and regain strength.
Mind over matter. Go, Dad.

Will report in from Dad's room Saturday.

Love, Michelle

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Al --- from Steve and Sandi

Happy Birthday Al.

It hard to believe another year has past and so many good things have occurred. I know right now you are thinking, what good things is he talking about. But, you know I am always very optimistic and always see the brighter side of things. You are making progress, although it may not be at the pace you want, but you are moving forward. It doesn't matter how long the journey take, but you get to make the journey.

Sandi and I enjoyed our visit with you, before I had my knee surgery. As you know I had it done in Florida as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Fay was bearing down on my town. Fortunately, we did not take a direct hit and my surgery went very well. I hope to get in to see you soon and show you how good my knee is doing. I also, really appreciated you calling me after my surgery to see how I was doing. That really meant a lot to me.

Keep getting better old friend. Sandi and I love you and Lee.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Al!

Hi Al,

We have been following your progress and glad that you are getting better and better! Happy Birthday Cugino. We miss you on the geneaology boards. We have also noticed that are trees intersect again but I cannot remember how off the top of my head. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!

Best wishes,

Tanya Cristini Klatt

CHA CHA CHA

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU (CHA CHA CHA)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU (CHA CHA CHA)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR AL (CHA CHA CHA)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!

See you over the weekend!!!

Love you..........Kim and Ryan

Ciao SAM!

A very Happy B-Day from your friend SA!!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Someone's Special!!!

Just a little note to tell you:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I MISS YOU!!!!!

Think of a wish........blow out your candle!!!!!...... !!! ....

i'll make sure that gets into good hands!

Love you Uncle Al ! ! ! ! !

T.A.!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AL!!

SINCE YOU DECIDED TO TAKE IT A LITTLE EASY ON THIS BIRTHDAY, WE WILL ALL HAVE TO REALLY CELEBRATE NEXT YEAR!!!

I want you to know that I have been thinking about you all the time and keeping you in my prayers. We may not be blood relatives, but I consider you a big part of my family. I had told Michelle that one of the best things my brother did was to marry her and we got the added bonus of you and your family. So many people have great things to say about you and have wonderful times to share. It just goes to show what a presence you have made in a lot of people's lives.

I wish you all the best!

Love Rosemarie

Big Hugs and Kisses

Happy Birthday Grandpop!

We already called to sing you happy birthday but here it is one more time...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR GRANDPOPPP
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUU!!!

And here is a story that should cheer you up a little bit....

At school I'm in a program called Teen Pep which is a group of juniors (I know, can you believe I'm a JUNIOR!?) and we go around to freshman classes to do out reaches & teach them about peer pressure and sex education and prevention. Anyway, on Thursday and Friday we all went to stay at the Holiday Inn for a retreat for bonding time and to get to know each other better and learn what was yet to come in our program. One of the activities that we did was we all sat in a circle with candles in the middle and one person would pick up a card, read the question on the card, and it would be passed around in the circle so everyone had a chance to answer it. The fourth question we got was "Who is your hero?". When I first heard the question I already knew exactly who it would be. By the time the card was in my hand I had tears in my eyes because I knew exactly what I wanted to tell them. I told them "My grandpop is my hero - no question about it. He has always been there for me and he's the smartest man I know. Since I was little I have noticed that he always has something to teach other people - especially teaching his grandkids the new magic tricks he learned." Then I continued to tell them that you are in the hospital but I know you're going to get through this because I know how strong you are :)

oops, that was pretty long...but hopefully it made you smile! :)

I love you more Grandpop - keep pushing through because we all know you can do it!
~Danielleeeee

Today is your birthday

and I'm gonna sing tooooooooooooo ya!

Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean,
And the pleasant land.

Little drops - little steps, oh, mighty ocean.

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Dad,
Happy Birthday to you!

Make a wish and we'll help you make it come true. That's your birthday promise.

Love you ~Michelle

Tanti auguri!!!!!

Ciao carissimo Al,
A poet, I am not.  So don't expect any fancy words from this paesano in California -- simply many wishes of a wonderful birthday surrounded by your loved ones.  
On behalf of the Torricellano community the world over:  Happy Birthday!!!  Tanti Auguri!!!  And many cyberspace hugs from all.
Dan Aspromonte 

Somebody's Having a Birthday!!

Hey Pop,
Happy Birthday!! I hope you are having a great day. I look forward to seeing you after work. I Love You! And I am very proud and happy to say that you are my father. You have had a tremendous effect on all those who have come into your life. People throughout the entire world are following your progress daily and sending you their prayers. They couldn't have found a better person to respect and love. Amy and I will be there to see you tonight. We love you!!

Love,
Andy & Amy

A Virtual Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Dear Al!
Happy Birthday to you!

love,
Camille and Joe

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Family Matters....

Wish you all could have been there. Frank and Denise had a beautiful wedding and reception and it lifted all of our spirits to see aunts, uncles, cousins and more cousins that we have not seen in awhile. It would be nice to get together more often, and perhaps we will, but most importantly, we know we're all out here for one another. We love you all very much and appreciate each and every one of you. We have lots of happy memories, let's enjoy making more whenever we get the opportunity!

Dad is spending the day watching football and baseball with Andy, Amy and Mom. I'll bet she's really enjoying it, hmmmm. He called Allie to wish her a happy birthday and I know it made her day!

We anticipate Dad will have a busy week of therapy. His focus will be on getting that swallowing thing going, overall strength and continuing to heal from the surgery. Please send all of your prayers and energy to those muscles of his.

Cheers ~ Michelle

PS My dad says to thank you ladies for the dance(s). He especially enjoyed the mummer's strut!
For the record, I didn't butt in once. I'm waiting for a birthday dance on Tuesday. Nah, nah.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Excuse me, It's my turn!

Great idea Maureen, but I want a turn before Michelle walks over.
Since Sean and I can't be at the wedding, I too want to cyber dance with Uncle Al.

(Is there a dancing computer code or symbol Uncle Al)?

I want to dance to an Abba song..."Dancing Queen"
Since the movia Mama Mia is out right now, the timing is perfect!

Okay, the song is over...Thank you Uncle Al, loved the jokes!
Who is next? Will it be Michelle? Donna? Nancy?

Love you all! Miss you very much Uncle Al

Love, Sandy :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our cousin "Frank" is getting married

I know you want to be there Uncle Al, But since you can't and I can't either, maybe we can heat up some popcorn..(just make pretend) sit back and hear all the lovely stories that everyone will be telling us....

I imagine alot of dancing...alot of drinking..and alot of laughs and good wishes. I can imagine our Frank (notice no Frankie reference) looking soooo handsome and his bride beaming at him. I'll make pretend that you ask me to dance (cause I'm sitting by myself LOL) and Michelle butts in cause it's her turn. I can hear the music and the laughter and so should you.

I Love you Uncle Al, Thank you for the dance

Moe

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A quote from Dad...

"It is important to find the humor in every situation. Every tragedy has humor in it and it reduces the trauma of the tragedy."

He's our leader. Lucky us, huh?! Yes. Very, very much so.

The other news for today is that Dad was STRONG. Looking good, feeling good and one day closer to going home.

Peace, Michelle

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If you can't say anything nice...

don't say anything at all. Which is why I didn't write earlier today. I also thought I'd let you enjoy my dad's note for awhile. :)

I told you before that the blog helps me to focus on the positive (or maybe I just told Maureen, but now you know too). I know sometimes my entries send a bit of a false impression of the day to day reality. But, I write it because you read it and I know you want to hear good news because you love my dad as much as we do. We can't really do much besides keep each other "up" while he does all the hard work. My family, my brothers and their wives, my mom, my aunts, uncles, cousins, his friends all over the world - all of you who are worried and really can't do much to change the situation for him - we need to hear all the good news we can because the bad news finds us anyway. I think we've all done a really good job of helping one another keep our faith and our sense of humor because when we lose that we're done. I know you have all helped me tremendously and I am very, very grateful and so is my dad. He wanted to write something really profound yesterday - after all he's been through, the fact that he wrote at all was profound enough for us, yes?! And he does miss you all a great deal.

Well, I lost it last night and I didn't know what I'd possibly be able to say today that didn't bring you down. And then I thought, "you know what, tough, get a tissue". Go - get a tissue - and cry loudly into it cause this is damn sad!

The reality is, it's very difficult to see my dad unable to eat or drink or move more than his hands. It's awful for him. And for my mom. And it's very sad for her and all of us including my brothers and his brothers to have to leave him there every day. He's the best and he really does his best to help US stay upbeat. Can you imagine? How would YOU deal with it? Makes you wonder. I know I would not be nearly as good as he is. Anyway, we just want him to come home and have a life. A real life. I was starting to think that maybe it wasn't possible (even Andy couldn't convince me - and he's good!) But, then.............. :)

this morning instead of writing a blog I sent an email to my "pancreatitis support group". Which I laugh about, but, seriously, there is a yahoo group for EVERYTHING and I LOVE them. 5 minutes ago I got an email from my new best friend, Karen, whose husband went through pretty much what my dad went through. Severe Necrotizing Pancreatitis - very sudden gallstone attack, ICU, blah, blah, ventilator, ICU, rehab, blah, blah, ICU, rehab, surgery, blah, blah, feeding tube, blah, infection, blah, blah, surgery, blah, blah (get it? - long time) You know where he is tonight - a boy scout meeting! You know what he's doing after that? Yada-yada! Hang in there, mom! He'll be back!

So, dry your eyes, like I will, and get back to praying for some serious healing for him while we all keep the faith, our sense of humor and a sense of gratitude for all we have, for as long as it lasts. Cent Anni!

We've got a birthday to celebrate - not to mention a wedding or two!!

Love, Michelle

Monday, September 1, 2008

Live from ICU 4

Ciao a tutti,

Just a note to all my friends and family. Thanks for all the support you have given me along the way. Well, we've passed another milestone. The plan was to remove the gall bladder, but when they got in there they said there was too much bleeding. So they just cleaned out the stones and said I should come back when I'm stronger. The plan now is to get me into physical therapy so I can get strong enough to go home. Some time in the future I'll be back for the gall bladder surgery.

I miss you all.

Love, Al

Labor Day update

Morning Edition...

The boys say Dad looked good yesterday. A little disappointed that he still has his gall bladder, but he understands why and will do what he has to do.

He has a wonderful life to get back to, which includes the most wonderful wife. They're going on a cruise as soon as he's up for it! So, every day he gets a little closer to that goal.

I'm heading down to visit this morning, so I'll post an evening edition later today.

Love, Michelle

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back on the Road to Recovery

Just saw Dad this morning for a quick visit. He was awake and eating breakfast - plastic ventilator - bad choice, dad. Go with the bagel next time the waitress comes around.

In any event, they were getting ready to take it out because he is able to do his own breathing, thank you very much.

I'm sure he will have a wonderful visit with mom today. She was very happy to get the news that he was getting off the breathing tube.

The plan is for him to be in ICU for a few days and then head back to rehab and get back to all that swallowing, sitting and standing.

Dad, you did great. Keep smiling and laughing. You are amazing and it is a blessing to all of us that you've still got your razor sharp wit. I hear you told your nurse she looked like Al Roker's sister. Seriously, Dad, you need to filter some thoughts. Unfortunately, we know just who you mean :)

Peace, Michelle

Friday, August 29, 2008

In Recovery!

So, the gall bladder is still in, but all the stones and sludge are out.

What, they didn't take the gall bladder out?!

I know...that's how we reacted, too, but it's fine.

Dad's surgeon explained that there was too much bleeding for him to remove it safely. The fact that he was able to clean it out was still an accomplishment and Dad will be able to heal without danger of another attack. This is good. There were at least 15 little stones that could have caused a future problem. Sorry stones, you missed your chance!

He is sleeping peacefully right now and we hope to chat with him tomorrow.

Our Goodbye Gall Bladder party has been renamed the Goodbye Gall Stone party. Drinks will be served neat (as opposed to "on the rocks" for you non-drinkers!).

Thank you all for your love and support.

Surgery at 10:30 am this morning!

Got moved up for some reason.

Will post when he is in recovery!

Lots of love, Michelle

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

He's a platelet maker!

Platelets climbed from 40,000 to 66,000. I've seen him make a lot of things, but this is a first!

He was moved from ICU to a regular room, which means he is stable (or they needed his bed!) Probably a little of both, but they would not have moved him if it was a risk, so we are fine with this. Mom is there with him now and she says he looks good to her. I'll bet!!

Surgery still on for Friday. We are all feeling strong, Dad included. Your prayers have no doubt helped us with that. Again, many thanks to all of you.

Please keep praying for peace of mind, strong bodies and a smooth road until Friday.

Cheers! Michelle

PS Some of you have asked me if my dad is "his old self". I'll let you decide based on an exchange between he and his nurse yesterday:

Dad: Resting comfortably, tucked nicely under his covers.

Nurse: "Al, I'd like to turn you, ok?"

Dad: "No"

Nurse: "Come on, Al"

Dad: "No, I'm comfortable just like this"

Nurse: "Al, I don't want to see your bed sores get any worse"

Dad: "Then close your eyes"

What do you think? :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Friday it is....

Surgery is now early afternoon Friday. He will be stronger by then and we will get to kick off our Labor Day Weekend with a good-bye gall bladder party. I've never hosted a gall bladder party, but one thing my family knows how to do is party, so I'm sure we'll figure it out! Good riddance, GB.

They postponed surgery due to a low platelet count. The hematologist feels they are low due to one of his antibiotics, so they have taken him off and hope to see the numbers rise on their own. Better to have his own platelets than someone else's, they say. Makes sense to me.

Dad had a quiet day. He was tired and slept most of the day. He was talking in his sleep and having some lovely dreams based on what we heard - he was enjoying a cold drink, eating fudge and taking pictures of us. I'm glad he was dreaming of things he likes to do! He'll be back to them soon enough.

He got a new fancy bed to help relieve some pressure on his back sores, we hope it helps.

At the end of the day he had a visit from Brian and Josh, which I'm sure he enjoyed! I know it cheered my mom up as well. Thanks, guys :)

Make platelets, Dad, but just as importantly, enjoy your sweet dreams!

Love you lots, Michelle

Not today...

We are waiting to talk to his surgeon, but it seems that he would like dad's platelets to come up on their own.

Surgery is now tentatively scheduled for Friday.

More news later.

xo

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bye-bye Gall Bladder! Hello, Healing!

Dad is 99% sure, scheduled for surgery this afternoon. Not sure exactly what time yet. His platelets are a little low but they will probably just give him some and do what they need to do to get rid of that nasty gall bladder.

We just know it's what he needs to really begin healing. His doctors and nurses are wonderful and we are confident that they will do an excellent job.

Michael and I are heading up this morning. He likes to look into the doctor's souls and make sure they realize just how important my dad is before they start working on him. Me, I have other jobs, as you know.

No worries. We've done this before and the results were better than expected. This will be no different.

We're all right there with you, dad. Looking forward to seeing you in recovery!
xo

MRI Today

Dad is going for an MRI this morning.

I had a nice visit with him last night. He had me wave his healing stone over him. Mom and I bought it for him in NY. He says he really likes it and the nurses do, too. They often wave it over his abdomen and one of them uses it on herself as well. However, Dad says she called in sick today! I'm guessing she wanted to be healthy for her fake sick day.

When I left he was sleeping peacefully and talking and smiling to himself in his dreams. Very sweet. :)

We doubt he will have surgery tomorrow. They want him to keep getting stronger and so do we. In any event, I am sure his team of doctors will make the right decision. Please remember to keep them in your prayers as well.

Will keep you informed.

Love, Michelle

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Slow and Steady

They were able to take Dad off of his blood pressure medication last night. This is good and I think this means he can have an MRI so they can assess his gall bladder and help them make a decision about surgery.

He is getting stronger. We can hear it in his voice and see it in his arm movements.

Hang in there, Dad. Have a peaceful Sunday and I'll look forward to seeing your handsome face on Monday :) xo

Love, Michelle

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Feeling Strong!

Just got word from my mom that my dad is feeling strong today!
He looks great, which means she feels great, too!

Good job everyone. Dad especially. He is impressive, isn't he?
We expect nothing less because he has never given us any reason to.

Have faith in him, because you always have. Did he ever let you down? Nope.

Believe in him, because he always believed in you, which is one of the many reasons we all love him so much.

He can do it, and so can we.

So, cast your fears and doubt aside.....in fact throw them far, far away.

No worries. Really. He is getting really great care. His doctors and nurse love him as much as we do.

And did I tell you that he and I look alike now? Like twins. Especially with my roots growing in. In fact, I may even have more gray than him - ew.

Who knew?

When he was younger he looked like Jeff, in the service, like Andy, at work, Mike.
In the hospital with a high bilirubin count, skinny and no muscle tone - me.
I'm thrilled, but I am going to have my bilirubin checked, get to the gym and buy me some Clairol. :)

Go, dad.

Love, Michelle

Friday, August 22, 2008

Patience

"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure.
Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success."
~ Brian Adams

I don't know who Brian Adams is ( a beach boy?!) and I don't much care, but I like what he says. I have found myself in the impatient category - aaagh! So, I am going to aim for patience and find success! No doubt about it.

Dad is resting and doing his best to stay positive and on track. All we can ask.
We all know that healing takes time. So, be patient, remember to breathe, I have learned it helps, and smile often. He would want you to do all of those things :)


Peace, Michelle

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good News

No surprise, dad has a good heart.

Waiting to hear what the next step is. The pain seems to be coming from his gall bladder, so his surgeons need to make a decision about when to take it out.
We would like it to be soon, but his team of doctors will meet and come to a decision.
The issue is that he needs to be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, etc. I'd bet there will be at least a little more rehab before it happens, but we really would like it to happen soon. His gall bladder seems to be the source of all evil. Maybe my dad can make it disappear - pray for that - why not? I believe...

Michelle

Procedure this morning

Hi, all,

Dad was having some chest pains yesterday so they are going to do a cardiac catheterization this morning at 7 am just to rule out a blockage in his arteries. I anticipate they will not find a blockage. The meds could be causing some swelling of the membrane around his heart which could be what is causing the pressure and pain.

So, hopefully, no blockage will be good news to dad and his spirits will be better today. He is very tired, understandably so.

Andy stayed with dad last night and my dad was very happy to have him there. If you need an optimist - call Andy! (Don't call me, my nickname is is alarm-y) Andy has cheered us on through all of this and last night was no different. He and Amy are both very special and we are blessed by them both.

This has been hard on everyone, all of you included, but no one more so than dad. Well, my mom's way up there, too. Please pray for some relief for him and a big giant step forward in his recovery process.

I will post from his room as soon as we get results.

Love, Michelle

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dad called my mom this morning!

To tell her he loved her :)

She is heading up to give him a kiss :)

Enjoy...michelle

Hammer Time!

Thanks for helping to lift him out of his much deserved funk! He's ready to keep moving forward...one little step at a time.

Go, Dad. You are awesome.

xo michelle

Monday, August 18, 2008

He'd rather be a hammer

...than a nail. Yes, he would, if he only could, he surely would.

But he is weak and been feeling like the nail for too long. He's tired of it today and nobody blames him one bit.

Please pray for his spirits today. What a difference a day can make, so let's hope tomorrow he's feeling more like his smart, funny, optimistic self :)

Love, Michelle

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A good day!

Dad looks and feels good today. You've heard that before, I know. But it is good, this is just a small setback. They told us we would have these - 2 steps up and one back still gets you where you're going!

We are awaiting test results to find out where the infection is coming from. It could be from the PICC (sp?) line (this is how antibiotics get into his veins - diff than an IV line) It could be from the catheter, or it could be something else. We'll see. In any event, they are treating the infection and pumping him up with fluids because he is dehydrated.

My dad noticed it was 9:33 this morning and he, my mom, Mike and I all said a little silent prayer together. It is really nice to have him in the loop!

His spirits were very good and he was doing his swallowing and arm exercises. He's a trooper. You knew this. Even so, I think you're gonna like him more than ever, if that's possible.

Hey, he loves all of his visitors, but I have to pass along a compliment to Teddy.
He works with Dad at Willowbrook and gets the top visitor award today! Teddy, Dad says he loves when you visit. He says you're interesting to listen to and you don't ask a lot of questions that require him to talk too much. Thanks, Teddy :)

Don't be insulted if you're not Teddy. Just think of a good story before you go. Or just go when Teddy goes. Maybe you'll enjoy his visit, too!

Love, Michelle

We're baaaack - and so is Dad

Back in ICU. He had a little setback - slight fever and an infection. It could just be a urinary tract infection from the catheter. Heading up to the hospital now to see if we can get some more info.

More news later...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The DUDE!

Hey Kids!

My dad calls me every other night and asks me " Hows the Dude"? You are soooo THE DUDE after all this crap! Keep up the good work! If you think there are so many good wishes of people on this website, you have no idea of the amount of people that are wishing and praying for you that are not so computer savvy (not that I am) but like dad, he doesn't get on the computer every day, but asks and thinks about you every day! Believe it or not, there is a legion of us that are still praying every 9:33! Dad and I both want to come see you over the weekend if that's ok. We just want you to be comfortable. We know this has been a very challanging week! Keep on keepin on Al! We love you and are soooo in AWE! You are doing GREAT! The fact that you're wakin' up on the right side of the grass every day is a tribute to your strength, support, desire to be here and the love you have for your peeps! You are AWESOME and we all love you soooo much!!! All our love, Kim and Ryan

We're watching you !!!

Al,
Just a note to tell you Joy and I were passing thru San Jose on Tuesday and had a chance to have lunch with Dan and his two beautiful daughters. We got Saint Angela on the phone – she moved from the beach to back up on the hill near Torricella – and all we could do is talk about you. All of us are watching your progress and our prayers are with you and your family. Hang in there - were looking forward to seeing you and having some scrapple and chipped beef at the local New Jersey dinner this Oct.
Barry, Joy, Dan and Saint Angela

Michael's report...

Dad is in good spirits and looking strong...and heading down for therapy!

He must have heard mom's packin' her visa. Try and catch her, dad!
We'll bring you a present if we get good reports. And we only accept good reports, like this one. You're set.

Love you, Michelle

He needs a good, healthy weekend. Pray for that, please.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It is what it is...

Dad is healing. Slowly and shirley. :)

No matter where he is he will continue to get better. Believe me he wants to get up and out and when he can, he will.

So, like I said, Mom and I are going on a road trip. You can't go with us but you can play along. You were here for the hospital so you should be able to do the vacation.

Mom's going on a road trip and she's bringing chex mix, candy, her visa, pinot grigio for me, and her favorite wine, 1. _________

I'm going on a road trip and I'm bringing mom, pretzels, diet ginger ale, dad's GPS, my Lukoil card and 2. _____________

Next year we're bringing 3. _______

Answers: 1. onasiP, 2. koob taf gib a 3. dad

He's such a palindrome.

If you got one out of 3 right (or you are bringing something we like!) you can come next year, too.

Cheers,

Michelle

Admire this while we are away

Ughhhhhhhhh..........

Very frustrating for us and for dad. He is really not ready for all the therapy.
The reality is he is still very weak. Struggling with the feeding tube and not able to pass the swallow test. So, Mike and mom are trying to figure out where he needs to be...back in a hospital? It seems sometimes the doctors make decisions based on insurance, go figure.

So, Mike and mom are trying to figure it out and make the best decision for dad. Mike is making calls to insurance companies and doctors while Dad is sleeping off a day of messed up sugar levels.

My mom and I will be away for a few days in New Paltz, NY Woodstock here we come!) Hopefully, she can relax and get some mental and physical rest. Retail therapy works for her as well, so there will be shopping involved. Please pray for a nice trip for her and that she comes back ready to get back to the advocating, waiting, praying etc.

I'll try and post if he gets moved again. For now, he is in Marlton Rehab.

Get back on the 9:33 duty. We still have work to do.

Gone Shoppin'

Michelle

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thank you

Seriously....to every one of you who has followed dad's progress and helped carry us along. I have just been printing the blog for him and realize how many of you are out there praying, pushing, lifting, hoping and WAITING for him to come home. He'll be there. He has worked so hard already, his reward can't be too far away.

He is working on getting stronger. He has a long way to go but he will pick up speed as he gets better. Remember when he was just working on breathing? It's all good from here on in.

He now weighs a whopping 150 lbs. so the goal is real food and liquids by mouth. A good goal and he will enjoy it when he gets there!

His routine will be workouts from 8 am to noon. He probably gets a break in there. I am guessing then nap? and visitors in the afternoon and evening. Hours are until 8 pm. I am sure he'd love to see you!

When he can take phone calls we will let you know!

Love, Michelle and crew

Sunday, August 10, 2008

godspeed

To the entire Porreca clan,and I stress "entire" because there was a steady stream of well-wishers.And especially to my latest hero Al,

I wish you well. I wish you continued healing. It was my pleasure to share this part of your journey. For whatever reasons you had to take this harsh road of illness, from what I have seen and experienced, you and your wonderful family have handled this with extreme patience, dignity and love. And for that you are a lucky man.
Lee-you are the best. Thanks for the "almost better than sex" pralines.

I'll be checking your progress.
Fondly,
Beth Reeves,Rehab Manager
Lourdes Specialty Hospital

Friday, August 8, 2008

Movin' On!

Dad is moving today! This means he is stable enough to handle more therapy. Very good news. He will also be able to be seen by his original doctors and we are very pleased about that as well.

He will be back in Marlton at the rehab facility located next to Virtua, where he was in the beginning. Here is a link so you can see what it's all about and get directions and visiting hours.

http://www.marltonrehab.com/

Please pray for a smooth transition, a restful weekend for him and that he hits the ground running on Monday! More likely it will be sitting, but a sit's as good as a stand at this point :)

Go, Dad!

Much love, Michelle

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thanks Maureen for the Iced Tea Song?!

I think it was Maureen, although all of our cousins sang that song in the car - that was one long song so thanks for sparing us all of the chorus'! And thanks for the love. Dad is so touched by everyone's care and concern and he loved the song!

Unfortunately, dad only gets iced tea in his dreams but it's a good for us to sing :) Maybe if we sing it loud enough we can get the attention of the iced tea gods...Hello, he's down here waiting.

He did get some pudding today. Again, we were more excited than he was. Apparently, it was nasty tasting and stuck to his dry throat. It's a start.

He was in good spirits, which we all needed today. He has been a little down in the dumps, with good reason. He's back though, and as usual made us smile and was interested in all our silly stories.

Hang in there, dad. Every day gets you closer to home. Love you, Michelle

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Here's a tune we all know (with different words of course)

Saw some Ice Tea, Saw some Ice Tea, Saw some Ice tea just now...Just now I saw some Ice tea, saw some Ice tea just now.

You know how the rest of the song goes...

the end goes like this..

It was yummy, it was yummy, it was yummy just now...Just now it was yummy, it was yummy, just now.

I know I shook things up a bit (the peanut / Ice tea ) But that's part of my charm as well you know.

We all learned this song from you and so it goes!

One step at a time takes you a very long way in the end....love you...

Monday, August 4, 2008

The good news...

is that Dad is making progress with the swallowing. However, not yet ready to be let loose on the liquids. Tomorrow, Shana, the therapist will give him some pudding or applesauce under very safe conditions. As you can imagine, even dad is scared that the liquids will go down the wrong "pipe" so we are happy that they are waiting until there is no danger. Iced tea is over-rated anyway. Love is better...and we love him very, very much!

The doctors are pleased with his progress. He's not as pleased as they are.
He's just mad he missed the engagement party. I don't blame him - it was a lot of
fun and a very happy occassion! We are so happy to welcome Amy into our family. She's is sweet, funny, beautiful and so "just right" for Andy. And we like her family just as much! Good job, Andy! I think there are many more fun parties in our future - and Dad will be at all of them. When we get a little down in the dumps, we remember that we are very, very grateful for the better days that are ahead.

Cheers!

Swallow Test Today

Sometime this morning...look for the good news later. :)

Iced tea, iced tea, iced tea, iced tea, iced tea......

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stand by your bed.....

.....and tell the world about it! You have to sing that to get the reference. Or maybe you just have to be me. I'll never know.

Anyway, he did it. Stood by his bed, 2 days in a row and he wanted me to tell you about it! First day was 10 seconds with support, obviously) and today 30 seconds. This is so good. It takes a lot out of him but he needs to do that twice a day starting Monday.

Surprise, everyone loves him there. They said he is pleasant, funny, a hard worker, and patient. They don't know about his road rage.

Jeff is in town for Andy and Amy's engagement party (yay!) and Dad was thrilled to see him. Dad is sad to miss the party but he'll be there in spirit...and we'll Photoshop him into the pictures. He will if we don't :)

Swallow test next week? We'll see. He is doing a great job with his exercises and just needs more body strength in general to ensure he'll pass.

Please continue to pray for his patience, good spirits, and strength to keep this up.
Unfortunately, he knows just how long Beeeeeebeeeeeeetown Road is.

Wishing you some summer fun this weekend.
Aloha!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words?

Please add your own text today. I have to go to work :(



Dad's Stayin' Alive Dance



Working out with Beth



With Mary, my mother-in-law



Dinner with Mary, Aunt Patsy, Donna, moi and mom

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Proud to say "He's MY Uncle!"

Yay! I went to see my uncle today and boy did I leave there with a smile. Everyone talked about how he still as his sense of humor. While I never doubted any of them, I was so so happy to see it for myself! He made me laugh on several occassions and I was only there for a short while! (Not to mention, he looks fantastic!) Sure, you may have some obstacles to overcome, but you have proved, once again, how strong you are!! Keep up the fantastic work! And, as always, my prayers keep-a-coming!! Love you!!!

Toni Ann

"What's the Word?"

asked Magic Michael.

"Heal", said Amazing Al.

"Good, you always were a man of your word."

So that's what's happening. Healing. He told me to tell you he was able to sit up without anyone holding on to him for about 1 -2 minutes. We just missed that trick yesterday, but we did catch his speech therapist. She was pleased with is progress and thinks he'll take the swallow test late this week or early next. He is still very weak. We just know part of the answer to that is real food, so please keep praying for that test!

And, he "danced" to his new CD. He even played the air fiddle! This is my idea of good therapy. No wonder I didn't make it into Physical Therapy school! Apparently there is more to real therapy than music but it sure can change your state of mind, so I'll be here burning CD's while he does the real work.

Lots of love,

Michelle

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hi!!!

Dear Al and Family,
I missed your send off from Virtua but I wanted all of you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Al, you look great in your pictures and keep up the hard work!! You are truly amazing!!
Best wishes Lisa Chiaradio, RN

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To Sanctus Albertus Magnus

What?! Not interested in his computer yet????? Oh, c'mon, Al, this is a first. But soon I know you will be.

Sorry I can't come and visit right now - I would really love to see you looking your svelte self. But in the Fall, maybe Dan and I can make a little trip back there - we would like that a lot.

Keep plugging away, SAM. A big hug from SA.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Slow and Steady Wins the Race....

Suzanne and Frankie gave him a turtle to remind him of that and slow and steady is how Dad's playing this one. It's working! He was able to sit on the side of the bed without anyone holding him up. A huge accomplishment and the therapists are very pleased with his progress. He has been working very hard in his sessions as you can all imagine.

So, keep envisioning him getting stronger every day and soon, but not too soon, he'll be walking out the door! In some brand spanking new clothes - he now weighs 199 - down from 240 or 250.

Love from him to all of you. He is not too interested in his computer just yet(what?!), but when he is he'll look forward to reaching out to each and everyone of you to thank you for all the love and support you have given to all of us.

I think my family would agree that he is up for short visits so if you wanted to pop in and say hi I'm sure he would love to see you. Visiting hours are from Noon to 8 pm.

Cheers!

Michelle

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

get well

Hi Al,

Marc Teti from West Chester, PA. Sorry to hear that you've been so ill but glad to see that you're through the worst of it. Was emailing Angela to see if she said hi to my relatives in Torricella when she and Dan shared the news.

Well keep getting better and you may have a chance to enjoy the rest of the summer. We're heading to SIC, NJ for the week on Saturday. One day I need to drive over to your neck of the woods to say hi.........after you heal that is.

Best of luck.

Marc Teti

Tuesday update

I wish I had more to report, but Dad is just doing his thing one day at a time. This is a slow process.

What I do know is that his surgical wound is healing nicely. He continues to work on his swallowing exercises and will be taking the swallow test this week. The occupational therapist gave him some silly putty to work his hands and fingers and I heard he has been sitting up on the side of the bed - a little.

Thankfully, Michael is still on top of all of this and making sure he Dad is getting the best possible care and attention.

I'll be sure and report any changes, big or small. Patience is still the name of this game so here is a quote for my dad....

“Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in one ahead.”
~Bill McGlashen

Peace, Michelle

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Torricella Peligna: ArtMusic&Taste - a great success

Dear Al,
Here's the latest report from TP, written today to the Forum by Mario Di Fabrizio.
I thought it might cheer you along, to hear how well it went - and to picture it in your mind!
Much love
Marion Porreca.

Sunday, 20th July 2008

Torricella Peligna: ArtMusic&Taste - a great success.
First of all, I want to congratulate the organisers of this event, ArtMusicFlavour, starting with the President of Proloco in Torricella, Antonio Di Fabrizio, down to all the youngsters who were involved in organising it. You were wonderful and, thanks to you, Torricella finally returns to shine in splendour with a new light.

On Friday evening, there was a noticeable air of tension and emotion about a new and unknown event. The organisers rushed frantically along the beautiful route trying to resolve any unforeseen difficulties that might have arisen, whilst the crowds began to fill the roads, aglow with illuminations and torches. They stopped every now and then along the route to taste the excellent wines distributed in the cellars and the foods prepared by the agritourism firms and by Proloco; fried pizzas were devoured almost as soon as they were made, as were the roasts, the sausages, the lamb, the potato gnocchi, the pasta and beans, the cheeses, etc.

On Saturday evening, they expected a massive influx of people, but the reality was even greater than any possible prediction, Torricella Peligna managed to welcome ever so many people and it looked its very best to the eyes of those who had come to our village for the first time. The full moon and the starry sky accompanied the songs, the music and the dancing until dawn. It was marvellous to look around and see the lights of other villages and the outlines of the mountains in the distance, it seemed as if they one dominated the whole world and I heard many people express this feeling as they strolled along, that they never thought they would find such a beautiful and welcoming village.

The only off-key note of the whole event was the absence of some of our co-villagers, to whom I can only say that they have missed an extremely beautiful, unrepeatable moment for our village. I hope that the success of this event might open the hearts and minds of everyone, let us make it possible for the potentialities of our village to shine out and let us give a helping hand to those men, women and children who knew how, with their commitment and so much imagination, to build a new image for Torricella Peligna.

Well done!

Freccianera.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Trach B. Gone


Me and my dad :)








Buh-bye, trach. Nice breathin' with you, we're on our own! See you never.

Dad is working his way off of "things" attached. They took the trach out today!

This will make it easier to work on swallowing, so he can pass the test some time next week. Between the trach and not having any speech therapy there was almost no way he could have passed before. Although I'm sure he's been doing his best to figure out how to re-train his throat, it's nice to know that Shana, the speech therapist, is helping him out. We like her. I see iced tea in his near future.


Get a load of this handsome face!

He is a skinny belinx as you can see...but still mucho handsome. I'm telling you, the nurses love him.







Dad and Sister Mary Holy Water - a special visitor!

Long Term Acute Care - Lourdes

Good morning!

I had a wonderful visit yesterday with dad, cousin and Frankie and his wife, Suzanne. Like all of you, they love my mom and dad and have been a big help emotionally and physically. Thank you both!
Dad looks great (mom reminds me it is in part due to the high bilirubin count). The nurses think he's "hot" and also mentioned the 2 handsome visitors he had yesterday morning - Uncle Bill and Uncle Charlie!
Dad's voice is still not as strong as it will be, but he can communicate very well and we played a few rounds of "Ghost" - a word game.

We spent some time with his case manager and she explained the purpose of his stay in LTAC (long term acute care). The average stay in an LTAC unit is about 25 days, so this is our goal. His medical state is still critical but stable. Their focus at Lourdes will be on healing his surgical wound, strengthening his swallowing muscles so he can begin to get food and drink by mouth and to keep his lungs healthy and get him off the trach.

When he moves to the next facility, Care One, the focus will be on physical strength, walking etc. He will get that type of therapy as well in LTAC but they want his main energy to go to healing, not workouts. One day and counting....

Here, again, is the link to the facility. Visiting hours are 12 - 8 pm.

http://www.lourdesnet.org/services/lsh.php


Love to all of you.

PS Apparently, Michael is still rowing the boat. Not quite ashore just yet, but we can see land?!
I have been desperate to claim "out of the woods" status - we're getting there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Magic Michael....

Dad is in Willingboro at the new facility! The nurses gave him a huge heartfelt send-off. They are happy to see him moving on. Speaking of heroes - they are at the top of the list. They took great care of my dad. All had an area(s) of expertise and together they got him where he is - on his way home! There will be a party back at Virtua when my dad can walk back in on his own and they can get a real look at the man we know and love dearly.

Cousin Maureen sent the last post to my dad. It was short and sweet and packed with emotion. I know she was really worried about him and kept him going with her prayers and love and we love her for it. I know all of you felt the same way about Dad's illness. It was scary and we tried our best to stay upbeat and confident but he had some serious odds to beat and the doctors always made sure we were aware of that. They did not make it pleasant, however, they did keep him alive so we forgive them!

You all helped us tremendously. Many of you said just the right thing at the right time. Just knowing how much you love him was a blessing. So, thank you from all of us. Dad will thank you himself when he sees you :)

Back to heroes. I was just the messenger and tried to keep it light for my own sake as well as yours. Many times the blog was better than the reality. I like to think it was the lighter side of the actual news. Sometimes I just wanted to stay home and get all my news from the blog :) It was cathartic for me, but I can't claim hero status. But I know who can....

My brothers, my sister-in-laws, my kids, my husband, my mom, my dad.....they are my heroes and I can't even begin to do them justice, but I'll try over the next few weeks. Tonight's blog is devoted to Michael.
Magic Michael...
He truly had the weight of all of this on his shoulders. The boss man. He made all the decisions. Talked to all the doctors, called all the shots. Had to deliver all the news - mostly bad and he managed to spin it all. He was there day and night. He fought just as hard as my dad and deserves a serious round of applause. Did I mention he's a great guy, too? He just knows my dad healed himself - mind over matter. I can see him whispering it in dad's ear. He did have some help from great friends - Todd, Hassan, the doctors. I repeat, he truly had the weight of all of this on his shoulders. On that note, I wrote a song for my him and my family - surprised? It's not totally original so you should know the melody. Feel free to sing along - I think it's time.

Michael rowed the boat ashore........Al - lelluia!
Michael rowed the boat ashore.......Al-le-lu - u - ia !

Lauri kept his boat afloat........Al - lelluia!
Lauri kept us all afloat .......Al-le-lu - u - ia !

Jeffrey helped to row the boat .....Al- lelluia!
Actually, Jeffrey bought a boat....Al- le-lu - u - ia!

Dad can't wait to take a ride.... Al- lelluia!
Mom will be there by his side - Al- le-lu - u - ia!

Andy helped to row the boat ... Al- lelluia!
Andy finally got engaged......Al-le-lu - u - ia !

Amy helped to float his boat.... Al- lelluia!
Amy agreed to marry him....Al-le-lu - u - ia !

Bob, Danielle and Bobby helped to row the boat ... Al- lelluia!
Bob, Danielle and Bobby kept my spirits afloat....Al-le-lu - u - ia!

Christian, Carly and Allie helped to row the boat ... Al- lelluia!
They danced and played and gave us hope ....Al-le-lu - u - ia!

You all helped to row the boat ... Al- lelluia!
There are too many to name ...Al-lelu - u - ia!

Michael rowed the boat ashore... Al- lelluia!
Michael rowed the boat ashore ...Al-lelu - u - ia!

My mom helped to row the boat ... Al- lelluia!
My mom kept my dad afloat....Al-lelu - u - ia!

Actually, my mom and dad built the boat - "Al and Lee -ee Yeah!"
Actually, my mom and dad built the boat - "Al and Lee -ee Yeah!"

More songs at the party....
Write your own - I'll sing with you!!

Cheers. I'll post tomorrow after I visit.

Love you,
Michelle

Monday, July 14, 2008

Welcome back Uncle Al

Hello there Uncle Al,

I got home late from work and as usual checking the blog. It's so nice to have you back "dancing in my seat as I type". I must tell you that you've made us all a little water eyed over the last few weeks. Scared us half to death to tell you the truth. I wish we all could just stand next to you for a moment so that you could feel the love that just seemed to flow your way while you were fighting so hard.

As usual, your "Super Hero" , Michelle not only kept our spirits up but some how, in only the way Michelle can, made us laugh while we were all wringing our hands. Sending you Major Hugs and kisses. Love you verra much Moe