Tuesday, December 29, 2009
So Ends The First Decade The 21st Century
Wow December 29th 2009, where did the last decade go? Did it fly by for you with only limited outstanding memories or did it seem like it took forever to believe how so much could seem to happen in just 10 short years?
As I approach my 65th year on the planet I can't help but think I just celebrated my first real "Road Sign" birthday at 55. The first 5 years in Vegas seem to just fly by.
I made some great new friends with Phil and Ilene and the girls, Ruth and Randy and their crew, and Scott is his kids as well. Russ and Barb had both visited from the east coast and Jaime and I were on the road to recovery.
Quality Home Foods kept my days and most of my nights very busy but I always had my eye on the sports pages and ESPN. That summer of 2000 it looked like the Mets had a shot at their first World Series in 14 years and Mike Piazza was leading the way. When they did finally get there they were met by those "Damn Yankees" who had ruined my childhood with all their wins against my Brooklyn Dodgers until 1955.
Game One of that series I was at the then called Aladdin Hotel and Casino having dinner with JJ and Vicky who had come to town from California. JJ and I go back 35 years and there is no better man on this earth. I remember running to the Sports Book about every ten minutes for an update. They went on to lose that game and the series 4-1 but I thought I was going to see them in the World Series many times during the new decade and new millennium for that matter. I'm still waiting.
My traveling children Russ and Barb both moved to Arizona during this period and ultimately both moved to Florida. I really miss them both and particularly speaking to them on a regular basis. They live extremely busy lives and I have been careless and unappreciative of them both. Not my best parenting job at all. I have 2 incredible Grandchildren in Rex and Carly but several thousand miles separate us now, but I hope to see them in the coming years.
Jaime spent almost three years living in Vegas and I could write a book about those years but this is just a quick review. Speaking of books, Jaime has a literary agent for her book that she has been working on for what seems like forever. I have read portions of it already and believe me when the world discovers this talent, look out.
I have always loved the UNLV Runnin'Rebels long before I set my first foot down in this valley. I have probably seen at least 100 games live and one of my wishes for this next decade is to see them once again in a Final Four. They don't have to win but that would be like the topping on a cake for me.
The Jets and Eagles have also thrilled me during the past 10 years. People ask me why would a boy from Brooklyn like the Philadelphia Eagles? Most people think it's because of Kim and her South Philly roots. Not exactly that. My family were always fanatic New York Giants fans and I always had to be different. Before the AFL came into play in 1960, I like the Eagles just to be different and I loved Chuck Bednarik so when they beat the Packets to win the championship I was hooked.
The Eagles were certainly in the hunt this decade with multiple appearances in the NFC Title Game and one unsuccessful trip to the Superbowl. The Jets are more the like the Mets. High expectations, some success but mostly as their followers will tell you it's "The Same Old Jets". Maybe this next decade will have both my teams take the Lombardi Trophy home.
On a more personal note it's kind of nice to just be here. In 2007 I had a quintuple bypass heart surgery that certainly prolonged this lifetime by I hope, plenty of years. I have a 3rd Grandchild, Kairi, who is a miracle baby arriving at 27 and a half weeks and surviving a very rough first five months. I've got her saying "Lets Go Mets" and "Rebels" and "Touchdown Eagles and Jets" and I thank the good Lord up there for giving me the opportunity to play an important role in her life.
I miss my New Jersey family Gary,Phyllis,Chris,Valerie,and Paige and their latest arrival Jacob, and without their love and support throughout the decade the new decade might not have seemed so bright.
I haven't seen my brother Harry since the Ravens destroyed the Giants in the Superbowl. We were both visiting my niece and his daughter Laura and her two boys Justin and Jordan in Phoenix and as I approach 65 he approaches 70. My goodness, where did all the years go?
My two youngest children Stephanie 23, and Matt 21 are just beginning what will be their optimum decade. They have been through a lot. They lost their dad, Michael, to cancer at way too young 43 years. I have tried to step up and be there for them but only time will tell if I have been successful.
Through it all it has always been Kimberly. She has been my rock. She is my motivation to keep plugging away and making every day count. It certainly hasn't hurt that she is an avid sports fan like myself and knows the games as well as anybody out there. We were talking about the upcoming decade during the last couple of days and besides the wishes for continued good health we wondered whether or not our teams would bring home some championships so we could celebrate and break out the Marsh Punch.
I want to take the time now to send out a giant Thank You to all those friends and family that have been part of my life for the past decade and as we know nothing is perfect, but when you weigh the good vs.the bad I know that I couldn't have made it without you. I wish you all, as my sister in law Barbara said recently to me, have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Let's take it one year at a time and look forward to another review in 2019. Love to all