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Two years ago as I prepared to send my brother Joel a birthday gift I learned that his brother from another mother had lost his battle with the ugly disease known to many as the BIG C. Charlie Eble fought a strategic fight to overcome his rare and aggressive condition. As much as he could, he remained productive and smiled through the pain and anguish. However, May 2017 was to be his last hurrah, leaving behind a sad and grieving family and community that goes beyond Saratoga Springs, NY.
I have had the pleasure of podcasting with many individuals that have offered their memories and stories to be part of a library on a life lived well. https://www.spreaker.com/show/charlie-eble-day-may-19-2019-cafe-lena
May 11th, 2017 as much as I wanted to send Joel (Joelie) a gift I could not think of anything that would make him happy now that Charlie was gone. Joel and Charlie were introduced to be golfing buddies, but as the story goes, they became much more engineering, producing and creating beautiful music with so many.
Last year at this time I wanted to ensure that my brother Joel celebrated life as Charlie would have wanted. As I considered many different gifts for him, what do you buy your brother who can afford more than you? As I racked my brain, I was about to make him smile with a coconut cream pie, but when I went to order it the bakery in Saratoga Springs informed me, I was not the only one with this idea, so I scratched it and instead had a gift card for dinner for two at Mama Mia’s awaiting him. But unbeknownst to him, I had begun a campaign with Brian Melick, Jeff Brisbin, and a few others including Marcus Ruggiero to plan this special event that will take place on May 19th. Alex and I, (my son and Joel’s nephew) thought this would be a special way to remember Charlie and keep his name alive at Café Lena. We wanted Joel to produce this event and acknowledge his own talent and love for his friend.
It took us many months to share our vision with Joel (Joelie to many), and as expected he went the extra mile including two of Charlie’s favorite eating establishments, Hattie’s and Mama Mia’s. In addition, he reached out to Meg Kelly (for Mayor AGAIN) to proclaim May 19th, Charlie Eble Day!
I feel so blessed to have met Charlie and share in his life (not as much as many of you) and to know how special he was and still is. It was the friendship that Charlie developed with my son Alex that helped him grow and become the wonderful young man he is. Alex will be performing with some of these wonderful musicians on the 19th paying tribute to Charlie, Joel, and to Lena Spencer who created this special place, Where the Music Never Dies!
I hope to meet you all and remember to say Happy Birthday to Joel on May 11th!
Life is about living not existing and if you are sitting around waiting for something to happen (good or bad) you are wasting your value. We all have a value in this chaotic universe, and it is up to each of us to travel a path that defines us. As a child, my parent’s tried to mold my brothers and me into the images that they thought would not only be good for us but would make them look good. That was the mindset in the ’50s, ’60s and even into the ’70s. However, when the baby boomers like myself started families, many of us took another direction. In fact, many of us rebelled openly or silently during the ME GENERATION of the ’70s and ’80s. We chose to change career paths, divorce more openly, and learn to find our inner happiness. We still loved and respected our parents; however, maturity and growth introduced us to various pathways.
I was more of the silent rebellion, however majoring in communications when my parent’s expectation was education, was an obvious one that did not sit well with my mom and dad. What women/female was ever going to make in the broadcasting/communications industry? (I think they were short-sighted.) I also chose divorce at an early age rather than stay in a loveless marriage, and I ended up re-marrying someone of a different faith! (Again, this was not the path my momma and pop had wished for me.) My parent’s watched me struggle with my identity from an early age on, never fitting in where I wanted to be accepted, and often feeling the “Oh woe is me syndrome.” I never felt smart enough, pretty enough, or anything enough. I worked hard to prove that I was acceptable, but not to myself, to everyone else.
Today I am living for me while engaging with those I love, like, and want to meet. There is a limitless amount of experiences, and I am not going to waste what minutes, hours, days I have left dreaming about the person I want to be. Not every moment will be filled with excitement or joy, but I will learn to accept heartache and sorrow as my stepping stones throughout this journey.
February has many fine meanings for me. First, it’s the month before my birth month. It’s a short month, and soon it will be Spring, that makes me smile a lot. However, this month is full of challenges that could be obstacles.
Tomorrow, February 2nd, Puxatawney Phil sticks his head out of the ground, looks for his shadow, and always, without question announces six more weeks of winter. Winter not being my favorite season, especially this past week with sub-zero temperatures, I am not to keen on listening to his premonition for the end of winter.
On February 3, 1984, my best friend, my partner, became my husband. We had a private ceremony on that day. Although we had every intention to marry, we married on that day to prove to a custody judge that our relationship was legitimate and retaining custody of my oldest son was appropriate. Although this is a day to celebrate, we chose to have a wedding with all the trimmings in July of that same year, to share with friends and family, not for maintaining custody. However, 20 years to the day, my POPs passed away. Now that day and date are filled with a rush of emotions. Additionally this year on said date, I will be attending a Memorial Service (Funeral) for a cherished musician who recently befriended me.
February 4 for most of my life was a great day, my favorite cousin, Gloria celebrated her birthday just four weeks prior to mine. As soon as I was old enough to send her cards or call her to wish her a happy day, my yearly routine included this very special girl. In my mind, she will always be the cute petite cousin who I looked up to with respect and so much love. Sadly, my Gloria passed away just weeks before my mother in 2016. I am blessed to still be in touch with her children and grandchildren keeping that connection alive and bright.
February 14th has never been special in my past. I was not the young girl in high school or college with boys or a boy sending me flowers, and or professing love for me. Although my husband of 35 year treats me special every day, Valentine’s Day is just another day in our lives. Rich refuses to be nice to me for just one day! (I am blessed.)
One reason I loved this short month is that my mother was a Leap Year Baby. It became a standing joke that not only was my mother shorter than all of her children; she was also younger in birthdays! When mom died on October 11, 2016, she was 96 in years but 24 in Birthdays. (Don’t worry, we never let her go a year without a celebration, she enjoyed birthday wishes on the 28th of February and the 1st of March.)
So as this month begins I will face it head-on. Each day is another step closer to my favorite seasons, Spring, Summer & Fall. Join me in sharing memories that will warm us adding sunshine and smiles into our lives. We are not guaranteed a future, that is why we must live in the present!
Limits are the boundaries we create to keep ourselves safe but they also keep us secluded from living a full enriched life. We are creating opportunities to enrich the lives of many and to experience the belief in ourselves.