Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life is meant to be lived, celebrated and never taken for granted

By Joanie Cox

Celebrating my 31st birthday on August 14 was bittersweet for me this year. Since my grandpa Leonardo Magazzolo passed away on July 30, I’ve been crying my eyes out at least once a day and I continually find myself praying for the grace and strength to get through losing the man I adored so fervently all my life.
August is birthday month in my family and the only month of the year besides December where my grandparents would go broke giving us all gifts. My cousin Alex was born Aug. 13, I’m Aug. 14, mother’s birthday is Aug. 15 and my cousin Lenny’s is Aug. 18. Over the years, we have had some pretty amazing birthdays spent in Disney World, New York and Las Vegas. But as I’ve gotten older, I started to care less about the location and more about who was attending it. Suddenly, the words in the card became more valuable to me than the gift that was in it.
Several loyal readers of my Life In The Fab Lane column in the Boca Raton community have told me their favorite columns are the ones where I pour my heart out. So here it is. I want to share with you the 18 most important lessons I’ve learned so far.

My grandfather Leonardo Magazzolo:
“The key to success is perseverance. Don’t pay attention to what everyone else is doing. If you rest, you rust.”

My grandma Joan Magazzolo:
“Love is forever and never stop telling the people you love that you love them.”

My aunt JD Danner:
“Never lose hope. You’ve got to have faith.”

My aunt Maryann Gonzalez:
“Pick and choose your battles. Wasting time on insignificant things takes away the energy you’ll need to cope with the big stuff.”

My friend Michelle Averkiou:
“When you smile, you not only bring joy to yourself but to others.”

My friend and former pediatrician Dr. Jerry Wexler:
“Nothing is impossible if you stay focused and try your best.”

My uncle Raul:
“The road least traveled usually has the best views.”

My uncle Thad:
“Don’t keep reliving the past. Today is a new day.”

My priest Father Michael Kane:
“Have patience.”

My editor Jake Cline:
“Don’t waste time worrying. Focus on what you can do.”

My cousin Dominic Giambalvo:
“Love isn’t supposed to hurt.”

My friend Harvey Hurvitz:
“People don’t change. If a guy is doing something to hurt you now, it’s only going to get worse.”

My cousin Roy Giambalvo:
“Thank God for every day you wake up.”

My cousin Angelo Ruisi:
“Respect goes a long way.”

My cousin Michael Giambalvo:
“The most difficult part of life is losing the ones we love. Nobody can avoid this or run from it but find comfort in knowing the spirit and legacy lives on in you.”

My mother Nancy Cox:
“Never walk out of the house with a candle burning or the coffeepot or curling iron on.”

My aunt Karen Cox-Reiter:
“Losing someone never gets easier, it just changes.”

Joanie Cox:
“Grudges are too heavy to carry, so don’t walk through life with them. It takes less energy to smile than to frown. And while having amazing ‘stuff’ is wonderful, you can’t take any of it with you when you’re gone. Family is all that matters. Leave behind a legacy of love.”

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