Duty, Friendship, Family by Tony Candela #WordPressWednesday

Duty, Friendship, Family by Tony Candela #WordPressWednesday

Duty, Friendship, Family

By Tony Candela

I am currently reading an informative and very sweet book by the famed NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg entitled “Dinners With Ruth” (Simon & Shuster, 2022). In addition to the main point of this memoir, namely, Nina’s long-time friendship with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nina provides us with recollections of her upbringing, early career, friendships with well-known women reporters such as Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer, and treks through love and tragedy with her first husband, former Senator Floyd Haskell who was 26 years her senior. As Mr. Haskell endured several illnesses and Nina attempted to support him, she was buoyed up by her friends, one of which (Roberts) advised her to maintain balance in her life including learning how to go home, keep working, and live with her husband still in the hospital. Nina summoned friends to visit him and make sure he was properly treated. In 2011 and after his death, Totenberg gave the commencement address at Washington and Lee Law School. She devoted a portion of her time to talking about friendship and family. She said that in times of crisis, if you want to know what to do, focus on “duty”. She said, if you do so, “The path is clear, the choices few, and there are no regrets afterward. Indeed, there are rewards. You are a better person …a deeper person, and able to accept life’s blessings too.”

As I write, I find myself wondering if I have been a good enough friend and a present-enough family member. My mother is severely ill, perhaps in her last days (who knows?), and to top it off, she and my two younger brothers who live with her all managed to contract COVID. There is a great deal of strain and worry in their house, a place I had not visited for 2-1/2 years during the pandemic, finally getting back there for Easter a few months ago. Mom is in her fifth year of survival after cancer metastasized from a lung to her lower spine. Modern customized chemotherapy having saved and maintained her life, but not without unpleasant side-effects such as weakened legs and a spoiled sense of taste. She is four inches shorter than her lifetime 5 feet of height and thin as a rail. Still, she kept soldiering on until a month ago when her lower back became too painful to bear and other symptoms landed her in the hospital. There she lost more physical functions and some mental ones too. Discharged to a rehabilitation facility, she was making some small progress when my brother, the one with medical and other proxies, rather abruptly, it seemed to the rest of us, had her discharged and brought her home. Things got complicated when COVID hit all three of them. Now it is time for the rest of us, myself and a couple dedicated cousins and whatever friends they have left, to do their duty.

I for one have managed to avoid COVID here in the midst of the original epicenter in this country and do not plan to visit the house until everyone tests negative. In the meantime, my cousins feel similarly cautious and only a visiting wound-care nurse )pressure sore) has come in to treat my mother and teach my brother how to do so in his absence. My mother is losing mental function and physically quite uncomfortable. My care-taker brother is sick with COVID symptoms and my younger brother is also ill, but less so. It is time for us to figure out what is our duty. Mine, I believe, is to offer advice and encouragement and stay safe and as objective as possible all the while holding myself together against the anger my family must feel toward me for not being there and my own guilt for the same reason. I don’t know what is the duty of everyone else as anything they might do would be strictly voluntary. But this much I do know, we all have a duty to each other and it will be a sign of friendship and family if we measure up to it.

Anthony R. Candela, Author

Saying aloud what should not remain silent.

Books by Tony…

Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy

A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports

Vision Dreams: A Parable

A sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.

buy his books at: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08MT8WQ42

More About Tony…

Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar.

Check him out and follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/anthonyrcandelaauthor

About Patty L. Fletcher

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.

To see, share, and Buy her work visit: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/PattyFletcher

And: https://www.amazon.com/Patty-L.-Fletcher/e/B00Q9I7RWG

As well as: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8431191.Patricia_L_Fletcher

Walk alongside Patty and Chief Seeing Eye® Dog Blue on the Pathway to Freedom at: https://paypal.me/tellittotheworld?locale.x=en_US

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