By Tony Candela
I visited my mother and brothers over the Easter weekend. Unlike my aborted attempt last Christmas, this time I managed to get there. It was the first time I have been home since Christmas 2019. Not surprisingly since I had been absent from home while living in California for 15 years, visiting only intermittently, the trip seemed quite normal. Very little had changed. My mother, a cancer survivor who suffers from a variety of side-effects from the designer-chemo she received, seemed about the same as when I last saw her almost 2-1/2 years ago. (I do speak with her religiously every Sunday afternoon, so it wasn’t as if I’d been disconnected from her all this time.) My brothers, both of whom now live with my mother, also seemed status quo. My visit was as they always have been: a mixture of eating, sitting in the living room watching TV, some alone-time when I tinker with an old guitar I station at my mother’s house, and some good quiet sleeping conditions. It is amazing how much ambient noise I tolerate living in the big city.
I left with a small care package of lasagna and Italian panatone bread which I will share with my lady friend this coming weekend when I next see her. Even the trip on the commuter train seemed like I’d never been away. They accepted tickets I’d purchased before the pandemic. Nothing much had changed, except a new grab-and-go restaurant had sprung up at my destination station.
I wore a mask for the entire round trip, doffing it only when reaching my mother’s house, hoping that we had all been diligent enough in our vaccination status and mask-wearing to be safe around each other. Only a few weeks ago after a dinner date with four friends in a restaurant on the Upper West Side, I got quite sick with what seemed like the type of bad cold one gets after being exposed to little kids. I have no idea for sure, but to be on the safe side, I avoided a traditional lunch en route to my mother’s house. It would have been with a friend who spends time with his grandchildren. I didn’t want to risk transmitting anything to my 88-year-old mother. I have lived in fear of being the instrument of my mother’s demise. Thus, I shucked off my Christmas visit which was during the Omicron outburst.
Now safely home, I feel fine and have received no reports of illness from my mother’s house. Whew!
Anthony R. Candela, Author
Saying aloud what should not remain silent.
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.
Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
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. Read more at