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Reflections of a weekend

Updated on May 3, 2011

Grief, Joy, Justice

A weekend not to forget

There are events that stand out in our mind that affect us personally to which we find we have a real connection. In those instances we will feel deep emotion that will help us to understand what is most important in our life giving us a fresh new perspective. This past weekend was a roller coaster ride of emotions that took me on the highest of highs, the lowest of lows and to other places in between where I felt sad, depressed, happy, shocked, amazed and scared.

Life is so very unpredictable and we all are living our lives trying our best to do all we can to find happiness, comfort, joy, satisfaction, friendship, love and acceptance. When we face sadness and tragedy it makes us realize how vulnerable and uncertain life truly is.

On Friday leading up to the weekend I had a full and busy day at work which helps when I have things on my mind. I was thinking of a coworker who had passed away suddenly earlier in the week and I struggled with the reality as I still had visions in my mind of talking with her just the week before and seeing how happy she seemed.

I went to her wake in the early evening after work to pay my last respects and I was greeted by her husband as I approached her open casket. I could see how much he loved her and how hard this was for him. I felt very sad for his loss and I really did not know what to say other than that "I was sorry for his loss" as I gave him a card and a book that dealt with death in a sensitive and compassionate way. I hoped the book would help to lift his spirits and help him through it. It will take a long time as I have grown to realize in losing people close to me.

I sat amongst coworkers trying to understand why our coworker and friend was taken away so soon. She was still so young and full of life. It seemed unfair to me but then I realized God had a plan for her and he wanted her as it was her time. I heard her husband say this so eloquently in his eulogy at her mass the following day that God wanted an angel and he called to Joanne. I had tears in my eyes as he spoke so fondly of his wife and it made me realize how important it is to have love in your life and I count my blessings everyday knowing I have my wife and son in my life.

After paying my respects at Joanne's wake Friday evening, feeling sad, I got to experience the happiness and joy of watching the royal wedding of William and Kate with my wife, son and mother-in-law. My emotions went from opposite ends of the spectrum in that moment. I was very impressed with the ceremony and thought that William and Kate made a beautiful couple. I had flashes in my mind of Princess Dianne and her royal wedding back in 1981 and of Prince William when he was just a baby in his mother's arms. I thought the bride, Kate Middleton looked simply beautiful and her gown was every girl's dream. She was living the true fairy tale and she seemed so composed and so lady like. The two of them were wonderful and I felt such happiness for them both.

I enjoyed watching the ceremony and seeing Kate and William exchanging vows with Prince Harry and Kate's sister standing by their side. It is very special to be a part of the celebration and to experience it. These are the happy occasions of life and weddings are all special even if they are not royal. I was amazed at the crowds lining up along the streets and all the pageantry. The wedding was a fashion statement for all the women attending who went wearing their best dresses and unique styles of hats which seemed to attract a considerable amount of attention.

It is amazing how mature and grown up Prince William and Prince Harry are after seeing them as young boys following their mother's casket at her funeral which was one of the saddest days I recall seeing broadcast on national television. It was nice to see the two young men carrying themselves with such maturity and respect on the national stage on such a special day. You can see how much their mother helped contribute to their maturity and realize how proud she would be with her son's selection for his bride. She would be beaming. It's sad that she was not a part of the celebration.

Seeing the wedding of Prince William and Kate gives you a glimpse into the life of royalty which we never really see. You see how different life is for the very rich and famous and you realize that with all the fanfare the two of them seemed to take it all in stride and are truly likable. You sincerely wish them well in their lives together.   

Weekends for me are a time where I enjoy spending time with my family and taking my son on outings. We enjoy taking drives, going to movies, the park, the beach, the mall and to visit friends and family. This weekend we went to see Rio which was a very cute movie and Matty and I really enjoyed it. I realize how important it is to bond with my son and these are very special times to me. I just hope that my son will think back to these times and have fond memories of them one day.

As we were getting our son to bed after an eventful weekend I was drawn to the special reports airing on CNN. It seemed our president was preparing to make a special announcement and at the time the broadcasters were not sure what the reports were concerning. All the stations started to prepare for his speech not sure what it was going to be about. Then it was announced by John King on CNN that Osama bin Laden was dead. It was shocking to hear this news and it was welcome news by so many since he was the mastermind of the terrorist attacks that took place on the tragic day of September 11th, 2001 where so many innocent lives were taken.

I never wished anyone to be killed or hurt but hearing this news was a form of justice being served and although I felt it would not ease the pain of those families directly affected by the tragedies I thought that it was fitting that the US finally tracked him down and killed him. He was responsible for the deaths of so many that he deserved to be held accountable for it and it seemed justice was carried out quickly and swiftly without the traditional trial by jury which would have been a circus.

As the news spread of his death it could be clearly seen the spontaneous celebrations in the streets all over the US and throughout the world and the pride in the USA that a chapter was finally closed after 10 long years by a well planned military course of action carried out by Navy Seals under the direction of our president.

The culmination of these event made for a weekend that I would not forget due to the personal and historic relevance of each. It's not often a weekend is full with such happenings that are so memorable.

As I reflect on these events I will pray for my friend who we lost way too soon. I will wish Prince William and his beautiful bride, Kate Middleton a fairy tale life full of happiness and joy and I will pray for the victims and their families who were affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 carried out by Osama bin Laden who finally met his end.

God Bless.

Edward D. Iannielli III

One Day You Will - Lady Antebellum

William and Kate

God Bless the USA - Lee Greenwood


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