Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great Escape

I was told a few months ago to take a step back and "learn from my adversity". I was in the middle of probably the most frighten time of my life, and I was being told to take something from the experience and learn from it. It is amazing how those few simple words have stayed with me, and have been the source of my strength in these last few weeks.

I did not cause it. I cannot change it. I certainly cannot control it. All I can do is make a decision not to put up with it, and to protect those in the line of direct fire. The words of someone whom you have loved dearly can pierce one's heart and rip the very soul out. I made a decision and it is I who will have to live with the consequences of my actions. I am OK with that. A year ago, I probably would not have been OK with that because I would have allowed my fear to take control. The fear is still there, however, I am making a choice to face it, rather than avoid or hide from it. No easy task, but a necessary one.

I met a man in Frederick Maryland yesterday at a small Irish pub in the center of town. He spoke of Ireland, and in the middle of the conversation, I realized our families were from the same parts of Ireland. I even learned he is also a descendant of the Boland line. He was the owner of the pub and went on to tell me, he owned another pub in Baltimore. He said, he travels back to Ireland each and every year to visit family in County Mayo, Donegal and Belfast.
He invited us to join one of the tours, he puts together every October. I think we will keep in touch.

We love to stay in a rented 19th century Civil War Era house in Gettysburg. We probably stay here three or four times a year. I call it my Great Escape from the real world. We traveled the 30 miles south of Gettysburg into Frederick yesterday for the day. Frederick is a small historic town with a ton of charm. We stopped at an old Catholic Cemetery known as St. John's, before heading to a tiny corner bakery for some treats and a walk downtown. It was cold and the little one was not necessarily in the mood for a long walk, so we stopped off at Patrick's Irish Pub for an authentic Irish lunch of Shepherd's pie for me and Fish & Chips for Bill. Of course, Ava opt for the chicken fingers, which she did not eat. We also made a visit to the Civil War Medical Museum. The old building that housed the museum was once known as the "embalming station", where the Civil War dead was embalmed, placed in coffins and shipped back to their families that is if the family could afford the 62 dollars to pay for such a service. I guess the price is the reason why so many of the dead remained interred where they died. 62 dollars in 1862 was a lot of cash for the simple common folk.

Today, we head back to reality known as Philadelphia with its troubles, problems, and responsibilities. Not sure if I am ready.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Since I was a teenager, I always kept a journal. I continued keeping a journal until last year when I abruptly stopped writing. There are several reasons why I discontinued journaling my thoughts and feelings, but the main reason was because I thought writing did not matter anymore. It was not like anyone was reading it, and if they did, it probably would be taken out of context and hurt some feelings. Let's be honest, if I wrote everything I thought and/or felt, some feelings may be hurt and frankly, I am not about hurting people.

In the end, I began writing more cryptic sentences than anything else.

Today, I am going to start writing again. However, I will do my best not to hurt anyone's feelings, though truth-to-told, I probably will ruffle a few feathers.

I received a wonderful reference letter from someone I admire very much. He is my mentor and has directed me in the way of my profession the last year or so. He is also the toughest professor I have ever had because he upholds high standards for the Therapeutic profession. He is who I wish to model my profession after. Everything I learn, I apply. I have also learned a valuable lesson in all this and that is having the ability to be comfortable in my own skin.

I spent most of my life wishing my last name was not "WELESKI". Today, I embrace the name. I will no longer be a ZYSK and I will never be a CANNON. However, I will always be a WELESKI with a GALLAGHER mother. The Gallaghers are a proud bunch who have always lived their lives with integrity, dignity and utmost compassion and respect. I am proud to be a descendant of such a strong family. Today, I embrace all parts of who I am and for the first time in my life, I am comfortable with it. I know who I am and no one will throw me off my square.