Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Adam Mangiafico

A few weeks ago I was in Idaho. My mom sold her house so I had to go back and not only help her move out of there, but I also had to go through my own stuff that she was storing for me. I will talk more about that on my other blog, but I have to share a moment of that process here.

I was going through my boxes and came upon some artificial flowers that were used in my wedding reception. As you can imagine they were pretty dusty after sitting there for 14 years. I got real emotional and started to cry when I realized I was going to have to throw them out.

I carried the box outside to the garage. That's when my dad said, "It looks like you are going to a cemetery with all those flowers." Suddenly I felt calmer. Those words may have come out of my dad's mouth, but I know that my nephew Adam was behind them. He was telling me that he would take some of those flowers. So I gathered up the best looking bunch of flowers and put them in one of the boxes that I was shipping home.

Last week I took the flowers and went to visit Adam in the Taylor Cemetery. I talked to him for a few minutes and when I got back in the car he must have been ready to dance because the dance song that reminds me of him came on right when I started the car.

My flowers are the purple and teal ones that are tied with the white, purple, and teal ribbons.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

More...About Adam

It was this last Easter the hubby and I were watching Netflix via Playstation. When I put the controller away I noticed that one of the video games was not in it's case. I ejected the disc from the Playstation and held it in my hand.  I started crying  uncontrollably when I realized that it was the game that Adam played when he was here last.

Ray Adam Mangiafico was a boy of 10 when he came into our lives. I know it seems strange to not meet your own nephew until he's 10, but if you read the About Joe on this blog, you will understand.

It was 2003 when I started watching Adam after school. The bus would drop him off right in front of my house every Monday through Friday. At first this seemed strange to me. Back west where I came from you were let off at the bus stop and had to walk home. But then again, I didn't live in a rural area.

This little man had the stinkiest feet! He just hated wearing socks. When he got off that bus the first place he went was in the bathroom to stick those stinky puppies in the bath tub. There was always a clean pair of white socks and sneakers awaiting him there (thanks to memaw for the shoes).

Missy (our dog) would get so excited when that bus pulled up. She waited at the door ready to jump on her Adam and give him slobbery kisses. They were always playing together. They even played hide and seek. He would hide some where and she would go nuts trying to find him. I hope that they are hanging out together now.

After a while we had his bike at the house so he could ride it around the neighborhood while he was there. One day he went off on his bike and never came back. Oh boy was I freaking out! It turned out that he rode his bike home which was about 4 miles away and just decided to stay there.

After he got to old for a babysitter we didn't get to hang out as much. We moved to the next county over and you know how teenagers like to hang out more with their friends and stuff. We weren't able to make it as many football games as we would have liked seeing as how they were always on a Friday night. Hubby has a long commute from work.

Luckily we did have a few family gatherings together. Last October most of the family was hanging out at ma's (Joe's first wife) during her last days.  It was Adam's 21st birthday. One of his other aunts and I went and bought him a birthday cake. When it came time to sing happy birthday he took the cake inside so his grandma could be a part of it.

One of the nights we were there he went to the store with one of his uncles and they came back with some pumpkin ale, pumpkin eggnog,  and even pumpkin cheesecake cause they knew how much I loved pumpkin!

I have two pumpkin ales in the fridge right now. One day he and I will share a toast.

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's All About Adam

Ray Adam Mangiafico 1992-2014

So it's been a rough week. I'm wondering how long it will be before I start experiencing some type of normalcy. As mentioned in my last post, we lost my nephew to a terrible accident. He was a grandson of Joe's.

I have had my share of mourning over loved ones, but somehow this feels more intense. Apparently death due to a sudden or traumatic accident or disaster can raise a number of complex issues for the survivors. I found this helpful blog post about the physical and emotional responses to grief. Well enough about that, this is all about Adam!

Recently I started a monthly family get together and dinner that will take place the first Saturday of every month. April 5th was the second one we had, and the only one that Adam was able to make it to. I wanted to share my last experiences with him because it's not only family history, but it will also be therapeutic for me. 

Hubby heated the pool that Friday night so the nieces and nephews could enjoy the pool. I know Adam was excited to come over and hang out and do some splashing around. The kids were having a blast in the water. Adam went out to the shed and got the basketball made for swimming pools and the kids took turns shooting hoops. Adam was towing the little one around the pool and he dubbed him the "Bus".

I remember one moment when I couldn't find Adam any where and then all of a sudden he appeared from the bottom of the pool.

It was a smorgasbord. I made a chicken enchilada casserole and a yummy jello mold. Hubby made his famous potato salad. There was a veggie plate, chicken salad, homemade salsa and chips, plenty to drink and cupcakes.  Of course he had seconds later on after everything was put away. As I handed him things from the fridge I asked, "Do you want some more potato salad?" "Definitely," was his reply.

I remembered that I had a couple of pumpkin ales in the fridge and offered him one because he is the only other person I know that will drink anything pumpkin. He enjoyed eggnog as much as I did as well. He mentioned that a while ago he was in a bar somewhere and he consumed the last pumpkin something or the other and said something like, "Just think, this is the last pumpkin drink this place will sell this year." Maybe one of his friends knows where he was and what he was drinking. For the life of me I can't remember.

We talked about the Jacksonville Apostles, the minor league football team he was on. He said that their first game was in June and he would email a schedule to me when it came out. I was so looking forward to watching him play!

After he grew tired of the pool he came in and played a few games on our Playstation 3.

When it came time to enjoy a cupcake he was teasing me because I bypassed the one with purple icing. Everyone knows that my favorite color is purple and I love pumpkin anything. I had one with pink icing because the one that turned out to be purple, I thought was blue.

Before they left, Adam and his uncle (my hubby) were making plans to bring his car over here so they could start working on it together.

When we were all sitting around the pool and he came outside and was standing on the porch, I felt this strong desire to invite him to spend the night. But, I didn't. I didn't listen to that inner voice, or feeling, or whatever you want to call it. I so regret that. I want to kick myself in the butt!

More to come......

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ray Adam Mangiafico

Ray Adam Mangiafico 1992-2014
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post. We lost one of Joe's grandsons this week. I am still trying to wrap my head around this tragic accident. I am still hoping to wake up and find that it is all a dream.

This 21 year old young man had such an amazing future ahead of him. He had a heart of gold. He would give you the shirt off his back. I know he has left such an influence on everyone who knew him. His friends describe him as a "gentle giant". I knew him as Adam. My nephew. I guess it's true what they say, 'only the good die young'.

I watched this little man grow into a big strong teddy bear. I used to take care of him after school. The bus would drop him off at my house. Missy (my dog) would greet him at the door and they would play together most of the day.

Adam had just won the Strongman competition in  Macon, Georgia. He was a former Jacksonville University football player and he was currently playing with the Jacksonville Apostles.

No parent should have to bury their child. It's certainly not something that you are really prepared for. We all loved Adam so much. He was our family. But you never really know what others see in him, how he influenced friends and co-workers. We have all been amazed at the love and support of the community. In fact there has been a memorial fund set up to help with his funeral expenses.

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I bet Adam is chatting it up with grandpa Joe now.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Mangiafico and Bernardo Family

Paul and Lena Bernardo Mangiafico, Michelina Lombardo and Joseph Bernardo, Joe Mangiafico 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Joe's Report of Medical Survey

Back in 2002 I was fortunate enough to receive Joe's Military records as well as his VA medical records. These records are very valuable in the sense that they shed a little light on part of who Joe was. Not only through the doctor's point of view, but there is also some family history background. To those who never knew their father that is everything.

This Report of Medical Survey is the first of five different medical records I have for him. I have transcribed most of the notes by the doctor, but I have left out some of the boring and gruesome medical details.

This 23 year old, married, Caucasian male, SR3 USN, was admitted to the sick list aboard the USS BORIE (DD-704) on 14 June 1962 with the diagnosis, Dermatitis, N,.E.C., Hands and Wrists, #7039 and was transferred the same date to the Dermatology Service of this hospital for further evaluation, treatment and disposition. The patient developed a rash above his left wrist approximately three months prior to admission.

Past medical history revealed that the patient had eczema from age two through six. Allergies included eggs, mustard and Penicillin.

Physical examination at the time of admission was limited to the skin of both wrists and the fourth left finger where there was a weeping lichenified eruptions consisting of several thickened erythematous, excoriated plaques and fine scaling. Indicated laboratory studies were all within normal limits.

While on the Dermatology Service the patent was treated with cool Burrow's compresses in addition to local steroids, Vioform and BHL paste. Under this regimen his response has been good, but apparently because of various situational difficulties resulting in severe anxiety and depression, his skin condition has gradually become worse. It has also been noted in the past that during periods of stress his skin would tend to erupt. The patient's skin condition plus the fact that he evidenced gross tremors tended to make his work as a barber quite difficult if not impossible. By 2 July 1962 the patient had become considerably more anxious and depressed, and by his own request sought psychiatric consultation. Concomitant to this his skin condition had become worse with much itching and self inflicted excoriations. On 12 July 1962 he was transferred to the Neuropsychiatric Service for further evaluation, treatment and disposition.

Mental status examination revealed a somewhat unkempt, overtly hostile, demanding and extremely anxious male. Affect was somewhat flat and unexpressive. Sustained mood was that of moderate depression. Judgment was poor with rather immature ideas and an inadequate social adjustment. Ideational content revealed some self derogatory thoughts and vague fears. The patient appeared to be quite neurotic with numerous pathologic defenses consisting for the most part of introjection, projection, irrationalization and somatization. He was well oriented in all three spheres and appeared to be of low average intelligence.

Background information obtained from the patient was considered to be reliable. He was born the youngest of three siblings to a lower middle class family in Massachusetts. Neuropathic traits of childhood included nail biting, stuttering and repetitive anxiety dreams. The patient indicated that he had a somewhat withdrawn childhood and that he was hospitalized "almost constantly" from age two to five years because of repetitive episodes of eczema. He apparently got along well with his parents, although he stated that his mother was quite compulsive, strict and domineering. The patient failed the second and third grades, was frequently truant, at one time being forced in a "boy's home" for same, was often involved in fights, was hostile toward all in authority and only completed the sixth grade because he "beat up" three teachers and spent a year in "reform school" for same. the patient stated that he entered the navy in order to "get off parole". Initially his service appeared to have been adequate, but within the last six months prior to this admission he has found it progressively more difficult to perform his duties. this difficulty revolves around a trying marital situation in which divorce action is now pending. Since the patient has been on the Neuropsychiatric Service his skin condition appears to have improved slightly, although he still remains quite only a minimal degree. He maintained a hostile, defiant, demanding attitude.

On 7 August 1962 Dg. #2 was revised to Dg. #3, Aggressive Reaction, #3213, moderate, manifested by defiance of authority, response to frustration with instability, temper tantrums and destructive behavior, a hostile attitude and somatization of aggressive feelings; predisposition, marked, life history of impulsive, defiant, delinquent behavior, poor school and social adjustments, neuropathic traits; external precipitating stress, minimal, routine duties of rate; impairment, marked for military service, minimal for civilian life.

It is the opinion of this Board of Medical Survey that this patient is unsuitable for further service. It is the recommendation of the Board that he be discharged from the U. S. Navy.

It is further the opinion of the Board that he has received maximum benefit of hospitalization, further treatment is not indicated at this time and will not restore this patient to a duty status. At the present time he is considered fully competent to be discharged into his own custody, does not constitute a menace to himself or others and is not likely to become a public charge.

There is no record at this command of any disciplinary action pending in this case. He has been informed of the Board's findings and recommended disposition and does not desire to submit a statement in rebuttal.

So it was this examination that led to the end of Joe's naval career.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014