Blessed Routines

He’d hobble into work having been weakened by another chemo treatment and he’d say, “Is this not just a BEAUTIFUL day?”

He’d ask about our families, notice little things like a new haircut, and wish us each a great day. When we’d be alone and I’d ask how he was doing dealing with all that was in his head (he knew he would be leaving behind a young wife and family), he’d pause and smile and just dwell on today; reminding me always that every hour was a gift.

See, he would live that example, not just say it. He always found something to “celebrate.” Always found something positive in the simplicity of life.

That particular habit of his always choked me up and reminded me of an uncle my mom used to tell me about. He was very kind to her when she was a little girl and always brought her treats and things to make her smile.

Never having had a daughter himself, he continued his habit of surprising her as he and his wife became elderly. Now and then he’d call and ask her to come by, and when she arrived she’d find a unique antique he’d found at a flea market or yard sale that he knew she’d love.

Well, one night he had an episode at home and his wife called my mother, as she was not very capable of handling stressful emergencies. My mom and dad dashed over there to find he had experienced a heart attack. They ran him to the emergency room, and my mom sat with him while my dad tried to handle the paperwork and admittance requirements.

She knelt by the wheelchair and asked how he was feeling. He smiled at her and said in that deep baritone voice of his, “pretty good,” although clearly he wasn’t. A tear rolled down her cheek and they became aware of some of the nurses talking just a few feet away;they were deciding what to put on the pizza they were going to order for their dinner break.

He paused and they listened together to the ladies chatter and then they read off the list what they would be putting on top of this masterpiece pizza. He smiled again and said to her, “Mmmm, now doesn’t that sound good?”

She nodded and hugged him and stood to talk to my dad, who had just rejoined them.  When she knelt back down to explain to him what the doctors were about to do, he was gone. His head had gently rested to the right and down, and he had breathed his last.

Attempts to revive him were futile,and later that week Uncle Ed was buried in a humble plot off of Eastland Road in Berea, Ohio.

As we stood by the grave and watched them lower him into the ground, regular traffic went by on the street that led to the nearby highway; trucks making deliveries, buses taking children to school, life marching on.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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One comment on “Blessed Routines

  1. Dan Downey on said:

    Thanks very much Ron.

    What a wonderful, heartfelt story.

    I got to snow plow my driveway today in Grand Haven, Michigan where we seem to get more snow than our nearby Grand Rapids neighbors. I guess that’s the price for being able to live where my family and I can enjoy and appreciate a magnificent sun set over beautiful lake Michigan after a hard day’s work.

    Yes I said I got to snow plow my drive way – not meaning that I have to, but rather meaning that I am so fortunate that, I got to do it. In other words, “I was able to do it”. Yes, it was hard work however after reading your article today it made me realize how very lucky I am that – I got to snow plow my driveway today.

    I am also very fortunate that our wonderful neighbors let us borrow their snow blower.

    Your wonderful article helped me to have a much greater appreciation of things that frustrate us or that we take for granted.

    Thank you very much Ron, I love your stories. Keep em coming. (by the way, always looking for a good fish fry)

    Dan Downey

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