Tag Archives: family

Finding a way through loss

10 Jun

My parents at their 50th anniversary in 2015

by Patrick Novecosky

When my parents married in 1965, they had two significant goals: to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary together and to raise a large family. They succeeded on both counts – nine children and 16 grandchildren. Then in October 2015, they celebrated a half century of wedded bliss with a church service and a gathering of friends and family.

A couple months later, my dad woke up with a backache. He thought it was nothing, but it didn’t go away. He had it checked out after a few weeks. Doctors suspected cancer, which was confirmed in the spring. He died in July 2016.

Their 50th anniversary in October 2015 was a memorable event

When I was growing up, I rarely pondered what life would be like without my parents. Although my father passed away, my mother is still spry at 71 years old. But I realize that the day will come when I’ll dial the phone number I’ve known all my life and she won’t be there to answer. That thought doesn’t frighten me. It makes me appreciate the half century of life I’ve had with them.

One thing is certain: life is a journey, not a destination. And it’s the bumps along the road of life and the people we meet along the way that make it worth living. Happily for me, my parents set the template for how to travel that road. They loved passionately and they lived passionately. They set priorities of faith, family and work – without missing the opportunity to celebrate successes and victories big and small.

Mark Twain famously wrote that “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

My parents with their nine children

That’s the philosophy I’ve tried to live by. Early in life, my father encouraged me with similar advice. He wanted me to do what I love and love what I do for a career. Dad also taught me that turning down opportunities to gain wisdom and experience comes at a cost, and that cost is regret. I’ve been blessed to visit 26 countries. Only 170 more to go! And if I get the chance to visit number 27, I’ll go. Each stop along the way has taught me something and enriched my life experience.

Dealing with Dad’s cancer and death was hard on the entire family, but he raised me to be a man of faith – and he modeled it for me and my siblings. He had wonderful hospice care at home – a visiting nurse who gave extraordinary care to him and advice to my mother. But there came a point where Mom was no longer able to take of his daily needs.

During Dad’s last few weeks of life spent in the hospital, he never lost his sense of humor. When a nurse came to his room announcing, ™Time to take your vitals,” he quipped right back: “Well, you might as well take them. Nobody else wants them!” Mark Twain would have been proud.

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is the editor of this blog and the president of NovaMedia. This article appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Good Grief, a publication of Partners in Care Alliance.

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Vatican synod to reinforce Church teaching on the family

8 Jul

ICRadioJULY 8, 2014 — Patrick Novecosky, editor of this blog and Editor-in-Chief of Legatus magazine, was a guest on Iowa Catholic Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, this morning. He appeared on the Iowa Catholic Radio TODAY with host Jon Leonetti, Mark Amadeo, and Mary Sue Lone.

They asked Novecosky about the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family being held at the Vatican from Oct. 5-19. About 150 heads of bishops’ conferences and leaders of Eastern churches aligned with Rome will attend to discuss the cultural challenges to Church teaching on the family.

Novecosky said that while the synod won’t change Church teaching on marriage and family, it will be a teaching moment, giving Catholics the opportunity to talk about the beauty of God’s plan for the family. It will also give the Church a chance to streamline its processes for Catholics seeking an annulment, he said.

Listen to the entire interview.

Read more about the Synod in Legatus magazine.

Time to step up our game and change the culture

1 Jul

familyPatrick Novecosky, editor of this blog, writes in the July issue Legatus magazine that the fight for religious liberty has only just begun as the secular left and activist judges attempt to redefine marriage and family.

In mid-July, I’ll meet my fourth son. While preparing this issue of the magazine, it occurred to me that even though he hasn’t been born, he’s got a tough road ahead of him.

This is our annual Family issue. We decided to dedicate an issue to family a couple of years ago when it was clear that this was a new front in the culture wars. The family has been under attack since Cain slew his brother, but secularists opened this front in a new way a few years ago by attempting to redefine marriage

Read the rest of the article.