Monthly Archives: July 2018


We attended a wedding this past weekend. I truly love weddings. There's something about wedding ceremonies that evoke emotions of love and commitment to celebrate the joining of two people in a new life path.  Sometimes the couple express their feelings towards each other, in a spiritual or scriptural setting. The blessing asks for happiness, joy, commitment, sharing, and always love.

It is sad that many marriages break up - between 45% and 50% of them.  But, what about that beautiful wedding and all the emotions that got stirred up?  Where is that couple who vowed to love each other forever, forsaking all others?  Where and why did 45 to 50% of them falter?

They may have forgotten something. They may have left Someone out.

The traditional wedding ceremony usually involves a religious setting, asking God to bless the union, free it of jealousy, anger, infidelity and selfishness.  Church weddings include God in the service and He is a part of the day's happiness and union.  A large part.  One in which the entire family partakes.

The marriage union has more chance to succeed if they remember to include God in their relationship from the very beginning.

Having God in your marriage is like being part of a tripod.  It won't stand on just 2 feet.  It needs the 3rd foot for balance.  It is an essential accessory for holding a marriage steady at slow-moving speeds or when we plan long, hoped-for ranges.  A God-tripod is the best way to prevent a problem marriage. Otherwise, without it may cause out-of-focus problems or topple over and have to be discarded.

Marriage unions can strengthen by attending and working at church activities or ministries together. Doing so keeps an awareness of keeping God in the marriage. Scripture heard at chuch reminds couples to: Accept one another;  Care for one another;  Carry each other’s burdens;  Forgive one another;  Encourage, build up one another;  Spur one another on to love and good deeds,  Confess your sins to one another; and Pray for one another.

Pray together.  It is difficult - almost impossible - to feel anger or not forgive someone when you pray with him or her.  Work at not 'holding on' to any anger overnight - it may still have embers that may flare up in the morning.  "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

Taken all together, these Scriptures are a blueprint for a happy marriage.  Include God in the blueprint, and you will be blessed with a mate who will love you as much as you love back.

A happily married couple once told us their secret:  You have to feel that both of you are giving 125%.  Include God in that percentage and your odds will go way up.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy... husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.......each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

© Marie Coppola Revised 7/30/ 2018

Like most mothers with newly married daughters, it wasn't long after the wedding ceremony that I obsessed on becoming a grandmother.   Being Italian, it was very important to join that rank of becoming a  "Nonna".    It was two years and 6 months later that my daughter and son-in-law  dropped by and announced that they were expecting.   By July 4th, the anticipation day, I would be holding my first grandchild.  Such excitement!

The day came a little early, June 29th which was my father's birthday.   More excitement!   We waited for the 'good news' (a boy or a girl?)  but did not expect that  our first grand-baby -- a boy -- was in one of our finest hospitals - in the NICU.   I didn't know what that was but quickly learned it meant a neonatal intensive care unit, also known as an intensive care nursery  specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants. Neonatal refers to the first 28 days of life. Neonatal care, as known as specialized nurseries or intensive care, has been around since the 1960s.    Here we were in 1995.

Our new baby, named Daniel. was a small being covered in wires, tubes and other apparatus in a small incubator.   A blood disorder was the suspected cause; only family members were allowed in the room lined up with other incubators.  Mandatory clean linens and masks were distributed to be in that room - and immediate family only.

Daniel's parents were there all the time.   She was nursing Daniel and brought him her colostrum, the first secretion from the mammary glands after giving birth, which is rich in antibodies and very good for infants.  She continued to do this every day.   The traveling back and forth, the worry and stress from not bringing a baby home after it's birth is tiring and disturbing to a new mother.   It is a challenge to all mothers who have everything in place except the baby.

The Fourth of July arrived five days later .  Normally,  this holiday is a big family picnic day affair,  but  there were little changes in little Daniel.   We all talked the new mother into attending the picnic - a much needed change of scenery.   We all attended and it did help.   After a couple of hours I excused myself and left.  To get home,  I had to go past the hospital.   I parked and went into the NICU.  There was little traffic that holiday afternoon and less in the hospital.  Since  it was a holiday, the hospital was  small-staffed that day.   A baby was crying in the isolation room when I arrived and the nurse, who recognized me,  told me  that was my grandson.

She said since the NICU was under-staffed and Daniel had come off all his attachments, he had been crying on and off all morning.   I asked if I could hold him - I never had that pleasure yet.   She got a hard chair for me to sit on in the middle of a small unused room.  She left me and then returned and placed Daniel in my lap.   He was so precious and beautiful without his wires, I became overjoyed with tears.   He drew in a big breath and sighed loudly.  Almost sounding relieved.   I pressed his papoose-wrapped blanketed little body close to my own heart and hummed lullabies and rocked him until he fell asleep.

He slept while I held him for the next 3 hours.    The nurse came by and asked if she could take him and put him back.   Reluctantly, I said OK.   He didn't wake up;  he had kinda worn himself out.  She thanked me for helping out and said, "Have a good day".   I answered, "I already have".   When  she took him, I felt the very warmth of his body still next to  my heart.

That feeling of warmth and love for Daniel has never gone away - I still feel it after 23 years.

Marie Coppola  March 2019



As we age, don't our time spans seem to shorten?   If you are retired, you may remember thinking how much extra time you would have if you could only retire early.  Work days slipped into welcome weekends in which weekly chores, grocery shopping, social events, catch-up events and anything else not work-related took precedence.   Before you blinked twice, Monday rolled around again and back on the merry-go-round.

Somehow all those things got done until we did retire.   Retirement was going to bring meditations, exercise classes, dieting, volunteering, church work, and vacations.   Lots of visiting and long week-end vacations, home or away.    We could lounge at the pool or the beach and read all the books in the bookcase that never got read.    Have tea parties, cook-outs and grandkids visit.   Frequently.   Well, occasionally.   All right - when everyone is available at the same time.

Now that retirement came into fruition and the recent announcement that the highest new age demographic is for folks over 100 years old, is it what we dreamed about?   Nope.  There is so much going on that days slip into weekends and less is getting done than ever.   What happened to those old-time summer-time school vacations?   Do you remember?

By the meteorological calendar, spring starts on March 1. The seasons are defined as Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) and Winter (December, January, February).

Think back to middle school.   We started school every fall after Labor Day in September and had a school winter and spring vacation.  They were short.   Summer vacation (also called summer holiday or summer break) where students and instructors are off school from doing work typically last between 8 and 9 weeks; summer break is  approximately 2.5 to 3 months, with students typically getting out of school between late May and mid-June and starting the new school year between mid-August and early September.

Do you remember how eagerly we looked forward to summer break?   No more teachers, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks.  Bring it on.  I remember the lightheartedness and happiness of not having to get up in the morning, rush and get to school on time and don't forget all your books & materials.   Sounds something like the future 'working days'.

What I remember most about my own personal summer vacations is we didn't always go on one.  We might have gone every few years or at least visit the beach for the day.   So what did I do for almost three precious months.   I complained incessantly that there was 'nothing to do' and repeatedly that I was bored (which brought suggestions to do work around the house.)   I couldn't wait to get back to school to learn new things but especially to see all the kids I knew from kindergarten who changed in looks every year when we all returned back to school.

Out of boredom mostly, I pleaded with Mom to buy me a pair of moccasins - I have no idea why I wanted them - I guess they were popular with teens to wear with dungarees.   My mother handed me the Sears catalog and I spent quite some time analyzing which ones I wanted to order and then the long wait for them to be ordered and mailed.   It took 4 weeks for them to appear.   I was happy to get them but immediately became bored with them.

I remember sitting in the backyard wishing that school started next week so I could wear my new moccasins to school.   I did little that summer but wish the time away and polish my moccasins.

Imagine having almost 3 months to do nothing -- but instead get bored.    Is that why there is a saying that 'youth is wasted on the young'.

Marie Coppola  July 2018





Flag Day is observed on June 14.  It began on June 14, 1777, when the Second Continental Congress made a resolution about a flag for our country.

"Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation," it said. 

How did it come about?  The flag was honored on June 14, 1877: "As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country,"

William Kerr, was involved in setting up the National American Flag Day Association in 1889.  It is said that Kerr would meet multiple U.S. presidents as part of the years he spent trying to make Flag Day be recognized.

After speaking with Kerr, President Woodrow Wilson wrote  "I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as Flag Day with special patriotic exercises.

President Harry Truman later signed Flag Day's permanent observance into law in 1949.   Flag Day is not a federal holiday but is a state holiday in New York and Pennsylvania.  Some places in the United States hold Flag Day parades. Presidents have also issued proclamations for National Flag Week.

Since these patriotic beginnings, the Flag has been burned, spit on, misaligned and disrespected by people who will not honor it and don't think America is good.  A past president once remarked  the Star Spangled Banner should be changed because it incites violence with 'bombs bursting in air'.   Had that president read the story behind the bombs bursting in air, he would have realized that countless men died from bombs bursting in air to keep the flag flying.  It denotes bravery, sacrifice and love for one's country.  And victory for one's country.

For most of us, the Flag is raised on patriotic holidays and respected.   Our military and veterans have offered their lives to keep the Flag a symbol of America's freedom and bravery.   Today, our country is being divided by those who want America's culture to change - be it not repeating the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag or taking down replicas of the flag or discerning the flag at sports.  A small share of the population does not want it to fly at events,  businesses or even in our own homes.   They want us to listen to them and their bad remarks about our country when the majority of sports & celebrities have made their fortunes from this country of the flag they are 'harmed' by.   What hypocrisy.   They make up stories of how the flag causes riots and they burn them.  What audacity.

The majority of Americans give homage to our red, white & blue flag.   It is more than patriotic; it denotes respect, gratitude and belonging to a country that is the best in the world.    Pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.   Those who are 'harmed' by the flag should seriously consider moving to another country.   Why haven't they?

Marie Coppola  July 11, 2019