I am from Boston, Massachusetts. I was born in Niagara Falls, NY, and we moved when I was about one. From there we lived in a bunch of places near Boston – we moved when my father had to open a new branch of the coffee service he worked for. It is named Coffee Pause. Eventually me, my mother, sister, and brother had enough with the moving and settled down in East Lyme, CT, a small town on the southeastern shore of Connecticut. When I graduated from high school, I went straight back to Boston to attend Northeastern University in 1981. My major was biochemistry; I was sure I wanted to become a medical doctor. I did very well with grades and did well on the MCAT exam, but after working with doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, I changed my mind – thinking I wanted a family and the time to enjoy one. I loved my co-op job at MGH, working in the cardiothoracic laboratory, where doctors were trained to do open-heart surgery by operating on canines (a necessary evil, I’m afraid) while doing other research to help improve bypass surgery. So, after I learned to do open-heart surgery, with the heart-lung bypass machine and all, I began to train medical doctors on surgical technique. I became quite good at this, in fact my surgical skills are highlighted in an article featured in the world-renowned, “The New England Journal of Science.” In my second year of college, I met Holly and fell in love for the first time. I was madly in love with her. We dated for seven years and after she graduated, while I was getting ready to start law school, (the idea was medical malpractice law, on the doctor’s side), Holly broke up with me – a “Dear John” letter and all. I was absolutely devastated. I still think about her often, hoping she is doing well, but either way – I hope I hear from her someday. I managed to get through Suffolk University Law School, graduating in 1991, and began working as an attorney (passed the bar exam with one try!) in Boston. I loved the idea of it, but my first job, working for a sole-practitioner turned out pretty lousy. It was okay, I managed to learn a lot and move on to bigger and better places. In the summer of 1991, I went to Chicago to visit my best friend. While there, I met Sarah Ruhl, a beautiful girl eight years my junior from Kansas City. I fell in love with her quickly, we had a long distance relationship with hours and hours of phone calls – cut to: we are married, living in Winthrop, MA (just north of Boston) and soon owners of a beautiful baby boy we named John Joseph Ricci, after my grandfather… who immigrated from Sicily in the 1920’s. I say “owners” in jest of course, but when I walked out of the hospital with that little tiny baby, I felt like something was very wrong. How could I possibly just walk out with something so precious – with no owner’s manual? No instructions, nothing. Thank God for Sarah, with an “h”, as she used to point out to me after she said her name. She of course had all the instincts to do everything right. I did too, it just took me a little longer to appreciate that part of me. So, on May 14, 1995, the three of us were heading down to my parent’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day, Sarah’s first. It was a beautiful Sunday morning at around 8:30am, when our Isuzu Trooper went off the road, flipped several times and came to a stop upside down. I cannot remember what had happened; later, Massachusetts State Police engineers would conclude that they too had no definitive answer. One thought was a tire blew out, another – I had swerved to avoid an animal (no witness close enough to help out). All I can remember now is hearing JJ crying and looking for Sarah. Her seatbelt, which was on – I insisted she wear it all the time, had malfunctioned and she was ejected from the vehicle. I walked around, passed in and out, and searched for Sarah until I found her lying on the highway. I wasn’t in shape to know how she was, I knew it was bad, but I never imagined I had lost her. I was driving and I allowed something to happen to Sarah, accident though it was, and it was my responsibility… my fault. I’ll live with that forever. Fortunately, John Joseph was okay – at 11 months old and safely secured in his baby seat, nothing had happened to him. Today, he is a beautiful, kind, compassionate, brilliant young man in his second year at the University of Pennsylvania. And I am so lucky to have him.
More soon… promise, but remind me?
Okay, so JJ and I became and are extremely close. He has many of the attributes of his Mom – and is a joy to be around. He was such a good little boy, I had to give him fake spankings, just to show him what spankings were, just so he’d know… if the day ever came. It did not. Between the fake spankings and the tickling, JJ could barely keep himself together. I didn’t date for the first four years after Sarah died. I then got it into my head that it would be nice for the both of us to have a traditional family, if the right person came along. Several women did and I did get serious with a few of them, the ones that seemed genuinely interested in JJ. From my perspective, I couldn’t imagine how he couldn’t be loved; he was that adorable. But I also knew it was not that simple. I seem to have an affinity for Irish women, something known in Boston as a “mixed marriage” with Italians and Irish. To say my grandfather, God bless his soul, was prejudiced, would be an extreme understatement. When he emigrated to America in the 1910’s, the Italians and Irish fought for the same menial labor… they were fighting for survival. In Boston, which was predominately Italian and Irish (living in very distinct sections of Boston), these two nationalities quickly grew to despise each other. My grandfather hated the Irish (and honestly, every other race) and made it quite clear to everyone, including his six-year-old grandson. “Those no good, drunk assholes have no reason to live” he’d say in his thick Italian accent. This man would not step foot into church because it allowed the Irish in, so my grandmother would double up on Mass’s to make up for her husband. I’m not quite sure how God worked all of this out?
But, I didn’t carry on his hatred. In fact, I found Irish women extremely attractive and intelligent. Holly is Norwegian (she is gorgeous, modeled, etc.), Sarah was German and, she told me, a mix of “a bunch of things, I’m from the mid-west John.” All my other girlfriends were Irish! “All” is a total of four, including Coleen (yes, with one “l”) who I ended up marrying. Again, my thinking was, if the right person was out there and JJ and I brought her into our lives, we’d all benefit. Sadly, the right person never arrived. Well, actually, the right person did arrive… another Colleen (with 2 “l’s”), but it may have been too soon for me, or maybe my PTSD screwed me up, who knows – but I blew it. Ugh. Colleen is special, we have been in contact; it turns out she got married and had a daughter, but also got divorced. It’s possible that she is single now, I’m not sure. But I don’t think it matters, I’ve got too much baggage, as you’ll see if you keep reading.
Time for a break? …
I am profession freelance writer, available at an hourly rate which varies depending on the project. I can write, edit, proofread, and/or ghostwrite any type of document or article you wish. Upon request, I can provide you with a breakdown of a document’s syntax, and list all adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. I can also provide the number of characters, words, sentences, and the approximate reading time of a given document. I graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, cum laude, in 1986 and Suffolk University Law School in 1991 – passing the Massachusetts bar exam the same year. I practiced law for fifteen years and now offer legal consulting services. Inquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org (Please put LEGAL MATTER in caps in the subject matter of email.) E-Mail: JMRicci33@gmail.com United States of America Twitter: @jmricci33esq