Pieces of Time and Pivotal Moments

Life is comprised of pieces of time sprinkled with pivotal moments. Sometimes these moments have immediate impact. Other times, they are slow to manifest and reveal their importance. But if you listen closely to the soft whispers of life, they will guide you on an unexpected journey filled with beauty, understanding and fulfillment. One such moment occurred for me about eight years ago.

On this particular day, I was helping my mom redo her bedroom. We rearranged the furniture, cleaned, polished and changed the curtains and bedding. Then out came the new floral arrangements, potpourri and matching candles. Proudly, we stepped back to admire our work. That's when Mom decided we needed a little atmosphere and she lit the candles.

Evidently, there was a residue of cleaning solution on her hands, because the moment she flicked the lighter, flames burst in the air. Large blisters instantly formed on her hands and she began to shake. As the tears rolled down her face, she looked up at me and whispered, "The children."

Those were her first words, not a cry, not a scream, not a curse ? "the children". I panicked. I though she was in shock. I hurried her into the bathroom to tend to her wounds but the blisters were so large she couldn't move her fingers. I realized I would have to take her to the doctor; I was also concerned about her state of mind. Her response seemed so strange. "Mom, what do you mean, the children?" I asked.

She looked up at me with the sweetest, most sympathetic tear-filled eyes I had ever seen. "The poor children who get burnt." Then she continued to explain, "I saw it on Oprah. If this is painful for me, how much pain would a child be in? I feel so sorry for them?what they must go through."

That was her answer. My mom had second and third degree burns, her hands were swollen, blistered and shaking, but her tears were for the children. Children she saw on Oprah. My thoughts were less pure. At that moment, I didn't care about anyone but her.

Four years ago this October, I lost my mom to cancer. True to her nature, she never complained during her illness. Not once. Even in her suffering, she taught me valuable lessons. One of these lessons came when we were in her hospital room waiting for test results. The doctor finally arrived, flew into the room, delivered his devastating news and then abruptly left.

I was shocked, hurt and angry all at the same time. I turned to my mother and said, "I hate him." She looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes and said, "That's not nice. He was just doing his job. Can you imagine how hard it must be for him to have to tell his patients bad news like that?"

Oh, Mom, you certainly were something.

In the years since I lost my mom, things have changed in many ways. There are sorrows and bittersweet longings, but her gentle lessons continue to touch my life and guide me.

Mom would be proud to know that my husband John and I recently published our first children's book. Although we originally set out to write an entertaining story about a boy with school troubles, I soon discovered that John was the victim of a school bully. He had buried the hurt and humiliation deep inside, but as we stepped further into the writing process, the impact of his experience was evident.

My mother's lessons taught me to listen closely to the soft whispers of life. This perspective helped me to realize that a message emerged from our collaboration, beyond the pages of our book. This knowledge changed the direction of our lives.

Our children's book became the basis for an anti-bullying program. The program, filled with stories, songs and practical advice, teaches children about the consequences of bullying and helps to provide a safe and healthy learning environment.

Today, as John and I speak at schools and community events, I pray that our pieces of time sprinkled with pivotal moments serve to help the children. Because now, I understand.


Necks crane as innocent eyes follow my every move

Silent, enthralled children,

A captive audience

In the wake of their hushed response,

I hear the echo of my own words.

Anticipation looms

Awaiting an answer

A solution, an explanation,

I cannot provide.

I have let them down

For I can only share my story,

Not repair the social injustice that has befallen them.

They are victims,

As once was I

With only my experience to offer,

I silently pray to ease their anguish,

Whilst knowing I cannot.

About The Author

Patricia Gatto and John De Angelis are the authors of MILTON'S DILEMMA, the tale of a lonely boy's magical journey to friendship and self-acceptance. As advocates for literacy and children's rights, the authors speak at schools and community events to foster awareness and provide children with a safe and healthy learning environment. For more information, please visit Joyful Productions at http://www.joyfulproductions.com


In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Some Tips for Healthy Parenting

Looking back through my files I've come across several great... Read More

How You Can Help Your Child To Be An Avid Reader

Reading is the most efficient and economical way to help... Read More

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Do We Mean by Attention Anyway?

When we talk about attention, we are talking about two... Read More

Some Thoughts on Counseling Goals for ADHD

What should the goals for counseling be when the patient... Read More

How Effective Is EEG Neurofeedback Training in Treating the Symptoms of ADHD?

Many research studies have shown the overall effectiveness of stimulant... Read More

A Child Can Make a Difference

Sometimes dreams really can come true! May 8th - 11th,... Read More

Preventing Obesity in Young Children

Do you have a young child whose weight or eating... Read More

Give Your Child Life Skills for a Lifetime

Many parents struggle with solutions to put their child on... Read More

Revering the Crayon Marks

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine,... Read More

10 Secrets To Know You?re A Good Working Parent To Your Kids!

How are parents to know they are doing the right... Read More

Life Lessons in a Glass of Beer

It was blisteringly hot last Saturday. As I took that... Read More

When Parents Disagree

Moms and dads, are there times you think that parenting... Read More

How A Home Water Filter Can Reduce Your Child?s Risk Of Learning Disabilities

Lead is one of the most dangerous toxins a person... Read More

Homework Help for the Attention Deficit Child

Does the homework battle so typical with your hyperactive or... Read More

Picky Eater Kid Nutritional Guidelines

Although many children are picky eaters at some stage in... Read More

CAMP INJURIES- 7 Things You Must Know


My Children

I have been a single mom for almost 20 years.... Read More

You Goofed? Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Certainly we all want our children to excel. But it... Read More

Let Kids Help

One fantastic way to get your children involved in what... Read More

When Time Out Dont Work

Joey steps away from his time out chair "I won't... Read More

Psychological Effects of Child Abuse

Many children who suffer from the psychological effects of child... Read More

Tips for Parents of Teenagers: Dont Just Survive - Thrive!

What makes parenting so challenging at times? One widespread research... Read More

Public Schools Can Waste 12 Years of Your Child?s Life

For over fifty years, public-school officials and politicians have tried... Read More

Teaching Your Children About the Value of Money

We take it for granted that children know how money... Read More

A Mothers Love

Once upon a time there was a beautiful bird whose... Read More

Disciplining the Wild Child

Do you have a wild child? Then this article may... Read More

Old Wives Tales and Other Things That Just Might Help with ADHD

Here are some tips that I have picked up from... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Bottom Line Issues

Q. When you consult with a family with teens, what... Read More

Quality Time?

There's a phrase that's become popular over the past few... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Ask Questions

Many parents seem to be more than a little confused... Read More

Home For The Holidays: Ask Yourself Some Questions

Annie easily slipped into becoming the sole caregiver of her... Read More

Games Of The Past Meet The Present

Recently, our family had the opportunity to care for sisters'... Read More

How To Help Your Child Learn

Just as every snowflake is unique, so is every child.... Read More