another year has passed since my families future was forever changed. 2/22/2003. that day i was completely alone in my thoughts and the darkness in my mind. i had never experienced such despair before or since that day. i wanted to be dead, i could not live with the life my son was going to have to endure. some how, some way with the help of many people, but especially my kids and tricia, i became stronger and hope and faith in the future made me determined to do whatever it took to help my son live a life that was worthwhile and fulfilling to him. that day is as vivid today and in my ongoing nightmare. the difference is i awake today sweaty and fearful only to realize the reality is my son has made my life better and as proud a father as anyone could imagine.
there were times that i would make lists of things carl was missing and things i would hope he would eventually achieve in life that would make me happy. so far he has achieved every one of them, sometimes reaching for things he really did not want just to make me happy and to fulfill my expectations. i will for ever be grateful for his character, personality, smartness, ethics, morals, toughness and his unquestioned integrity. many of these traits that i have never been gifted with.
this year my list of dreams for carl had one more major milestone and i'm sure carl wants me to talk about it in this letter. i am a person who reads all about quadriplegics, their cures, both biological as well as technological, sporting activities, memberships, social venues and much more. it is of my opinion carl has never looked at these web sites . the reason being he is to busy living his life to get involved with all these special interests. he has lived his life for thirteen years as if he was just another guy. how he accomplished this attitude and aura has been miraculous for me to watch first hand.
so what is this one huge milestone that carl has accomplished this year? i think it is safe to say it is the love of a special and beautiful young lady allison. over the years carl has dated and knowing his father was a big ugly, big mouth, would barely acknowledge me when he was entertaining. i figured that someday he would let me meet someone when he thought she was special. i am by no means saying carl and allison have found the loves of their lives, so i don't want to imply that. i can only say that if he has, as usual he has done a great job. allison is sweet, smart, beautiful and she loves carl. she has told me that many times -she says i love my carl.
other things that carl is doing - he bought mike's subs jan 2015 and now has expanded it to 30 burgers and mike's subs. it is a wonderful restaurant with great food and carl is there almost all his waking hours. i hope everyone tries carl's restaurant in dunellen. the food is excellent and hopefully he will be in the black sometime in 2016. the subs, burgers and chicken sandwich are really the best.
carl and i have lived together in some capacity for all of his life. 99.9% of the time i would not want it any other way - he is my son, friend, advisor, lawyer, and tells me how bad i am everyday and of course he is right at all times. the problem is he enjoys living with me only .1% of the time and who can blame him. he is a man and the king of the castle and as we all know there can only be one king in each castle. in reality i am sure he enjoys my friendship and camaraderie many times, but we have come to the time we must sell our warren house for economics as well as normal life's changes. so when we do sell the house and i visit carl too long he will just kick me out.
what's next for carl is the same question we can ask about everyone else in the world and that is exactly what i could only dream of 13 years ago when i wanted to leave this planet. will carl be successful in business? will he sell our house? will he buy a new home? will he get married, have kids, get fat, and on and on. if i asked these questions about carl's cousins and friends - billy, roy, john, pearce, anthony and so on - the question would be the same without reservations or caveats and the hopes for them and their future would be no different than carl's. so as with all of these young men, the final analysis is not complete, but the future is open to all of them equally and if i had to, i'd bet they will all make it and have successful lives.
jump ahead to the year 2069 - all these guys are together at a great summer picnic and the fastest and most mobile person will no doubt be carl with his new model super charged wheel chair and all his cousins and friends hobbling around while carl's great grand kids are sitting on his lap getting rides all over the beach.
for the present my carl and my other seven kids are the best thing that ever happened to me and carl, as always, is the the wind beneath my wings...
peter j riccio
the older we get the faster the years go by, in my life the years are leaving at warp speed. with time come changes good and bad, some are as subtle as the added wrinkle on our brow or the 5 to 10 yards lost on our driver. others are as jarring as getting your application and instructions for your social security that you are now eligible for. these and many more will be visited by everyone who is lucky to live long enough to reach this age and hopefully much older.
for me i have been working on the fact that carl is the master of his domain, the boss of all bosses and will rarely if ever give in to anything , why should he , he is never wrong . this i have come to realize is a genetic trait . this is not to say i would want it any different. the only problem with this attitude and personality is that you make many mistakes and as long as you can take and learn from those mistakes i say great. tricia and i did bring up our kids with the understanding that the world is a tough place and to succeed we must be tough, mean and rotten when warranted, yet always good. this starts when you are old enough to compete in anything even kids sports. if all kids went into sports with that attitude they would be successful, win or lose, following that mantra to give it everything you have to win and succeed and compete - mean and rotten - treat your competitor as a foe and never let them see your weak side. good !!! then at the end of a competition, whether it is in the back yard or in the state championship, put a smile on your face congratulate your opponent and look forward to the next chance to compete. there is only one thing worse than losing, that is not playing.
carl like almost everything he did in his life learned these lessons well, from the day he could walk he was as competitive as anyone i ever was around. he loved to compete from the earliest age. he was a natural hitter but was never satisfied working hours by himself in the batting cage. everything came natural to him he was instantly good at basketball, football quarterback, everything and anything his competitive edge and his natural athletic ability made him an instant star.
there was one sport we got involved in that carl was not the best, wrestling, he worked hard at practice, he learned all the moves, he gave it all he had, you could always tell when carl was competing hard he bit his tongue as it hung out the side of his mouth. for some reason, the first few years carl almost never won a match. he would go out on the mat, work hard do his moves, yet he would lose, six, seven years old, he would come off the mat losing and would ask me, i want to do it again , then again , it was not unusual for carl to wrestle three or four times in one morning and never get depressed or mad or sad . he just wanted to compete more and more. one day in dunellen, we were wrestling a few other teams and carl had just lost two matches. he came to me and asked if i could ask the coach for another match, i said who do you want to wrestle and he pointed to a kid that was one of the better wrestlers on the other team. i said carl go in the car and get a basketball and dribble. of course by the time carl was ten he won the state championship and he was a state championship contender when he tragically was injured at seventeen.
so should i be surprised that carl is a do it myself, do it my way kind of guy. of course it should not, in reality it is not genetic, it is exactly how we brought him and our other four kids up, tough, mean and rotten when necessary and always good. this attitude molded carl and all our kids to be independent and successful in life and all of our kids are all that. carl our kid who stood out in almost all aspects of life the shining star who had it all needed and used his strength in himself and his mental toughness to make it in life with what has happened to him. many people have done it and many more have failed, but i doubt too many have succeeded with this tragedy with such self-assuredness and lack of sadness and never wanting or accepting any sympathy or short cuts because of his physical challenges.
with this background, you might understand the problems that arise when two strong-minded and independent men live together. then add the fact one is me and to top it all off i am carl's father. this combination is hard and sometimes hard for carl, he sometimes wants to kick me out. i promise him when he gets a wife or girlfriend and family i will be out instantly. now if that isn't incentive enough, what would be.
in reality the tide is turning fast, i have lost most of my powers and carl has worn me down with his strength and his character , he is now the dominant male in our house, the final completion of his coup was not the fact he decides what we eat. who comes over, what lights stay on or which doors are locked, where the furniture is and god forbid if i should touch the mail before he gets it. none of these things were the final act of becoming the king of our castle, no that final dictum came within the last few months , it became official , carl is now in charge and command of the doo_hickey锟?.the torch has been passed.
carl and our family have had some very exciting happening in the past year starting with the addition of kerry and shaun's baby cameron our first nephew and grandson, carl was honored as the godfather of our precious cameron .. then just a few months later we were once again blessed with a second nephew and grandson by peter jr and gina and carl was once again honored by them when they named this beautiful boy carl rocco riccio.
carl also became the sole proprietor of mike's subs and steak 锟?carl's new ownership will hopefully bring new thoughts and excitement to a business that is now 60 years old. the response from carl running the business has already paid dividends, in both the practical and educational aspects of business that will be very worthwhile in the future business aspirations that i know carl has.
as to a cure for paralysis, there is always hope and the world has many new and exciting advances in many diseases, but the hope for regeneration of the spinal cord is still not in sight , the newest and most exciting things that have been talked about and have actual human trial in at least two countries , united states and france , is the implantation of electrodes over the injured area , under the skin but outside the spinal column, outside electrical impulses then give the patient the ability with training and help to move certain muscles and eventually walk to some degree in lab with help and harness etc . this is a great thing and they think some day they will be able to find and stimulate the muscles to move and the patient will actually walk . this would be great but not the part that is exciting , the great part is that all the patients who have had this implanted and went through the trial got this unexpected and lasting side effect , they all received the more important gift of some levels of bladder function , sexual function, bowel function , and increased diaphragm strength. i am keeping track of these and all other research that i can find or people send me. john mccarey and roy dragon have been helpful in sending many articles, both have a lot of time in the office. thanks guys.
carl turned 29 last month and i am soon to be 62, i was 49 and carl was 17 when the worst day of our lives became reality and i was sure life was over and i certainly would not have argued with death. i vowed to myself i would take care of carl for as long as i lived. a lot has changed since those dark days, the truth is carl now takes care of me much more than i could ever do for him. he is my friend, he is my psychiatrist, he tells me all my flaws and even though i fight him about it, he is always right, he pays the bills, he administers to my insurance, and all other important bullshit. he is my lawyer. my business and building manager and just about everything else, but most of all he is my son and tricia's son who, of course, is in carl's life daily. carl's brothers and sisters, kerry and shaun, peter and gina, shane, and tyler and christina are so close and so good and all carl's friends and cousins and aunts and uncles who think of him in your thoughts and prayers, we thank and love you all.
there are new tragedies and new reasons for sadness and joy and the amount of people thinking of carl and his life, of course, have dwindled. this, of course, is normal and expected. i write this on the occasion that someone might think of carl and want to know what he is doing and how we are all getting on in life and i will do so for as long as i can write. i will now say goodbye with the one statement that will never change, carl is, as always, the wind beneath my wings...
peter j riccio
eleven years ago and the day is vivid and clear as if it were yesterday. the day my family, my life, my future changed forever. yet it was not me who could not walk and go to the bathroom or play the games and sports that were my life it was my son, my big beautiful handsome son. the thoughts and scars i have in my brain from that day never go away. recently i read about a family who is now living the same nightmare my family went through over a decade ago. their son a hockey player has spinal cord injury and as i read the articles on this young man and his family, the confusion, guilt, expectations the overwhelming feeling of disaster and helplessness overtakes my being. then the words that this boy said to his father --i can't move anything -- those words were the words carl said to me when i ran to him on the mat. the pain that i felt is with me now as i write about that time and i know is with the hockey players dad and family. my sickness in my stomach is real. the worry about my two sons who witnessed their hero, brother and friend lose his life as they knew it. how would this world with me in it go on, how would my family survive.
eleven years and those questions are still with us, the content of those questions have changed. life goes on for all of our family and we must endure this pain forever , yet we must realize that life goes on for all the people who care all the well wishers and all the good people of the world . other tragedies, other needy people whether it is economic or just support are just a day away. it is up to you and your family to make the future and deal with all the pain, doubts and obstacles. the age and maturity of the injured family member are the guides as to how much responsibility is required by the parents and the family. in my mind, the age is just a matter of how the support is given, and how much input is expected and wanted from the injured . . those who are aware of our situation know tricia and i were a team in this aspect of our son's recovery. tricia in practical matters and me in the decisions that had to be made, that affect your family's life forever. care, recovery, reality, education, physical acceptance and deciding what if any cures, operations or long-term physical recovery options should be looked into and eventually tried or just monitored.
all the above is decided and actually done with the family's ability, time and understanding of all that is happening around them. that is not as easy as it seems. not all families are the same educational and economic background and even more important how close that family is. in my sons stay at kessler i saw the full spectrum of the lucky people and families , those that could afford the top notch care , through the insurance of their own or the coverage of some responsible party. i have not seen those who have nothing and had self-inflicted paralysis and there are hundreds of those, no one to care for them and no money to get care. these people become dependent on the government and i can tell you only that this fear is with all who have this tragedy. so in a nutshell, money is the most important factor in life with quadriplegia. so i have listed two things that are the most important for life after tragedy, family and money. there is no substitution for those two things , yet there is something so much more powerful , more important , so much so that without it life , family ,happiness , future would no longer exist for the entire family .
of course, that ingredient is the injured person themselves. carl is not the only tragically injured person who has survived and thrived with a tragedy that at the age seventeen took his life away in all the ways he knew life to be. not only that, he was a superstar in life , handsome ,smart ,great athlete . and a great personality , loved ,admired and respected by all that knew him. in short, he had it all.
for me, who is not gifted as my son in any of these things, i could not imagine the strength needed to survive and conquer all the obstacles that were in front of my son. with all these unusual traits given to one person , that person's persona and the charisma that goes with it , are hard to lose and still survive , and even harder to keep your dignity and place and stature in life itself after the tremendous amount lost to a quadriplegic . carl from day one somehow has kept all around him buffered from what i feel has to be inside him somewhere.
carl is not special because he went back to high school after his injury or went away to villanova and lived on his own graduating with a finance degree , or even went on to seton hall law school and is a bar certified attorney in ny and nj. as remarkable as all these things are they are not special for others in his position have done the same, remarkable not special. the special part is something that is not measured in degrees and knowledge or economics. the special thing about my son carl is how he kept all of us, his family together, hopeful and excited about his and our future. that is what i look back on in the last eleven years, what he has done for us his four siblings and his parents. the tears we shed , the sorrow we felt , the sadness and heartache was never caused by carl , he never gave us one iota of reason to feel any of these things . and in fact to the contrary he gave us the ability to heal and go on . the heartache will never go away, the ifs and what ifs will always be there. the hopes for carl's future happiness and success are right here in our hearts.
will anybody bet against carl making all these worries a mute point and showing us the way to overcoming not the physical challenges a quadriplegic has to overcome , but all the things we only have words to describe that carl has never lost and in fact has cultivated since that day 2/22/2014.
our twelfth year after the accident and our family is changing, both in an economic sense as well as in size with marriage and children. carl will enter into new and growing business opportunities and changes in life as we all get older. the fact is that carl is the center of my life and always will be. i suspect he will be doing something soon that will be new and exciting in his business life. as for me like all parents i want what is best for all my kids and my thoughts of family are the final fulfillment of happiness. so that is what i wish for carl. of course, what i wants is not important it is what carl eventually picks for himself and his happiness that is what i want.
so once again, i have no idea if anyone reads this anymore. if not, that is ok, i will continue to write it until i can no longer write. at this time, i want to say. thank you, carl patrick riccio --you are and always will---- the wind beneath my wings....
carl patrick riccio, ten years after his accident. according to me peter j riccio sr, his dad.
first i have to say i am about as impartial as a person can be in talking about carl, yet i do not think anyone will disagree with the one main theme, that carl is so remarkable and such a good person. his morals and ethics are impeccable. i have never understood how people go though terrible personal tragedy and come out as good and untouched by negative, normal human emotions, that we all have in the corridors of our mind, making the average person cry, complain its unfair and drive themselves to depression, crawl into a psychic whole and socially escape and die. carl of course is not the only person who has done this remarkable job of self perseverance, yet for everyone that can pull this off there are hundreds who cannot. what ever powers that be,i am so thankful that carl is one of these remarkable human beings. carl makes me proud every day of my life. i know many who love and care about carl can appreciate the fact he lives with me for him this is probably brutal,those who know me understand. for me it is nothing but a saving of my life. i used to help carl and thought i was important for him to survive and thrive, not any more i am much more dependent on him than he is on me. i doubt anyone knows carl as i do, i have seen him grow in the last few years. he is now starting to understand the benefits of his law degree and the true value of that education.
to go back a bit every young person who has a spinal cord injury along with their families have a major decision to make. the more insurance backing or money, the more options that family has. what form of care and rehabilitation should we pursue. will we dedicate our lives to a cure, should we go to every corner of the earth searching and researching every cure that sounds good and reasonable.. when my son was injured he had just turned seventeen. saying that age makes me shiver and cry. my sons life changed at seventeen. we were not rich in my thinking of rich, but we were much better off than most people in this situation and my wife and i along with our other four kids never even thought of anything but doing whatever it took to help carl. no amount of time effort money would keep us from helping and curing if that was possible our beautiful, great and special son. now i do not know if their is a god or a supreme being, of course we all hope so. i can only say that we all searched,my wife and i and all our kids, but i knew the real final decisions and the course we would set for carl was in my hands. what was i going to do, how was i to help my son and make the correct decisions about this most precious thing we had.
the one prevailing sentiment was that carl would be walking, running, playing baseball, whatever he wanted within five to ten years. the world had finally found the cure for spinal cord injury and it was just a matter of time that humans would be cured from this life in a wheel chair. bowel programs, catheters,pain,infections and things no one can imagine living through.
---- i will not ever say a bad thing of these scholars and doctors and research men and facilities, in the united sates as well as the rest of the world. just understand that i spoke to and wrote to people in australia, russia, china, portugal, mexico,united kingdom, denmark,brazil,canada, and many more doctors and clinics etc in the united states. i didn't even know how to use the email at that time i was typing out letters and calling all over the world. as i learned how to work the email thing i was freed dozens of letters and phone calls a day. it was at this time i started talking to a few public companies in united states geron and genentech and a few others. i was soon able to call some research doctors and felt that i was inside the realm of this unbelievable time in world history that everything will be cured and soon. the hours i spent researching these cures whether they be drugs operations, injections whatever was all consuming and it became my life..
how did i come up with the correct decision for my son is hard to really explain. remember i spoke to dozens of doctors all over the world and everyone said my son would be walking and running in ten years. one told me no peter, i do not see a cure as of now or the near future, it is all just nonsense or hopeful thinking, then he said one thing that saved me from possibly making the biggest mistake for my son. the doctors name is dr kirschblum and he said peter no one has ever been cured of spinal chord paralysis since the begriming of the human race. the next cure will be the first cure. he went on to say that he is aware and up to date on all research and claims in this field throughout the world. this should be enough but when this is your child and you are so much in love with him that you cannot let it go. i mean the options for surgery and injections were at my finger tips, the expected results were amazing and hard to ignore. somehow i could not get dr kirschblum's message out of my mind and i decided that i would push my son to stay in shape with every machine for exercise we could find, but his main focus was to be education, get the best education possible and live his life to the fullest.
so now ten years later my son and all paralyzed people are still looking for and hoping for the cure. the doctors and clinics and almost all say to the newly injured, you will be walking and running within five to ten years. i can only say i hope so. but don't depend on it..thank you dr k, god, whatever. carl is now a graduate of villanova, finance and seton hall law school a member of the bar in nj and ny and has been experiencing law from a unique vantage point, working with me.
let me tell you what i have learned about carl and his future abilities as a practicing lawyer. as is the case for all professions you learn most of your specialty on the job and carl wanted to be a business man and he is excellent at that. the old man has made a mess of the business,so carl has been practicing many forms of the law and doing a lot of research and letter writing, as well as real estate, wills, pharmacy law, defense law, bankruptcy and more. the one part of the law that carl excels at is the fact he knows how to listen. where he got that gift from i have no idea he certainly did not get that from me or his mother. maybe he learned that in school i have no idea. who knew he would be such a good listener and analyst, if i knew that i would have had him be a psychiatrist, come to think of it he lives with me so he has to practice a little of that also. carl listens to other lawyers and architects, engineers, mayors, doctors, and such and rarely says anything while i babble and explain and question etc. after a recent hour long session with me carl and two other lawyers on a conference call, just before we were to hang up and without having said a word for the entire hour carl asked to speak and i was so impressed by his intelligence and questions and comments. he is a true lawyer and he will do very well in that field when he finds his niche. if carl finds some part of law that he enjoys he will rise to the pinnacle of that profession, that i have no doubt, i have seen him in action.
a decade of life after the injury and i want to start the new decade without thinking of carl's injury every time i see and talk to carl. in fact every second of every day is still that as my main consciousness. that is not a complaint its just the fact and i know carl hates that fact and i am going to try hard to eliminate that as much as possible over the next ten years. carl of course has taken huge strides as a man and his self confidence, in dealing with all the road blocks and dependency's that are necessary with a quadriplegic injury. carl has passed that test now, i know that carl will never allow someone to direct his life and that is what can happen when a person is totally dependent on another for basic needs. carl knows now that this is the way it is, all aides will take advantage and need to be put in their proper place. the nature of full time aides is that of a dominant force in the person that they are working for. that is not what a person like carl wants or needs and if i was to give advice to a new quadriplegic that is one that would be top on the list. make sure your aide knows who is the boss. carl understands that but when i am not around he must be more aware and demanding yet fair, the boss yet not bossy. this relationship between a quadriplegic and his aide is the most important and the hardest to maintain. awareness and toughness are the two adjectives that will go a long way in keeping things in the proper perspective between aide, room mate and possible friend all those are ok as long as employer and employee are understood and first..
my number one wish for the next ten years of course is that carl regains the use of his hands, his lung capacity, his arms, his bowel and bladder function, his legs all this of course but being real is what i want to focus on. just as the first ten years were learning how to survive and thrive as a quadriplegic. carl did this for us with flying colors. i know i speak for everyone who knows him what an inspiration and good person he is. how he continued his life in high school, college, law school. while maintaining his social life and making us so proud. now i need more or just the next step. i am a selfish person and i want it all for my carl, i want him to thrive in his profession, i want him to succeed in business. and i want a full happy life for carl. all of us who know him, realize he deserves everything good that comes his way. whatever makes him happy is what we want for him. sometimes people do not know what will make them happy and that's where the great fat ass comes in handy. i know what will make him happy and just because it will make me the happiest man on the face of the earth has no bearing whatsoever. that one thing that carl deserves and must figure out how to accomplish is to have your own child maybe two or ten in fact. i know carl the thought is overwhelming now and that's ok. the logistics the economics,the hows and so much more have not been answered. the only thing that i do know is the happiness that will come from having your own child will far surpass anything bad that has come in life and that's saying a lot for carl. so now like going to the moon in 1960 having children for carl is a priority before the end of the next ten years. i know this will be the star on the top of your tree. the cherry on top of your sundae. i can only know what i know and i know the blessing of kids and the person who is carl p riccio and he deserves kids and those kids will be special because of carl. and that's all i have to say about that.
now i finish this ten year anniversary edition of the tragedy that has changed and rearranged my families life. can we all imagine where we would be right now if carl was not the boy he was, the teenager he was, the man he has become. what if he did not have his integrity his morals,his selflessness, where would we be, how would we have survived, what if he was a sad, empathetic,self pitying, sad person. what if he had no interests, what if he said no i cant go back to high school in a wheel chair, what if he didn't go to college, away from home on his own. tricia and i were scared i cried every nite, worrying how carl would be able to handle all he had to overcome, how did he do it, why was he able. i could not even handle it myself and i was not the injured person, i was weak mentally and physically and carl was strong and brave, how lucky i and my family was to have carl and have carl be who he is.
we now face other struggles as well as the everyday ups and downs. we will go on and have many good days and some not so good, there is one thing i can guarantee. the bad days will not be so bad and the good days will be much better, because our family has carl patrick riccio. my pride and joy.. and as always he continues to be the wind beneath my wings....
peter j riccio
peter j riccio
another year has passed another year older for all of us. nine years since the worst day of my life. so many things change, as you get older, you understand so much more. the big picture is so much clearer, while little things are forgotten in an instant. why is this so? i of course do not have the exact answer but i do suppose life experiences and the wisdom of age are the main reasons.
throughout life we do things for different reasons, many of us are slaves to religion, or politics. we believe in the systems, police, courts, schools, churches, teachers, doctors and lawyers. why do many older people reject these beliefs they have had through youth and adulthood? because no matter what group of people ether religious, political or anything else they are all human beings and some are good and some are evil. when people become part of an institution a school, police force a political party anything that has any authority they become part of a culture that conforms to the group parameters and that then becomes a union of conformist that have very little if any objectivity. the status quo and the bylines are followed good or bad to the detriment of all of society. what ever happened to common sense and objectivity. well objectivity and rebellion are still there and flourishing, outside the boundaries of the establishment. that is why youth is always served they have the unabashed nerve and lack of responsibility to have their feelings heard and say what they want and protest as they need. the problem is they are young and their ideas have not been tested and understood by themselves. their thoughts are in a majority lacking common sense. common sense that is what the older generation has that is what makes them worth so much to society. if we would ask 1000 americans any deep questions about society the consensus would be the best scenario for society simply because of common sense. what does all this have to do with carl and his nine years as a quadriplegic. i have no idea but i will write on, since my life has had many turns and ups and downs.
carl, as has been the case since his accident, is my special star, my confident, my lawyer(he passed bar), my friend, and - along with his four brothers and sisters - my life. carl understands much more than young men of his age how everything works, he has seen how his brother was treated by the school system (they just could not or would not accept that there was a battle clearly defined between good and evil and since they had evil in their stead they chose evil). no self respect, no thought of what they did to the best person in the school, while protecting the most evil in the institution. only i know how much tyler and carl suffered for those unwilling to make things right. i often wonder about the good people at that school - do they feel bad? do they ever think of tyler? are they ashamed? i have to believe that the answer is yes to all of these questions, simply because the good tyler is still good and the bad we all know are more bad. i bring this up now because i was at the school a week ago and a very prominent member of the faculty that i had not talked to in years asked me about tyler, after talking a few minutes he knew of everything that happened yet he knew nothing that happened when i told him the facts he was amazed and only then after 7 years did he understand the truth. yet even this man knew from the beginning who was good and who was evil in that show. and for now that's all i have to say about that.
one thing good about the ninth year as a quadriplegic is that it is the last year. at least that is what we were guaranteed nine years ago when this tragedy happened. every doctor every research group every paralysis help group told me your son will be walking in 5 to 10 years. i am not mocking or belittling these promises and projections but i am thankful that my focus after a year switched from 100% cure to living and succeeding in life, remember carl was 17 what i said would probably rule the day. how i went to that side so soon i am forever grateful to those supreme decision helpers. carl always was special and if we went down the road of a cure he probably would be breaking records with his physicality and conditioning. i read one obscure article in the internet, it made one profound point. to this day no one has ever been cured of long term paralysis. with further readings that became the fact carl would have to live his life by. not that hope should be erased, just put in the proper perspective. after all this is only 9 years, who knows, we have a year to go.
carl of course graduated from villanova, finance. graduated seton hall law, and has now passed the bar and is a full practicing lawyer in the state of new jersey. carl works for all the businesses we have together and the future plans for our small business is, lets say empire is not out of the question. carl is now on a leave of absence from work studying for the new york bar. i have always had the dream for carl to live and experience everything possible. with this in mind i am always reminding him that i need grand children from him. peter jr is getting married soon, kerry is in love, tyler is in love and shane is in love on a daily basis, so i will have my share, but without carl's i will not be complete. what a father carl will be, that i guarantee he is smart, calculating, aware, good, prepared, and full of love. what a father he will be and when everyone else is having families i am sure carl will not want to be left out. i can't wait.
i guess i should call this annual letter the state of peter j riccio, sr because that's really what it is. it is not something everyone wants me to do, it is something i like to do. carl's accident has had a very profound mark on my life and it will never change so i will continue to write once a year, some of my thoughts and aspirations in life mostly pertain to carl but as you know i do have tangential thoughts. there will always be a few constants in my letters and that will never change if this is the last time or if i am lucky enough to write 30 more. my love and admiration for my family only grows, it has never wavered. they are the loves of my life and the best group of kids a parent could ever ask for. i can only wish i was like them. and now i will soon have my second daughter gina marrying my son peter jr in august. i love her also and add her to my favorite list number six, our family structure is strong even though we suffered a divorce the fact is my ex wife is a good person and the best of mothers and i will always care for her. after all she lived with me 30 years that in itself should win some kind of prize.
well now if anyone has read this far - congratulations you get a free gift at towne pharmacy in dunellen. come in and see me. as always i do not know what the future brings but i do know my kids will flourish and prevail because they are good and have the correct understanding of ethics and love. in fact i have dozens of nieces and nephews who are all the salt of the earth, so i guess i can't take all the credit. but it is true. i will have to spend more time to analyze why so many kids related to each other have turned out so good in these times. maybe for my next letter. i close in saying that the inspiration of my life, the person who has persevered over so much adversity and inspires me every day of my life, happens to be my son carl riccio. he is the best and continues to be the wind beneath my wings.
a few weeks ago i wrote for hours on my update on life after carl's accident, i wrote and wrote, page after page. some serious heart wrenching things some funny and retrospective of course this is all only according to me and of course i am far from normal. anyway i was just getting to the end of about four hours of writing when i hit something on the computer and instantly i knew four hours of my thoughts were gone never to be read by anyone. now two weeks later i am finally able to sit down and try again...
first i want to say that i realize carl is no longer a hot commodity as far as stories go, but to me he remains the only story. my life and inspiration in so many ways that my life has sort of revolved around his at this time. i have always been obsessed with the success and happiness of all my kids as well as my great nieces and nephews. and they are doing so well that i can only be proud of all them. but carl will always be special of course and before i bring you up to date on his life as i see it, i, must reiterate the fact that now at the eighth year anniversary of his accident. never, ever, not once, has carl complained of his fate, his tragic accident, the loss of so many of life's functions, freedoms and natural expectations. maybe he realizes that i ponder and struggle with this every day of my life. even eight years later the jealousy and the animosity i have in side for all he has missed never goes away, maybe it is because i am not as good a person as carl and others around him, maybe it is selfishness on my part, i do not know. but sadly it never goes away i am mad and sad that carl is physically challenged. he is the best person i have ever met and this happened to him. that is how i feel and sometimes i feel bad that i feel that way. we all know life goes on through death, accidents, divorces and all other bad as well as good things that come our way. at the beginning of my sons accident all my waking time was consumed by the quest for a cure for him, after some real introspective searching as well as learning the reality of spinal chord injury myself. i realized no one ever has been cured of what carl's injury did to his spinal chord. to entertain any of the operations and special things being done throughout the world would be fruitless as well as detrimental to my sons long term growth as a person. i was in a very bad state of mind in those days, depression was my life day and nite, sadness and the feeling of my son being cheated and to my shame me being cheated at what i enjoyed and lived for his future in baseball was so bright i was just waiting for him to play on the yankees. as i said before i live vicariously through my kids, good or bad that's the way it is they are my pride and joys, and carl was the most physically and mentally together of all my kids. these thoughts of my own loss made me even more depressed how can i feel these things when my son is the one that was tragically injured.
to this day that terrible day never leaves my mind and during the first few years it was played time after time in my brain so vivid that i was sweating, crying and my heart was racing as it did the day of the accident. adding my own feeling of guilt that i lost, my fun my star made life almost impossible to live. the fact i had to get my stuff together to help my son and the rest of my family get through this challenge was eventually what got me to focus on what had to be done. my son was just 17, i knew what i said would be the main influence on his life at that time. so i had to make no mistakes. i needed to make sure the recommendations i made to my son were correct, i needed to learn everything about his injury from the best in the world, i needed to show toughness to him and my family and i had to point my son in the right direction. i knew i had a perfect person to help if only i could make the right decisions, i knew if i recommended something to carl he would do it and be successful at whatever i asked. remember he was just 17 a month before his accident.
this saved me. i now had a new focus: get carl on the right, track help him figure out what his future should be, and i was to make sure that money was not an issue. one thing i can say is that people in carl's situation without money....................sad............................... carl is so unique, he has always succeeded at whatever he tried, he was the point guard on all his basketball teams all star and at the same time wrestling, state champion captain of all his teams, loved by everyone, quarterback in football, the best baseball player i ever saw. good student and a personality that most envy all these attributes of carl made, my wife and my job of helping him succeed so much easier.
this all being said it is really only one person who was going to fall into the depths of mediocrity or worse, this one person could go the other way and be successful and educate himself to the point that success would be assured along with his unbelievable work ethic and personality and charisma. we all know after eight years of living with his challenges which way carl has gone, was their really any doubt. after being the king of his high school, the lady's man, the athlete, the most respected and big and strong and beautiful and all that goes with that, carl returned to school, his senior year fragile and in an electric wheel chair. it was not a good day for me and his mother how would things go would carl be able to make this unbelievable adjustment. all the kids in the school were aware of carl's situation and it would be natural for them to act differently and be scared of carl, all these teenagers. carl as all the teachers told us made it unbelievable easy for everyone. his sparkle in his eye his laughter his unassuming matter of fact attitude was a blessing and contagious. then his enrollment and attendance at villanova, that was harder going away with an aide was traumatic and scary, the fact peter and his cousins were there made it much better and villanova, life and villanova itself was a great experience and education for carl with his finance degree from villanova carl was contemplating going to wall street, i felt that at that time he would be better served by further education and somehow we convinced him to go to law school. carl the last three years has attended seton hall law school and will graduate in may and soon after i am sure pass the bar and then with his finance degree and law degree he will attack the world as he has everything else i n his life with confidence, assuredness and that need to succeed that very few of us have.
carl at this time still does not know what he will be doing after graduation and beyond. his aspirations are to work in the legal world in some kind of sporting capacity. he is very knowledgeable in sports and maybe will be a general manager of a pro team or the legal counsel to some sports team someday. the world of business is just opening to carl and whatever he does we will all be hopeful and scared and for no reason because carl is special and he will find his place and be the best at whatever he does, why not? he has done it so often in his 25 years that i am at peace that he will do it forever.
for me i still live and breath the daily lives of my kids, that will never change. i am happy when they are happy i am sad when they are sad. i am sure i am as millions of other parents, but for me things have gotten better, with stability on the horizon in carl's life i feel some kind of freedom and happiness that i have not had in many years. the hope that carl is going to live a normal yet challenged life is satisfying to me. when carl is successful in business world and if he finds love and family then my life will be complete. we realize that carl will be sick at times, and he will have assistant problems related to his accident along with all of life's other struggles that we all have, but some way i think as carl is moving into this new and next stage of life that he is ready, he is prepared, we understand all the possible road blocks he is ready for them, he will attack and remove them. the sky is the limit for my carl.
and now eight years after the accident, i think we have made the adjustments and life goes on for me and my family, my wishes are not of a cure for carl although that hope will always be in the back of my mind. no my wishes are for health for carl and all that i love, for carl to be happy and successful, to find love and have a family. these are my wishes the same as i used to wish for athletic success for my kids this is my new dream for carl.
carl has been and continues to be the love of my life and ----the wind beneath my wings,
pete j riccio
seven years since the day the earth stood still. seven years since my beautiful, talented, athletic, handsome, perfect boy, announced to me, lying on a wrestling mat "dad i cant move anything". with those words began life after carl's accident . that's the way i look at things, that's the way it feels, that's just the way it is. many things have changed in the last year, sadly the biggest thing that has happened is that tricia and i have divorced. of course this was another blow to my family. the family that both tricia and i love, as we always have, unquestioned love, that we have had since kerry was born. divorce is a tragedy, it ruins everything, it takes away your self respect, somehow you do not feel as good about yourself, like you have something to be ashamed of. our kids are all adults and still it has affected them in an emotional way. i can see it in all my boys and hear it from my daughter, they are all heart broken and disappointed, however as i said they are all adults, i feel more aware of young children who grew up or are growing up with divorced parents, that can only be ten times worse. of course i can only give my thoughts and feelings in these letters right or wrong. my family will survive and we will thrive. kerry has a new career as a clinical hospital pharmacist, she loves it , and there is no worker better than her so they must be thrilled with her. she is a happy, yet, emotional person who wears her emotions on her sleeve. as i told her she is the new sheriff in town, she is going to have to be the one who does the little things for the next fifty years to keep our family alive. every family must have one if they love each other . this job is hers, she has no choice, she knows it as i do, her four brothers all love her unconditionally and she will always have their ear and respect. i know especially how much carl loves his big sister, this is evident without words, i can see it as bright as day.
peter jr is doing great in his job and in life. i love his direction. he is poised to have a very happy and successful life. i am very proud of him, he will always be the little kid i dressed and wiped his @$$ until he was fifteen, not that i minded, he is a bit spoiled and selfish, but not with carl. he loves and respects carl with all his heart and i know he will always be there for carl.
shane, what a great kid. i cannot say enough good things about shane patrick riccio to say enough..... when i see him i smile, when i talk to him i smile, when i yell at him i smile, when he is serious i smile, when he is joking around i smile, and when he takes care of carl, when he is with carl, when he is arguing with carl, i cry because only shane can express true love for a brother through the selfless act of caring for some of carl's needs, while arguing, discussing, laughing, belittling, mocking - just not missing a beat of life's interactions. to shane, carl will always be his best friend, his mentor, his buddy, i can only express this as i have hear, i do not know if it translates through my tears of joy .
tyler, was supposed to be our book end daughter. instead i got a perfect boy. he takes care of me, he yells at me, he loves me. he is so handsome, he锟絪 pretty. so good, generous, hard worker, caring - you could not ask for anything more from a child than what tyler has given me in his 21 years. and with carl you could just about say everything i said about shane with just one difference - when tyler helps carl, tyler is faster and better.
so before i put a grade on the last year, i want to quickly review my thoughts of the last seven years. at that time i would say i was the happiest person on the face of the earth and my family always heard me sing those words. then in one split second, carl's tragedy changed me and my families lives. when traumatic things happen to people we all handle it in different ways, i always considered myself to have a strong will and mind, but i could not handle it correctly. my wife and kids all handled it in their own way. thinking back i do not even know how each one was, or how they were physically and mentally, i was in no shape to help anyone. i had to live and wrestle with my own demons. how could i get carl fixed, how could i go on with life, how could carl go on in life. things for years were just not clear, unfocused. i was certainly of no help to anyone, i tried to be strong but nights were hell and i was not doing well. then in my family锟絪 darkest of times, two men from watchung hills - teachers - destroyed my son tyler's life, gave him a nervous breakdown. they were so bad, so mean spirited. tyler who had just 18 months before had seen his brothers tragedy could no longer take it, he begged to leave watchung hills and he spent his senior year at bridgewater high school. my son, a year ago, told me that his disdain for those two men is as fresh today as it was three years earlier. this from a young man who is loved by everyone and hasn't a mean bone in his body.
night after this sad episode with tyler and the teachers, i found out that the 25 year, head pharmacist and manager of my business had done so many illegal things in my absence that my business was ruined. this man, instead of doing a great job running our business, was doing just the opposite. he destroyed all our economic stability built over a lifetime, battered through our family tragedy and destroyed by a thief. the last 3 years has been a constant struggle trying to stay in business and clearing all the problems associated with this bad employee .
then our divorce, not caused by anyone of these, just a combination of normal marriage growing pains and all this bad luck, it became to much to handle any longer. this is very sad. you just do not move on after thirty years, it takes time. not only for tricia and i, but for all seven of my family.
......carl my everything..........
carl is to me the greatest person that i have ever met. he has the greatest personality, he is the greatest athlete, he is pure class win or lose(the opposite of uncle silky john), a great leader, friend, son, citizen and person. in that one split second he lost so much. i dwell on this to much, but that's the way it is. in the beginning i was focused on faith and science to cure my son. i was convinced we should go to a half a dozen places throughout the world to cure carl by different operations, stem cells, blood transfusions, even a witch doctor in africa. (no joke). when these things happen to a loved one, it is human nature to think you can do something about it, find the special doctor, procedure, drug, that will cure your son... i can only laugh or cry about the fact i had carl taking 30 drops of what tasted like some kind of gasoline, twice a day, months after he was paralyzed. through my research online throughout the entire world, one doctor struck my fancy with video tapes and pamphlets and whatever else you could think of, showing that through the miracle of his magic potion, dogs previously paralyzed were walking. i was so convinced, i signed up with him, he sent me these bottles of disgusting liquid that was supposed to cure my son. i drank a half of bottle, did not die, and started giving it to carl for about a month.
i did this because of my deep depression and need to do something for carl. after months and years go by , you come to your senses. not that i lost hope - hope i will always have, hope that some day carl will walk again, that he will be cured by some new exciting breakthrough. yes hope is good. all else though has faded with time. the thing i am most grateful, in my response, is that soon after carl's accident i came to the realization that if i was to help carl, i could do it best by leading him to the path of independence. education and what comes with it: money, respect, jobs. that is what carl needed more than anything. i know carl would have pursued a great education without me. as we all know, i am not a very demanding father, but in this case, i did step out of character and pushed carl into reaching goals in education he might not have. for this i am so happy. carl will help himself, he will help the people he works for and with, and maybe someday, he will help the whole world.
as most people know carl graduated villanova, finance, and now attends seton hall law school, second year. he is not the a student he was at villanova, it is a challenge and very time consuming, but of course carl has met and beat all challenges as he will this one. in a year and a half he锟絣l be a lawyer. then the sky is the limit for my beautiful son.
i wish carl would write on here more often. he is busy but not so he could not write every few months. i know only a few people still read it, but i do, so i will briefly tell you what carl does as best i can on a weekly basis while at seton hall. carl hired a new aide starting in january. his old aide did great but he was getting tired and the new guy milan, is quite a character. he is a good and funny guy and will be with carl until june - just six months, but that's ok, carl and i are getting pretty good at hiring aides. of course most of carl's week is taken up going to classes and studying. he eats dinner at his apartment most every night and supervises the cooking, and i will tell you that's a tough supervisor. i come over and stay with carl at least once a week, beat him in jeopardy and go to sleep. carl's is a big fan of his brothers wrestling career. we go to as many matches and watch the rest on the internet. carl will be going to the match february 20th at bucknell - shane's last home match (senior night). then we will be at lehigh for the eiwa championships. then of course we will be flying out to omaha to watch shane in the national championships ncaa div i. shane's goal is to be an all american, top 8 in the country. carl and i will be there to root him on but i know i can speak for carl and my whole family when i say that he is our all american win or lose in omaha. carl hates to fly, but to see shane's last tournament he will. carl is extremely proud of all his brothers and sister, they are all his friends, and shane's and tyler's wrestling careers has given us nothing but pleasure and excitement over the last seven years. shane's last year is special to me and carl that's for sure. carl's is very into the fantasy football, baseball, golf, and even nascar. his weekend usually include villanova basketball, seeing his cousins ryan and john and his brother peter and sister kerry out and about in the big apple. i was there a couple of weeks ago and was going to go out with them after dinner. dinner was over at 11pm and then the entire crew was going to my son peter锟絪 apartment for a pre party and then going out. by that time i would be up from my deep sleep to visit the bathroom twice already. for carl, he doesn't miss a beat. if you see him at one of these clubs, don't be surprised if he is out on the dance floor singing and dancing or on the side, making out with some young lady. but of course what else would you expect from my beautiful, special boy.
well if anyone is still reading, i will finish with my hopes and dreams for my son carl. not way in the future but in the next 10 years. i do not know what the future will bring, i really only care about my kids and family being happy. i always felt having kids was the fulfillment of my life's wishes and i want carl to have this pleasure. i know it will complete him some day. if that comes with the love of a woman great, if not, so be it. and besides those kids will be the luckiest kids on the face of the earth. carl will be their dad.
i want carl to be healthy and happy and bursting with love. i am only happy when carl is feeling well and happy. i want all who love and care about carl to never forget about him. keep in touch. get his email or just write on this site.
i know i wrote enough. i will just say that this terrible tragedy that happened to carl is over. life goes on. that is what makes us all so lucky. carl has lost a lot and moves on. i... we... have lost nothing. we have carl right here at our finger tips. those people who have lost their children, i can not imagine... i am always sad about carl's injury... about what he is missing. yet i am so lucky i have him every second, minute, hour, day, month and year. so on the 7th year after my worst day, i celebrate my 24th year of having as my son carl patrick riccio, who is and always will be...<<<<.the wind beneath my wings>>>
wow, half way through law school. i am currently home from school enjoying the holidays and the time with my family. in my opinion this past semester was just as difficult as last year, but it was less stressful because i knew what kind of work to expect and how to do it. now that i have finished my finals i am trying to lineup an internship for the summer. i have sent my resume out and i锟絤 hoping fob find something interesting.
the holidays have gone well so far considering it was the first christmas with my parents divorced. it has been a change for all of us, but my family has adjusted well so far. adversity is a part of life and we have learned how to deal with many things, all while staying close as a family.
during this break i have had to search for a new aide and hopefully we have found the new guy. we just gave a man named milan the job on wednesday. i can锟絫 thank my brothers and father enough for helping me through this process whenever necessary, specifically tyler and my dad. my dad interviews probably 100锟絪 of people before we find the correct person, and tyler helps me teach the guy how to do everything i need.
2009 is almost over and i know 2010 will have its ups and downs, but i know my family will be there for me through all of it.
note: happy holidays everyone
before i write an update, i would like to thank my supporters and friends who continue to post messages. i enjoy reading them and they help motivate me. also, i would like to thank my dad for writing updates for me every once in a while. i know everyone likes to read them.
i am happy to report i passed my second semester of law school. the past year was another year of adjustments. obviously, the largest was going from business school to law school. i wasn锟絫 sure i would make it after my first week or two, but eventually i figured out my own way of getting my work done that would enable me to succeed in law school. many people entering law school have asked me for advice. i always tell them it may seem impossible in the beginning because you have never done anything like it(especially not in undergrad). the key is to keep trying until you find your own way that enables you to succeed. there is no correct way to study and everyone needs to make their personal adjustments to be successful. the great thing about this lesson, that i have had to learn several times, is that it applies to so many things throughout a person锟絪 life. when you get a new job, enter or leave a relationship, start a family, etc. if you give up on trying and are unable to make adjustments you will not be as successful in life and will have a difficult time dealing with adversity in your life. one of the most inspirational speeches i have ever heard was jim valvano锟絪 speech during the espy锟絪, and i锟絤 sure you have heard it also, but he said, 锟絛on锟絫 give up, don锟絫 ever give up.锟?whenever i feel down or that i can锟絫 do something, i always think about that quote, and i try something different instead of giving up.
i have been working in the somerset county prosecutor锟絪 office throughout the summer. i have learned a significant amount about practicing law and i hope this experience will help me in my next two years of law school. all the prosecutor锟絪 treated me and the other interns great and i wanted to thank them for all the opportunities they provided me.
as we approach the six year anniversary of the worst day of my life, i look back on that day and my sadness and despair is instant. i realize that i have mental problems from that day ,depression, anxiety etc i thought that time would heal this mental anguish, if that is so it has not been enough time. as a parent my fun is my kids fun, my success is my kids success, my failures are their failures. i realize i live vicariously through my kids and good or bad that's the way it is.
i live at carl's apartment most of the time. his unbelievable will is something i revel in. carl's apartment of course is in newark right next to seton hall law school. after a few days at law school carl was having second thoughts, it was a lot of work, almost immediately he reversed directions and buckled down and made a decision that the work was necessary and rewarding. carl works with two computers as well as his law books, i am very impressed, and he uses one computer as a law dictionary. while reading from the other computer or his law book. when i get there, i usually read to him while he follows along, i know he likes this and it is less stress on him. it also makes me feel like i am helping him and on the side i learn a little law.
carl is taking four classes and is doing very well. his average in the first semester was a 2.5 not the greatest but he feels he will do better now that he has the experience of a semester under his belt. i thought this would be a great career move for carl considering his physical status and now i know it was. his finance degree from villanova and his law degree from seton hall should give him the ability to live financially sound even with the extra one hundred thousand a year he will need to employ and house his assistant. one of the most stressful things for carl is the time when we have to change assistants. this semester was a real challenge to him in that respect. we started with one assistant and when he left for a vacation, tricia and i took care of carl for that week. the day the assistant was to comeback, he never showed. after a week, we hired one of carl's old assistants temporarily. then, over the next 6 weeks, we interviewed hundreds on the phone, dozens in person and tried 6 or 7. finally, last month, we hired someone that seems to be working out. you can only imagine the stress and anxiety that goes with this process.
i of course always worry about carl having fun, going out, meeting people, meeting girls etc. even this it seems is a barrier that carl seems to overcome. carl's brother peter as well as his friends and cousins the mccarey boys also live in manhattan. carl it seems goes into manhattan and has a great time with them on a pretty regular basis. for me this is the greatest thing , carl's sister and brothers along with his cousins and friends are a great support group and great friends, carl's dancing in the wheel chair is remarkable and tells you a lot about his will and character as anything else,.
during the christmas break, carl worked for pfizer in manhattan. a great family friend frank damelio gave carl this opportunity to see what it will be like getting up early traveling on the train with all the daily problems that go along with the workings of the trains the elevators etc. this experience was worth so much to carl. he lived the life of a businessman, who happens to be a quadriplegic. i do not know what pfizer and his fellow employees thought of him, or his work, but knowing carl, i would bet they all loved him and were amazed at his unbelievable work ethic and charismatic personality.
carl is now working hard on his second semester, i continue to read to him daily, and along with his assistant prepare and eat dinner with him, we also go to wrestling matches as well as dinner and the movies when he has nothing better to do. for me the days carl and i go somewhere are the highlights of my week锟?i do not know who helps who more. carl is not only a son to me he is my inspiration and my guide when i do something stupid he tells me and when he says it, i know he is right.
carl and i know this country has many problems at this time and we hope obama does what is necessary to get our country back on the right track. we are especially happy that the policy against stem cell research, especially embryonic stem cell research is being rescinded as of now. as we know, embryonic stem cells are the only stem cells that will live in the central nervous system long enough to heal the injured areas in the brain and spinal chord. the eight year ban on new embryonic stem cell development and the lack of funds that came with the ban have put us back a decade in the research that might be the answer to alzheimer's, parkinson's, as well as paralysis and spinal chord injury. remember no embryos are made for this purpose; the embryos come from what would have been destroyed any way. this should not be a political issue. maybe now we can find out if these amazing cells are truly amazing. will people like carl be able to feel, maybe go to the bathroom, maybe have sex, maybe move his hands, i hate to even dream maybe be cured.
carl should be writing more on his website. he is very busy and every time he says he is going to write, something comes up. one thing i can assure you he reads everything written to him and he responds to all requests and questions. i think carl is now ready to expand his horizons as to speeches and motivational speaking opportunities. he is a natural. please show carl's website to other people that might be interested (carlricciotrust.com) i think that carl will be expanding his energies into motivational speaking in the future.
this is a sad day for me february 22. i relive that day 2/22/2003, every day of my life, i was alone, and falling apart, it will never be ok; carl was cheated out of so much. he was a star in every way
his peers looked up to him, like no one i have ever seen; he was the strongest kid, the nicest kid, the most handsome kid, the best baseball player (all-american), the quarterback, the point guard and a state champ wrestler. he never had a fight even though he was the strongest and the toughest, how was this all given to one young man and then so abruptly taken away. , he was truly gifted in all the best attributes of life. the best thing carl had and still has is his personality - everyone always loved carl. carl did lose a little of that leading personality after his injury, he did not think people would ever really think of him as the person he felt he is. i think know slowly carl is getting his swagger back, remarkable for a person in his situation. february 2009 i'm still bitter that carl lost so much, yet i'm forever thankful i have my carl i love him beyond what i can explain. he is my purpose in life and i'm the proudest person in the world to be able to say i'm carl riccio's father.
i write this for me, i hope some people are still interested in carl's life and enjoy reading and writing on his website. with the sixth anniversary of carl锟絪 accident i have renewed hope for the future that a cure will be found. i feel good about carl's progress in education and believe that he is setting himself up for a productive and fulfilling life, supported by himself. i now hope that in the future carl will have some kids, this i know will make him a happy man. maybe he will even meet some young lady who will love him. these are all my dreams. i will continue to write on this website occasionally and every anniversary. carl will be writing at the end of this semester. and if you do not see carl much and would like to write to him please write on this website carl will write back.
carl will forever be the wind beneath my wings.
peter j riccio