Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Newsletter

Holiday greetings from the Gentile Family!

I suppose like every year, 2015 had its ups and downs. Two very sad moments came early in the year. First, when my mom, Ann, died on January 4, mere hours before her 85th birthday. And we lost Tom’s mother, Madeline, just a month later. In fact, her funeral on February 7 marked Tom’s fifth anniversary. They are all certainly loved, and truly never forgotten.

The kids are thriving this year. A sophomore at Sarah Lawrence, David is loving his academic life, including this semester stage managing a production of Marie Antoinette as the project for one of his classes. His very sweet girlfriend, Hannah, shares his interest in theatre production but is at SLC for premed. Hallelujah with a side of cowbell, she’s also teaching David how to drive. She’s in line for a lifetime supply of homemade cookies or maybe even some cold hard cash if she can actually get him a pretty little driver’s license all his own.  She’s a bit of a Renaissance woman.  Speaking of which, how picky is spellcheck at spelling Renaissance?” There’s 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

 Geof has had a pretty eventful year. Becoming the athlete of the family a couple of years ago (You may recall previous newsletter references to track and lacrosse. Or maybe you don’t because let’s be honest. This is the Christmas newsletter. Who reads them? Never mind who actually remembers them from this year to next? No one. That’s who.) this year, his senior year,  he took on football, wearing number 82 as defensive back and wide receiver for the Arlington Catholic Cougars. After visiting Old Dominion in Norfolk, VA over the summer Geof was beginning to envision his college life there and was even talking about starting ROTC once there. But the military bug bit a little stronger than anyone expected, and he spoke with a local Army recruiter around the start of the school year. He passed his physical and his ASVAB a few weeks ago and took his Oath of Enlistment on November 17. He ships out for basic training at Fort Benning, GA in August, 2016.

I am still at Dana Farber a day or two a week, and have also done some volunteering at the Greater Boston Food bank. Every now and then I think about gainful employment. Then I think about all the new people I’d have to meet, and all my weirdo quirks and foibles I’d have to explain or hide and I sigh and shrug my shoulders and go back to my rainbow hair and my knitting.  I’m putting the finishing touches on the blanket I’m knitting for Geof. David got his blanket in time for freshman year at SLC, but Geof certainly won’t be taking his to basic training, so I want him to have it before he goes.

I spend a remarkable amount of time cleaning up cat poop and dog pee. Or dog poop and cat pee. I don’t keep track. All I know is the clock is ticking on these animals and every time I clean up one mess or another, every time the contents of the kitchen trash can get spread across the entire first floor of my house, every time I choke on animal fur free floating in the air, I remind them that extraordinary life-sustaining measures become less and less likely. Still, Zoet does her doggie things, and the Scruffy, Pixel, and Momo do their kitty things and all stays balanced in the world.

So, that’s it from us this year.  We all hope you have a safe and wonderful rest of this year, and a happy and healthy 2016.                 

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