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Who’da thunk it? A life full of love happily goes into extra innings

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On June 26, I reached what some refer to as one’s “Diamond Jubilee.” Upon researching the derivation of this term, I learned that it can be used interchangeably when referring to events of note marking either 60 or 75 years. Since I have already had my 60th birthday, I guess I’ll go for the “bonus round” and use the term for my 75th. For those of you who are younger, please bear with me and allow me to speak from a position that you will most probably reach and it will seem like you’ve done so in the blink of an eye.

One of my favorite Beatles songs is “In My Life.” To me, it is a masterpiece of Lennon/McCartney. The first two stanzas hit home in a very profound way since they kind of sum up a great deal of my feelings as Father Time and I stroll down memory lane …

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

Those who know me best will attest to the fact that my chronological age isn’t always in sync with how I view the world. There is still a little kid hiding in there somewhere who frequently pops out to have fun with family and friends. I jokingly say that I realize I am probably in the “top of the 7th inning,” to use a baseball metaphor, when describing where I stand regarding my lifespan. One can only hope the game goes into extra innings but that frequently depends on the moves of the
“Manager.”

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed

. . . My old neighborhood, the schools I have attended, the many baseball fields on which I have competed, different deployments while serving in the National Guard, family vacations, the many businesses I serviced while supporting my family…

It seems many of these have changed. My old neighborhood has morphed from a childhood haven to one of the worst crime districts in Philadelphia. That is a shame. My high school, like most others in our big cities, leaves much to be desired. My college has grown so much that the campus I attended is unrecognizable. I guess that’s good but it has discontinued the outstanding baseball program, that I was proud to represent. That’s not good! My National Guard unit and all others now have a likelier chance of being “called up” to fight on foreign soil. May God bless and protect them all. Many of my former customers have moved on or closed. One benefit of being “semi-retired” is that I still see some of them and my longtime assertion that “I really don’t have customers, just friends who buy things from me,” still holds true. That’s a blessing.

Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

. . . I guess it only makes sense that the longer you live, the more people in your circle die. This past year or so has been a particularly tough one for me. Many friends and some family have passed on. Fortunately, I believe in a loving God who provides us with a wonderful after-life. So, my grieving process is tempered by that lifelong and foundational belief.

Among those who died were a dear cousin, last October and a dear friend in November. They couldn’t have been more different in many ways but they shared one very special trait.

And that was one of service.

Cousin Chris Sacchetti, (see photo) was a retired Philadelphia Police officer. He was a member of the elite “Stake-Out Squad’ which was the forerunner of what has come to be known as the SWAT team. He was a decorated officer and was recognized for valor on several occasions. He served and protected the public. He loved his family. He had few friends, a natural result of his wary cop nature, but if you were fortunate enough to be his friend, you had a loyal and selfless comrade for life. His other loves were hunting, fishing and communing with nature while doing so. He would have turned 80 on June 9 of this year. That didn’t happen because he died suddenly, exactly the way he would have wanted it. While hunting in the mountains of Pennsylvania, he suffered a heart attack and died right on the spot.

My friend, Nick Montagna, provided another type of loving service. Brotherly love. Nick’s brother and my friend, Joe, has been enduring medical issues for many years. Nick and Joe were confirmed bachelors, who lived together and both retired from the DuPont Corp. Aside from brotherhood, they were best of friends. As Joe’s health became more of an issue, Nick assumed the responsibility of the caregiver, seeing to Joe’s every need. We were all shocked when Nick died suddenly, totally unexpected. Joe and Nick have been my friends since we were 10 years old. They are just two of the many I have been blessed to have. As the song says, for all of my family and friends …

In my life, I’ve loved them all. 

Charlie Sacchetti
Author: Charlie Sacchetti

Charlie Sacchetti is the author of three books, “It’s All Good: Times and Events I’d Never Want to Change;” “Knowing He’s There: True Stories of God’s Subtle Yet Unmistakable Touch,” and his newest, “Savoring the Moments: True Stories of Happiness, Sadness and Everything in Between.” Contact him at worthwhilewords21@gmail.com.

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