Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lia's teeth...

 Dr. Haggerty commented on Lia's teeth when we were in the doctor's office last week and said, "Somebody has some loose teeth!"  I had noticed her bottom teeth were seeming to get closer and closer together but thought it was related to her tounge thrust issue but I think it has more to do with her big teeth pushing them out!  Can you see them coming in?  Lia has talked non-stop about the tooth fairy and what she is going to do with her $2.00.  I think with baby Isaac coming and this new development, she is really starting to feel like a big girl!

David is a Wolf Cub!

 David's homeschooled cub scout pack kind of fell apart after BSA's national policy changes a few months ago, so we got him enrolled in the cub scout pack at our church.  He loved being a cub scout last year and wanted to continue wearing the uniform, camping and most importantly, designing a better pine-wood derby car to win it all this year!  It took me a while to get it all together, but here is David ready for his first meeting in his full uniform and very excited to start a new year of cub scouts.

It had been a rainy week, so their first pack meeting was held indoors and they learned all about our country's flag and what it means to be a good citizen.  I think there are 5 boys in his den and I love that three of them are homeschooled too!  His new den leader is a friend of ours and we are very grateful that he is with such a great group of catholic boys.

They learned how to properly fold an American flag.  And look at their faces... they are taking it very seriously.  Love it!

Crazy Cousins

This series of pictures just cracks me up.  We were almost ready to go home when Chris and I noticed how sweetly the kids were all playing cards together.  I snuck in to take a few pictures... and here's what I got.
Playing cards.

Smiles for the camera...

Smiles fading because I'm taking too long to get the perfect shot... and David goes crazy.  (typical)

Back to the game...

Celebration of Family

I don't take pictures at funerals.  I understand it is a wonderful opportunity to capture so many of our family members together but it is also a very personal and emotional experience for many and I just don't feel comfortable getting my camera out.  That said, I did take some pictures of our children playing with their cousins at the reception.  We were very proud of our kiddos for behaving so well during all the funeral services and told them once it was over, they could just play and enjoy their cousins.  Obviously, that would have been just what Pop Pop would have wanted.

David wanted me to take this sweet picture of Anthony laughing.

The Gray family was so generous to let our family gather at their family lake house.  What a beautiful and peaceful place to enjoy just being with our family.

Emily and Ainsley
 When Emily saw the big kids were taking the kayaks out on the lake she could hardly wait for it to be her turn.  I think she would have paddled out there all night if we would have let her.

Lia got a turn too with her cousin Mario.
Emily, cousin Anthony, Aunt Stacey and Aunt Leenie
This is the life!

Celebration of Life

We all travelled to Rock Hill to for Pop Pop's funeral and for the celebration of his life.  The day we arrived, a retired priest, who lived in the retirement community, offered to say a mass at Pop Pop's house for his family.  I have never attended a private mass in someone's home but was so impressed by this beautiful gesture.  You can see he set up a simple altar in Pop Pop's living room and said a simple mass for us Thursday evening.  Rob, Steven, Stacey, Anthony and our whole family was present for this beautiful offering and we were able to pray and to share some of our memories together that night.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Joseph Nelli Obituary

Mr. Joseph Robert Nelli, 86, of Rock Hill, formerly of Gastonia, died Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C.
He was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the son of the late Nicola Nelli and Giovaninna DiSanto Nelli.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Agustin Guzman, C.O. 10:30 AM Saturday, September 14, 2013 at Saint Mary Parish-Catholic Church, 902 Crawford Road, Rock Hill, S.C. 29731.
Interment will follow in Gaston Memorial Park, Gastonia, N.C.  
A rosary service will be held 7 PM, Friday, September 13, 2013 in the Founders Chapel of McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia where the family will receive friends immediately following the rosary.
Joe was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Gastonia, Charter member and 4th Degree Knight in Knights of Columbus Council 6700 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, member of St. Michael’s CCD, Co-founder and Director of the St. Michael’s Saturday Morning Basketball League, member of Gastonia Kiwanis, Founder of the Nocturnal Adoration Society of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop # 503, Mentor with Gaston County Schools, N.C. and a member of the North Carolina and National Right to Life organizations.  
He retired in 1991 from FMC Lithium Division after a career of 31 years in process research, new product development, and business development.  
Joe was a devoted husband and the consummate father, raising his eight children with the love, compassion and discipline that only a devoutly religious man could provide. Joe was an avid golfer and bowler and loved playing backyard badminton games with his children. Joe loved to travel and visited over 25 countries with his beloved wife. For over 60 years, he embarked on his yearly vacation to Long Beach, N.C. where the extended family would gather for a week or more of fun and togetherness. Throughout his life, he organized family outings to museums, amusements and historical settings for the enjoyment of all.
Survivors include sons and daughters-in-law, Rob and Eileen Nelli of South Windsor, CT, Mrs. Pat Nelli of Cary, NC, James and Kathy Nelli of Gastonia, Tom and Cortney Nelli of Fishersville, VA., Bill and Kristen Nelli of Greenville, SC, Chris and Michelle Nelli of The Woodlands, TX, and Steven and Stacey Nelli of Las Cruces, NM., daughter, Jeanne Marie Vick of Houston, TX, sister, Rita Leone of Cinnaminson, N.J.; grandchildren, Cheryl Bibbins, Andrew Nelli, Stephanie Nelli, Nicholas Nelli, Nathan Nelli, Garrett Nelli, Austin Nelli, Patrick Nelli, Katie Gray Conner, Emma Nelli, Daniel Nelli, Lexi Vick, Madison Vick, Jed Vick, Emily Nelli, David Nelli, Lia Nelli, Olivia Nelli, Christopher Nelli, Ainsley Nelli, Annaliese Nelli, Anthony Nelli; great-grandchildren, Aliyah Bibbins, Preston Bibbins and a number of nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife Rita Nelli and sons John and David.
Memorials may be made to St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 708 St. Michael Lane, Gastonia, N.C. 28052
Condolences may be sent on line to
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the Nelli family.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rest in Peace, Joseph Nelli

Pop Pop passed away this evening.  He was a devoted husband, father of 9 children (2 in heaven), 23 grandchildren (one in my belly), and 2 great grand children.  We are happy that he is finally with our Lord in Heaven but will miss him dearly on Earth.  Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as we know more.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A gift.

Chris just called and was sitting next to Pop Pop in the hospital.  He is beginning to open his eyes.  We don't know if he is aware or not but it is a small gift.  Chris told me the family said the chaplet together around Pop Pop this morning and seeing him wake up certainly gives us hope.

Stacey and Anthony arrived last night and are also there at his side.  I don't think I've shared here the amazing bond Anthony and Pop Pop share.  You see, Anthony was only 3 weeks old when Nonna died so during the most intense part of Pop Pop's grieving period, he had this amazing new grandbaby to hold, to love on and to cherish.  Over the last 2 years, Anthony has developed a very strong bond with Pop Pop.  This bond was nurtured over Skype when the two of them couldn't be together in person as New Mexico is very far from South Carolina.  From what I understand, Pop Pop Skyped with Anthony every single week so Anthony knew his face and his voice very well.  And when they were together in person, Anthony only wanted Pop Pop to hold him.  Pop Pop would be the first words out of his mouth each morning and one of the last before bed.  So I am very grateful that they are together now.  :-)

Sunday, September 8, 2013


And now we wait.  Pop-Pop is stabilized and his sedation medication has been reduced so that he should have woken up at some point today.  Unfortunately, he remains in a coma-like state.  If he doesn't regain consciousness soon, a scan will be taken to check for brain damage.  Of course, we are praying for the miracle of total healing or even just one more conscious moment but we are also preparing ourselves for the worst.  It could have been that the part of his brain that keeps him alive died early Saturday morning when Chris had his beautiful dream.  We just don't know.  With his weakened heart, another heart attack is possible as well.  So we wait.  And we pray. 

I scanned through our caller ID records on our phone and smiled that his last phone calls were for August 22 and August 24.  Chris had just had his gall bladder removed and he was checking on his son as any good father would do after his child has had surgery.  The time before that was on August 11th to serenade Emily on her birthday.  I am so grateful I recorded that moment on video.

Update - Pop Pop

Pop Pop is still in critical condition but thankfully, many of his children arrived yesterday to be at his side.  I realize I haven't posted the details of how he came to be in such a critical state and partially it is because there are so many factors going on I don't fully understand myself... but I will try.  The initial symptom was low hemoglobin (a low overall level of blood in his body) that could not be explained due to the fact he had no active bleeding.  Initial assessment was that Pop Pop's body stopped producing red blood cells which could be a malfunction of bone marrow, kidneys or liver.   His heart was already weakened from his previous surgeries to clear his arteries so having low blood levels in his body caused his heart to work harder.  Unfortunately due to his age (86) and this stress, he went into cardiac arrest early Saturday morning.  The doctors were able to re-start his heart and he is currently on oxygen and other regulating meds as his heart is just too weak to beat on its own.  There are other things to worry about as a mass was found in his liver but that is not the highest priority right now.  I hope that clears up some of the confusion as he had been feeling really well the last few months.

So... overnight he had some irregular heart activity, either too fast or too slow, which I understand is treated with some type of medicine.  His children are with him and the kids and I were able to speak to him on speaker phone last night as Chris took his turn at his side.  He is not conscious but I fully believe on some level he knows his family is with him and can probably even hear us as we speak to him.  Chris was able to say the divine mercy chaplet at his side, which was important to me.  We continue to say it at home.


Our Lord said to Saint Faustina:

Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you ... Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death ... When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Savior ...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Chris made it.

Chris just made it to the hospital.  The nurses cannot reduce his Dad's sedation levels tonight b/c they are dealing with a lot of fluid issues.  Apparently there is a lot of fluid being removed right now.  Hopefully there will be time for Chris and his siblings to have some coherent time with their Dad but for now it is a blessing that they are all arriving to be at his side.

In Flight!

Status:  In flight!  Estimated to arrive 11 min late. 

So lucky.

Praying Chris gets there in time...

This morning their was a one-way direct flight available with 2 empty seats for Chris and his sister to get to Charlotte as quickly as possible.  After booking the tickets, Chris had about 30 min. to pack and leave for the airport.  He made it but we are anxiously checking the radar as there is rain all around... but get this, there is rain all around the airport but it is clear directly over the airport right now.  His status says that they left the gate 2 min. early and are taxiing to the run way.  I am praying the flight can take off and get around the heavy rain.

Look at all the rain around the airport!!!!

Prayers for Pop Pop

Prayer warriors,
I humbly request prayers for my father-in-law, Joe Nelli.  He is in critical condition and not expected to live much longer.  Chris and his sister are rushing to catch a flight in hopes to say their final goodbyes.  When I got the influx of email this morning, I went into our room to wake Chris up and let him know his Dad had a really bad night and that he needed to read the updates, he said that he was just dreaming that he was hugging his Dad and telling him he loved him.  In his dream, he asked his Dad what to do and his Dad told him to love his wife and take care of his family.  At home, we are praying the chaplet, even little Lia said all 50 times:  "For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."   Thank you for saying a little prayer for our Pop Pop.  We love him so very much.
In Christ,