Seventy-Four and Still Counting

Seventy-four years ago, Sylvester and Marie Bommarito gave life to me. I’m grateful for all the love and affection I received while growing up and for my wonderful family today. For my birthday, I have taken the opportunity to reminisce about my terrific life.

During my latter years, I changed my perspectives and priorities. It used to be career success and compensation. Today, I’m focused on my spiritual strength, the well-being of my family, my health and more cerebral literary activities.

I retired in the early 1990s after spending about 25 years in financial services. During my working career, I paid a great amount of attention to “getting ahead.” Unfortunately, I neglected my family to an extent during that process. I had two children with my first wife who didn’t receive the attention they deserved. Tragically, the older one passed away a few years ago. I’m happy to say that my older daughter has built a successful career teaching and caring for children.

When my twins were born 30 years ago, I retired to care for them enabling my second wife to focus on her future. It was a God-given arrangement. I strived to be a better father, while my wife devoted her efforts into becoming a prolific investment banker. Our relationship enabled both of us to achieve our destinies.

Upon retirement and after becoming a stay-at-home dad, everything changed. No longer would I measure my life in dollars and cents. My success was to raise our children and to hone my writing skills.

This pivot caused me to write sixty published letters to the NY Times, author 10 novels and publish about 1,000 essays with Softball Politics. Current events and political drama became my new interests. I measured my success by the responses of my readers to my blog.

My efforts to care for my own physical fitness began a long time ago when I was a young person. I was always interested in sports and played football and baseball in high school. I even earned a letter on the bowling team, believe it or not.

I wanted to play football in college, but instead chose to attend Notre Dame. I didn’t have the physical qualifications to play Division One athletics, so I took up rugby.

I never heard of rugby. But the sport was made for me. It is violent and very much like American football in certain regards. After college, I managed to work out for two hours each day, in spite of many commitments, grad school, the National Guard and commuting to New York from Long Island. I started to do more running and eventually ran seven marathons including five New York marathons, one Big Sur and one LA.

For many years, I’ve worked out multiple times each day. I’ve supplemented walking and aerobic equipment with yoga and meditation. It saved my life when I had a bout with some medical issues and COVID. I have written about the benefits of yoga and meditation in earlier blogs.

One of the greatest activities that my family engaged in was world and domestic travel. It has been an important aspect of our lives. When our twins were 7 or 8, we created a travel itinerary for the next 10 years.

Our trips included every major city in Europe, Japan, Bhutan, the Chinese Olympics, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Israel, Australia, Hawaii and Alaska. My wife and I worked hard to give our children a cultural cornucopia that enabled us to see the whole world and meet others who live differently than we do.

We also visited many of the great museums in the world bolstering the cultural objectives of our trips. We have been to the Louvre (Mona), the Orsay (Monet), the Rijksmuseum (The Night Watch),the Prodo (Velazquez) and the St. Petersburg Hermitage (La Danse). My daughter was inspired to take Art History in college.

It has been a great ride during my first seventy-four years. Our children are older and young adults. They are building their careers and living away from home. My life has been a dream come true with my wife at my side.

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