This past week has placed my mind on a Whirlwind Merry Go Round. This coming week I am headed into a life changing experience that leaves me both exhilarated and terrified at the same time.

My health has deteriorated at a rapid pace these past few months and what I believed for three years to be the sole cause of my circumstances, wound up being a misconception at best by the doctors whose care I was under.

In the last two weeks I have experienced and am still experiencing a pain so profound in my right leg that it can be compared only to that of labor before birth.  It seems I have developed an artery disease that rivals those of an octogenarian’s in poor health.  Undoubtedly, say the doctors due to smoking all those years.  Though one cardiologist agreed with me that is not the only mitigating factor concluding as I do that “genes” is the basic foundation for my current issues. Taking on the responsibility that I am overweight for my height had been another revelation to me since being told for the past three years that exercise was out of the question for me unless it was in water because of the impact on my spine and its condition.  A person cannot lose weight if they are unable to move physically over a long period of time.  The agility and mobility of the human body ceases when inactive.  My recommendation to all is to do everything you can to keep moving and everything else in moderation.

Now getting back to my “whirlwind” of emotions causing me confusion in these past few days.  This recently discovered disease within my body has frightened me more than anything I has ever been presented to me or witnessed by me in the past, with exception of any health issues concerning my sons, this is the most terrifying to me. I have been told that there are blockages and blood clots within my system so severe that they are cutting off circulation to my leg. The specialist from NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC, who I met for the first time yesterday seems to be a kind, concerned, experienced physician/surgeon in his field of vascular diseases and their treatments and remedies.  To say this disease, though known to me in name only, is one that I have the least past experience with is an understatement.  No one knows how another person feels when they learn they have something very serious that could possibly be a life threatening one, so unless one has been through it personally, it is quite overwhelming. I find the hardest emotion to deal with is loss of control, the second is fright of the unknown.  I am trying very hard to remain calm and logical.  Trying to get those who care for me to understand that this is one area where Mama doesn’t have the answers that would somehow alleviate much of their worry.  I am truly hoping for the best outcome and to do my best to believe if I do my part by taking self-responsibility my life will surely improve immensely.

Still waiting on clearance from cardiologist and if it clears him, I will be undergoing the procedure on Wednesday.  I want to get better and I want to celebrate all the milestones ahead, so I will keep my faith, calm the “whirlwind” in my mind and if all goes well, I will write again soon.  Just keep moving, keep dancing, keep smiling!

And that’s The Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.



Dear Political Representatives

Today September 11, 2014 a day to remember our fallen, our injured, our heartbreak seems to be the most poignant day for me to write this blog post. On that beautiful September morning with the sun shining brightly our country was attacked by an enemy.  Their purpose was to hurt our financial and military centers and in doing so they killed, hurt and forever injured people and destroyed buildings.  They will never succeed though, not as long as we remember that September morning.

Most of us were preparing to begin our day when the phones started ringing and the radios and televisions were turned on.  The shock of what was occurring sent daggers of pain through our bodies into our hearts.  Here we sat a country at peace being attacked by an enemy filled with hate for what we stand for and how we live. Many of us worried about our friends and family who might be in the vicinity of that attack.  Then that day, the days and weeks that followed turned into more pain and more resolve to unite and make our country whole again.  That is the feeling that remains with most of us to this day.  No one wants war, no one wants to live more in peace that the American people.  We strife for that every single day. Most of us choose to love instead of to hate.

If, through life experiences, I have learned anything it is to stop expecting others to feel as I do.  I have finally arrived at a place in life where I can love without expecting anything in return.  I would like nothing more than to know the people who hate us and to show them that we are all the same…humans.  However, the reality is that those who hate us will continue to hate us and I am fine with that as long as their hate stays within the boundaries of their own territories.  If they would allow me to love them and trust them and accept their viewpoints, I could do that without hesitation.  As an individual, I can do my part on a daily basis, being one with my fellow-man, but on a grand scale will this really work?  The political climate as of late has me questioning that possibility.  I am consistently getting emails from organizations such as MoveOn, Change.org, etc.  that rejoice at the deal currently being offered to the Iranians. Everyday I read in the newspaper or online how another political representative has decided to vote in favor of this deal.  The reasoning it appears is to avoid a war.  Avoid a war?  Only our President can declare war with the backing of our Senators and Congressmen, so if it isn’t declared by them, than there is no war to worry about.  This deal, from what I have read of it, offers many concessions to those who call themselves “our enemy”.  I can accept that if only the exposed truth is that we are laying flowers of peace at their feet in order that they leave us alone and at peace within our own country.  However, the realist in me doesn’t see that.  The constant reports through Media is that the terrorists groups within the country of Iran never stop hating us, no matter how many concessions, gifts and or investments we make in their country.  Their religious beliefs seem to dictate their actions.  No matter how much our instincts are to help the abused, to rescue the weak and poor, those that choose to hate instead of love will continue to do so.  Nothing convinced me more than the video I saw portraying an interview with a leader of Iran.  That recent video, taped in 2015 was undeniable.  The hate for America and Americans is stronger than ever before, yet we are at peace here.  We are attempting to offer this country a choice to stop hating and to accept.  Do you truly trust people who continue to terrorize others as a people who are willing to abide by that offer?  After September 11, 2001, I have lost trust in that belief.  No matter how hard I try, the reality of their actions and words cause me continued pain.  They have convinced me, a common American citizen, that I can never trust them no matter how much I want to.  I cannot expect them to feel as I do just because I care about them unconditionally.

To convince me this deal is a good one and will bring everlasting peace to all nations, I would need to see that our own political representatives are free from financial gains from this deal.  I would need to see that the trust we are giving to the Iranian militants and religious factions is truly accepted by them as an olive branch. I, for one, have a hard time believing that I will not be hurt again by the actions of those who choose to hate us no matter how much love I have for my fellow human beings.  Why don’t most of you have that same distrust?  What proof do you need other than the daily actions of the terrorists within that country?  As an American, I have too much pride probably in my country, but I won’t excuse that.  I love America and what it stands for.  I still believe with all my heart that we are the best chance of refuge for the tired, the poor, the sick and the persecuted.  I face the reality that we are imperfect and have made many mistakes as we grow from a teenage country into a full-fledged adult country, after all we are pretty young in comparison to the countries around the world and their histories.  Just like I made allowances for my own, and just as I have learned from my mistakes, so do I have faith that my country will as well.  So I guess what I am asking you as my representatives is to take a long hard look at this deal and make sure it is not another mistake we may make because we are trying to make “our enemy our friend”, instead of accepting that our enemy may not want to be our friend nor expecting them to want to be our friend.  And if you find that this deal isn’t truly the one that will be fair to both America and Iran, if you have the slightest doubt at all, please don’t force us into it.  To do that would be no better than when a war was forced upon us because of the actions of those who hate us and the proof of that can be found in the memory of September 11, 2001 when America was at peace and the sun was shining.

And that is the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.


My son, the published author

I am so excited today! My eldest son, Rocky (Rocco) Napoli has published his first short story today on Amazon.com!

It feels like eons since he first told me about his dream of being a published author.  To know Rocky is to love him.  He is intelligent, charismatic and possesses a way with words that can transcend your imagination.  Sure, people are going to proclaim I say these things cause I am his mother, but that just isn’t the case.  As he can tell you himself, I am his biggest critic.  Not that I mean to be or that I have malicious intent, no, no far from it!  I have always been so very proud of him and feel that I know him well.  He has never been ordinary, he has always been extraordinary and has shown his father and I a deep and compassionate soul.  His understanding of whatever subject matter was before him consistently astounds us from his unique perspective and profound understanding.  He often spoke about publishing a novel and pursuing a career as a writer and now he has set down his foot on that path.  While this is just the very beginning with the publication of his first short story, I have no doubt that he has begun a journey of discovery and self-appreciation, which he so aptly deserves.

You can PURCHASE and read his first short story at the following: image


(search for The Paper Boat on Amazon.com in books)

I hope you will enjoy this intriguing and mesmerizing short read into the fascinating psyche of a promising author.   The Paper Boat is a story that anyone with a good imagination and a wish for acceptance will thoroughly enjoy!  Happy reading!

And that is The Way I See It, here in Brooklyn!


Fourth of July

I am proud of my country.  I love being an American.  I still think of America as a young country in comparison to the world history of other countries throughout our planet.  So it’s easy to point out both American ingenuity and error.  Especially all its’ mistakes.  We have, without a doubt,  made our share of human error.  Yet, we survive thankfully and in a place that still recognizes independence, freedom of speech and freedom of choice.  So yes, a celebration throughout the land is warranted while we try and fix those errors to create a brighter, better future for all Americans.  

Americans everywhere will barbecue, go to a park, go to a beach, go to lakes and mountains or just relax in their own backyard on America’s birthday.  Some will watch fireworks while others will cower from them, but they will still celebrate in one way or another.  To those of you who will take a break from the everyday hustle and bustle this coming weekend, I invite you to read.  Reading helps us to escape, to learn, to imagine, to thrive.  I have a great recommendation for those who love to relax with a good story. One that is short enough not to be boring, written in such a unique voice as to be enthralling and suspenseful.  A short story filled with imaginative thoughts and yet real enough for us to say, “hey that sounds familiar.” A short story that will inspire thinking and discussion.  One that calls out for feedback.  Best of all, it’s a free gift to Americans everywhere this July 4th weekend through Amazon to download on your Kindle or on any device on the free Kindle app, which is available on Amazon and the Apple App Store.  It is a gift to the American public that can be kept, shared or gifted to others. And it is FREE to download starting this weekend!  Why not open your gift and than thank the author by giving it your honest review?  I have attached the link to this amazing gift and hope that starting July 4th you will enjoy our country’s birthday in a personal way by taking a relaxing hour for yourself and read,  The Paper Boat,  by Rocky Napoli.  



This author is now one of my favorite authors!  Check out this story and find the magic as I have!  

That’s the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn! 

Reminiscing Barbara



This blog today may turn out to be the length of a book, but there are things about Barbara that I am remembering and some of them need to be told at length.  Her personality was so complicated and awesome that to generalize entirely about her now would seem unfitting to her memory. She wasn’t a saint, making her full share of mistakes.  She was human just like the rest of us.  What sets her apart is what she possessed that few people have or even know about.  Her beauty was in her heart and in her inner determination and strength to help others and to love so deeply and so fiercely there was no way to avoid it nor once experienced would you want to.  Barbara was and always will be one of a kind.

Twenty-six years ago today, May 8th, my sister, Barbara passed away. Her death was far from “easy”. Her suffering was great. The lung cancer that affected her had been spreading throughout her fragile body and overtook the woman we all knew and loved much too soon. As a mother of five children Barbara was a “force of nature”. Her protectiveness for her “babies” was instinctively inborn in her very persona. It is only fitting that I write about her today for she is missed by all who knew her.

Barbara was born a middle child of eight.  She had four older siblings and three younger siblings. We were all born into “poverty” and our parents had their own set of problems.  Barbara was a sickly child and had battled and survived pneumonia on five separate occasions.  I don’t think she ever weighed more than one hundred pounds even when pregnant on her five foot seven frame.  Yet she held a beauty all her own.  She was fierce and stubborn, loving and funny all at the same time.  Her sense of loyalty was undeniable.  She adored her mother and had a closeness with her that most daughters rarely experience.  Barbara was on the surface someone we would call “tough” back then.  She took no guff from anyone and would defend her family and all those she cared about with every ounce of courage she could muster.  It wasn’t till the very end of her life, when I had the privilege along with some of my siblings and her children of caring for her during her illness, that I finally got a glimpse of her true vulnerabilities, fears and passionate heart.  I have to be honest and tell you that it was an eye opener for me since she and I practically fought about everything.  I am the youngest of those eight siblings and she and I would butt heads about almost everything in life.  Barbara was also a religious person and her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was unmistakable.  To this day, I cannot think about the Blessed Mother without thinking of Barbara as well.

The first inkling I had that my sister, who was eleven years my elder, had  more guts than anyone I knew at the time, was when she “borrowed” a friend’s car and took off to elope with her than boyfriend, who shortly after became her husband.  I recall waking up in the tenement bed I shared with her and my other sister and hearing my parents frantically making phone calls and having the police come to our door.  From the gist of the conversations, I had understood that Barbara ran away and the search was on.  They found her though and brought her back home before they actually went through with the elopement.  She was almost charged with stealing a car, but thankfully her friend didn’t press charges.  Another time I recall her coming to let our mother know that our brother was hanging off the fence in the schoolyard down the street from our tenement and that was why he was late getting home for supper.  She had tried to lift him off herself, but I cannot recall whether or not she succeeded.  Did I mention how strong she was in spite of her thinness?  Well that she was.  Strong as an ox and was never afraid to use physical force whenever she deemed it necessary.  I was afraid of her for most of our lives together.  When I turned eighteen, it was Barbara who took me to the my first bar and bought me my first drink.  I recall her telling me that she was doing it herself to warn me and steer me against the pitfalls of alcohol. As it turns out, I was never much of a drinker or even enjoyed liquor until much, much later in life.

Barbara had few very close friends during her life, most of them since she was a young girl.  Her loyalty and faithfulness to their closeness remains unparalleled.  She loved her close friends almost as much as she loved her family.  That love she possessed was strongly felt by all.  She often did so much for others, quietly without any of us truly aware of how thin she spread herself and how helpful a person she truly was.  It was not until her death that this all came to light for most of us.

Earlier I mentioned about Barbara’s closeness to our mother. She took it upon herself to be my mother’s guardian in every sense of the word.  She stuck by her and defended her when our dad would be on a drunken binge and take all his hard luck out on our poor mother’s body.  Barbara would fight him every time.  I recall many a time, when she would come home and I could hear them arguing in our railroad apartment while I lay two rooms down in bed. It would get quiet and after a while  I would sneak a peek from my bed to see Barbara hitting our drunken father over the head with one of his beer bottles.  Not hard enough to do any real harm, but hard enough to make him leave our mother alone for a while.  Our dad died during my sixteenth year, and Barbara had been married for seven years by then.  After his death, Barbara once again became our mother’s caretaker (by appointing herself) and during all our mother’s illnesses it was Barbara who took her to the hospital, knew all her medications, and every illness our mother had ever had.  She was our mother’s self-appointed spokesperson.  There was a time during Barbara’s marriage that she and her husband and eldest daughter, Barbara moved to Oklahoma for her husband’s job.  She gave birth to her second daughter, Chrissy there.  It wasn’t long however, until she missed our mother so much that she won over her husband and they moved back to good old Brooklyn.  When they moved back here, they moved into an apartment on the second floor of the first house we ever lived in.  I believe it was the best time and the worst time for her.  She was glad to be so close to our mother again, but she now had a growing family to worry about as well and a husband, who was not quite so happy to live in the same house as his in-laws.  Our father had died during this period and after a time, Barbara and her family moved to their own apartment and Barbara now had three girls with her middle one, Kelly having been born.

Overall, it wasn’t easy during those years.  Barbara was a full-time mom and her husband provided the only source of income for them.  She did the best she could with whatever resources she had. Needless to say she was extremely stressed.  There is so much more that I could write about her life and my interactions with her, but it truly will be a book if I do.  So instead, I will shorten this somewhat and just tell you a few more memories I have of Barbara.

By the time her sister, Doris, who was seven years her senior, became ill while living in California, Barbara had five children of her own.  Four girls and a boy.  Karen being her youngest girl and John, Jr. being her only son.  I had my son, Rocky by then and we had lost our mother the year before.  Barbara and I flew to California together to try to help Doris who by this time was on life support after developing cirrhosis of the liver.  The plane ride it self was interesting to me as it was only the second time I had ever been on a plane.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people who have a built-in fear of riding in planes or for that matter, anything that takes away my sense of gravity.  Barbara on the other hand, hid any fears she had and was a true social butterfly. She would talk with anyone and would wander the plane while I sat petrified and glued to my seat.  On this flight to California, Barbara had been off socializing and came back to get me to move to the middle row and watch a movie that was being provided by the airline.  She convinced me to go and so there we were sitting in the middle aisle of the plane waiting for the movie to start.  Barbara, was talking to some people she had met earlier, who happened to be seated behind us, so her back was partially turned away from the screen.  A stewardess was coming toward where we were seated carrying a tray of drinks.  She tapped Barbara on the shoulder and as Barbara turned quickly to see who it was, she jumped up, knocking the tray out of the stewardess’ hands, and with drinks flying all over, proceeded to yell, “Oh my God, we’re going to crash!”.  Although, I was still afraid and now in complete shock as to what happened, I managed to calm her down and tell her it was just the stewardess with drinks for everyone.  I quickly learned that she was so afraid herself that when she saw the stewardess as quickly as she did, she thought it was oxygen and not cups.  We laughed about that for years afterward.

When we finally arrived in California, jet lagged and worried, we were met by Doris’ boyfriend and son. They took us to see Doris and together Barbara and I went into shock.  Beautiful auburned hair Doris, was now this frail woman with a head of gray hair, lying in this hospital bed hooked up to a respirator and all sorts of machines. She saw us and woke up briefly to whisper something to each of us and then fell back into her coma.  It was the strangest and most emotional moment in both of our lives.  We stayed in California for five days, and we knew from the doctors that Doris was gone and only being kept alive by a machine.  It was a devastating time for us, and for reasons I won’t discuss now, I had the agonizing decision to turn off that machine because Doris was brain-dead.  It took me five days to decide what to do and it was Barbara who was my rock.  It was Barbara who listened to my agonizing and if it were not for her, I do not honestly know if I would have come through that time  completely intact.  After that time, Barbara had developed a new-found trust in me and I felt it.  She always credited me with being a rock and the strength, when in reality it was her strength that I drew from.

During this period of our lives, my eldest son was going through a horrible disease known as nephrosis, and here again it was Barbara who gave me her quiet shoulder to lean on.  It was Barbara who had faith in our decisions about our son and it was Barbara who gave me the inner strength I needed to get through that awful time as well.

If I am to be openly honest, I have to say here that I owed so much to Barbara the sister whose inner strength, abundance of love and true mercy was my silent rock.  So when she needed help after developing metastasized cancer, I tried to be there for her.  It broke my heart to see her struggling through that illness, how it slowly devour every part of her physical being, but it never destroyed her inner strength, it never touched an ounce of her love for her husband and five children.  She fought hard to stay alive for them and for us, but it was not to be. She asked each of her siblings, me included, to watch out for her family.  She spoke to me in those last days about each and every one of them and how very well she knew each of them.  Her main and only concern was their welfare.  There was no one who was with her during that time who could deny the love she carried inside for each of them and the hopes and dreams she so worried would not be fulfilled if she was no longer around to carry through her part in those hopes.  I made her a number of promises then, and God only knows if I have fulfilled them all, but I have sincerely tried to live up to the faith she had in me.  Miss her?  So much more than these words or any words could tell you.  Wish she was here during the trying times that have followed since her death?  Part of me does and then part of me is grateful she was not alive to see the passing of her eldest daughter, Barbara at the age of forty-five leaving three children and a grandson behind.  I miss her strength and her knowing ways, but I am glad that her legacy includes eight grandchildren and a great-grandson, all of which may yet carry through all the hopes and dreams she always had for each of her children.

I have never met another person like my sister Barbara and I reckon to wager I never will.  She was the rarest of the rare with a pure and honest inner heart, that perhaps didn’t always have the knowledge or wherewithal to be ideal, but nevertheless, gave it every ounce of strength, love and faith she did possess.  She is the person, who will never be forgotten by anyone who has known her.  She is the person, who twenty-six years after her death, I still reminisce about and care about as much as ever.  She is the person, whose love for her family I still feel this very day.  I hope in my idealistic way of thinking sometimes, that she is in a spiritual place with our mother, our two sisters and her daughter and they are laughing their asses off at all the foolish things we still do everyday.  I hope, also, that she can feel the love we all still feel for her and that she comforts her spirit like a warm blanket on a cold wintry day with that love.  Reminiscing Barbara fills me with strength and hope and a sense of pride that perhaps, after all, we were the closest of sisters that could ever be.  Rest in peace, my sister, I love you still.

And that is the Way I See It, here in Brooklyn.




Where My Heart Is

Originally posted on The Way I See It:

Where My Heart Is



From the Verrazano to the Brooklyn Bridge

Through the Ridge and up the Slope

Diverse personalities in every nook

Streets of Brooklyn are “off the hook”

From Coney Island to the Navy Yard

Local churches, restaurants and museums

Amazing all people from every scene,

So enticing on the movie screens

Schools,sports and entertainment abound

The people of Brooklyn create and astound

Showing the world its undying glory

Brooklyn, oh Brooklyn, you are my life’s story

Leaving your streets to explore other places

Shadows of memories tracing empty spaces in my heart

For here lies the key to my home

Brooklyn, oh Brooklyn from you I cannot part

~Kathy Napoli


I hope you will forgive me, today I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness from the thoughts that I may soon need to leave the borough of my birth.  My present circumstances is making it harder and harder…

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Great New Short Story! Purchase and download to read from Amazon.com

Originally posted on Rocco T. Napoli:

Hi All,

I am pleased to announce that my fist published work, a short story, is now available exclusively on Amazon for the Kindle or any device that supports the Kindle app. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can find the story there as well.

Please check out this story of a lost soul who finds a journal in the “Book Nook,” the likes of which will alter his perception of relationships, time, the universe, and the self. This unprecedented journey will make you question the fabric of your existence.

Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VUAVPRQ

Thank you for your support.

The Paper Boat Cover

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