Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Special Birthday Greeting for Eddie!

Today is my cousin Eddie's birthday. Eddie is the youngest of my Uncle Bill's seven children. Bill was my mother's youngest brother. He grew up in San Francisco and is really closer to my kids' ages than to mine.

There was a time when his family didn't know if he would make it to another birthday. Eddie's story is truly an inspirational one and I am proud to be able to write this post about him today. Eddie has overcome many issues in his life and he should be commended for doing what he has done.

In March I wrote about Romy, his sister, and her daughter, Angie. Angie is Eddie's biological daughter. Because Eddie had some very serious addictions, he was unable to care for Angie. Romy got guardianship and later was able to adopt Angie. Giving Romy custody of Angie was probably the greatest gift he could have given his daughter.

Eddie's addiction caused him many problems. He spent time in jail and eventually in prison. I know that the last time I saw Eddie, I was very concerned about him and about his future, as was everyone in our family.

About five years ago Eddie was released from jail to a drug and alcohol treatment center in San Francisco called Delancey Street. Delancey Street is considered the country's leading residential self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-cons, homeless, and others who have hit rock bottom. This program has been a salvation for Eddie. He spent three years in the facility in San Francisco. He was so successful that he was moved to the facility in New York. The past two years he has been in charge of the program in Brewster, New York.

Two of his sisters, Romy and Lena, along with Angie, went to New York last October to see Lena's daughter, Sam, who attends Wagner College. Sam is a volleyball player. While they were there, they were able to visit with Eddie. He even came to one of Sam's games. Lena told me that it was wonderful to see him so at peace with himself. Eddie has an incredible personality and such a loving side to him. It is so great to hear that he is doing so well.

Before I wrote this post, I asked Lena about what to say. She told me that his siblings are so incredibly proud of what Eddie has done to turn around his life and that she knew he would like to have his story shared. As I write this, I have to say that it made me a bit teary.

I know that I have thought about Eddie so much over the years and this is so wonderful to hear. The prayers that have all been said, especially those from our Aunt Teresa, along with the tremendous support of his siblings, have all helped Eddie get to this place in his life. However, the key to this has to have been Eddie and what he has done for himself. He is an inspiration and I know his parents are looking down on him with pride.

When I do a post, I try to find a song to go along with what I write. I think this song fits what has been written about Eddie and what he has done with his life (Mariah Carey's "Hero"). He has overcome some substantial set backs and his made his life better. I am sure he has also enriched the lives of others at Brewster House.

I hope that this is a wonderful birthday for you, Eddie. Lena says that you miss San Francisco, the Giants, and the 49ers and that you can't get a real burrito in New York. So, Eddie, when you get back to this side of the world, I will go out to San Francisco and fix you all of the burros that you can eat!!! We are all so proud of you and what you have done. It hasn't been easy, but your tenacity speaks volumes for who you are and the family you come from!!

8 remarks:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful success story! He will be an inspiration to many. Happy Easter!
Love & hugs,

velvet brick said...

Hi Eddie,
You don't know me, but I am a friend of Sheila's and her family. I remember her telling me the story, briefly, of your daughter and your sister, Romy. May this gal from Gilbert just say how proud I am of you, your strong spirit and your work. It is not easy to rebuild yourself after losing yourself...that you have climbed up, made good and are now helping others speaks volumes of your strength, courage and love. I wish you a very happy birthday - you have much to celebrate! :)

samantha said...

happy birthday eddie!!!! from all of us in san francisco we love you and cant wait for you to come home!! :o) thank you shelia for this beautiful posting, you couldn't have put it any better,
mike, maria, chris and sam

Kerri and Cameron said...

Wonderful post for a wonderful person. Happy birthday, Eddie. Glad you overcame so much and have found peace and fulfillment.

Kerri and Cameron

Judy said...

Happy Birthday Eddie. Mom and I were sitting here reading Sheila's Blog and overcome with emotion regarding how amazing you are and feeling so proud of you. Mom got tearful while talking about how proud your dad would be of you. We know your mom and dad are smiling upon you. Take Care Eddie and come visit when you are ready.

Love Judy and Teresa

Just Joni said...

What a kind and loving tribute to your cousin and you picked the perfect song! Happy birthday to Eddie! Thank you for stopping by my's always so nice to meet new friends ~

Have a blessed Easter ~


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Eddie. Sheila did a beautiful blog relaying you story. You are an inspiration to all of us. How proud I am of you. You've always had such a kind heart, and I know how much you love Angelica. Like a good and loving parent, you made the ultimate sacrifice by letting Romy adopt her. I remember visiting your home in SFO when you were just a little tike. You were so adorable playing with your Hot Wheel cars on your couch. Thank you for doing the great work that you are now doing. God bless you.
Your loving cousin,

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sheila for what you wrote about Eddie. We are so proud of you. Phil & I enjoyed your letters and cards that you sent us several years ago. I remember the '77 Scott reunion when you and my son Matt had a great time together -- Matt's birthday is the end of May -- you both had just turned 10 and had a great time especially at the pool. So as a cousin to you with a son your age, I feel tremendous pride in what you are now doing with your life. Besides your mom & dad there are a lot of other family up there smiling down on you. Eddie, may you continue on your journey and know that the Good Lord always has his arms around you and all of us.
Love your cousin,