New Year, New Skills

by Ian Aronow

Happy New Year!

I want to start off the first blog of the year by sharing the remembrance I wrote about my Papa on Christmas Eve. My family shares a special tradition in our Slovak and Polish heritage called the “Velija.”  But Papa is no longer with us, so we light a candle in his memory and take turns sharing thoughts and what we most cherish about him. This was the first time I was able to share my feelings about Papa. My writing with spelling on the letterboard has given me so much confidence and control that I was able to share my remembrance of Papa out loud to my family.  It is an honor to share this here with you on my blog:


Remembering Papa – by Ian Aronow, 12/24/17

I would like to remember Papa by telling you that my memory of him lifted me up when I was lost inside myself. He was my absolute favorite “Polish-ed” pun maker.

Papa had many playful qualities. I remember him pretending to be clueless with the grandkids to get a laugh. I liked his feeling of quiet love that he infused into a room.

People with autism might like a guy like Papa because he was more introverted and didn’t talk incessantly to me, trying to get me to be totally normal.

He was my Papa no matter what. I am Papa’s grandson with my heart, always. To some, it seems, he lives on. This is true. In honor of Papa, I would like to set a place at our velija table just for him.

I learned all about the Slovak Christmas Eve traditions. I love being part of these precious family traditions. I hope to always continue the velija in the future.

Merry Christmas and love to you all!


3 thoughts on “New Year, New Skills

  1. Andrea Funkhouser

    Hi Ian,

    You don’t know me, and I haven’t met you … yet. I hope I will someday. Your mom and my daughter, Lisa, became good friends when they were in Japan together almost 25 years ago. I introduced Lisa to Japan in 1992 when I was teaching in a work study program sponsored by Lansing Community College, the same college that sponsored the program where your mom and Lisa met. I think you have been to Lisa’s house.

    I have really enjoyed your blogs. Your Papa was born 4 months and 1 day after me, but our family had been in the U. S. for about 200 years, so we didn’t learn about their traditions. I think you were lucky to have that chance. I remember meeting your Mom’s grandmother when your parents got married. She was so lively and lovely. Ironically, she was wearing the same dress I had worn when Lisa got married.

    I look forward to your next blog. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Andy Funkhouser

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thank you for writing me. My mom told me about you many times when talking about Lisa and Japan. I loved learning about that work study. What an outstanding opportunity that was to live in another country.

      Speaking of which, I understand you live in Mexico. That must be so lovely and relaxing. Please let me know what it is like living there.

      Thank you for following my blog. I hope to meet you some day.

      Best Wishes, Ian


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