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Finding serenity in acceptance

Everyone who grew up in Roseland, Pullman or Kensington has experience change. We have many fond memories of growing from childhood to adulthood there. Although many of us cling to those memories and mourn what we stubbornly regarded as a major loss to our lives, those changes and more have inevitably occurred regardless of how much they affect us.

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

— Frida Kahlo

Many of us have gotten married — a ceremony that is meant to bind two people together for a lifetime — and then found ourselves divorced. Children have been part of many of our lives — sometimes with less than perfect results that require acceptance. We’ve held jobs that we thought would be a lifetime of security, then downsizing, new owners, or cut backs occurred and we began a new job.

When change comes from outside

Acceptance must come from within

Throughout this past year we have had to endure the passing of family and friends; those who we have been close for our entire lives and those who we’ve met on our life’s journey. We’ve had to deal with serious illness, whether our own or of someone we care for.

Breathing and living are as a much a part of life, as are change and acceptance.

Change is universally disliked. There is no uniqueness in disapproving of change, just as there is no uniqueness in accepting change. The uniqueness comes in how we individually determine to balance the acceptance of change with our daily lives.

A variation on a theme: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, so that I might enjoy the life you’ve given me and shine a light that others may see the way.

Roseland, Pullman and Kensington have been about nothing but change since forever. Beginning with the Dutch settlers in1849, through the Pullman years, into the post-war years, followed by the racial and demographic changes of the ’60s, and now into the 21st century. Pullman has become a part of the National Parks Service and as such has entered the world stage. The addition of much-needed shopping services and other businesses to the Pullman/Roseland area have changed and eased the lack of shopping availability for area residents. The addition of the US Bank Pullman Community Center will fulfill the athletic and recreational needs for the community’s young people.

Accept what is, for the sake of your happiness.

Accept what is, for your peace of mind.

Accept what is, for a life of tranquility.

Accept what is, for those you love.

The construction of the Pullman Artspace Lofts has begun with the removal of the lead-based paint on the two standing block buildings. Also the foundations have been laid for the new construction to be erected between the existing block buildings that will be rehabbed as a part of the Pullman Artspace Lofts project. The beginning of construction had led Pullman residents to a new phase of acceptance and a reorientation of thoughts concerning the new residents this project will bring to Pullman.

These new residents will need businesses to service them at their income level. The residents of the Pullman Artspace Lofts will not be wealthy, tourists, or downtrodden individuals and families. They will be the same as current Pullman residents: sharing the same needs present residents have. Part of accepting change is a welcoming attitude as these new residents join the Pullman community in attending and becoming part of community activities, events and organizations such as the Pullman Civic Organization, Historic Pullman Foundation, Greenstone Church, Pullman House Tour and Pullman Garden Club. In addition, these residents will bolster businesses such as our two local eating establishments: the Pullman Café and the Cal-Harbor Diner.

Change is not always easy to except, as is reflected in the eyes of those who more tolerate than accept others. This is life and what it comes down to is the amount of personal happiness we want in our lives. We can go on being resistant to change and turn our lives over to distress, distrust and disappointment or we can make our lives enjoyable for ourselves and those around us. It is our choice.

THIS AND THAT

There was a special Roseland/Pullman event held at the October Spaghetti-O’s meeting at Carlo’s Restaurant in Chicago Heights. The SFBI Plaque (Società Filarmonica Bella Italia) was presented to the Italian American Veteran’s Museum located on the grounds of Casa Italia in west suburban Stone Park. The attendance was fantastic to say the least. From the usual 80 attendees the attendance swelled to almost 140 guests.

Tom Shepherd and I coordinated the event with Spaghetti-O’s President Bonny Sandona and Jim and Carla Lorenzetti. Many of those in attendance were the sons and daughters of those listed on the plaque. Some of the families represented at the ceremony are Bernardi, Anastassi, Cavallo, D’Adam, Dacorte, Gaspari, Paglia, Paolino, Quagliani, Roi, Vallortigara, and Stella. In addition, 95 year-old Peter Roi, who is listed on the plaque, was in attendance and graciously spoke a few words in commemoration of all veterans.

In November, Pullman’s veterans were remembered with a ceremony in the auditorium at the Pullman School. A gracious thank you to Pullman principal Romeldia Salter for allowing us the use of the indoor facility. I was honored to be able to present a speech titled “By the Light of Day.” A special thank you to Tom Shepherd, not only for once again arranging and coordinating the event, but for securing the attendance of Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who spoke and presented the community with a flag flown over the US Capitol. A thank you to Andy Bullen for his informative presentation about Pullman resident’s participation in World War II,

This June, St. Anthony of Padua parishioners will be saying farewell to Fr. Mark Krylowicz, who has been the pastor and caretaker of the parish for the past 12 years. Fr. Mark has done an outstanding job in revitalizing the parish organizations and in keeping the parish fiscally sound. Parishioners will be attending meetings with the Archdiocese to hopefully have some meaningful input into the selection of a new pastor. Along with Fr. Mark’s leaving, it is under consideration that the parishes of Saints Peter and Paul and St. John De La Salle may also become part of St. Anthony Territorial Parish.

Contact me at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; 773-701-6756; or cjfranoi@yahoo.com; or visit Roseland Roundtable on Facebook.

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago's North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland's rich, beloved history as possible.