Vita's Will: Real Life Lessons about Life, Death & Moving On

Overview

At age 23, Debbie Gisonni had everything. She was on her way to becoming one of the youngest top paid executives in Silicon Valley; had found true love; and could make a mean lasagna!

Then in 1984 Vita, her mother, got a brain tumor and became permanently disabled. A few years later, her younger sister suddenly took her own life. Three months after that, her father was diagnosed with bone cancer. And then her favorite aunt got breast cancer.

...

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Vita's Will, Real Life Lessons about Life, Death & Moving On

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Overview

At age 23, Debbie Gisonni had everything. She was on her way to becoming one of the youngest top paid executives in Silicon Valley; had found true love; and could make a mean lasagna!

Then in 1984 Vita, her mother, got a brain tumor and became permanently disabled. A few years later, her younger sister suddenly took her own life. Three months after that, her father was diagnosed with bone cancer. And then her favorite aunt got breast cancer.

Vita's Will chronicles Debbie's riveting experiences as she weaves a unique combination of coping strategies, humor and sorrow into the horrors of hospitals, the lost dreams of her parents, and the shock of her sister's suicide.

Through these four deaths, Debbie tells us how she stayed sane through it all by squeezing the sweetest wine from a bunch of sour grapes without wallowing in self-pity. Her advice works for any challenging life situation. You'll be moved to tears and laughter by her 44 inspirational real life lessons and her nightly chats with God.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781490511412
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 8/8/2013
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi
Introduction xiii
I Vita 1
The End 3
Picture This--Sicily 1942 6
Self-Diagnosis 10
I Begin to Pray 13
Mad Science 17
The Alphabet 22
Village Life 25
Visiting Hours 28
Life on the Outside 34
She's Back! 40
II Martha 45
The Phone Call 47
The Flaky One 51
Unsolved Mysteries 54
Where Was the Cry for Help? 61
Somewhere Over the Rainbow 64
Things That Matter 68
Facing Your Demons 70
III Tommy 77
How Much is Too Much? 79
Tommy George 82
Bitterness 88
The Green Juice 91
Turning Thirty 96
Choices 99
Letting Go 102
Real Life Lessons from Tommy 106
IV Yolanda 111
Yo's Turn 113
Darling, You Look Marvelous! 118
California, Here They Come 121
The Other Side 124
The Blackout 127
Another Ending 130
V Year Ten 133
Vita's Will 135
Somehow You Know 140
She Looks Good 143
Laughter 146
A Moment in Time 149
VI Reflections 153
Playing Doctor 155
The Grass Isn't Always Greener 159
Small World 161
Prejudice Has Many Faces 163
It's Just a Job 166
Coping 168
Prayer of Thanks 174
About the Author 175
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2002

    Loved it!!

    This book was just sad...but wonderful. I grew up in an Italian family and my mother was dear to me also. I wrote the author and told Debbie what a great job she did with the book. I recommend it...I will keep my copy when most books I pass on to others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    JACK... THAT'S MY FATHER

    MY SISTER JUST WROTE TO ME TO TELL ME THAT SHE, MY OTHER SISTER AND MY MOTHER ARE ALL STILL CRYING. SHE JUST READ THE BOOK, LOVED IT, AND SAID THAT MY FATHER, JACK, IS MENTIONED IN THE BOOK. HE'S THE ONE WHO BROUGHT HER COMMUNION ON SUNDAYS. MY FATHER HAS NOW PASSED AWAY HIMSELF, WE ARE HEARTBROKEN AS A FAMILY, AND I AM VERY ANXIOUS TO READ THIS BOOK MYSELF. MY SISTER SAYS IT'S WONDERFUL.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    Pass me a tissue!

    Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I literally read this book in one sitting. Vita's Will is an amazing story...I laughed, I cried and I re-read certain sections over and over because I could relate to them so well. Debbie Gisonni's real life lessons at the end of each chapter were so important to me that I've written them down and carry them with me as my little life-reminders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2000

    You Really Will Laugh AND Cry

    Debbie Gisonni has written a scarily honest book about the emotional struggles she suffered in losing four close family members in four short years. But ultimately, her heart-wrenching story has a triumphant spirit. She takes us inside her mind and her heart with a raw honesty rarely, if ever, seen. Like everyone else, you'll likely recognize your own guilty thoughts, 'inappropriate' jokes or laughs, things you've done or said that you hate yourself for. Thus, she holds a mirror up to our humanity in all its pain, humor and wonder. Oh yeah, and glory. And even though it's a first book, she does all this with a simple, powerful writing style that drives you through the book. And she throws in an uncannily accurate description of the culture inside a New York City Italian-American family (that is NOT mob-connected). Trust me; been there, done that. She nails it. If you've ever struggled with emoitonal loss, or just felt overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control, this is an important book for you. Internalizing its 'Real Life Lessons' will help put you back on track.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2000

    The Best 4 Hours I have Spent This Year!

    ESPN Magazine, BusinessWeek, Silicon Valley Business Journal....That about does it for my reading...Books??? That's for people have have all sorts of extra time (or so I thought!). Once I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down as I lost all sense of time and place as I was living Debbie Gisonni's life through her articulate descriptions of her family (being half Sicilian myself probably helped). I was smiling and laughing out loud by page 11 as Debbie described the Italian mother I know so well (making a melodrama out of everything). The 'butchering' of the English language by Vita brought back fond memories of my Silcian grandmother and many more hearty laughs. This book really puts everything into perspective...Real Life Lessons are to be learned daily as long as you are willing to step back and take a look at the big picture. A joy to read, very inspirational!

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