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Book details
  • Genre:SELF-HELP
  • SubGenre:Death, Grief, Bereavement
  • Language:English
  • Pages:96
  • eBook ISBN:9781667803678
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667803661

Life, Lessons & Legacy

How Caring For My Grandmother Changed My World

by Clelia G. Pergola View author's profile page

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"Life, Lessons, & Legacy" is a story of hope. Especially during our current turbulent times, this memoir shows us that the simplest values of family, service, and concern for others are what the world needs right now. And, on a more personal level, this unforgettable book reminds us that heartaches can be beautiful and troubles that grow out of love make us who we are.
If there's one thing Clelia Pergola knows now for sure is that a strong value system is the foundation of a rich and productive life. Advocacy. Authenticity. Legacy. These principles are the foundation of her inner checklist and are the criteria that inform all her actions. Being part of a family with strong ties, it would seem that these values have always been her tiller. And at some level, they were. But it wasn't until her cherished Nonna Lidia died and following her time of grieving that they became more intentional. Life, Lessons, & Legacy is the story of Clelia's odyssey of self-discovery in the years following her grandmother Nonna Lidia's death. While Clelia went through all the motions of a normal life and strived to project strength to those around her, internally, she was experiencing tremendous self-doubt. In reality, at many times, she was overtaken by self-recrimination about some of the decisions she had made about Nonna's care during the years when Nonna's dementia and physical atrophy were reaching new heights. As Clelia's story shows us, no journey that helps us gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our purpose and place in the world is ever without pain or missteps. Although no passage of self-discovery is ever truly over, Clelia's journey got her to a better place. She gained a clearer understanding about herself and her family and her relationships with them. This understanding grounded her and made her more self-accepting and aware that not getting everything just right is always part of the process. She also discovered that everything she was ever looking for had been there to guide her all along. Life, Lessons, & Legacy. is a story of hope. Especially during our current turbulent times, this memoir shows us that the simplest values of family, service, and concern for others are what the world needs right now. And, on a more personal level, Life. Lessons. Legacy shows us that heartaches can be beautiful and troubles that grow out of love make us who we are.
About the author
Clelia Pergola considers herself a very lucky woman. Clelia has combined strong family values, her understanding of what it takes to be a great leader, and her commitment to helping others and made them the hallmarks of her life and career. Each day, family, people with whom she comes into contact, mothers and other professional women, and the elderly and their families are the motivators who make her life fulfilling. Her close-knit Italian family and a Barone household that was filled with love provided the role-modeling that shaped her life. Daily, whether Clelia realized it back then or not, there were the "lessons" from her family: the perseverance, strength, and determination exemplified by her mother; how her grandfather, Nonno Mimmo, showed his love by being a disciplinarian who respected accountability and follow-through; and the way her grandmother, Nonna Lidia, was the center of the family. Nonna Lidia was always there with unconditional love to soothe Clelia amid the ups and downs of growing up. Clelia is quick to say that this home environment influenced the direction of her life. It was only natural, then, that Clelia entered the workplace with a strong work ethic and a goal to apply her firm understanding of the importance of family to her relationships with both clients and colleagues. It was also the way of things that when Nonna's dementia took hold of her life, Clelia became a caregiver and decision-maker in determining the path that would be in Nonna's best interests. When Nonna finally succumbed to her disease and passed, it shook Clelia's world. She threw herself into her work. But in the end, it was the loss of Nonna that gave her a much stronger foundation, sense of purpose, and direction for her life. Determined to live her legacy, Clelia has dedicated herself to live with intention and in alignment with her values. What's more, she is committed to spread her beliefs to her family, friends, colleagues, and the larger circle of professionals within her network. Mindful of the way one's past, present, and future can impact others, Clelia has recently started a podcast called "What's Your Legacy?" Believing that it's important for everyone to tell their story, she speaks with her guests about the power of the legacy their loved ones have left behind and how it influences them in their everyday lives. Clelia helps those affected with dementia and their families as a Certified Dementia Practitioner, supports individuals requiring long-term care and the long-term care community through her work with the Alzheimer's New Jersey, and leads several caregiving support groups. An advocate for women, Clelia is also active in the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Women in Business group. On the job, she is committed to providing compassionate, caring, and personal service to her NJELC clients and contributing to the professional and personal development of the NJELC team. In 2018, Clelia Pergola was named by Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners as a Top 25 Leading Woman Intrapreneur because of her leadership and innovation. She has also been named to NJBIZ's 40 Under 40 for her commitment to business growth, professional excellence and to the community, and in 2019 she was a recipient of NJBIZ's Top 50 Women in Business award which recognizes leading women shaping their organizations, industries and the economic landscape of the Garden State. In 2021, was named NJBIA Awards of Excellence Executive of the Year. She lives in Wayne, NJ, with her husband, Brandon, and her sons, Dante Domenico and Gino Angelo. She says though they are hard shoes to fill, she's beginning to take on Nonna's role, hosting parties and holidays for the Barone and Pergola families, welcoming friends, and cooking up a storm. And even though her grandmother is not standing by her side, she is always in Clelia's heart and mind, guiding Clelia always, and forever her NorthStar.

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