Jeff Mazza reflects on life with , and now without, his beloved wife
BY JEFF MAZZA
Where I work, Wilson County Hyundai, the name badges we wear also identify each employee’s home town. We havea very diverse group, from all over theworld, and this provides fuel for interesting conversations. It’s funny that almost everyone asks if I really am from Brooklyn, as if it were a planet in another solar system. People always say they can tell I am not from around here, but can’t guess where I am from. I suppose my northern accent has been diluted a bit, but not completely.
When I was asked to write this piece for the magazine, it occurred to me that my family has been on a search for a “piece of the good life” for as far back as I can remember. As an 18 year old, this quest took my family and I from the only home we knew in Brooklyn, all the way south to Dania, Florida. Talk about culture shock!
lt was during my years in Florida that l met Fawn, the girl of my dreams. Subsequent to a complicated but unforgettable courtship, we married and after living in several places, settled in Tennessee. Even after building a house in Antioch, we craved a simpler more laid-back lifestyle.
My oldest daughter owned a horse and we really needed a more rural location with land for grazing and riding. We kept looking further and further away and wondered if our search was going to take us completely away from civilization. What if there was no Wal-Mart nearby? What would become of us?
We didn’t know much about Lebanon or Wilson County, except for a couple of shopping trips to what is now Lebanon Premium Outlets. lt seemed so far away from what was familiar. But eventually we did find a home here and settled into our new life.
Fawn and our four children, Rachel, Becca, Nick and Shannon enjoyed the park-like environment that was now our property. However like all good things, it took quite a bit of work to get everything the way we wanted. Fencing had to be installed for the horse and we had to learn how to take care of a large piece of property. With my being from the city this was no small task! Our family however all worked together on this project, managing to get it all done and we were soon able to enjoy our new surroundings.
Lebanon became our home and we were glad for it. Like everyone else, we had setbacks and problems over the years. However we felt that God had blessed us with a good life. Everyone got along and we had a house full of love. Sometimes though, life can throw a few curves. Often, they can be difficult to take.
In 2008, after almost 22 years with the same company I lost my job. Of course along with that went my insurance benefits and income. The terms – unemployment insurance, food stamps and state insurance benefits, all became a part of our vocabulary that we never wanted.