A Long History with Teresa

Caroline explains why she wanted to involve herself with Joe and Teresa's relationship.

Hello and happy Sunday! I hope you all enjoyed the day, it was a beautiful one here in New Jersey!

This week’s episode was an interesting one for me to watch. It opened the door to the viewers as to what has happened in our lives over the past year. For me, this is ancient history, for all of you it's fresh and new. It's going to be difficult to navigate through this viewing process from week to week without letting what I see and hear affect where my state of mind is right now. It also is going to be a challenge not to give away too much of how the story ultimately ends. Hey, but I'm never one to shy away from a challenge, so here goes!

What did you guys think of my sister Frannie? She's my baby sister, and as you can see, she is a huge animal advocate. I can honestly say without any reservation at all that she has one of the kindest, purest hearts of anyone that I know. Her selfless acts of kindness and at times bravery towards our four legged friends never cease to amaze me. Through Frannie my home has fostered countless cats and dogs, as well as squirrels, ducks, chickens, snakes, and as you see from next week’s preview a pig! I always joke with Fran that one day I'm going to walk into my house and find an elephant in the foyer. All kidding aside, she is an amazing human being and I am proud to call her my sister as well as one of my best friends. Fran is involved with numerous rescue organizations so if you would like to contact her you can find her on Twitter @frannielaurita. (P.S. Frito really does smell like Fritos, so he's appropriately named.) Oh, one last thing, before you go nuts and assume the Shepherds are caged and live a life of misery, think again, they have a HUGE run that has a dog house, water, and even a fan to keep them comfortable when they are not running around the yard playing catch with their Daddy Albert and Fran’s boyfriend, Hank. When we are filming we keep them in the run for the safety of the production crew. Remember, these dogs are trained to protect, so a cameraman lurking around the corner is not exactly in a favorable position! Chaos and Atlas are very much a part of this family and are loved dearly. Trust me, Frannie would hand our asses to us if they weren't!

Kathy's kids are growing up! How do you think Kathy and Rich are going to fare with all the drama that comes with new drivers and college parties? Oh boy, I remember those days well, and I can assure you, I'm thrilled that they are behind me. Lots of sleepless nights are ahead of you guys, rest up while you can! On the flip side, you blink your eyes and you wonder where the time went, just yesterday you took them to their first day of kindergarten, didn't you? Treasure the moments. xoxoxo

Watching Jacqueline tell Nick's story to Parenting Magazine should give you a little bit of an idea of the challenges that the parents of an autistic child face. I see it first hand, and it breaks your heart because there are no easy answers, there is no playbook, and there is at times such a marked difference as to what works for one child that has a completely different effect on another. Jac and Chris deal with Nick daily, realistically speaking, minute to minute with an unflinching positive attitude towards recovering Nicholas so that he may one day walk into a room with that gorgeous little face of his and say, "Hi Mom, Hey Dad, how was your day?" I know one thing for sure, if love can heal, this day is imminent in Little Nick's future.

Finally, let's discuss my meeting with Teresa. Last week I received numerous Facebook and Twitter comments about my meeting with Joe Gorga. They ranged from mind your own business, to you have a great big heart, to I have a thing for Joe. Two out of three of you are right in your opinion. Maybe I am overstepping my boundaries, and yes, it's my heart that is putting me there. As to the third, grow up. Teresa and I have a long history that spans over many years. We have both experienced the highs and lows that each and every one of us has in the game of life. We have laughed together, cried together, fought for and against each other too. Regardless of where we are in our lives, I can't sit and watch this family disintegrate. The bottom line is they do love each other and are both fiercely devoted to their respective husband and wife, children, mom, and dad.

Many of you will throw my relationship with my sister in my face. Understood, go for it, it is what it is, and unfortunately out of my control for the moment. This will ultimately change, and I for one hope with all my heart it isn't before it's too late. I live with the fear of my parents passing and not seeing those of us who don't speak every day mend our relationships. It's something I take very seriously, and this is why I was so passionate when speaking with Joe and Teresa. I've been there, I've lived it, and I don't want to watch a brother and sister who only have each other live with regrets. It's a heavy load to bear, especially as a parent. So, really, all of you are right in thinking what you're thinking. I'm overstepping my boundaries, but my intent is pure. If I could have one wish it would be that we could all turn back time, back when we were young and stupid, where we laughed and cried, and fought for each other instead of against one another. Wouldn't that be nice?See you all next week.

Follow the Manzos on Twitter: @carolinemanzo, @albiemanzo, @laurenmanzo, @chris_manzo, @thebrownstonenj, @cafface, @BLKbeverages, @littletownNJ

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