Happy Mother’s Day weekend to the all mothers
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I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
I think of my mother. How difficult it must have been to come to America – a new country – with a 3-month old, a husband, and not knowing the language. She integrated into small-town-America life, but she was fortunate to have other Italian families in the town and area.
I think about my mother as she and I returned to Italy for 6-8 months, the year before I started first grade. It was her first trip back to see her mother, father, three sisters, and a brother since leaving for America with a newborn and without knowing the language. I was five years old, arriving knowing primarily English, but I returned only knowing Italian. Oh, how the young mind absorbs language.
I think about our return six years later. This time our entire family of four. I didn’t realize until many years later that the passing of my grandfather initiated the summertime journey that gave me my first plane ride.
I think about my mother receiving a letter that my grandmother died. How lonely of a feeling that must have been for her, yet I recall not knowing what to tell her.
I think about my mother displaying kindness and acceptance from the first day she met the one who eventually became my wife … and that would never change. My wife still remembers her first exposure to a festive meal involving homemade ravioli as a side dish – not the main course.
I think about my mother returning to Italy to see her sisters a few more times – but without me. I was older – either in college or working.
I think about my mother battling cancer for three years. First, a breast; then the liver three years later. She never wanted the rounds of chemo and radiation – but she took it all.
I think about the phone call I received from my mother sometime during that three-year battle. She in Florida – Me in Ohio. Crying, she said words not commonly spoken in our house – “I love you.”
I think about various events around the day of her passing. The timing with the start of a new school year causing me to miss the first two days with students. Me getting the idea to speak at her funeral – not a eulogy – but a sermon. Somehow, I did it with confidence and without a whimper.
I think about my mother smiling on my return to Italy in 2013 – a trip when I visited my mother’s only surviving sister – my aunt that I had seen in 48+ years. Seeing two first cousins I hadn’t seen since then, plus meeting two first cousins for the first time.
I think about my mother as I passed her family’s home with tears streaming from my eyes. The old apartment building where I spent 6-8 months. A building that is now abandoned, but showing the possibility of a new life.
I think about my mother dying young – a month shy of her 59th birthday – and to think my life has surpassed hers by 9 years.
Looking back, my mother was something that many didn’t think of her as – not even me – but now I realize she was courageous. She was blessed with the courage to trust those around her.
This is Mother’s Day weekend – but I wrote this post after a beach walk on my February birthday, but I saved it for this special day. Thinking about my mother was a good reflection for my day. I like walking on the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have written about oneness
- Mother (poem)
- Mother Knows Better (poem)
- Mother (a collection of personal poems)
- Turning into My Mother (personal essay)
? – Tuesday 11 May @ 1 AM (Eastern US)
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