Just when you thought it was safe to read this blogue, another birthday! This time, we doff our chapeau to my oldest sister, Tessie. She tries to use a high-fluting name like Theresa, when we all know its Tessie.
Tess is the story of my life. When I was brought home from the hospital, my Mom placed me on the kitchen table, so she could change her shoes. While she stepped away, Tess stuck me in the pantry closet. When Mom returned, she scratched her head and asked Tess where the baby was. Tess said: “What baby?”
Being Mom’s favorite, she was often in charge. I would follow her to Our Lady of Lourdes School in Brooklyn, to mass on Sundays and often to places as far away as Pickin Avenue to shop for Dad’s store.
All kidding aside, she is still there for me, looks after me like we are still children. I don’t know what life would be without Tess. Although whenever I see her, I still step into the pantry closet, it is like those precious years we grew up together.
Tess took me to my first movie, with a quarter each, we would set off to the Colonial Theatre for a cartoon, newsreel and double feature, and with an extra dime, buy ourselves candy. She was like a little old lady, handling business transactions such as the weeks supply of meat, or grocery shopping at Spinner’s market on Broadway. I actually looked up to her, and in many ways, Tess was better than an older brother. She taught me to dance, while encouraging me to contact Dr. Kevorkian. She hated me because I had my own room, being the only boy in the house. One night I happened to be in my room looking out the window. Who should come home from a date but Tess. Something told me to hide under my bed, and sure enough, with the lights off she comes in, snooping! I jumped out from under the bed, letting out a blood curdling scream, which made her hit the ceiling, and scream so loud, my mother thought there was a intruder in the house.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was maybe three or four years of age, when we were hit by a huge snowstorm. After the city plowed the streets, the snow must have been piled about 3 to 4 feet on the curb and sidewalks. Tess got a big soupspoon, took me downstairs and helped me up on the pile of snow, where I dug while she played with her friends. I remember going to school on snowy days. We wore boots that were plain, going just at mid calf. Her boots red, mine black, we trudged off to school in the snow and slush, or rain.
It is actually hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that she is in her mid sixties! I still see her as that pig-tailed older sister that vacuumed away my toy army, or rearranged my face a few times, as we grew up.
Well Tess, or Theresa if you want, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
You are not getting older, but wiser. You are as beautiful as you ever were, maybe more so. I Love you! As you can see, you only remind me of good times and I can’t help but remember them. Thanks!
Please remember my brother-in-law, John, and all those that need our prayers.