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Saturday, June 11, 2016

MOM

Today is Mom’s anniversary, leaving this world after 96 years on Earth. It was an Earth filled with wars, a father who abandoned her and her mother and two sisters, and one filled with children and grandchildren. Her legacy: Always be honest, honor God, country and parents.

Many years ago when I was working, I recall closing my door after lunch for one hour, so I could catch up with phone calls, emails, and snail mail. I instructed my secretary that no one was to disturb me, not even the owner of the company.

When that door was closed: I used to hear the sound of laughter. Normally it would disturb me and even get me angry enough to find out what was going on, but this laughter was special, it reminded me of my mother’s laugh, it gave me a warm feeling. That woman was a nice enough person and if I always thought of my mother when I heard it, how could I stop it?

That laughter was a trigger that flung me back to my youth, my growing years and the lessons Mom taught from the end of a wooden spoon or at a kitchen table, always teaching and expecting more from me than sometimes I was too lazy to deliver. Yet she always seemed to win, or I always seemed to win in the end because she won!

She would wear an apron in those days while she cooked and cleaned and did the dishes. It was a floral pattern with a bib that made me see her as a real mom. She endured much while raising me, a bit of both a rebel and troublemaker, but she somehow still loved me, as much as I loved her. She was to a 5-year old the most beautiful woman on Earth, the smartest person there ever was and a force to be reckoned with.

The things she instilled in me were things that meant a lot to me later in life, like when my wife was in the hospital having our babies, I could cook for myself, iron my clothes and do any chores that needed to be done, I didn’t need anyone to come and help me. There were times I needed help only when I was away from the house, working.

She taught me that women have a place in this world, right next to their husbands, not above or below, but beside him, that women could achieve anything a man could, and she expected me to respect that, after all, she was a woman who happened to be my mother!

She was a very shy person, one who avoided crowds and attention, it was just the way she was, humble. She was often criticized for that, those that did the criticizing just didn’t understand her. She had fears yet was ferocious when it came to her children, their safety as well as their behavior. She was also very loyal, not matter how much I might stink at something although she might mention it, she never mentioned it but once, and when she did, I believed her because she never lied.

She loved God, was devoted to him and made sure we respected that, yet once we were adults, she never demonstrated any anger when I didn’t go to church. If I told an off-color joke, she would say: “Joseph! Is that how I raised you?” No Ma it wasn’t, I’m just a rotten kid.

Her happiness was her house, the décor and her cooking and baking. She was a magical cook, always great at what she did, a traditionalist, baking the Italian Christmas cookies and Italian Easter pies, which I so dearly miss.

Between her and my grandmother, I never had a bad meal, never missed one and now that they are gone, I miss them and the meals, but most of all, I miss the love.

In 2014 they laid Mom to rest, a rest she so deservedly earned from the suffering of her last months, a graceful death filled with dignity. I sat beside her and told her I loved her and always had, but she was in a coma, but I hope she heard me.

Well she is gone, and just like so many of you Dear Readers, I miss my Mom, but I understand. I understand although she is gone in body, certainly not in spirit, or the lessons she taught me, the greatest was love.

"If I Ever Leave This World Alive"
If I ever leave this world alive
I'll thank for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I'll come back down and sit beside your
feet tonight
Wherever I am you'll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I'll take on all the sadness
That I left behind
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside
So in a word don't shed a tear
I'll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world alive

So when in doubt just call my name
Just before you go insane
If I ever leave this world
Hey I may never leave this world
But if I ever leave this world alive

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would,
Now everything should be all right

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would,
Now everything should be all right
Yeah should be alright

FLOGGING MOLLY LYRICS

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