November 13, 2011 my birthday dinner, my family together
Yesterday was a day filled with tears and smiles as we celebrated my Dad's life.
It was a day filled with both sadness and gratitude.
As I stood in the church next to my Mom, friends, family and neighbors from a life lived well filed by.
My Dad knew a lot of people. His barber shop has been around for 50 years. He was a star in the Tanning business with his unusual and fun ads in the local papers. Many people came to share their thoughts and express their regrets.
In the past few days my daughter, Tina, went through all the family pictures putting together 10 posters of memories. It was both difficult and wonderful she said, to spend time with grand pop through the years of pictures. She did a wonderful job, capturing his exuberance and zest for life.
My son, Dominick wrote his Eulogy. Standing up in church among family and friends, telling the story of my father's life and the effect his actions and deeds had on us. It was a wonderful tribute to a life well lived.
Each remembering my Dad in their own way. I realized that this is what life is all about. To be surrounded by people you love, to share the daily joys and sorrows. To celebrate all the good in life.
As I stood by my mom's side, this diminutive tiny lady, who made her life with a stranger, really.
She loved and supported him in every endeavor. She took loving care of him until the very end.
She cooked a wonderful meal for him every single day, even when his interest in food and eating became less, there was a wonderful meal at lunch time, table set with a table cloth, basket of bread, glass of wine, a meal prepared with love.
She sang to him every morning at breakfast, she made sure all his cloths matched, she loved him to the very end.
As we made arrangements for his funeral, she stood strong, with tears in her eyes as she picked out his suit, chose a beautiful prayer for the Holy card. Ordered lush deep red velvet roses for the flowers surrounding him in church.
Every last detail taken care of with love and strength.
My father was lucky and he knew that.
My Mom told me that on Thanksgiving Day night, after they left my house, as he was going up to bed for the last time, he turned to her and said "Ma, you take too good care of me"
He called her Ma, her called her Mother Goose, he spoke to her with love and respect all his life.
They had a wonderful, caring, special relationship.
As I looked down on my tiny mom, she is only 4 foot 8, I saw a strong women, a women I love and respect, a women I learned so much from.
I talked to her last night as we went over the events of the day.
"Mom, you should be proud, you took such good care of Pop, up until the very end."
As the service came to an end and we said our last goodbyes, my mom put her hand on my Dad and told him she loved him and that he left her too soon, with tears in our eyes we said our last goodbyes.
This is a tribute to my Mother, a strong, smart, fun women, a perfect partner to my Dad.
I am an optimistic and happy person.. I would rather see life as exciting and challenging and enjoy every minute than dwell on the negative .. I love to cook and have my family around .. big family dinners and celebrations are always held in my home.. I have a huge table 10 feet long ..filled with food and family.. I have learned many of my mom's old recipes and try to recreate many of the dishes I grew up with .. I am teaching my grandsons to cook .. they love it! I have a wonderful,happy, loving relationship with my husband. He supports me in everything I do and is my biggest fan and taste tester.. he loves all things Italian too!
I love to cook, write, eat and laugh .. I wrote a cookbook in 2004.. the title? LIVE,LAUGH,COOK! what else!