Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Mom

Mom, Sister Gail, and Me
Wow where do I start??
My Mom was born in 1919 in Buffalo, NY. Her Mom was from Germany and her Dad was from Italy. Mom and I were close when I was young and then as I got older we got farther apart till I was in my 30s when my Dad died. She moved to CA to be near me after that. It was then that we spent more time together and she was there to help me with my kids, as I was a single parent trying to work and have a social life at the same time. Mom was really funny and would always bring a smile to my face when I was sad. I remember when I lost my job she was there with a hug and a shoulder for me to lean on. She helped me through trying times when finances were short and when sad times were all around me. I remember best our shopping times together and how we would laugh and go to lunch discussing our new treasures we had just bought.
Mom came from a family of 6 children. She was the 3rd oldest and always was a bit independent of the rest. I guess that is where I get my independent nature like the same as my daughter has inherited from me. Anyways, Mom was closest to her youngest sister, my Aunt Lorraine, and also my Dads sister n' law, my favorite, Aunt Mary and Uncle Harry. I can still remember them playing cards in their kitchen while I sat in the parlor [living room] watching the Wizard of Oz, funny how those memories are as clear as yesterday and still today I watch the WOOZ every year with that childhood happy memory dancing in my head. And also having my Aunt Lorraine over to have those family barbees in our back yard.
So... back to Mom, she met my Dad and married him when she was 18 and then Dad went to war, WWII, and left Mom behind with my sister. Mom worked in the factory's building plane parts as most army wives did while waiting for their hubbies to return. She visited my Dad when he was in the states, but he had changed a little and I remember her telling me he came home a different man. Well who wouldn't ?? With all that tragedy that had taken place its a wonder anyone came back sane.

When I was growing up I was basically an only child as Gail, my sister, got married when I was 7 so Mom and Dad and I did a lot together. Every Friday night was fish Fry night and we would go to the local corner Saloon that served fish fry and have our dinner, me I would always have my favorite "hot fudge sundaes" [still a favorite of mine] and Mom was always okay with that.

On weekends Mom and I would shop and she always would get me a little extra something; I really liked that!. She was also a seamstress and made a lot of my clothes. I tended to be a bit different from others as I was not much of a follower and had my own style. Mom taught me how to crochet when I was around 9 and then to sew when I was a teen. I also remember how she had thrown me a surprise birthday party in our cellar with all my friends for my 10th birthday. The party was a big success and I really was surprised. The cellar was a place where she had set up a little place with a TV, couch, and table for me to play with my dolls and friends.
Her and Dad were always having friends and family over for yard parties and gatherings. And I remember the holidays going with Mom from house to house visiting all my Aunts and close friends of hers. She liked people and loved lots of friends. Gee I guess that's another trait I inherited from her?
My mom as a little girl
I remember one year after she had moved out here she went with me to a Halloween costume party and she was the life of the party. All dressed in her clown outfit dancing up a storm. Everyone liked her and thought of her as one of the crowd. She spent a lot of time with me and was always included in my outings and parties. She was a very out going women and one I loved spending time with, and I have many many fond memories to keep her with me always.

One time when we went on a sailing trip to Catalina Island with my kids and a friend, we ran into a horrific storm. I will never forget what a trooper my mom was telling my daughter[who was about 8] and my son [who was sea sick and about 11] that there was nothing to be a afraid of, while all along we were really scared to death. She never showed her panic and helped me so much with her strength. I admired her for that, as I would of thought she would of gotten hysterical, but she didn't, she was strong for her grand-kids and for me. That really made me respect her and see a side I had never known before.

I remember when I had an operation and was really ill, she came over and I had all these visitors in my room and she marched right in and said, "What do we have here? Everyone out.. now!" and she turned out everyone, and took care of me, and made me feel better just being there. She came over every day and cooked for me, cleaned my house, and just sat crocheting and watching TV, while I would sleep. She waited on me hand and foot and that was a real treasure. I needed her then, just as I always will need her strength today and every day of my life.

When she became ill, I felt sorry that our usual conversations were no more, but I still had my treasured memories and still talked to her as if she was not ill. It was a hard time, but it was a time I needed to give back to her some of the strength and care for all the years she gave me.

I lost Mom in 2002 and I miss her today and will everyday of my life, but the memories I have will carry me on and put a smile on my face when I am sad. I know that she see's me now and stays watching over me. It warms my heart to know this. Thank you Mom... I love you and always will! God Bless....

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Dad

Dad was born in 1916 in Buffalo, NY. His Mom, my Grammie, was from Germany and raised her kids by herself as my Grandpa left and went back to Ireland where he was from when my dad was a pre-teen. [so I never met my Grandpa] My Dad had 13 brothers and sisters with 8 of them living. My Dad was the 3rd oldest so he and his older brothers went to work to help support the family when his Dad left. One of my father's younger brothers was killed when he was 19; one sister was a twin, but her twin died in child birth; two of his siblings died of crib death; and one died in child birth. Originally my Grammie had 13 children. My Dad served in WWII and was given the Gold Medal of Honor and 2 Purple Hearts for courage and valor. He was honorably discharged when his jeep was blown up in a raid and he was injured. He came home a different man, but the only one that I had ever known. When I was born I became his favorite pal and we spent a lot of nights talking and watching TV and eating his favorite pizza and drinking Pepsi. I remember going out for family night dinners for "Fish Frys," and going to the Springville auction on weekends where he loved to bid on those absolute "must haves" that we all know we never really need. One time there was this huge white teddy bear that I really loved and wanted and I remember my Dad bidding on it and winning it for me. In the summer months we spent it at our vacation house in Point Breeze and there I helped my Dad build a new cabin, well I kind of hammered a few nails, but I remember how proud I was to be his helper. He was always giving me little gifts, especaiily when he would come home on Friday nights, after a night on the town. I still have one of those rabbits that when you turn him on his mouth moves and his hand picks up a phone. I loved all the gifts, especially the barking dogs that walked. Does anyone remember them? Anyways as I got older I could always sit and talk to him about things and get some really solid advise without any judgements being made. My Dad was my hero and a man I cherished. He was quiet at times, but I always knew he would be there for me if I needed him. I lost my Dad much too early in my life [when he was only 65 years old and I only 30] and I still feel like it was yesterday when we would have those conversations when I would come visit about all those important things, like Dragnet and Bonanza. :) Yes, I truely have wonderful memories of my Dad so I thought I would jot them down here along with a few of my favorite photos of him.

the background photo is my mom & dad
on their wedding day

Tuesday, May 15, 2007