Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's (last) Day

Happy Mother's Day, Mom
photo by Louis Cevola
The Italians have a toast. When celebrating someone’s birthday they say “Cent’anni!” (100 years!) with a corresponding reply, “E uno!” (plus 1!). Last year my mom was able to see that moment come to fruition, when she turned 101. This year, sadly, she won’t be around to celebrate her 102nd. She told me last week, “I’ve had enough, I’m done here. I’m ready to go.” And she slipped away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by loving family members.

It’s hard when you lose someone who has been around you all your life. Even harder when that someone is the one who brought you into this world. But it’s the way things are. It’s man’s (and woman’s) fate.

My mom was a special person to me and the many who lived in her world. She was an extrovert, a tinkerer, a talker and not one to look back. She lived in the present more than most people her age or any age for that matter. She had a long and full life and one which was blessed with amazing health and unsurpassed resilience. And she loved to have the occasional glass of (Italian) wine when we were together.

I’m going to miss our calls. On my way home, in traffic, I’d call her and we’d talk about our day. She was a great listener and an even better sympathizer. She was in my court, she had my back and she loved all of us as if we all were her favorite child, grandchild, great-grandchild, sister, friend or long-lost relative. She had it going on. And on. And on.

And while it’s hard to be morose, for she did have a wonderful life, it’s difficult to imagine her not at the end of the phone line ever again.

Early this morning I was out in the garden, clipping some of the plants and I came to a rose bush I call “Hurricane Elissa.” For some reason I name my roses after people, living and dead. A rose bush that reminds me of my long-passed wife Liz is there next to one I call Aunt Mil. She is between Liz and Hurricane Elissa, who hugs the Rosemary bush. And they soak up the sun and talk amongst themselves. This morning in the garden I "called up" my mom and talked to her. She’s not here in physical form, but she’s still here in my heart.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I love you and salute you - and I’ll make sure the rose bush (and the eggplant) thrives in your honor.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


David Webb said...

simply beautifully written my friend

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I always looked forward to hearing about your Mom, Alfonso, and, though it was unlikely to have happened, I'm a tiny bit sad I never got to meet her. This first Mother's Day without her, the first in your long life, you have to feel an unspeakable loss. As well as enormous pride at the love and closeness you shared with such a remarkable woman.

Grief can be the longest trail of all. Your piece here brought me a bit closer to my mother, who died nine years ago. For that, you have my gratitude.

Been a tough year for you so far, Alfonso. And yet you show your mother's great resilience. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Though I'm sad for you,I have to believe she made her exit in just the way she wanted. Even as you miss her, hold her close in your heart - and talk to her in the rose garden often.

Wine Curmudgeon said...

Wonderfully said, my friend. May she still live on earth in the acts of goodness she performed.

Marco Christiano said...

May her memory be a blessing, a phrase that I first heard from you. I found out later that it is a typically Jewish expression. The world is a little more lonely place when you lose your mother. Pace. said...

After reading this i cried for the first time since losing Mom. I have been so enmeshed in the process of getting ready for her funeral I have not had time to process let alone grieve her loss.
Beautifully said.

Lauretta e la sua famiglia said...

Sentite condoglianze

Linda said...

Such a lovely post and your photos are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

Anonymous said...

Always love your writing, this brought a tear to my eye.

Anonymous said...

Alfonso, A beautiful tribute to a life well lived by a loving mother. My heart and thoughts are with you my friend. XO Kim Stout

Anonymous said...

Our parents are the keepers of our personal history. They know who we are and they love us and we need prove nothing to them. Please accept the condolences of a stranger, who also lost his father recently (age 84).

Real Time Analytics