Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Remembering Her

Today is the 11th anniversary of my mom's passing, and to this day I can't seem to use the word death to refer to the loss.  I miss her terribly, occasionally lapsing into moments of self-pity when I hear peers tell tales of weekend or holiday adventures with their own moms. I was only 34 when she died, and I never imagined I would lose her then.  We discovered she was sick and in less than 2 months she was gone.  Our relationship was not perfect, but how many mother-daughter relationships are? Today I will honor my mom by remembering some of her best qualities and reminding myself to nurture those qualities she passed on to me. As my grandpa used to say, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!"
Joan Marie Patitucci was
A creative woman who loved to take on new projects: sewing, baking, making hair accessories for grandchildren, putting together cookbooks of beloved family recipes
A generous and loyal friend who could always be counted on to listen to tales of friends' hardships and joys
The most thoughtful gift giver you could ever meet: she would not rest until she had found
"just the right gift" for every person on her Christmas list. 

A fun grandma: my kids tell beautifully sweet stories of their "graham cracker" reading them bedtime stories, playing card and board games, taking them to places like the zoo
A loyal mother defending her kids to anyone who dared to speak poorly of them
A proud mother who sometimes had trouble expressing how proud she was to us, but who we often overheard bragging about us to others. 
A sharp woman with a keen sense of humor
A devoted wife and excuse maker for my dad's flaws of any kind 
An amazing cook, somehow managing to please all 5 of her kids at dinner, and if not, she could whip up breakfast for dinner for a reluctant eater like my brother who seemed to know how to get her to make him french toast for dinner when he didn't like the main course!
Of course there are so many more wonderful qualities about my mom that I will think of after I post this. And that's the great thing about editing.
But, for today, I hope that anyone who reads this will do 2 things: First, reach out to someone: mom, sister, grandma, anyone who has played a role of mom for them and tell that person how much they are loved. Second, take the time to let your own children know how much joy you have known in loving them.  I plan to do both today.