On Beach Walk: No. 25

 

I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I think of my mother. How difficult it must have been to come to America with a 3-month old, a husband, and not knowing the language. She integrated into small-town America life, but she was fortunate to have other Italian families in the town and area.

I think about my mother as her and I returned to Italy for 6-8 months. It was her first trip back to see her mother, father, three sisters, and a brother. I was five years old, arriving knowing primarily English, yet returning only knowing Italian. Oh how the young mind absorbs language.

I think our return six years later. This time our entire family of four. But I didn’t realize until many years later that the passing of my grandfather initiated the summertime journey that gave me my first plane ride.

I think about my mother receiving a letter that my grandmother died. How lonely of a feeling that must have been, yet I recall not really knowing what to tell her.

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I think about my mother displaying kindness and acceptance from the first day she met the one who would eventually became my wife … and that would never change – and my wife still remembers her first exposure to a festive meal involving homemade ravioli as a side dish … (not the main course).

I think about my mother returning to Italy to see her sisters a few more times – but without me. I was older – either in college or working.

I think about my mother battling cancer for three years – first a breast, then the liver. She never wanted the rounds of chemo and radiation – but she took it all.

I think about the phone call I received from my mother sometime during that three-year battle. She was in Florida, I in Ohio – Crying, she said “I love you.” … words that were not commonly spoken in our house.

I think about various events around the day of her passing – it’s timing with the start of a new school year – the words I spoke at her funeral (which I posted here as in several parts).

I think about my mother smiling on my return to Italy in 2013 – a trip when I visited my mother’s only surviving sister – my aunt that I had seen in 48+ years. (Posted here)

I think about my mother as I passed her family’s home – the apartment where I spent 6-8 months – a building that is now abandoned, but awaiting a new life. (Posted here)

I think about my mother dying young – a month shy of her 59th birthday – and to think my life has surpassed hers by six years. She would be 90 this September.

Today is Mother’s Day – but I wrote this post after a beach walk because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You never heard this song, but you would have loved it.

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38 thoughts on “On Beach Walk: No. 25

  1. A lovely tribute to your mother, Frank. She grew up in a beautiful place, and it seems she was a beautiful person.
    (I like “Time to Say Goodbye”–my younger daughter once sang it at a school music cabaret.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      The area of Mom’s town is beautiful. Think of a valley with hills surrounding it like a horseshoe … and the main downtown tucked back in the horseshoe. Tis’ a beautiful setting. Cheers to rekindling the memory of your daughter singing that beautiful song! … and I hope you had a good Mothers Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh … Andrea Bocelli – is there anything he could sing and not touch your heart. What a voice!!!
    I, too, visited my mothers homeland as a child and later as a teen. It was always surreal as I never felt it was my home. Yet, when I spent a longer time there, 1 year, a new connection came into my being. Parents sacrifice for their children. I’m sure leaving her country was something she thought would be best for her children. A huge sacrifice that deserves great honor.
    Cheers to the woman who gave you a better life … and life!!! 🍷 🍷
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s hard to know our parents really well in childhood, though love usually starts then. And though your mother died a bit young, you had the pleasure of knowing her when the both of you were adults. A walk along the beach is a great opportunity to recall moments and relationships, as it is a gate to many unexpected adventures. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is your most touching beach walk, Frank. Your feet may feel great, but your heart feels marvelous. Belated Happy Mother’s day to your mother, her mother and all the family’s mothers. Happy Mother’s Day to Mrs. Frank, her mother and all of her family’s mothers.
    I found the music to be exceptionally exhilarating. This is quite a wonderful post.
    Ravioli is a side dish? LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,
      Glad I was able to pass along a tug of the heart on this one. I planned this for Mothers Day for a long time! Oh yes – Ravoli as a side dish … and they were homemade! Every once is awhile she would make one a little bigger to see who goes for it – but she filled it with string. But on this day, she didn’t do that to the one I brought home for the first time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What lovely memories of your mother, Frank. I’m so glad you shared them with us. How difficult it must have been for her to leave her loved ones in Italy and come to America. She had courage! And I’m sorry to learn that you lost her at such an early age. My mom is soon turning 86 and I realize, since many of my friends lost their mothers ages ago, that although we often face many challenges with aged parents, they are a gift to us. Your memories are warm and tender, and I hope that Mother’s Day was a nice day for you and your wife, both remembering loving mothers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Thank you … and cheers to your mother! It has to be a weird looking around and realizing so many of the same age are gone. I wanted the post to be a positive reflection while mentioning the change in culture she experienced. Sorry I missed your comment.

      Like

  6. Frank, your words here brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful woman she must have been, your memories of her are beautiful. I can just imagine your refreshing beach walk in contemplation of her. What would we be without our mothers, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

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