Marie. A lovely name for a lovely lady. That's my Mom. She's Italian and proud, she's a faithful Days of Our Lives viewer and she can make a mean lasagna. What's better than that?
I met my Mom 33 years ago. Along with my older brother, she quickly became my best friend. I can remember us singing songs and playing in the back yard together. Even the Nights are Better by Air Supply is one of the many songs that I learned from her. She often prepared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich while I prepared for her a dish of plastic berries. Well, I'm sure the thought counted. We had the privilege of spending the weekdays together while my brother was in school. Each week she would take me to the library for story hour with my little neighborhood friend and she would run next door for a coffee and muffin with her friend. We had a lot of fun in those simple times. We took a lot of walks and enjoyed living in "the sticks". Those years are responsible for some of my fondest memories.
Nowadays my Mom doesn't exactly live a simple life. My father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the late 1990's. That diagnosis changed her life every bit as it did my Dad's. Upon hearing the official news, things went downhill quickly. His poor reflexes and vision contributed to his decision to not renew his driver's license. He fell into a depression. He no longer cared to have a social life. He basically kept to himself. And spent the rest of his time at numerous doctor's offices.We were all devastated for him. We were left with a blank and subdued shell of a wise-cracking, full-of-life man that we'd always known. My mom lost her partner in crime. She no longer had someone to go with her to the beach, shopping or the movies. No more vacations. Not even a lunch date. My father's condition continues to worsen. He now uses a walker around the house and wheelchair otherwise. They are currently in the process of renovating their home to make it more accessible and wheelchair friendly.
They sure have had their share of challenges over the years. My Mom stays strong. She shuffles Dad off to all of his appointments at the V.A. Medical Center. She also cares for my Grandmother, who is 88 years young and living in their home. Every week she makes several runs to the pharmacy, shopping centers and the grocery store to make sure everyone is taken care of. Not to mention cooking dinner every night and making sure that everyone has their "staples" for breakfast and lunch. No easy task. I commend her. She is quite selfless and she has a huge heart.
I have now taken over for my father in the way of being Mom's partner in crime. Being unemployed I have had loads of free time to spend with Mom. We go to lunch and window shopping, take rides to Mystic to walk around the little shops and during the summer we always head to Newport and Jamestown for our seaside days. I enjoy it every bit as much as she does. She helps me out at every turn and someday I hope I can repay her for all of her support. She's still the fun, young lady that she was in the '60s - she just needs someone to remind her of that. Thanks for everything, Mom, you are the greatest and you are irreplaceable.