at almost 50 i started sending cards in the mail. not cheap ones either. i always scan for the ones with added layers of beads, gold leaf, or cut outs of marvelous things. like for easter this year, my mother’s 2nd favorite holiday after good friday, i sent cards to people she loved. who loved her. my father would never have allowed her to spend $8.95 on one card.

at almost 50 and working since i was 15 years old, i can afford beautiful cards. the cards always have their separate section in the store. not too many to make them special but enough where i actually have choices.

i started with my father. they had a complicated relationship for 51 years. more of a partnership than a romantic love. since my mother passed away almost 2 years ago, my father has shown his real passionate love for her. their black and white wedding photo in a lennox cream vase with gold trim sits in front of you as you sit on the couch in front of it. make no mistake. if you move the photo of my parents standing next to their wedding cake because you cannot see the TV my father will not talk to you. really not talk to you until he is ready. you better beg for forgiveness because after 1 year of her passing you cried so hard after a bottle of italian red wine that you needed to lay down on the couch. that the room and the world were spinning. that i just wanted to watch television.

my father received his easter card while i was visiting him. i joke with him that as his personal assistant i am there in his suburban nj home to assist but without disrupting strict schedule. my dad opened the shiny pastel green envelope to reveal the card with a cross on the front. white cutout lilies meticulously cut and pasted on the cross. he said, “adriana, that’s beautiful.” my dad is not much for emotion. so that his statement shocked me. he placed the card upright next to their black and white wedding photo and returned to making me lunch.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.