Dear Mom:

I know you are tired. Your mind is somewhere else now. It’s with your mother who you believe is in heaven. You have endured too much on this earth for me to be selfish one minute more. I want you to be with Nonna and Antoinette- your favorite sister. You can make pizza side by side and laugh over whose is the best. The firmest crust. Freshest tomatoes. I cannot wait for you to watch your beloved father play shuffleboard again. You were so proud when he won a trophy at the local recreation center. The many friends you outlived at 81 1/2 years. You will serve them lemon pound cake again. They will be so happy that a good cook is joining them. Your love embraced everyone you met. Despite dad hating guests, you cooked for 20 people at Easter. You made homemade Easter pies with fresh ricotta. Salami. Dough. Hours of making pies that you mostly gave away to family and friends. Keeping just a few for us. I learned to give freely from you. You never expected anything in return. You rarely got anything in return either. I promise that I will live in your spirit. I will never come close. I will try with your love, courage, resilience. I love you mom. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

Love always-


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.

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