i have found a bit of peace with

the culture of being catholic

not the philosophies or the words or the judgment

but with the culture of dedication and loyalty

the church has shown my dying mother.

the weekly visits from Mary who listens to my father

who tells her with tears in his eyes how hard it is

to be my mother’s caregiver.

what a different life he envisioned for himself.

a carabinieri who guarded the Pope

a carabinieri who guarded Pele

i tell Mary about my dad’s amateur boxing career

his passion for hand tailored suits

her eyes wide

as Mary holds my hand

wiping my tears as she offers me communion

for the first time in years accepting it.

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.

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.