I pulled out my brave 47 year old voice today.

“ dad, mom just got him from the hospital and you ate already screaming by at her. Please stop this nonsense. You are going to make her even more sick!”

I had never raised my voice. Or spoken to him like that. Ever. I couldn’t even look at him when the words quickly came out of my mouth. I was staring in his backyard as I sat at the kitchen table. My back not quite to him but almost. He said nothing. So I turned around. He sat staring at me. Not angry like when I was 17 and would come home smelling like cigarettes and peach schnapps. A look I wasn’t really sure how to take.

It’s like i never said anything really. He started to get agitated that my mom needed her pills crushed, and he never bought the pill crusher. She didn’t like the rice he made for dinner so she pushed it aside. He looked like he was going to push that plate right on the floor. He yelled at her to drink more water. get up on her own. I ignored him and helped my mother. A life full of pain and sacrifice.

My mother and I were laying in her bed. Her dementia convinced her she moved back to Italy and hated it. She called her sister. Her best friend. Told them what a mistake she made going back. I finally convinced her we lived in America. No plans to move to Italy where air conditioning was not easy to find.

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.