This time my dad gave me my mom’s socks. Dress socks. Knee high socks. Socks that she wore with her sneakers. Columbia hiking socks. She used to be hot blooded like me. Until she got sick. Then she lost weight. Her feet were always freezing. i would massage her feet 3 or 4 times a day. On those days that she did not remember who i was, she asked my name.

“i’m Teresa.” i smiled. In broken Italian dialect, “i am here to massage your feet.”

“I have no money to pay you.”

“ it’s free for you Rosa”

perché?”

“ you hemmed so many of my pants for free. Let Me return the favor.”

She smiled. Said thank you. And she let me continue. My father said he couldn’t let the socks i bought my mom just sit in a drawer. So he put them in my suitcase. Told me when i come back next month that we will look at her slips. Most she made by hand. In her hometown in southern Italy.

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.