No matter how many years have passed since my mother’s death I always remember the special day of her birthday. She was born on July 1, 1939 to Irish immigrants who married later in life and had 5 children after coming to settle in Park Slope, Brooklyn from County Cork, Ireland. My mother was the 2nd oldest. I got to know her 2 sisters and her 2 brothers as they were all very close growing up. Some had relocated over the years but they would try to spend major holidays together. I still have the image of my mother as a young woman in my mind which brings me back to my childhood which was a special time and I sometimes wish we had that special time back. It seems sad knowing all the challenges my mother faced with her illness. She was very strong and very courageous throughout her life and she was a wonderful wife and mother. I definitely feel the void and know that we are given life which is wonderful but we also must face the reality that we all will experience death of our loved ones and one day our own death. It seems a bit overwhelming at times and we just have to put it out of our minds. We have to be strong to live our life the best we can and be there always for our children.
I know that my mom and dad are celebrating this special day together in heaven and they are so happy. They both were very special and I feel lucky to have had them in my life for as long as I did. It was a difficult day when we lost mom but we realized she is in a better place and free of the pain and suffering she endured. Dad lived for 20 additional years following her passing but he missed her so very much and always wanted to be with her. We were fortunate to have him in our life for as long as we did but we knew how he missed his wife and our mother.
The saddest thing about losing mom 20 years ago was Dad lost his true love and she never got to meet our son or my 2 sister’s children with the exception of my middle sister’s first born. He was 2 years old when we lost her. She was so proud being a grandmother and she loved her grandson. Both my parents took great joy in being grand parents together and it was unfortunate that mom got sick. We just never know and that is why it is so important to live our life to the fullest and try to do all the things in life we hope to do.
As each year passes I still feel the loss but I become a year older and a year wiser and I focus on my family. I always say a prayer for my mother on her birthday and I tell her how much I love her and dad and that I still hold on to the special memories and I miss them both.
My mom died at 50 years old and as I approach that milestone in my life it really makes you think about the unpredictability and uncertainty of life. My dad faced life after mom with courage and was very loyal and devoted and he managed to spend time with all his grandchildren through the years and we were very proud of him and knew that mom and dad were both very special.
Happy Birthday Mom! We love you and Dad very much and wish you both peace and happiness together and we thank you both for all you have done for us. Love,
Edward D. Iannielli III