Today is Mother’s Day.

A special day for a special person.

But most do not need one day to pay homage to that person who raised us from infancy to adulthood. And is still there to console and counsel us even in our adult years. Every day is or should be Mother’s Day!

That assumes, of course, that a mother is still alive. Mine is not.

It has been 20 plus years since she left.

I think of her every day. She is constantly in my thoughts. I actually think of her more now that she is dead than when she was alive. Strange.

Mom was born in Foggia, Italy. She was the ninth born of nine children. The previous 8 were all boys. Her parents felt lucky. Finally, a girl! So they named her Fortunata, Italian for Fortune.

She came to the United States while still a baby. The family was poor. Typical of immigrant families of those days. Probably typical of immigrant families even today.

Her parents settled the family in New York City.

My Mother only went to the third grade. At the age of 8, she had to go to work. She worked in a shoe factory 14 hours a day. No child labor laws back then!

Later in life she went to night school and received her high school equivalency diploma. About the time I was in college. Education was important. She was very proud of her achievement in obtaining the diploma. She carried a silent shame because she had not previously completed her schooling.

She was a typical mother. Matriarch of the family. Giver of advice. Oracle of wisdom. Good cook. A kind hand. A loving heart.

She was the hero to all of her grandchildren. Most important!

My Mom was the typical appearing Italian grandmother of her day. Short and round. To say fat would be disrespectful. Jolly and happy. The light in the kitchen! Family life was in the kitchen in those days.

Diabetes became her problem. She did not watch her eating. It did her in.

I miss her.

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