the weather around here has pretty much fit this past week of my life. cold and rainy, with fits and starts of fleeting sunshine, along with a couple of lovely rainbows. one of which my dad spotted when we were driving back to his place after the funeral home visit. it made him cry a bit. i probably would have as well but i was driving.
what can you say about a 95 year old woman, wife and mom? one who’s last week on earth was whirl wind of movement confusion and pain. ending with, when asked by a hospice nurse how she was doing relied, ‘just shoot me.’ well, that wasn’t the end. it came five or six hours later in her sleep. the sleep only pain pills and a chaser of sister morphine can bring. either that or the gift of a benevolent god.
mom was one of the last remaining salt of the old earth types. her and dad. one of dad’s new found favorite phrases being, ‘i’m from the horse and buggy days.’ yes, he is. and mom was too. there aren’t many of them left. their ranks thin out on an ever increasing daily basis.
mom was also old line native californian. born in 1914 up in the central valley, madera, to be exact. born to old world salt of the earth types, my italian grand parents. the family moved to southern california in october of 1929. yeah, the beginning of the last great depression. the family settled in guasti, ca. guasti/cucamonga, the heartland of old world northern italian grape growers and wine making.
mom and dad met at a dance out in riverside in 1941. dad was already in the army at the time and stationed at camp hahn. he asked her to dance and from there they were married in april of 1942 in las vegas. it would have been 68 years this april. an amazing feat if there ever was one. they almost made it. old school to the very end.
mom worked very hard during her life. she held several winery jobs over the years and did a bit of house cleaning on the side as well. she even took in ironing to add a few dollars to the family till. all that while cooking and caring for dad and i. she ended her working years as a cafeteria worker at the local high school.
she wasn’t the best cook in the world. her mother, my grandmother, has and still owns that honor. mom was and still is the second best cook in the world. hands down.
i owe her a lot. lots of things in many ways.
i love you and i’ll see you again some day, ma. i’m going to miss you. your pain and suffering are over.
she was already dead but the last thing i said to her before they took her away was, duermes con dios, ma. spanish for, sleep with god. i hope she is.
guasti, ca in the old days.