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Friday, May 28, 2010

Why I don't deep fry.......

It's a sad story, really.


When I was 14, my mother died on this very day.
It was Memorial Day.
It wasn't all that unexpected.
Except if you are 14.
Then, it was unexpected.
She was, after all, my mommy.


She had been sick for about 8 weeks.
The cancer swept her away from our home on Palm Sunday.
Right after dinner.
She made us lasagna.
Because it was Palm Sunday.

She missed Easter.

My sisters and I stood on the hill behind the hospital in our Easter outfits--the ones that she had starting making for us before she got ill.
Her sisters--my Aunts Philomenia and Congetta had to finish them so we could wear them that day.
I was the only one old enough to enter the hospital---as were the rules at that time.
So, it was decided that we would let her see us together in our outfits--my aunts thought she would like that.
So, she watched us from her hospital room window as we modeled our fancy clothes and blew kisses to her.

By Mothers' Day, we figured out how to sneak my sisters in.

She came home on a Thursday.
The next Tuesday, she went back to the hospital again.
Before she left, she told me to quit deep frying everything in the electric deep fryer (that my dad bought me so I could cook while my mom was sick).
She said it made the drapes stink and it wasn't a good idea to fry hot dogs anyway.
Gee, and I had just got that recipe down pat....

The next Monday was Memorial Day.

I was swinging on the swings at the McNeilly Park (right next to my aunt's house) with my sisters and my cousins when my aunt came to get us.
I sort of knew it was bad news when I saw all the cars pull into my aunt's big driveway.
But, I was swinging.
So, I just pumped my legs higher while my sisters twisted around in their swings and my cousins flipped on the bars.

I remember it all.
I remember what was said.
I remember what their faces looked like.
I remember my Uncle Lou's primal scream as I came to the top of the steps--"your mama is gone!"
They were Italian, you know. Very emotional folks....
I remember my dad's crumpled shorts and wrinkled shirt as he sat in my aunt's gold velvet chair staring blankly into the sobbing and shouting sea of relatives and friends...his brother (my Uncle Pat) crouched beside him, trying to block the noise and commotion.

I went home and threw away the deep fryer.
And, I never deep fried again.
It's the last order my mother gave me and the last piece of advice she shared.
I wanted to make sure I got it right.

21 comments:

Barbara said...

That was an incredibly touching story Judi.. my heart goes out to you.. you were so young to go experience such a tragic loss.. so glad you have your own daughter to love and cherish.. be well...

Anonymous said...

oh Judi, the details you remember....but I too have been there...I remember the day my mother died also....I was 22, it sucked....I miss her so much still to this day, she was my best friend and the only person who truly loved me for who I was.

Jill from NY

Alison said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, words don't seem enough.

tessierose said...

You write beautifully, thank you for sharing. I was 14 too when my mom died, just a girl. Big hug.

Sandy Lee said...

Very touching. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

Judi - what a touching and all-too-familiar story. I lost my mom to cancer as well, and her funeral was on Palm Sunday. It's amazing how we remember even the smallest of details. Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs from here.

Sparkler said...

That was a beautiful piece of writing about a deeply moving and personal experience. It brought tears to my eyes and a real resentment for deep fat fryers! {hugs}

-Grace- said...

I'm sorry you had to experience such a loss at such a young age.

Thinking of you this weekend, hun.

Anonymous said...

Judi,
I have never posted a comment but read your blog faithfully. I was explaining YOU and YOUR BLOG the other day to a friend at work and when I tried to explain what touches me most about your blog, I could not put into words but now I think I get it. You take the little things (like a deep fryer) and show how important they are to life. You always make me feel like you are talking to me.
I really enjoy each blog posting you put out here and I hope you never stop!
I hope you have a very beautiful Memorial Day weekend.
Rose

Gen said...

Judi thank you so much for sharing this with us all. You are an amazing person. And I know your Mom is proud of you for ditching the deep fryer...and everything else you do (or don't do).

Stephanie said...

That made me tear up here in my offce. I'm sorry you lost your mom at such a young age.

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing. Big hugs.

DB said...

What an incredible story. {{{HUGS}}} to you today.

amandakiska said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I can't imagine what that must have been like.

LDswims said...

Sounds like the perfect reason not to deep-fry to me! I wouldn't deep-fry anymore either!

My mom told me to have no fears and to live my life. So with her blessing, I decided I needed to buy a motorcycle. I wound up choosing not to ride anymore after about a year but her words to me to live life to the fullest stick with me to this day! At the end of her life she said something to me that is so very true - 'at the end of our lives we don't wish we'd worked me'. And so I always work to find a good balance between work and what I really want to do.

My thoughts are with you through this weekend.

Bonnie said...

I can't even imagine losing your mom at 14. I lost my mom 4 years ago and I still need her so much. She was my best friend. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Nella said...

What an amazing story...thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

My heart is with you...

Hugs, Lucy

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine the pain and issues it has caused to this day. A mom is a mom is a mom. We all need one. That is probably why you are the best mom to your Vince and Toni and to all of us.
WE LOVE YOU JUDI!
((((BigHugs)))))
Jen
p.s your mom must have been a great one to bring you into this world. my love to her for that.

Debbie said...

Oh Judi, can it really be that many years? What a sad day that was.

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

Judi, what a beautiful story. The details you remember are amazing.
Growing up my father was in the hospital alot. I can remember us kids standing on 45th Street waving to him in the window of St. Francis Hospital. I forgot all about that until I read your post. Thank you.