Wednesday, August 17, 2011

R.I.P. Helen.....the best mother-in-law a girl could ever wish for

70 Kirtland Street....where it all began....

In 1957, when I was 15 years old, my boyfriend invited me to Sunday dinner at his house.  We used to go to mass together every Sunday at Sacred Heart Church and when I would invite him to my house for Sunday dinner, he always said, "I have to go home.  Ma's making macaroni."  So I would go home and tell my mother how poor they must be because Sunday dinner meant roast beef and all the trimmings...macaroni was for Wednesday night, the 'poor' meal of the week.  What did I know?

That Sunday I went to dinner with my heart hammering in my chest.  Meeting Mickey's parents plus about 1,000 of his relatives (or so it seemed) was a daunting experience for a 15 year old girl.  We sat down to eat around 1 p.m. and didn't leave the table until about 5!  There was macaroni and meatballs, lasagna, salad, brazziole....there were breaks between serving the courses where the entire family all talked at the same time and most of them commented on how skinny I was and how I needed to 'mangia, mangia'.  Just when I was filled to bursting with all this wonderful food, out came roasted chickens, vegetables, potatos, and more.  And then there was dessert....the most tantalizing Italian pastries known to man.

I fell in love that day with Helen....with her warm personality, her vivaciousness, her innate ability to love people.  She was a mother to me when I needed one, a friend to me when I wanted one, and an inspiration to me always.  Even though her son and I eventually divorced, she still kept me on as her 'daughter'.  When I married my husband, Bob, she flew up from Florida to come to our wedding and Bob became another son to her.

Helen passed away today after a blessedly short battle with cancer.  She was alert and witty to the end.  I like to think she is now at that great bingo game in the sky.  In fact, I think I will play bingo tonight in her honor.

I love you, Helen.  Thanks for all the memories.
Countess Bedelia 8/17/2011 07:10:00 PM | 0 comments |