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Sixty-Something: Mother's Day - You Only Have One Mom

T.J. Clemente

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The author with his mother. (Courtesy Photo)

Mother's Day is this weekend. When I was young my mom used to always remind me that you have only one mother. I used to say, "Thank God," because at the time it used to be constant chants of "Did you do your homework, did you brush your teeth, did you make your bed," and "did you bring out the garbage?" After my divorce in 2000 she would call to make sure I didn't have parking tickets, ask was I going to the dentist, and wonder was I "keeping my weight down?"

Later in my life mom was concerned that I was single. She had stage 4 lung cancer and was afraid that after she was gone there wouldn't be the right type of guidance in my life. She would call and say, "When are you going to find a good woman and get remarried?" My reply was the same, "I don't know."

Funny how things work out in life, because just before she passed on I did find "a good woman." Mom vowed she would live to attend my wedding and that she did. The first time my mom met Cindi (now my wife) was in the lady's room at Guild Hall before a show. They both were attending Anything Goes. And I was in the show. After chatting in the ladies rooms they both went to their seats, and realized they were sitting next to each other. I had left tickets for them in their individual names at the box office. I had just met Cindi two weeks before. When they arrived at their seats they introduced themselves and had a great laugh, one they shared for the rest of mom's life.

Only a few weeks later, mom summoned me to meet her at the Ditch Plains Beach bench, close to where I lived but 100 miles from her home, but close to a Gurney's Time-share she had purchased. She told me to bring Cindi. I had now known Cindi for a few weeks but I already knew she was very special. So did my mom, because within seconds of arriving she reached into her purse and pulled out a tiny blue Tiffany's ring box. It was an old Tiffany's ring box, but in great shape. She opened it and in it was a numbered Tiffany's ring with nine perfectly matching "marquis diamonds!" She handed the ring to Cindi and said, "This is the ring my husband Tom gave me for our 25th Anniversary. I want you to have it." She put the ring on Cindi's left hand rind finger, it fit perfectly, and then sternly said, "Take care of my son, and if things don't work out the ring is yours." Cindi was stunned. This was only the second time she had met my mom.

Three years later (April 22, 2012) at the Sunset Marina in East Patchogue mom was at our wedding beaming with pride. She sat with my grown daughters and my sister. Also attending where three of my four brothers along with 50 other guests.

On the Mother's Day just after the wedding I treated my mom to a late lunch at The Palm in East Hampton. It would be her last. She told us stories about her travels with my dad. We told her about our honeymoon in Paris. She said we must go to Italy. We said we would. She passed the following February.

When we where in Italy just a few months after mom's death we randomly chose a restaurant in Venice right off St Mark's Square. Directly in our site was a plaque on a church next to our seats. It stated this church was the parish church of Pope John XXIII. It was only then we remembered mom telling us how she and dad had lunch in Venice at a restaurant right under a plaque about the church being Pope John XXIII's church. We then knew someone spiritually guided us to that church. Even after death my mom was with us.




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Guest (Rae) from Suffolk county says::
Brought tears what a blessing moms are and what a treasure of memories thank you for sharing
May 11, 2018 9:54 am

Guest (Barbara Day Holmes) from Hartland, Vermont says::
TJ, what a wonderful story and tribute to your Mom. Carol, David, Bob and I have spent the past 4 days sorting through and cleaning my Mom's home. The house had been sold. It is so bittersweet. Going through old family photos etc brings back such wonderful memories of an amazing Mom!
May 7, 2018 9:15 pm

Guest (Caran Caraftis Markson) from Mr Sinai says::
LOVE the article, especially when mom's have passed.
May 7, 2018 3:17 pm

 

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