Saturday, November 14, 2009

Marguerita Concetta

My mother's birth name was Marguerita Concetta Petruzzi. There was only one word to describe how she looked; beautiful. At barely over five feet in height and never weighing as much as 100 lbs, she was still a shapely lovely woman. Her hair was nothing short of glorious. It was that pure black that shone with blue highlights. She had that Mediterranean olive skin, with a natural moist sheen to it. Her eyes were dark dark brown, and large. Beautiful. And I indirectly caused her death at a very young age.

Mama developed a rarer type of gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with me. At that time, it was more difficult to detect, and after giving birth to me, she was left with a permanent diabetes. By the time they found it, her kidneys had been eaten away. For months she had complained of feeling poorly and after several hospital stays, they finally discovered what was going on. By that time, the damage was untreatable. She lapsed into a coma and for nine days my father, sisters and I stood for the allotted 15 minutes each hour at her bedside. I was the youngest and didn't really understand. Once I cried out, begging her not to die. A nurse chastised me, saying mama might be able to hear me and ordering me not to take the chance of upsetting her. then, at 9:10 on a Tuesday morning, ten days before Christmas, mama rolled her head slightly to the left and quietly died.

I stood by my dad as the doctor told him she had given up the good fight. I became furious. Furious! How could she do that? How could she give up when she still had me to finish raising! My anger continued for months. I hated her for it. I thought she loved me more than that. Simply put, I did not understand.

For a while I lost both parents. Dad became withdrawn. And as such, he was lost to me, too. Eventually he came around, and he even dated some after a few years (that's another story; I did not want him to date and I let it be known to any woman who I felt dared to try and replace mama. But date he did, in spite of his bratty youngest daughter.

my mama had been engaged to aother man, not my father, but once she saw my dad, who was a guitarist and vocalist in a band, she broke off her engagement and made an all out (successful) attempt to capture my Father's heart. This did not set well with my grandparents, particularly my grandmother.

Grandma's name was Maria Teresa Vaccaria DeGoia Petruzzi. That's a big name for a little lady! She might have been little but her spirit was tall and she was a powerful deterrent to any sort of marriage between my mom and dad. But my parents eloped and within a year, mom gave birth to my oldest sister. Grandma decided she had better reconcile with my mom. So things were patched up.

Mom was a traditional European woman. She raised me to take care of myself physically. I remember being about 10 years old when she started me on skin care!
She wouls say, "You need to suffer to be beautiful!" And I soon learned how true that is.

She had these little sayings. We called them 'Margieisms.' (Dad called mama 'Margie.') I have repeated these o often to my own kids, that they probably could be called 'Beejisms' at this point.

I had my favorites. One was "You have to be charming to be a good thief." She used that one whenever my older sisters became infatuated with a bad boy, charming but devious. Another was, "When money flies out the window, love walks out the door." That's a good one, don't you think? She was a pistol, my mom. There were many, many Margieisms.

Mama and dad's house was filled with company. They loved a good time. Dad was a drinker but mom was not. however she never complained when he imbibed. In fact, I remember once when my dad went on one of his week long fishing trips with his friends and their wives stayed at our house while they were gone. One of these women, an aunt of mine, was a nasty, shrilly complaining hag who spent the entire weekend bemoaning the fact that she knew my uncle was going to be sourly influenced by my dad and be drinking all week. All she did was piss and moan about him, and made sure to let the other women know that my uncle was going to get an earful from her when they got back. Mama made some punch and decided to spike it. She nervously handed this aunt q glass. My aunt sipped it, thought a second, sipped more and then gulped it down. "Why, Margie, that's the best punch I ever had! What's in it?"

I remember mom giggled. "A secret ingredient." she answered.

By the time the men returned home, my aunt was totally schnockered. I remember watching her scream with laughter over nothing, swagger on her frequent trips to the restroom, exclaim over and over how she loved mom's punch and generally act happier than I have ever seen her act. Mom never told her what she did but it became quite the family story.

Now I am a mama and I find myself using some of her mannerisms. I also see this in my daughter who never was lucky enough to know her beautiful grandmother. I do not know what its like to be an adult in a relationship with her own mom. And it is one of my life regrets.

She might have died young but she left me with so much. She was five feet of vinegar and love. a beautiful woman in every way.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this.. Your mother sounds like she is still watching over you very closely and wants you to use her words of wisdom to your children.. Take care of them and make sure that they know all about her what you remember. I wish my great grandmother could have lived a little longer. We have dreams in life and want everyone to be there for them. but we are watched from above.


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