Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Very Thought of You

The very thought of these women makes me feel stronger and loved.  Their strength and beauty inspire me.   They gives me the strength and courage that I will need in the next few months to walk my path. They help me to let go of old ideals, things, and patterns that don't really define who I am today.   I am so thankful for their presence in my life no matter how brief, they made me who I am today. 

Today I am a person who is finally moving beyond the past.   I am a person moving towards the light, giving up everything that I simply do not love to make space for the things I do love.  I have walked a long journey with these women besides me .  This picture was taken on my 16th birthday.  It is the only picture I have of the 4 of us and I think we all look beautiful.  It was taken at my grandmother's house in Brooklyn NY which is where we had all of our special occassions and holidays.  It was fun and delicious.  My grandmother was an excellent cook.

My great grandmother came over from Italy with her children.  She had several husbands who passed away and I'm sorry to say I really don't remember all that much about her except that she had a beautiful smile and she spoke Italian. She was strong enough to raise her children and forge her way into a new country, which is just so inspiring. She had two lovely daughters(and sons too) named Lucy and Mary. .

Lucy is my grandmother and she was just the salt of the earth.  She was so brave and so courageous.  She was outspoken and loving in every single way possible.  She was one of those people that just loved unconditionally.  She had an incredibly tough life as a child.  She was in an orphanage for a while and told of the time when the nuns shaved her head in a circle because she talked back to them.  Sometimes I like to imagine that I got some of her spunk.  She got married before she was 16 to a merchant marine.  My mother was her first child and he went out to sea, my aunt was her second child and he went out to sea and my uncle was the last child when he went out to sea and my grandmother decided to move on with her life.  She married my grandfather Anthony who was just the kindest man ever.  He was wonderful.  Every little girl should be as lucky to have a grandfather like mine.

My Aunt Mary was quite spunky too.  She lived to be 95 and up until the last few years of her life she could have passed for her 70s.  I just hope I can have the same quality of life and spunk that she had.  She was a very independent woman who used to give me advice about money and men.  She was a hoot and loads of fun at the holidays.

I've talked about my mother Phyllis before on my blog.  She was born with a different name but for my entire life she was Phyllis.  She was just a living angel.  She gave up everything for her children, she just loved us to death.   She was a frustrated artist who taught us so much about culture and literature and life.  She did it in her own way but made sure my brother and I had the basics to be educated about life and culture .   She was the smartest, kindest, most loving mother anyone could ever have.  She has been gone almost 30 years and I still miss her dearly.   She just gave up her life making my brother and I feel happy, loved and fulfilled.  She was so easy to talk to and so compassionate and so darn strong.  She got through my brother's death, she got through my fathers accident, she overcame depression, she made us eat every delicious morsel of food she cooked.  She played with us.  She loved music and dancing and she used to dance with us.  She played cards with us every night, she was just the best. She was funny and quiet too.  She was very quiet but she was blessed with me for a daughter and I can talk any one under a table.She is the person who inspires me the most.  She was the most passionate outspoken woman I will ever know and I am proud to be her daughter.

And I guess that leads to me, the final woman in my lineage at least. Me! I am blessed and thankful to God for the wonderful women who loved me and their strength is in me today as I go out into this new life and leave the old one behind.  I've gone through a lot the last couple of months but somehow I think I've come out of it stronger and more courageous.  I've outgrown all of my habits of my youth and I'm grateful that I have great friends who love me and carry on the legacy of my foremothers.  We are women hear us roar.

The Very Thought of You is a song sung  by many, but my personal favorite is the beautiful rendition of it by Billie Holiday another strong, independent woman who forged her way into the future.  Blessings to all and please thank all the lovely ladies in your life.

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