How do you measure a mother’s love?
Upon giving me my first breath right in the utter poverty that hit Sicily during the aftermath of WWll…, she later told me how she would hide morsels of food between her breasts to help feed me,… because of her, I never felt or knew hunger.
Her strength amongst my siblings is legendary: she loved us all with emotional vigor, and was the glue that kept this entire extended family of six children, ten grandchildren and five great grand children together and that made her pride and joy shine out like a badge of honor.
We all loved and adored Nana…
Being her eldest child, I remember those days in Sicily and our entry into America and the hardships of being immigrants and trying to be successful in America. Succeed she did as a talented seamstress who created artful clothes. She also collected shoes. There are roomfuls of her creations!
Nana was very protective of her children and fearless. Many a teenager met her fury and left us alone if they were picking on us.
God! And, how she loved her grandchildren: Rene’, Jodi, Vinnie, Johnnie, and my sister Terry who was their age, week after week showing up like a troop in my Nantasket Beach home taking them to the Paragon Park amusements and later my kids, Charlie, Alice and Teresa, my nieces Teresa and Tiana and my nephew TJ. There are three Teresa's named after her so far in America and one great niece in Italy.
At the wonderful age of eighty eight she delighted and lit up and would forget her ailments at the sight of her five great-great grandchildren.
Always working and taking good care of her family.
I’ve also received many messages from her distraught Italian nieces and nephews who adored her and spent time with her during her many visits to her native land.
In closing I have to mention that her cooking and meatballs were legendary…she made sure to save me a few on Sundays or my fury would be heard and anyone else’s who was left out in her weekly Sunday feast.
It’s ironic that the woman, who gave me my first breath, left us with her last breath on my birthday, while I, her first child, held her hand as she peacefully rolled to her favorite side and fell into eternal sleep.
And now I’ll read a short passage about love from Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Ma,…vatine cu lu PaPa ca ti aspeta.
Lu tua Peridu e la tua famiglia che ti vo bene.
Ma, go with Daddy, he is waiting for you.
Your little pear Philip, and your loving family
My deepest sympathy to all of you in the loss of your dear mother Teresa...Lots of wonderful memories of her from the No.End...such a strong and loving friend..will always remember the good old days in the No.End... With Sincere Sympathy..Annette Sirignano
My Deepest Sympathy in the loss of your beloved mother...I have so many wonderful memories of her from the No.End..including her and your dad's close relationship with my mother Rosa and dad Salvy Calascibetta...Your mom passed on my birthday Oct.25th..I've had her on my mind for such a long time..I really wanted to see her..unfortunately never got the chance...It was so wonderful to view all of your family pics of all of you...remember when you first arrived in the No.End from Italy...such happy days!! I will always remember Teresa in my daily prayers....She was a very special lady....God Bless all of you and keep all the happy memories of her in your heart! Much Love and with Deepest Sympathy RoseMarie Calascibetta(Golisano). Wilmington MA
Josephine & Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time of grief.
May your memories bring you comfort.
Serino Family & Cangemi Family,
Josephine your house was like my second house, it was always filled with joy.
Your mother and father always had a smile on their face. I remember all us girlfriends lining up in your kitchen waiting for your mother to pierce our ears.I will always remember your mother laughing at all our crazyness, I don't know how she put up with all of us. Memories are the only thing we can never forget, and right now I have so many of Theresa. Margaret