When I later went to the University of Kansas, my mother referred to it as“running away from home”. My brothers both went to the School of VisualArts. I
d like to think I made the path to American Life easier for my mybrothers. It
s not easy raising a mother.My brothers and I each went on to get married and have children. Gerardmarried Anna Marie and they had Phillip and Paul. Robert married Joannand they had Bobby Jr. and Michael. Then I married Susie, and soonfollowed my honey bunny, Andrea.My mother took care of all of them at one time or another. She vettedbabysitters for us, and man did we have some doozies before we foundAnna, who became like a second daughter to Susie and I. My motherwatched Phillip and Paul every day while their parents taught school. Shebabysat for Bobby and Mikey too. Every year the grandkids looked forwardto Christmas with Grandma
s spaghetti.We had a family of a lot of boys, and Andrea. Then last year, Phillip and hiswife Illana evened out the family by giving my mother, 3 greatgranddaughters: Celeste Elena, Leah Marie, and Olivia Florence. She wasable to meet them and they brought her much joy during her last weeks.My mother led a simple life. She didn
t run into burning buildings to savepeople, she left that to my father. She was very involved in the church. Shegrew up with many priests in her family. One of her uncles was even thephysician to Pope Pius XII. In Brooklyn, she volunteered at the gift ship ofOur Lady of Grace. She attended Eucharistic Adoration weekly. Sheespecially loved the virgin Mary, so much so that she used the statue tohide her stash of pills.My mother and father were married for 59 years. After my father died in1996, we took my mother on some trips with us. We went to Atlantic City.Then we took her on her ﬁrst plane ride to Las Vegas for her 80th birthday.The next year we took her back to Italy one last time. She got to see herold house, knock on the doors of neighbors, visit with family members andmeet the nurses that took care of her sister, Nicoletta.
2 Euology, Florence (Fiorentina) Gagliardi
September 18, 2013