Celebrating Mama Alice’s Life

This is a story about trying to celebrate the anniversary of my mother dying. It includes two conflicts, four saviors, pesto and some other things.

I had a plan which was to attend my mother’s mass at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Gardner, Mass. But sometimes the universe has other plans.

6:38 am My roommate Nikki and I hit the road.

6:39 am We hit Starbucks.

7:16 am Conflict #1: The snow slows our cruise to a crawl. Conflict #2: The roads start to drown in snow.

7:27 am My sweet Altima sails straight into the median. My sideview mirror pops off. Everyone is safe. My brow is crinkled for fear of the extensive body work to come.


7:28 am Saviors 1 & 2 enter: Two gentlemen bravely cross the highway and push the car out of the snow trap.

7:31 am We exit the highway to assess the damage. The car looks fine but the mirror is dangling.

7:32 am Saviors 3 &4 enter: Two gentlemen roll down their window and ask if we need them to duct tape the mirror back on.

7:38 am We head back to the highway but now we’re going about 25 miles an hour.

8:22 am We enter Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church.

8:36 am I kneel to pray for my mother to watch over my father and brother to make sure they are happy and fulfilled. I imagine my beautiful mother blessing the smiling faces of my family. (Flashback: Five-year anniversary eulogy.)

8:42 am I do a sign of the cross with holy water as my family and I walk out with our family friend Pat O’Shea, who is critiquing Father O’Toole’s singing. “He’s a tenor,” he exclaims. That’s true.

10:45 am We stop at Quebrada Bake Shop for croissants (a Mama Alice favorite) and sweet treats for our dinner feast.


Quebrada trip! The very best roommate in the world!

8:20 pm My roommate Nikki, my good friend Iva and I break bread to celebrate with some of my mother’s favorites including pesto, bruschetta, salad and Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. Everything was by the Alice book: No booze, all organic and lots of raucous laughter at the dinner table.

The feast!

My day today was perfect. I may have missed my mother’s mass but the mass is just a guideline to remember the day’s importance. The distuption only reinforced how many good samaritans are out there.

I see the anniversary of my mother’s death as a day that needs to be remembered for her not for me. My mother was such a fantastic mother. She deserves to be fussed over, remembered and celebrated. Today is holiday to me. It is a special day to reflect and be thankful for all of the wonderful gifts she gave me.

Alice Muscarella May 6, 1954 – January 12, 2006



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4 responses to “Celebrating Mama Alice’s Life

  1. Lauren,This is a beautiful post. I am sorry your holiday got a bit sidetracked, but it sounds like in the end, nothing ruined your plans to celebrate your mom. I send you a big hug!

  2. Wow, Lauren!

    I love this post, and it sounds like you had a great day celebrating your Mom. 🙂 (You’ve just made me realise something about Chris, too…it’s just the same. Her anniversary is for her, not me.)

    Much love,


  3. You’re both so sweet. Thank you for the love.

    Peace & love,

  4. Tears in my eyes and a smile on my face! Thanks for sharing, Lauren.

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