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.
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.
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.
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