Pictured above is my parents,
Carmela Ferrucci and Americo Gouveia
Together in Heaven
I was blessed with an extraordinary mother, Carmela. She raised 7 kids, the youngest, Ann Marie (Ree), was Down Syndrome --I was four years old when she was born. Those were the days when these babies never made it home. I remember my mother saying to the doctor “she is coming home with us and we will love her the same as all of our kids”. Thank God that she did because we had Ree for 54 years and she blessed and touched so many and she was a blast to be around. I can just best my Mom and Ree are dancing around up there having a grand old time. Ree prepared me for raising my own son Joey, just like her. There are days when I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to have been blessed with two very special souls.
My mom was surely one of the many noble women who has ever lived. No one could have ever duplicated her influence in my life. Loving, gentle, kind, and wise beyond her years. She was intuitive, she always knew the right thing to say, she gave honest advice, she helped the underdog, she supported the poor, she was an amazing Italian cook, and she would get tipsy once a year on a 4 oz can of Coors!
She passed away 35 years ago when she was 62 years old from breast cancer. She fought until the very end – I miss her. In this photo of her and my Dad, she was very ill, and she passed shortly thereafter. But look at her smile – even with her passing eminent, she was so happy to be with her family.
Every year when I celebrate Mother’s Day, I reflect on how much I miss my own mom, and as a mother, I feel the sting of missing my son Eric. But there is something special about missing them. Setting aside the dread that we feel as the day approaches, we also can experience the joy and happiness of their memory. I like to think of ways to honor them – their favorite meal, activity, a new tradition. I can remember so many magical moments with both of them. I am mindful of how grateful I am to have had them in my life.
As I have moved through my grief, I have become accustomed to releasing my pain and sorrow, to just letting it be, honoring and respecting it. The hurt is always there, but it comes and goes like the ebb and flow of the ocean waves, it eventually subsides. While it is scary, I often find myself restored once more, to continue my work, to love those around me, to miss those beautiful souls I have in Heaven, and to know that I will see them again. Those memories restore me – in a way is it curious to me how present they actually are in my life.
I wish all moms a beautiful May, full of moments to treasure and memories to share, surrounded by loved ones who lift you up. And for those of us who have a Mom watching over us, this is for her:
When You Speak of Her
“When you speak of her,
speak not with tears,
for thoughts of her should not be sad.
Let memories of the times you shared
give you comfort,
for her life was rich
because of you.”
Happy Mother’s Day