I didn't have time to post about it yesterday, as I normally would, because yesterday was my Mom's birthday. Her age is a pretty well guarded secret but I'll share it with you. 69 years old!
She lives alone since my Dad passed away so Cricket and I pretty much spent the day with her so she wouldn't be down. I think she had a really good birthday.
So in honor of Mom's birthday I'll tell you a little more about her.....btw she doesn't have a pc, has never been "online" and even though I told her a little about this blog, she doesn't really get it.
"You write about poker on the computer?"
You should have heard her when I told her I was playing poker at Seabrook with Waffles!
"Waffle? His name is a Waffle? This is a guy?"
Just yesterday when I was over there I happened to mention "Noodles" a guy who plays in my live game.
"Oh My God...The Noodles, The Waffle...these are names? LOL
She has an accent but you better not mention it because she doesn't think she has one. She was born in Sicily and moved to the US when she was 13 years old.
My grandparents had 10 kids in Sicily but only 3 lived to beyond infant age (and are still with us thank god).
Mom, Uncle Rocky (from Wakefield) and Auntie Teresa. BTW it was also Auntie Teresa's birthday yesterday. Both mom and her sister were born on the same day, and then their mom ended up dying on their birthday as well. Stuff like that happens in my family ALOT. But I'm getting off the subject...
Looks just like Nana
Let's get back to my mother's 7 dead brothers and sisters. My mother doesn't remember Nana dressed in anything but black because she was always in mourning. I cannot imagine losing one child, never mind 7.
So what happened to these 7 children?
One of them lived to about a year but was in a homemade "walker" with wheels....fell down a set of stairs and died.
The others? They wouldn't or couldn't breastfeed. They couldn't keep the milk down. Nana thought "her milk was bad". There was no formula in the 40's in Sicily so there weren't many options. Nana tried using wet nurses, but that didn't work either. When the babies who had wet nurses still got sick, Nonno thought the wet nurses were giving the babies goats milk instead of breast milk.
When my mother was born in 1941 one of Nonno's brothers had already left for the US. This brother mailed cases of formula to my family and my mom survived.
Fast forward to when Uncle Rocky had a baby girl in the US, my cousin Mary, God rest her soul. She had the same problem. Her body wouldn't accept nutrition. She was finally diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and it was managed. She'd eat everything in sight but would look like she was from a concentration camp. She was that malnurished looking.
She lived to 22 years old. Kids with CF don't live long lives, unless.............she need a lung transplant. She was on a waiting list for about 2 years and was so excited when they finally "beeped" her. She'd been wearing a beeper, waiting for the call. She didn't survive the surgery though.
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited genetic disease and it's my theory that those dead babies that couldn't get nutrition also had CF.
Poor Uncle Rocky. He never got over losing my cousin Mary.
Uncle Rocky is the reason my mother moved to the US. Uncle wanted to become a priest in Sicily but Nonno would have none of that. Uncle's 2nd choice was to come to America, so the whole family went with him.
Okay one little Uncle Rocky story and then we'll wrap up this post...although I intended to write about my mother here - ah well, maybe next time.
So they lived on an olive and almond farm in Sicily. Sweets were few and far between so when they had something sweet Uncle Rocky (the oldest child and the male child) would sneak and take whatever he wanted...regardless of if he got in trouble.
They lived with their grandmother. Now the grandmother had a box of cookies but knew Uncle Rocky would take them, so she kept them under her pillow when she slept. I shiat you not. Then she'd dole out ONE COOKIE whenever she chose to.
Well one morning, they discovered my great grandmother had died in her sleep. Nana was inconsolable and there was alot of ruckus in the house.
What did Uncle Rocky do? He snuck into his grandmother's bedroom and stole the pack of cookies right from under his dead grandmother's head! And ate them all!
He tells that story over and over and always ends with...I got all the cookies and I didn't get in trouble!
Congrats again to Mojo Baby!