May 6, 2013
Growing up, I wondered about my family’s origins, as so many of us do. As the youngest in a big Italian family, most of whom have “Roman profiles”, I studied my face in the mirror a lot, as a child. I had my father’s nose — that much was clear. But I was always proud to say I had my mother’s eyes.
True, mom’s eyes were pretty to look at. But it was the way they saw the world that made them truly beautiful.
My mother had, and used to tell me I also had, something she called ‘the artist’s eye’. Whether setting the perfect holiday table, or wrapping gifts in her own unique way, or planning parties in her beautifully manicured backyard, she saw and brought out the beauty in everything. And if it wasn’t there, she created it.
Mom also had one of the most adventurous spirits I know. We’d be out doing errands together on a typical day, and she’d suddenly say, “Let’s take a drive.” More often than not, it was to the beach. We might not take the most direct route, and now and again we’d make wrong turns and get a little lost. But we always found our way. We’d get out of the car, look at the water, take in the smell of the sea air for a while, then get back in the car and go home.
As my mother’s daughter, if I take one piece of inspiration from Mom’s wanderlust and sense of adventure, it is this: It is not the destination, but the journey that matters. And hers was spectacular. While much shorter than any of us would have liked, her life’s journey was filled with love. It was meaningful. It was memorable.
Thank you for everything, my beautiful Mom. I love you always.