Friday, May 12, 2017

For My Beloved Mother


This coming Sunday will be the first Mother's Day that I have celebrated without my beloved mother who passed away in January. My mother (Mary Stella Koziski Drabik) was the most selfless individual that I have ever known. She was devoted to her family.



As her dementia advanced, my mother would often tell me that she "wanted to go home." She wasn't talking about the house where my sister and I grew up. She was referring to the home where she was raised--along with her three younger siblings. That house was the place where my mother spent many of the happiest days of her life. It's also where my sister and I and our four first cousins spent many happy hours--celebrating holidays, visiting with each other, playing in the yard, picking vegetables and fruit in my grandparents' garden.

Many years ago I wrote a collection of poems about my Babci and Dzidzi--my maternal grandparents--and their place titled A Home for the Seasons. In memory of my mother, I'm sharing the first poem from the collection. I know the poem would touch her heart.
 
 

A HOME FOR THE SEASONS

My grandparents’ house seems to hug their shady street.
A white duplex, its twin front doors
stand side by side
just three steps up from the sidewalk.
We always enter their house through the side door.
Stepping into the kitchen,
we find Babci sitting at the far end of the table
spooning filling onto circles of homemade dough
and making pierogis, crocheting afghans,
or snipping lacy designs from paper—
a traditional folk art she learned in Poland.
Sometimes we see her painting flowers on the cupboard doors
or hanging starched curtains she embroidered by hand.
The aroma of stuffed cabbage or babka baking in the oven
often greets us at the door.
Most days, Dzidzi spends outdoors tending to his garden
or painting the shutters green
or mending the picket fence
or building a backyard fireplace for summertime barbecues.
My grandparents always busy themselves
making their place a special place
for the family to gather throughout the year,
making it a home for all the seasons.

 


 
SCENES FROM MY MOTHER'S LIFE
 Mom with Her Cousin Julia
 
 My Grandmother, Her Sister, and My Grandfather
 
 Cousin Julia, My Mother's Sister Helen, My Mother, and Her brother Benny
 
 Julia, Helen, and My Mother
 
 Helen and My Mother
 
 My Sister, My Mother, and I One Easter
 
 My Grandmother with her Four Children--Benny, Stanley, Helen, and My Mother
 
 My Maternal Grandparents
 
 My Mother with My Sister Virginia
 
 My Mother and My Father
 

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I want to thank my grandnephew George Blaney for going to the trouble of putting our family photos on compact disks and sharing them with us. Love you, George!!!
 
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My Mother's Last Mother's Day (2016)
 
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Tara has the Poetry Friday Roundup at A Teaching Life.

 

10 comments:

Jane @ Raincity Librarian said...

I love these photos! My mother was a geriatric nurse before she retired, and she always encouraged families to bring in photos of their loved ones, especially photos of them as young people, to remind the staff that these elderly people, often experiencing dementia, had lived full, rich lives, and deserved to be treated with respect.

Wishing you peace and joy in the memories of your mother, and the happy times you spent together.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Jane,

Good for your mother. Our family brought framed family photos and albums to the nursing home for my mother. We also visited often to make sure she had company...and was being treated well. The nursing home staff loved my mother and would often tell us how nice and funny she was. That helped warm our hearts.

Kay said...

I wish you much peace as you navigate this first Mother's Day without your mother. Your poem reads like a warm blanket to wrap up in with many happy memories. I love the photos that show glimpses throughout her life.

jama said...

What a lovely poem to share for Mother's Day. Enjoyed all the family pics. Will be thinking of you on Sunday. This will be my 4th Mother's Day without my mom. Gone but always in our hearts.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Kay and Jama,

I am so happy that my grandnephew put all of the old family photos on compact disks. There are many that I had never seen before. I don't know where my mother kept them. They are like little treasures of times past.

Monica said...

What a lovely tribute. Wishing you joyful memories on Mother's Day.

Jone MacCulloch said...

Such a wonderful tribute. Love the photos. Thinking of you this first Mother's Day without your mom.

Mary Lee said...

Elaine, I'm with you this year, navigating my first Mother's Day without my mom. She died in March this year. I still reach for the phone to ask her a question, or to share some great (or small) bits of news from my life. I hope I said, "I love you" enough times...

Linda B said...

There are so many memories wrapped up in your post, in this "home for all seasons" Elaine. You make me connect to my own grandparents and all the years spending time with them. It's a lovely collection in memory of your dear mother.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

A thoughtful and caring tribute, Elaine. A bit heartbreaking too. Thank you for sharing your history and introducing us to your grandparents loving home. Will be thinking of you tomorrow.