April has always been the hardest month for me. It’s the end of winter and the beginning of spring. I find it ironic that in the month of rebirth, over the years I lost three of the people who were dearest to me: my mom for whom this blog is named, and my brothers Carmen and Tony. I considered myself and orphan and the young me, the Louisa of the old neighborhood, was alone.
My husband Jimmy always knew this was a bad month for me and held his breath and my hand until the “sad season” passed. He was so conscious of my struggle that even when he was sick and dying at the end of April 2015 he hung on until May 1st before he decided to go home to God. And even though I was surrounded by loving family and friends I never felt more alone.
Since then my family has always made sure that April was a busy month. We started this blog in April 2016 and we acquired my beloved Luigi in April 2017.
I also recently took a bus trip with my in-laws to a Casino in Toledo. I know that my mom, brothers and Jimmy would have approved.
On the bus ride, a family member by marriage, called Uncle Eamon, pulled me aside. “I have something for you,” he said.
“Is it money?” I joked.
It turned out to be even better. He took my hand placed a beautiful rosary in it. He told me that my mother had given him that rosary 40 years ago when she returned from a visit to Rome. I had no idea.
I was pleased and surprised. And now he wanted me to have it. I of course insisted that he keep it because mom had given it to him. But he persisted. And so I put it in my purse. I thought perhaps it would bring me luck. Little did I know that later that night it would bring me something much better than luck.
After having paid for another chandelier at the casino we made the long bus trip home. Once home, I had a light bite, put the rosary next to my mom’s picture on the dresser and then fell exhausted into bed. I was just on the edge of sleep when I felt someone looking at me. I thought perhaps it was my granddaughter who lives with me and had come in to check on me.
I opened one eye and waved her away. I was fine. But the figure didn’t budge. And so I opened both eyes and saw the flickering figure of my mother standing at the foot of my bed. And then I knew.
At that moment even though all of those people that I loved were no longer here somehow I wasn’t alone. My mother came back to remind me that we are body and soul. And although the body may be gone the soul is eternal.
She showed up at the moment I needed her most. And her message to me is to always remember you’ll never walk alone.