One of my patients said yesterday, she hears Maria’s voice when ever she falls off her treatment plan, “Why would you spend so much money to consult with Deborah if you’re not going to follow her recommendations?”
It still feels like Mom is inside of me. She comes forth when I call upon her. I have conversations with her especially when I awake at the witching hour when she died. It’s comforting. I can sometimes feel her holding me, kissing my ovaries 🙂
Kyra feels Grandma Honey more so at our house. Her energy infuses the gardens, the office, even down the hall.
It’s been crazy since Mom died. No real time to grieve yet…
Keeping a journal has helped me make sense of the madness. I am strangely at peace, sort of floating through the Rapids.
I feel more in the moment than ever and in deep appreciation for my relationship with Steve, with Mom, and the healing of my relationship with my sisters through her illness and death, and now continued family crisis.
We will get through this. Like I told my daughter yesterday, life either makes you or breaks you, it’s all in your attitude. You have to believe there is a divine purpose in everything.
I just returned from the arms of Grandmother Kathy from the Grandmothers Council. First time I’ve been held since Momma passed. The business of death has occupied my mind. My responsibility to my patients have occupied my time. More family health dramas have occupied my heart. There is little room for grieving.
As I sit waiting for my beloved, I ponder the words of my wise friend. “In the wake of your mother’s death, your spousal concerns shall bring you closer together.”
Then I hear the wedding vows we each made…
“In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. Till death do us part…Or in the case of my marriage to Steve – until the end of time…”
And I think how these same vows were made before birth. To our sisters. We may disagree, yet never fall out of love. We may move thousands of miles apart, yet our bonds are never broken. We may dance to different drummers, yet forever appreciate our uniqueness. Through sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. Till death do us part. Our sisters, both blood and soul, have always been there, will always be there.
All our drama over the years becomes refined into blessed life lessons. Every one experienced differently, yet lessons all the same. Some grow right away, some take the course again and again, until each of us are a more refined version of ourselves.
Sisters never fail you. They rejoice with you. They grieve with you. They tell you the awful truth and love you even when you are not ready to receive it. They wait for you to figure out life and delight in your growth. They pray for you. They believe in you.
And when you’ve fallen to your greatest depths of despair, they are there to pick you up, brush you off, help you put on your big girl panties, fix your makeup, and face the world.
Momma always wished she had sisters. It broke her heart when we didn’t get along. It brought her so much joy when we embraced each other. We thought Mom was the bridge between us, yet her death has shown us that she stitched us together so tightly that our hearts beat as one.
Today, I finally received Mom’s ashes. The postman wondered how such a small package could be so heavy. I guess he didn’t see who it was from – The Neptune Society. Isn’t it strange how my mother could be reduced to eight pounds of ashes? My assistant Gaby asked if I wanted her to accompany me. No, I said. I’m fine.
I opened the package on my kitchen table. And a poof of dust got all over. Mom wouldn’t like her urn being so dusty. I tried to wipe off the wooden box and realized it was ashes. Mom? Like a genie, “Poof, I’m here!”
I reverently placed Mom’s wooden urn on the hearth where I made an altar for her. Then carefully rolling up the tablecloth with a few tiny piles of ashes, I took it outside and spread bits of her in my herb garden under the artwork she loved – Joyous Transformation.
Then caught up in a wave of grief, I balled. Thought I could handle it. I know it’s not her. But it sure would have been easier if I wasn’t alone. My sisters and I live too far apart. Today, I really miss Momma.
We grieve what we’ve lost, what will never be. Yet life goes on or rather Love. Love goes on. Mom was Love pure and simple. I feel her in me…the way she loved me, my sisters, the grandchildren, even my husband who she loved like a son. The quality of my feelings towards my family, especially my sisters, have shifted since she died. I truly Feel Her. I Feel the Way She Feels about them. It’s rather amazing. I have more maternal compassion than ever before. I even see myself with new eyes – her eyes!
Unfathomable that you are gone. I can still hear your footsteps coming down the hall, your voice calling me. I can still feel your kisses over my breast sealing the hole in my heart. Your energy permeates the herb garden where you greeted our patients. We’ve been bonded since day one, our mother-daughter dance transforming into a business partnership where we used our healing gifts of help others. I can still feel our music and pray that soon I may dance again with you infused into every fiber of my being.
Mom’s obituary came out in the newspaper today.
It’s hard but the light is peeking through the cracks of our despair.
Steve and I discussed the good and the bad of Mom’s death this morning.
Even with all the spiritual gifts, she left us, “Still” he says, “I’d rather have her with us.”
Oh, but she is. Whenever I call her name, I feel her. I hear her wisdom. …
MARIA ANNA DIODATO
The world has lost much of its charm because our mother, grandmother, aunt, companion and best friend has moved on to her next great adventure.
Maria Anna Diodato was born September 14, 1940 to James Vincent Diodato and Ida Edith Diodato née Verrecchio in Philadelphia, PA. She was an only child but treasured by her parents and many Italian aunts, uncles and cousins.
As a young girl, she loved weekends on the Jersey Shores, and later dancing on American Band Stand as a teen. She exceeded in her studies and dreamed of learning French and going to Paris, which she did later with her daughters.
She married Delbert Lee Perry and had 4 daughters that are forever grateful to have had a brilliant, intuitive and loving mother. Maria loved her family and kept in close contact with all her grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Maria was famous for her fine Italian cooking, compassion and service she rendered to others. Maria empowered young women as a Girl Scout leader, a Latter Day Saint’s young women’s leader, and a board member of the charity Divine Daughters Unite.
Maria served her community by feeding the poor through Saint Clare’s parish, helping at risk youth and disadvantaged neighbors as a member of the Agua Dulce Airport Association, the Optimist Club, and the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce.
Professionally, Maria worked as a teachers’ aide in Honby Elementary School working with special needs children, as a small business owner of Copy-It – providing exceptional personalized service even after Kinko’s moved to town. And, for the last eighteen years, managed her eldest daughter’s integrative medical practice, Full Circle Family Health – blessing every single patient with hugs and motherly advice.
We will miss her big laugh, warm hugs, and constant encouragement to live our lives to the fullest.
Maria put her heart and soul into all she believed and will forever be a shining example of faith. Maria passed on July 21, 2015 after thumbing her nose at small bowel carcinoma and enjoying her life 3x longer than the doctors predicted.
None of us are surprised but all are grateful for these last precious months. Maria is survived by her five daughters, Deborah (Steve) Maragopoulos, Kelli (Carl) Parker, Karen Perry, Julie (Scott) Monson and Kimberly Ellison; 11 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and her loving companion, Donald Ellison. She was preceded in death by her parents.
We held the memorial last September. My sister did a great job memorializing Mom.
I miss Momma’s physicality, but sometimes when I close my eyes and call for her, I feel her hug me from behind and kiss my neck. I feel her brush the hair from my face and feel her smile. I love you, Momma!