Tonight we’re celebrating Mom’s 87th birthday. It’s the day of the week when we can assemble the family. Mom’s actual birthday is Wednesday, November 6. She came bouncing into this world in 1926. She’s seen a lot in her life. I often marvel at all the storms she’s weathered and with grace too. She lost her Dad at the age of four and moved with her Mom and brother to live with my Uncle Bill and his family. This was in the days before social security. Seven people living under one roof with just one bathroom. That was in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. Mom went to parochial school where there were over forty students in one classroom. Upon graduation from high school she won a scholarship to D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. She made the commute in those days on the New York Central which is now Amtrak. It was eight hours from home. She made the transition to college life well and excelled. She graduated from D’Youville in 1947 Magna Cum Laude and then was admitted to Fordham University where she received a Masters in Mathematics in 1948. She returned to Buffalo and D’Youville College where she taught for few years. After returning to Buffalo she met my Dad who was a student at University of Buffalo. They got married and eventually settled in Western New York. She worked alongside my Dad in the dental office until his health began to wane. Then to make ends meet she returned to teaching in 1970. Dad died in 1973 and she was left a widow with almost none of the rights women enjoy today.
Mom provided a home for my brother, sister and I and she did so on a teaching salary that was less than $8,000 per year. She never complained. She has always been an optimist. She remarried in 1980 to the love of her life and was treated to fourteen more years of a great marriage to a wonderful man that we all called Dad.
She became very active in the community and served on the Arcade Library Board, The Wyoming County Hospital Board and has been part of Delta Kappa Gamma for over forty years. She’s a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She’s been active in her church and frequently takes communion to those who are unable to make it to the Eucharist. Every weekday following Mass Mom can be found at the local McDonald’s with other women of St. Mary’s Parish in Arcade, New York talking about their faith and the community in which they live. I love my Mom and I’m proud of her. Happy Birthday Mom!