That’s a picture of me with my mother. I believe we’re just home from the hospital or perhaps after my baptism since I am quite small. My mother Algerina looks young and pretty. We were living then at my grandparents’ home, on my father’s side. This was before my parents built a house two doors up with their own hands and before they had two more girls and a boy. They gave me a good childhood, a little quirky, but good.
From my mother I learned to love reading. Twice a week she took us to the town library, or to the bookmobile at the bottom of the street. I learned to lose myself in stories — and now I try to do the same as a writer.
Thank you Mom.
I had two wonderful grandmothers, both who were immigrants, one from Madeira, the other from the Azores Islands, to find a better life in America, of course.
Vovó Maria, my father’s mother, took care of me when I was a baby. I bet I sat on her lap the entire time. When her boys served overseas during World War II she moved on her knees up the church’s center aisle, praying all the time for their safe return. She always carried Rosary beads. She taught me about faith.
Thank you Vovó.
I knew my mother’s mother, Angela, longer. She came over on a boat during a terrible storm when she was 16 and never saw her parents again. She worked in the textile mills in New Bedford. When her husband was confined to a mental hospital during his last years, she made it on her own. She taught me about bravery.
Thank you Vovó.
I raised six children, now young adults. They are all people I would want to know even if I weren’t their mother. They bring me joy. One of them now has her own daughter — smart, pretty, and funny like her mother.
Thank you children.