Monday, February 7, 2011


The single most important person in my life?...without a mother. I have tried repeatedly to write about her, and have only been able to do so peripherally, recalling events and place associated with her. But for some reason when it comes to directly writing about her and all that she was, words fail me.

For reasons beyond her control she had to leave her mother and stepfather and move to an apartment with her 3 older brothers when she was 13. She left school after the 6th grade and became the cook, and housekeeper for the 4 or them. She was a city girl, growing up in south Philadelphia, until she met and married my father, a farmer from southern New Jersey, at the age of 21. She immediately became the provider to her husband, her father-in-law (who at one point told her she was his daughter more than his daughters were), and the expanded Renzulli family, many of whom returned to the farm to live with us from time to time.

My mother could cook...oh how she could cook...could sew, bake, butcher the meat from our pigs, calves, and lambs. She could sit down at a piano, or with a mandolin, and pick pick out a tune, and she could draw and paint, in her own primitive and not so primitive way.

She was fearless...and would not hesitate to take on any project, and I see this same thing in my 3 daughters.

She was intuitive and had an incredible gift of understanding people, there needs and their foibles. And I could only wonder...what she could have done and accomplished if she had the opportunities that she and my father provided me.

After 71 years, it is rare that a day goes by when I don’t think about her.

This post? Inspired by my recently looking at some of her paintings that I had stored away.

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