Daily Archives: May 9, 2021

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A Mother’s Love & Humor

It’s Mother’s Day today, and it’s only natural to think about Mom. That’s not all that unusual, because there isn’t a day that passes where I don’t think about her. She’s been gone since 1995, when she died at the age of 76, after a five-year battle with lung cancer. Those were very difficult times.

But through it all, what has kept Mom alive in our hearts and our minds is our memories of her. She was a Force of Nature to whom everyone turned—friends and family—for love, strength, inspiration, and a laugh. A sense of humor was certainly among her top character traits.

I’m thinking of one specific time that illustrates this. It was in the summer of 1988. I had recently earned my doctorate, and we had gone out for the evening. Mom joined me, my sister, and my friends Elaine Thompson and Gema LaBoccetta for a night out on the town. At the end of an evening of fun and entertainment, we made our customary journey to the local diner, to finish off the festivities with a bite to eat.

Mom ordered some coffee, while we were all looking over the menu, and the waitress returned with the coffee and a bowl of those little sealed, flexible milk containers that are used to lighten your coffee to your desired hue.

We put in our orders, and I swiftly picked up one of those little milk container thingies. And I started squeezing it lightly, observing how full the containers were with that cherished milk inside.

Mom (to her 28-year old son): Stop playing with that! You’re going to break it.

Chris: Oh, c’mon, I’m not gonna break it.

Mom: You’re going to break it open. Leave it alone.

Chris pushes a little bit too hard on the container thingy and its milky contents hit Mom square in the forehead.

As the milk drips down Mom’s forehead, moving toward her nostrils, a single drop falls off the tip of her nose. The table grows silent.

Mom: What are you a moron? My son! The Ph.D.!

All of us became so convulsed with laughter that we were literally crying.

She was a great sport. And a great mother. And I miss her very much.

Happy Mother’s Day to All the Moms Out There!

Mom (Ann Sciabarra), 1988

Postscript (10 May 2021): On Facebook, Elaine (mentioned in the story above) wrote this, which I share here on my blog:

Chris,
Even though I was there, seated across from your Mom when this happened, I am literally CRYING right now after reading this!!! Your Mom was a good sport and I can still hear her voice. Gema and I were frozen, not at all sure of how to react UNTIL you almost fell out of your seat HYSTERICALLY laughing, which set us all off. I can easily say that THAT moment is in my top three times in my life where I was literally crying from laughing. I miss “Ma”. Thanks for this awesome memory my dear friend! Love you 3 much!!!