Thursday, December 5, 2013

Missing You Today and Always

Thinking a lot today about my mom on her birthday, and sharing a little of her and her life with my students.  She was born Rose Patricia Geraci in Cleveland , Ohio on December 5, 1916, the same year as the infamous crooner, Frank Sinatar.  She went to work in the Garment Industry with her mother, Anna, in downtown Cleveland right out of high school to help support her eldest sister Josephine who was attending college to become a teacher. 

My grandpa Benny moved the entire family (all five siblings) out to California, a few at a time, so that by 1944 they were all here and settled in South Gate.  Both my grandmother and my mom took jobs in the Los Angeles Garment District, my grandmother a pattern maker and my mother (because of her beautiful sewing skills) was hired to sew the samples that went out with the salesmen, while her middle sister, my Aunt Elena and grandfather ran a vegetable and fruit stand in two local grocery stores.  My grandfather went on to purchase a liquor store in Watts and a bar that my mother's brother Johnny ran.  

My mother was widowed 3 times in her life, and was only able to conceive one child after several  failed attempts and much sadness.   She told me many times in my life that I was a gift to her at age 40 when she finally had me.  I was 39 when I had my daughter.   

When Rose got to California she started using her middle name and called herself Patty.  She lived with my father, Donald Edward Price, her 2nd husband in Alhambra., but shortly after I was born he passed away and we went to live with my grandfather and Aunt in South Gate.

At age 5 my mother and Aunt Elena bought a brand new home in the new and growing community of La Mirada.  In five years my auntie moved on to her own little place back in South Gate, and my mother married for her 3rd and final time to my step-father, Webster Foote.  So now she was R. Patricia Foote.  She went on to outlive yet another husband when he passed in 1980, and she stayed in that home until after my son was born in 1988, when she moved to Yorba Linda to be closer to us, and made a tidy little profit on her home of 30 years.  

My mother was smart with money and property investments.  She owned a 4 plex apartment building in Anaheim, a beach house in Dana Point and a home on a golf course in Palm Desert.  She also worked part time at Emery Elementary School in Buena Park as it's Librarian.

After her retirement she was very active in the senior community centers around town,  in her church  group and she loved to travel.  Her favorite trip was going back to her roots in Italy and visiting her cousins in both Naples and Palermo, Sicily.  

My mother was my daycare for both my son and daughter until the age of 82 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  She lived with that for 10 more years before I lost her at 92.  She would have been 97 today.

Happy Birthday Mom, you were and are the most amazing woman I've ever known and a wonderful example for me everyday of your life.  You gave and taught me unconditional love, and a love of reading, nature, and animals.  You surrounded me with love and beauty.  You were also my best friend and there isn't a day that I don't think of you and miss you.  

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