Jean Schiavo

Born Jean D’Angelo, in Detroit, Michigan,

July, 23rd 1924.

Moved to New York at age four, lived there until age forty-three.

Went to heaven from San Diego,

December 29th, 2003.

I’m reasonably certain the first time I ever saw a palm tree was in Point Loma, San Diego. Within days after moving there from Queens, New York, I was splashing around in a built-in swimming pool (another first for me).

I can’t say I was swimming, because I didn’t know how at eight years old. The only other pool I can actually recall, prior to Pt. Loma, was in Elmhurst, New York, splashing around at my cousin Angelo’s (Jean’s nephew from her brother, my Uncle Jimmy) above ground pool. Our Uncle Tony (Jean’s brother) one memorable afternoon stood waist deep in Angelo’s pool wearing a kiddie snorkel and dive mask, smoking his long cigar.

What a family.

Forty years later, teary Angelo (who I never saw or heard sob before) spoke to me by phone from his Fort Myers mobile home asking, ”What happened to us, we used to be such a big family who knew how to have fun?”

The apartment complex in Pt. Loma had rules and regulations posted in the pool area. One was: ”minors under sixteen years of age must be accompanied by an adult.” While I was ecstatic in 1966 splashing around, Jean sat nearby keeping her eye on me. Truth be told fifty-two years later (when it doesn’t matter) Jean couldn’t save her only drowning son if she wanted to, she couldn’t swim either.

I must’a been having the time of my life, I yelled out, ”Hey Ma!” Jean gave me one of her looks like this is going to be serious; she called me out of the pool, looked me square in the eye and said, “From now on don’t call me Ma, my name from here forward is Mom.”

California was so different than New York in many respects. The answer to Angelo’s question all those years later had quite a bit to do with us moving West.

God, how I love her. I miss you Mom.

I wonder if she knows, since she passed, in my heart, she’s Mommy now. What do you think, Ma, fair compromise?

#happybirthday #mom #nona #jean #angel #heaven #family #memories #childhood #motherandson #famiglia #weloveyou

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