Yesterday, the mother of one of my best friends past away. She was an amazing woman. A joy of a person.
Ive (pronounced Eva) was an immigrant, a war bride, from Italy. She was tiny and lively and great fun. Despite all her years in the States, she never lost her accent. It was thick and wonderful. She was full of love for her own Italian heritage and was sure to pass that love to her living children, Kenny, Robert and Lisa.
Ive never met an enemy. She was quick with a helping hand, an encouraging word. She always expected you to be your best, look your best, and put your best out for "public consumption". She never went out looking badly but rather always, despite her oxygen, always had on "her face", her nails polished and her nice clothes. She worked hard for the things she had and expected the same from you. Even when she was ill, she was busy. Busy taking care of others, of her precious, "Skippy" (her Yorkie) or taking care of the emotional wellbeing of everyone around her.
She was beautiful too. Honestly, so beautiful and proud of her beauty, as well she should have been. Her smile was brilliant, her eyes dancing with mischief, glee or just pure joy when ever her lips turned up in a grin. She loved her grandchildren, OH! How she loved her grandchildren.
Ive was about being thankful for all the gifts and blessings God had given her and not about being regretful for those things she didn't have. She knew she was a child of God and her life shone because of it. I swear you could see the woman's halo.
The fun thing is that my mom was just like her, minus the Italian part. Lisa and I were so fortunate, and indeed blessed, to be a part of these women; to have been raised by such extraordinary people, and, in fairness, equally extraordinary men. I can only hope that in our lives, we exude at least a small speck of the love and inspiration these beautiful women have shown in theirs.
Thank you mom and Ive for believing in the goodness inside all people, for showing us how to always put our best out there for the world to see; for loving us with all your hearts despite all our faults; for believing in us and for just being you.
Heaven got another angel yesterday and she's right up there with my angel mom. God loves you Ive and so do we.