Remebering My Mom
Francesca Marie Carcaterra Smaldone
July 29, 1926-April 12, 2020
Rest In Peace my beautiful and funny and amazing mommy.
My dear mother passed away this morning. A devastating way to greet the day, and yet somehow fitting that she should transition on Easter Sunday.
I needed to inform my friends, as there can be no wake, no funeral, and no service, for obvious reasons. But I do want you to know about my mom. Even in this short writing below. A force of nature. My mom.
When the world returns to gatherings again, there will be a memorial. She deserves that and so much more. It is so painful not to be able to properly bury and honor her now, and for me and my family to be with loved ones, as we experience this profound loss, but we are currently living in unbelievable times. So, kindly read a little about Frances and how she walked the world.
My mom can be described in many ways, but the three words that keep coming to me are brilliant, spirited, loving.
An educator, she spoke four languages, but was most passionate about French. A francophile from an early age, she dreamed of traveling to Paris and other parts of France, and happily was able to accomplish that when my sister and I graduated from Yale Medical School (that was not me) and Fordham University (me) and we three traveled there together.
In addition to her education, her knowledge of the classics, her stalwart belief in learning, her love of people, food, travel ,culture, politics, theatre, opera, museums, she was just plain fun. She knew how to throw a party and be the life of the party. She knew how to cook (my dad insisted on that), she knew how to get on the floor and play with babies, and she knew how to be a disciplinarian with rules, and yet bend the rules at the same time. And she was always teaching. Whether you wanted to learn or not.
My mom was the light of our family and gave of herself effortlessly and constantly. Although she had the spirit of a world traveler, she was able to settle into a life in the Bronx, have a career, raise children, care for her mother and her husband. She was the first one in the family on the phone in a crisis as she knew what to say and what to do.
And she looked great in a dress. Beautiful and elegant, she never believed that to be the case, but it surely was true.
I will miss my mom, as I still miss my dad, forever, but am grateful for all that she has bestowed upon me, my sister, her sons-in-law and her grandchildren.
Thank you, my beautiful mama for all you have given me, and for who I am today.
Rest in peace and light dear mommy.
Voyager en toute sécurité et bien maman. Je suis ici de l'autrecôté du soleil.