....My life has been something like a" card game" you do the best you can with the cards you are dealt.
While married, I worked as an Electrician and also studied to get an Engineering Degree. I was inspired by my Department Manager who set up the interviews with a College. My wife, Catherine, was a major player in the decision. I knew her efforts were necessary in raising the family. College and my job would keep me busy for six years. In Catherine's words she said, " GO FOR IT". My proudest moment happened when upon recieving my Degree and looking out and seeing the beaming faces of Catherine, my mother, Catherine's mother, and her youngest sister, Teresa, who faithfully typed all my Engineering reports. While in college, I worked for two different Engineering firms to be closer to my home and the college. With the degree in hand, I went back to the corporation that set me on the track to College. I started as a Constuction Engineer at their West Point, Pa. facility. As the years rolled by, I was transfered to the North Jersey Facility for five years, then back to West Point. All the work required traveling to different facilties as far as Canada and throghout the East Coast. I was away from home frequently. Finally Catherine asked me to retire at age 62 1/2. I agreed, and left my last job as a Engineering Department Manager. The best part of my life started. We traveled, touring Italy, Quebec, Florida and many other places.
Looking back, I thought my Father had no real love for me. While attending the wedding of my brother's daughter, Catherine and while strolling around the dance floor, a man approached us, saying "you must be the Engineer who works for a large corporation who your Father is always talking about". Catherine said "and you thought he had no love for you". Everytime my job passed through Chicago, I contacted my Father and over lunch or dinner he would relate his life experince. He left us because he was unable to find work. To me it sounded like the old cliche ,"when poverty comes through the door, love goes out the window". Why did he settle in Chicago? When he arrived from Italy his sponser, lived in Chicago and he and two friends were obligated to go there to conform with the immagration laws.
My repeated visits brought us closer together. I felt that I finally found the father I never knew. unfortunately, he only lived a few years and passed away at age 64.
My Mother was sixteen years old and my Father was nineteen when they married. During the depression it was a marriage that was destined to fail . My father's mother in Italy was married to an official of the town. In Italy when people met the wife of an Offficial they would bow and addressed her as Donna Franesca, a greeting that reflected her higher status. Her husband died and the family came to America. However, all of the special greetings were gone. My father and mother, newly married, occupied the prime room in the house.They had three children within five years, and four years later I was born. As the fourth child, my Father abandoned us. My mother's maiden name was the same as my father's last name but there was no blood line connection.
My father spoke to his Mother frequently by a telephone located in the house. Finally the plan was hatched. My brother was to go to Chicago and live with my Father. My mother refused. but my brother pestered her constantly. Finally, she agreed to send him for the summer and return in the fall before the start of school. Needless to say, he did not want to come back. I remember my mother always in tears or crying. My father's mother blamed her for everything that had happened. When I finally reached the age when I was allowed to pick blueberries, the above details were given to me during the many hours in the blueberrry patch with my mother.
The responsibility for my mother was left with Catherine and myself. She looked upon Catherine as her own child. We were not going to let her live in poverty. Then three significant things changed her life. My father returned and asked her to sign Annulment papers. She agreed and he gave her a sum of money. Secondly after my father died, his new wife came to talk to my mother and gave her a death certificate of my father so she could increase her Social Security income. Finally, she inherited the house that she lived in with my two uncles in New Jersey during the Blueberry season. In her late years she finally had her own and first bank account.
My mother, in her later years, knitted afghans for each of my daughters. Looking back, while in grade school, she knitted for me a white sweater
My teachers admired her work. She was very good with her needle work.
My Mother died at age 93. She was the last of her generation. Catherine died at age 87, and she was the last of her generation. Now I stand alone as a widower and the last of my generation...My daughter Carol,died June 1,2013..at the age of 54....Hopefully, this legacy will provide some insight of our Family's Past History ...
Catherine's Creed can be summed up in these Biblical words.......It so easy to get caught up with the trappings of wealth in this life ... Grant O Lord, that I may be free.--.. from greed and selfishness..... Remind me that the best things in life are free..... Love, laughter, caring and sharing......
Carol life ls best described in he own words, " I may never become a mother, but I'll be a great Aunt.. She was devoted to her nieces and nephews and even traveled to China to visit them.