Mary Torcivia, with her sons Joe (left) and Bob (right).
Mary Torcivia, my mother, passed away on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at the age of 88 - following a three-week illness.
She was an amazing lady, as my eulogy for her reproduced below, will reveal. And, consider THIS EARLY BLOG POST something of a prelude for what i'm about to say.
Here is my eulogy for my mother, delivered on May 27, 2015:
Today, we say good-bye to Mary Torcivia – devoted wife of Joseph P., loving mother to Joseph M. and Robert, mother-in-law to Esther, and grandmother to Kyle, and Joseph III.
More than a loving mother, she was an amazing inspiration. For a small and quiet person, she demonstrated great strength – strength that often surprised me.
From a disastrous full staircase fall slamming into a door in 1979, to her husband’s death in 1992, to an out of control SUV nearly destroying her home in 2007, to fracturing her hip three days before Hurricane Sandy and enduring 11 full days in the dark and unexpected bitter cold that followed in 2012, to her remarkable grace throughout her terminal illness of 2015… she faced it all with the great strength that I will always remember her for.
To the very end, she fought against the effects of the disease that took her, all the while doing her best to remain as upbeat and cheerful as was humanly possible during her final week at home.
In the time I spent with her every evening of that final week, she made certain to say how proud she was of her sons, Bob and I, and how well we worked together to make her final wish come true. To spend her final days in the home she lived-in and loved, since February, 1969.
In addition, for me, she was a wise sounding-board and a comfort when it came to relationship ups and downs and acting upon life’s necessary choices. And it is that aspect of our relationship that that provides me with my final story of my mother.
During an unpleasant personal period for me, we found ourselves alone together in her house one evening. Oddly, she enjoyed science fiction related entertainment to a degree you might not expect of someone of her gender and age. But, over the years, we enjoyed things like Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, and Kolchak the Night Stalker. She was actually watching The X Files and Lost before I was!
Noting my unhappiness, as only a mother could, she was watching a movie on HBO – a movie about some “dirt-poor desert town”, under which there were giant monster worm-creatures that would spring-up and eat people. It was called “Tremors”, perhaps you remember it.
Anyway, she asked me to sit and watch it with her, probably knowing it would somehow distract me from my situation. And it did. We enjoyed the film immensely.
Later in the week, as HBO used to do, “Tremors” was shown again – and again she invited me to watch it with her. It, and the experience, were better still the second time around.
I’d not given a thought to “Tremors” in many years since those two nights of fun.
On THIS SUNDAY, after conducting some additional business for Mary at the funeral parlor up the road, I had some expiring Best Buy coupons and stopped at that establishment on the way home.
I walked past a huge circular bin of randomly and sloppily strewn Bargain Blu-Rays – and what do you think catches my eye… THIS DAY OF ALL DAYS! (Take Box out of jacket and hold it up to the audience!)
Yes! It was “Tremors”! It was “Tremors”! I had not given a single thought to “Tremors” in SO MANY YEARS!
And, of the hundred or more items in that bin, it was the ONLY COPY of “Tremors”! And, it caught my eye totally at random!
…Or, maybe NOT so random! Maybe it was a reminder from Mary of a good time we had! I dare not say!
But, there was no way I was leaving it in Best Buy! I took it home and watched it that night (this time with Esther), and relived a special, forgotten moment shared with Mary. Though I might have forgotten it, something tells me that she did not!
Thank you, Mom – for everything! Speaking for Bob and myself – and Esther and Kyle, we love you!