Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bonne fête des mères!

Because Easter came so early this year, we have the unusual occurrence of Pentecost and Mother's Day falling on this same Sunday in May.

A very happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, step-mothers, soon-to-be mothers, Godmothers and mothers-in-spirit out there! (Including my own!)

In my life, I have been blessed to even have living great-grandmothers. The one I knew the best was my maternal grandmother's mother, Mary Alice Berger Vincenti. Grandma Vincenti was born in the United States in 1911, the daughter of two immigrants from Belgium. She lived until 1999, just shy of her 88th birthday.

When I graduated from college in 1998 and moved home to Pennsylvania for my first job, Grandma Vincenti and I lived in the same house. A strong believer in cooking for the men in our family, Grandma would always have a hearty dinner waiting for me when I came home from work. I gained a lot of weight that year -- but appreciated the nourishing gesture of love all the same!

Italian risotto and galettes (Belgian waffle-like cookies) were Grandma Vincenti's specialties. And, I'm proud to say that I am able to replicate both fairly close to how she made them. (For the galettes, I even use her old iron on the stove.)

Above is a photo of Grandma Vincenti that I've been waiting for a day to share on this blog. It shows her as a young girl dressed up for what must have been a special occasion.

Pictured next to her in the photo is her sister Ann (in white dress), who was a few years her junior. I'm glad to be remembering Aunt Ann on Mother's Day, too. While she never had any children of her own, Ann Berger Barrick was a strong, dynamic woman who wrote me regularly as I was growing up and took a great interest in my education and career goals. She died in December, 1997.

At the time this picture was taken, young Mary and Ann would have heard their parents still speaking French at home. So, as perhaps they would have heard it, I say: "Bonne fête des mères!"

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