Dorothy A. Concordia (February 21st 1941 – January 11th 2013), My Mom

 

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Dorothy A. Concordia (February 21st 1941 – January 11th 2013), My Mom

As her children we first knew her as the loving, caring person whom we trusted to take care and comfort us. We depended on her for all of our basic needs… as for all loving mother’s provide – for so much more  Many of you knew her as Dorothy, Aunt Dottie, Dottie, .e, Dotsy… we first came to know her as Mommie.  The wonderful, comforting scent that was present when wrapped in her arms… the wonderful comforting scent of our Mom.

Our Mom was more fun-loving than many… playing like a child right along with us – laying on the floor with us with coloring books and crayons… coloring intently right along with us. She delved into playing with us in the snow, pulling us all in a sled through the woods.  She always said one of the most amazing and favorite things to see was a child’s face discovering something new.

Throughout the school years she accompanied us on class trips and was an avid volunteer at our schools. She was the kind of Mom who packed our school lunches with love – she wanted you to have a really *nice* sandwich so she packed the lettuce and tomatoes individually to make sure it was not soggy. We remember those little things.

With her trademark blonde hair (sometimes avant-guard
) and her unforgettable blue eyes, her small-stature, and spunky attitude and her many many pairs of shoes… she often had over-the-top and hilarious ways to try to gain and maintain order of her sometimes unruly children – making up a song and dance just to get our attention and make us listen… this usually resulted in much laughter in the present moment and over the years when thinking back to those times.

Our house was a HOME and our Mom adored EVERY moment of making it a home.  She cooked right on par AND ABOVE with the four generations of the Italian family she married into as a “Medighan”.

She loved people as individuals.  She recognized the gifts within her children individually.

Michelle is the dependable one, with strong sense of leadership, responsibility and business.  In raising her own daughter it is obvious that her attention to the little details that a child will come to understand are the acts of a loving mother are the very traits of our Mom’s.  Our Mom often looked at the similarities of how she did the same sort of things as Michelle and was so very proud of that – she always very proud of Michelle.

Michael is her son who could turn ANYTHING into laughter – often huge fits of laughter… she enjoyed his teasing.  He was always generous to her… always there to defend our Mom or to come to her assistance. She loved her son, whom she affectionately called her “Bozie”.  She talked about how when he was very young he was lost, there was a search for him in the woods. When Mikey was found she cried tears of joy and told him he should not go into the woods alone. He explained to her that he was not lost he had simply gone to get her a worm… and she should not have been so worried because our cat was with him.

Phyllis is the one who she considered effortlessly intelligent – she stated many times that she never met such a smart person who lacked common sense. Phyllis replied, “Well, there was Einstein, Mom.” Phyllis was always ready to run away from home, but with a rough exterior, not unlike our Mom’s it seems she understood as she accurately prophesied “Phyllis, you are going to be the one up my ass for the rest of my life.” Funny, how she was right.

Danielle is her joyful “surprise”.  She really kept our Mom on her toes whether Dani was lost on the beach and assisted by the police was found not even crying… told our Mother “Mom, you were lost.” or climbing the ham radio tower to a bedroom on the second floor where Mom was making the beds excitedly calling through the window , “Mom, I got you the mail!” Dani gave our Mom many of the reflective parenting stories that she talked about often… the kind of scary stories that make a Mother reflect on how blessed she is in spite of the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Our Mom is a Grandmother to Samantha, Valerie, Jakob, Lucy… and another on the way.  She rushed to be at the birth of her first, second, and third grandchildren.  Her grandchildren called her Grammy… and referred to her as Grammy at the Beach, often addressing cards and letters to her that way.  When Samantha was born she boasted at work with a brag book that she showed everyone who worked at the office anyone coming to conduct business.  On a Sami’s picture on her desk labeled “She’s beautiful and she’s mine.” She was so proud and excited… Sami was simply the beginning of a new generation of children to love and she thoroughly enjoyed showing her off, and cherished any time she could spend visiting. Our Mom’s co-workers pranked her one day and labeled the brag book full of Sami’s baby pictures “Ugly Kid Pix” – this was the sort of teasing our Mother enjoyed.  Sami loved to wear our Mother’s heels, particularly her red ones, when visiting – because they were the only adult shoes that could almost fit her… as our Mom had the smallest feet most people had ever seen!

Valerie was next and Grammy always enjoyed her gentle, compassionate nature and loved the things she said. Val often told Grammy she was pretty – just out of the blue, for no particular reason.  She would look up at my Mom and simply say “Grammy, you’re pretty.” This made our Mom smile.

Jake was part of her life in his early years, as she took care of him for several months, on her own – even though she was in pain.  They formed a bond that remained strong.  Our Mom often said she so very much enjoyed that time of taking care of Jake, despite any hardship.  Just a few days before she passed away she said to Phyllis, “Jake… he’s really going to be something, that boy!”

Lucy has a sweet little voice that Grammy adored.  When Grammy asked what Lucy wanted for her birthday this year Lucy’s response: “A car.” Grammy asked, “What color car?” Lucy responded, “Blue.” Before Grammy could finish saying “okay” Lucy continued, “And green… and yellow… and pink… and red…” Phyllis and Grammy laughed and went to pick out toy cars all ALL of the colors Lucy asked for.

Our Mom often gave more than she really could, and also realized that giving was also and more importantly about giving memories… she certainly did that.  Our Mom, Dottie Concordia, gave so many people, so many memories.  Having the opportunity to speak with her many friends, that knew her in recent times, and those who had lost touch – it has been a gift to hear their stories – their memories of her… and she was so real… because the person we knew as Mom was the person they knew back in her childhood.  It all fits.

We remember crabs and spaghetti, elaborate Christmas decorations, a home filled with family and extended family… a home filled with big Sunday dinners, many parties and lots of laughter.  We remember the opportunities she gave us to always participate in things like ceramics, basketball, horse-back riding, piano lessons, summer camp, and of course summers at the shore – summers at the beach.

She kept a calendar of birthdays and anniversaries… and each day she looked at the calendar and announced who was having a birthday… sometimes Phyllis would respond “Mom, I don’t even know who that is.” Rest assured if you did not get a card or a phone call… she was thinking about you on your day.

This Christmas she told me that she didn’t feel like visiting anyone – she didn’t feel up to it and wanted to stay home; she told me that I could go if she wanted to.  I said I wanted to stay but that we needed to put up a tree. With much of my things in storage we went to get 4 foot tree which she proclaimed was just about her size.  I decorated it and she looked and said, “You are really good at that – it’s beautiful.” I replied, “Of course it is, how many years have I watched you do this?”

Mommie, thank you for taking care of us. Thank you for being the light in so many lives. Thank you for being the strong, brave, unfailing woman that you’ve been throughout your entire life. Thank you for the fun and laughter, the love, the base of a family and the chance to know what family is… and family times and thank you for loving the each person in your life in their own special way.

I will honor you always in my hearts, in my memories, and in remembering you as the beautiful, winning lady, I know as my Mom.

Thank you, Mom. I love you so much.

 

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