Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mother’s Day Special Celebration

Mother’s Day Special Celebration

Dr. Charles Mercieca

.In the early part of May 2008, Dr. Reese Kilgo, a retired professor of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who is now a healthy jovial lady and very active peace worker in her early eighties, asked her friends to go to her house-garden to celebrate Mother’s day in a unique way. A party was scheduled to this end during which time each o­ne would spend a few minutes by turn to say all the nice things o­ne could remember about o­ne’s mother.

Julia Brincat’s Life in Perspective

My mother passed away at age 76 in 1985 in the early hours of the morning. It was indeed a great loss not o­nly for her children and relatives but also for all of her friends and those who knew her in some way or another. A couple of days before she passed away, she looked well and healthy and walked about four miles to visit the family of her younger daughter. This explains why her passing away was a great shock, as it was fully unexpected.

She was born in Malta in 1909 as Julia Brincat, the third of five children consisting of four girls and o­ne boy who was the youngest. In 1920 her father settled in the New York where he found a job. He left all of his family in Malta since he could not afford the transportation. In 1929 his wife passed away at age 46 when my mother was 11 years old. She was still a child attending elementary school, which she left soon to take care of her aunt and her little daughter.

In 1934 my grandfather Joseph brought in New York to join him his youngest two children, Evelyn and Joseph, Jr., both of whom were single. By then my mother and her two elder sisters, Helen and Mary, were already married and remained in Malta with their families. My mother got married in 1932 and she soon had 3 children: myself born in 1933, Josephine born in 1935 and Adleen born in 1939, five months before World War II started.

For three years my father Carmelo, along with my mother Julia, went through very rough times. My mother and her three children spent most of this period living in a cave underground to escape the routine massacre of the Nazis.
My father had to take two jobs just to make ends meet, o­ne during the day and o­ne during the night with hardly much time to sleep. He never owned neither a house nor a car. He went to work daily riding his motorcycle.

Ups and Downs of Life

My father had o­nly two serious accidents that I remember. o­ne was when a bull ran loose and went toward my father hitting him hard while lifting him several feet high up into the air. The other was with the motor cycle when he was apparently smashed by a car or a truck. Thank God he survived each time. For all of us to appreciate best the importance of Mother’s Day celebration we need to have at least a vague idea of the ups and downs of life a mother went through.

The ups and downs of life have always helped people to strengthen their character and personality as well as to mature realizing that in life not all the glitters is gold. As a little child who was brought up underground to escape the Nazis’ barbarism I recall that the saddest moments of my mother occurred when, together with other women, she used to hug her children every evening while murmuring: “Today we are alive, tomorrow we may be dead!”

When the war was over in 1945, it was like the hidden sun that brought darkness for the previous few years, came out shining o­n the horizon. After the rebuilding of so many destroyed homes, schools and churches, life began to come to normal. Two years later, my mother at age 38 gave birth to a nice baby boy who was named Vincent. He grew up healthy with happy surroundings. I was then 14 years old who loved to cycle, swim, dive and play soccer.

For the first time in my life, I began to see my mother the way she really was by nature, that is, when she was fully free from the pressure and anxiety of such a devastating war. In spite of the fact that she had o­nly elementary education, she was very intelligent and had phenomenal memory. She soon became an expert in making all kinds of suits and clothes for both men and women, for children and for people from every walk of life and profession.

Most people asked her to make outfits for both the bride and bridegroom, which were always elegant and attractive. I do not recall that any of my family ever bought clothes. My mother would simply buy the cloth and then she would make a variety of paper models and the o­ne that would appear most attractive will eventually become the dress or suit that o­ne would wish to have. In addition, she was always seeking ways to make all of us happy.

As the years passed by and the memory of the war experience began to become remote, I noticed she had a wonderful sense of humor. She was hardly ever engaged in a conversation where she would not, at o­ne time or another, make people laugh. This gift was something that was very natural. It came out of her very spontaneously. Besides, she never seemed to have ever done anything knowingly that would make anyone get offended.

More Good Qualities

My mother was noticeably a generous woman. She would give you everything that she could while, at the same time, she would seek absolutely nothing in return. Her motto seemed to have been: “The joy of living is found in the joy of giving.” I recall she was greatly respected by my father who passed away after a long illness at the age of 71 in 1977 in her presence while she was conversing with him when he was sitting in bed.

Some of her conspicuous virtues may be outlined as kindness, dedication to others, meekness, keeping low profile wherever she happens to be, honesty, and trustworthiness, in addition to others. She was deeply spiritual, which explains most of her strength in anything that might have gone wrong, especially during the hardships at the time of World War II. There was hardly o­ne day in her lifetime where she did not allot some time for prayer and mediation.

Needless to say, this gave her not o­nly inner strength but joviality and self-confidence as well. I recall her presence everywhere was always a source of joy and happiness to those that surrounded her. She was always ready to help others to the best of her ability and without a bit of hesitation. Relative to her hobbies, I do remember she liked swimming, or merely floating o­n the surface of the ocean, as she used to say. She also liked relaxing o­n the beach.

Besides, she liked visiting parks that were crowded with trees and packed with flowers. She did this especially during the time she was raising her four children. Needless to say, she liked cooking and she always prepared the three daily meals for the entire family. My father never worried about what he had to eat. He viewed my mother’s food as the most delicious. My two sisters took after my mother not o­nly in cooking but also in making all kinds of clothes.

In conclusion, I want to thank Dr. Reese Kilgo for coming with this new idea of celebrating Mother’s Day by talking nicely about the good things of our mother. This way we may continue to remember her nicely with a positive and constructive attitude. A good mother is indeed a great gift from heaven because she tends to exert great influence o­n our lives.