A Fond Farewell To Mama Carson
It is with a heavy heart to inform you on the passing of my dear mother, Helen who left us on the morning of April 23rd (Ironically, today is the Feast Day of St. George: That was my father's name as well). Mom was a patient at The Care One Nursing Home in Westwood, New Jersey for over a year after she was diagnosed with dementia, but in certain instances, her mind STILL functioned especially when we discussed life and times in her native land of Greece.
Mom (pictured to the left on this cover photo with our life long friend, Dora Spyrou in the middle and her inseparable younger sister Elisabeth (also my God Mother) on the right) was the oldest of five children, born on December 16th 1927 in the northern Aegean Island of Lemnos. She was raised in the hamlet of Moudros where life was simple and the village exhibited a strong sense of community and love amongst each other. I can safely tell you when growing up, she was a tom boy and that infuriated my old school grandfather who was the austere and ever watching patriarch of her family.
St. Evangelistria which has served our lovely village since 1904 was home to my mother every Sunday morning where she participated in weekly services and holy feast days with her friends and family. My parents were also married there. This beautiful church is our "crown jewel" in my native land and I treasure the many visits to this sacred building during my 9 trips to the old country.
You can see how the church towers over the aerial view of our village which remains near and dear to me each and every day. And all the stories Mom shared with yours truly, everything from the days during World War II, going to special places in our back yard and through out the island and most of all the beloved people who I was fortunate to call my friends as well at some point in my life. Keep in mind, despite her health setbacks, these conversations were comforting to her and our discussions about the past brought a sense of nostalgia and positive feeling upon our recent visits, the last one being on Sunday, March 8th, (ironically on my Uncle Gus's birthday, my aunt Elisabeth's husband) a little over a week before all medical facilities were quarantined and it was joyous for both of us.
The journey ended over a month later and Mom left us at the golden age of 92. It truly shows a testimonial of a life that will be celebrated by each and every one who knew her. She is now in a better place reunited with my father, friends and close relatives who have held a special place for her in the skies above.
I remember telling her how my visits should have been more frequent, but Mom understood and said to me in her authentic Greek accent that "work came first" and being at "my happy place" WSBS will give me the daily strength I need to get by. I also express a heart felt "THANK YOU" for your thoughts and prayers via social media, telephone or in person as my one request is for you to be there for me during this difficult period of adjustment and I will forge ahead to keep you entertained and informed each and every day.
Mama Carson's passing was attributed to a variety of health issues besides dementia. She is at peace and her memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting.
(Photo images of Moudros, Lemnos in Greece courtesy of the island's Facebook page)