Happy Sunday! Tutti a tavola a mangiare! Growing up it was a Sunday ritual. Whatever you had planned when the clock said 2:00 p.m., the pasta was on the table, and if you weren’t there, you’d better have a good reason. The preferred reason was that you were working, at least in our house anyway. As we grew up the table expanded quite a bit. It was always a treat to have extra, unexpected guests. As the years passed we try to keep the tradition, but since my mom is getting older, we now take turns. The menu has made some changes since daddy has passed on, so when my mom (or Nonni as my kids call her) makes her traditional Sunday sauce, we’re overjoyed. (Yes, we call it sauce.)
This time our Sunday dinner turned into a little history lesson for my kids as well as for all of you. No matter how many times I hear my mother talk about her childhood, I always seem to learn something new. With each time I gain more and more admiration and respect for her. As you learn a little more of our family history firsthand, I hope this sheds some light on why at the Season 3 reunion when Teresa says that I’m part Gorga, my initial reaction was to say, “No, I’m not.” My response was foolish, of course, but not without a reason. My mother never really lived with her siblings, and when she was sent to live with her aunt, Teresa’s father wasn’t even born yet. Mom is seven years older than my uncle, and would only have brief visits. My mother met and married my father at 17 and then they moved to the United States. By the time my mother was reunited with Teresa’s dad as adults, she had her own family with five kids. That’s when they started to build a real relationship.
It’s so hard to understand sometimes how children were sent to live with other relatives, especially now that I’m a mother. However, I have learned that this happened quite often during those times. It must have been equally difficult for my grandmother too, and my heart breaks whenever I think of how she must have felt to have to give up her first-born daughter. My grandmother, Rosinella, lived until she was 96 years old, and when she was near her final days, my mom flew to visit with her and assure her that she had made peace with her childhood and never held my grandmother to blame for being sent to live with her aunt. It was closure for my mother and for my grandmother as well. By the time my mother returned from her visit, she received a call that my grandmother was at peace and had passed on. Forgiveness is freeing for both the one that is forgiving and the one who needs to be forgiven. I’m so glad you all get to see the extraordinary person that my mom is. I don’t even mind sharing her a little with all of you, because now everyone can see how special she really is. I am truly blessed.Which brings me to Rosie and her talk with Teresa. Rosie and I have always tried to stick up for and protect one another. Last week after my talk with Teresa I thought we were making progress. Isn’t that what happened at our lunch? Now it seems we’re doing the Texas Two Step. (Wait, aren’t we in Jersey?) It seems that with Teresa, every time we make a step forward, it turns into two steps backwards. Many of us in the family were questioning her sincerity, but I didn’t focus on that. I focused on what she was saying sitting across from me, looking into my eyes. Now, after hearing her conversation with my sister Rosie regarding the tabloids and other issues, I have so many questions all over again. I really don’t even want to go over the nonsense again. What I do want to say is the following:
Fact: I have never, ever spoken negatively about my cousin Teresa to any tabloid or have given damaging comments to the press. On the contrary, I have spoken highly of Teresa and sympathized with what she has been going through with the negative tabloid frenzy.
I continue to look forward to mending our relationship and have stated that many times.
What’s really bizarre to me is that Teresa is trying to convince everyone that she and Rosie were so close growing up, but as you all have witnessed in previous episodes and at the Season 3 reunion, Teresa constantly says that I was the only cousin she had. Which one is it? You were extremely close or you weren’t? You can’t tailor your history and relationships to suit your stories as you need them.
For any of you who have any doubts, yes, Italians do go to therapy when needed. My sister and I worked out issues in therapy many years ago, and we know that it helped us tremendously. It made us even closer than we thought possible. That is part of the reason Rich, Rosie, and I encouraged my cousin Joe to go with his sister. For his part, Joey was committed and wanted to do anything that could repair their relationship. The discussion about the trip to Napa Valley just points out how some people are able to step up and not make everything about them. The Lauritas and the Manzos are special people, and they know how to put differences aside and be civil. It was clear that they were lukewarm about including the Guidices (and the rest of us for that matter). This was their family trip, and they were so gracious to include us all. They felt that they would not let recent problems get in the way of their good time, and believe me, that’s not such an easy thing to do.
When all is said and done, we need to laugh and get out and have fun. Well that is just what Rosie, Heather, and I did the night we went to the Cubby Hole. Heather was the perfect friend to bring along as a buffer for Rosie and me. Heather’s free and loving spirit made us feel at ease. It was so great to be a part of my sister’s world when having a good time was all that mattered. Good friends, good times, and lots of laughs! My sister is great, and by the time we left the Cubbyhole everyone knew Rosie’s name! Everyone loves Rosie!
Red Velvet Cosmo is now available throughout New Jersey and Florida wherever spirits are sold. I have many more exciting things coming soon so stay tuned!
That’s all for now, I’m off to enjoy some fun in the sun at the Jersey Shore. Until next week! Have a good one.
Lots of Love,