Frances Mary Turri Pilato

Frances Mary Turri Pilato
a.k.a, "St. Frances of Turri," my Mom

Saturday, August 6, 2016

My Mom's Dreams Came True After All

One day, in January 2007, approximately 18 months before my Mom passed away, we had a special visit.

As we watched The Golden Girls together, as we would do frequently, I thought about how full and successful the lives and careers were of the senior actresses who performed on that show.  I also thought about my own aspirations, personal and professional.

I then looked over at my Mom - and thought about her life - and her dreams.

"Certainly," I thought to myself, "she had to have some of her own when she was young."

So, after a moment, I asked her to shut off the television.  I wanted to talk with her.

While I was quite aware of her memory issues, long and short term, I still wondered about her child-hood dreams, and asked, "Mom...what did you want to be when you were a little girl?"

"What do you mean?" she said.

"Well," I continued, "Did you ever have any dream job that you thought about doing when you grew up?  Or did you ever have any dreams in general of what you wanted your life to be – or how you wanted your life to turn out?"

She sat there with these questions, searching her memory, which had been savaged and erased by the various stages of dementia; and still, she was determined to give me an answer:

"I guess," she started to say, "...it was always my dream to one day go to a senior center on a daily basis, where I would have a good meal, be with people, play cards and bingo.  That was always my dream."

At first, I was startled and sad for her.  Whatever aspirations she may have had as child, a teen or a young adult, were lost – gone, somewhere in the deep, dark sleep of her memory.

But then I was happy for her.  She had convinced herself in the short new history of her life that going to the senior center (every day for the previous seven years) was the fulfillment of a life-long dream.

I felt God shining upon and through her that day.