Through all of the many negative memories that made up my childhood there is one memory that helped to form the way that I felt about women or the way that I most often treated the women that were the closest to me throughout my life. This memory came from the way that my father treated my mother.    Teresa pietroboni dominick pietroboni

  All through my childhood one fact that I really remember was that my father adored my mother and lived to serve her. He would have been considered the perfect husband to many of  liberated minds that dictate what is considered  desirable male behavior in a contemporary relationship. He did everything for her and expected nothing in return. He worked constantly at a physically demanding job and often worked 16 to 18 hours a day. His off work hours were spent building a home that my mother had wanted. When he wasn't building a home he was shopping for my mother, preparing food, washing his  and her clothes, or in other words took care of most of the responsibilities that would usually be divided in a relationship, and he actually loved doing that for my mother. He never forgot an anniversary or Valentine's day and always bought the biggest cards for her and always filled them with a commitment of love for her. Though my mom loved my dad she was not one to reciprocate by openly expressing love to him.. or at least until the last few years of her life. This never seemed to bother my father. He was happy just loving her and being able to serve her with that love. Again, in other words.. my father lived to serve my mother. She made up his entire world,,,

      My mother was a genius. She absorbed information around her with amazing clarity and amazing recall. She could still recite Shakespeare sonnets that she learned as a child. She knew history and geography and political sciences issues better than many of those who had degrees to instruct those subjects . Her knowledge also covered issues that  crossed gender lines, age lines, and ethnic lines. For instance, she knew all of the team members from most of the sports that are played in the U.S. and knew what was going on in any of those sports. Or my mother even knew rappers and the lyrics to some of their songs. But most of what my mother knew she rarely shared with people. She was an incredibly secretive person. You only got a glimpse of what she knew when she had a rare moment of information sharing. I was lucky to be one of the privileged people in the last years of her life that she actually felt compelled to share that information. I think that she realized as she watch my father's life fade that she had not offered anyone, especially him much of her true essence. I think that she realized that if she was to ever share it with him that it had to be then. And most of all, I think that she finally realized how much he had done for her and that she really loved and appreciated him. Most of her life though she was just very depressed, mainly because like with many of geniuses that do not get a chance to express their talents, her mind just dreamed of what she could do and also kept her aware that none of those things could ever happen. Her abilities had been born out of synch with a time that most women of her skills had a  chance to achieve career opportunities that matched their abilities. Had those opportunities been available to her she may have never been a wife or a mother, and if she did ever become a mom or a wife it would have been a part of her life experience rather than all of it. Because that was all of it, I think that being a mom or a wife just reminded my mother that she would never have an opportunity to be anything else. As I said, she was very secretive so she kept that awareness to herself. This was again until a few years before she died. I was around her a lot during those years, so I was privileged to have shared the moment with her when she felt compelled to talk about them. I also watched in amazement and awe when she made sure that every morning when my father woke up and before he left for the day, she would read the news paper with him or share some time that she just talked to him about normal things or about their life which rarely had ever happened until that time. Seeing her share this time with him and seeing them happily communicating was one of the greatest gifts that I have ever had from anyone.

  My father until the end of my mother's life continued to serve her with almost every moment of his time and awareness.

  When my mother died,  unlike many of widowed men, my father did not lose someone that cleaned up after him, or washed his clothes or even someone that cooked his meals...                                                                                                                                                                         

   What my father lost...was his reason to be alive.                                                                                                                                    

   Also amazing.. since she died,, what my father remembers is that she did everything for him.....

   I have always liked the theme song to the version of "Romeo and Juliet" that was directed by Franco Zeffirelli.. It is known as "A Time For Us ." The music seems to serve as  a sad but beautiful prayer of hope for someone that beyond this moment that there will be that perfect moment without any death or any of life's disappointments.


                                                                                                      John 11:35