A little over two years ago, tragedy struck my family in the form of a skiing accident. With one crash landing, life went from a calm walk in the park to a whirlwind of chaos and pain. As I laid there, confused and terrified in a hospital bed, my family was wracked with grief and overwhelmed by doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers. And while morphine robbed me of most my initial hospital memories, I’ll never forget how it felt when she walked in my room. My guardian angel didn’t have a halo or wings… just black hair and tanned skin. She came to my bedside, and I mouthed two words… “Hey Ma.”
She calls herself my Italian Drama Mama, but most people know her as Margie Victor. Her son Robbie and I first met playing Little League against each other in elementary school, and we have been as close as brothers for almost 20 years now. Ask for her favorite memory of me, and the woman I call my second mom will without a doubt embarrass me yet again with a tale of a little boy falling in love with her cooking. The great Italian dish that sealed it? Rice-a-Roni…
Scour the earth, and I guarantee you will not find another soul like Margie. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s animated as all hell. Her boisterous laugh and ability to find both humor and irony in just about any situation will make you smile every time. The very definition of unconditional love, she’s one of the rare few genuinely open minds of her generation that chooses to look past the crazy hair colors, tattoos and piercings of people my age to see them for who they really are.
What makes Margie so amazing is the fact that if you are a friend of either of her sons, you are as good as family in her eyes. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, you always know there’s one place you can turn for help, a place to crash, some great Italian food or just a warm hug. Because she is this way, she receives the utmost respect, love and, at times, fear from every boy that was lucky enough to call her “Ma.” Nothing can bring a grown man to his knees like a look of disapproval from a barely-five-foot-tall Italian woman.
So, it’s not surprising that after she kissed me on the forehead in the intensive care that February morning, I knew everything was going to be OK. From that point on, Margie became my family’s absolute rock. Always thinking, she refused to let us give up hope. She somehow made it seem as if she was always there, and when she wasn’t, some sort of sixth sense would cause her to call at the very moment we needed her strength. She was the one person that managed to keep her bearings amidst all the trauma and confusion, and went on to carry us through our darkest days.
Flash forward to the present. Aside from my mom, my Italian Drama Mama is the only person that gets me completely. She has the unique ability to judge whether a situation or location is “Kenny accessible” based on a complete understanding of my comfort levels that even I don’t have. Regardless of where she is, she is constantly analyzing every detail as they pertain to me; accessibility, weather, temperature, social setting, you name it. Most days, all we have to do tell her where we are headed, and she can instantly break down everything we might need, and what we should expect. Looking back, I can’t imagine how my family could have survived this whole ordeal without my guardian angel. I strongly believe that, if it were not for Margie, I would never have been able to adjust to my life as it is.
I truly hope you understand just what you have meant to our family over these last few years, Ma. You have no idea how great it feels to always know there is an angel like you on our side at all times. We all love you so much.
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Every day I click on your link 2 or 3 times a day just to see if by some chance you have updated. I know I\’m such a geek but every now and then when I click and you have updated my insides get all excited at the thought of reading something you have written.. Sometimes you make me laugh and sometimes you make me cry. This one made me cry simply because It reminded me of my guardian angel who I happened to have lost a few months ago. I\’m so happy that you have been blessed with your Ma. And it\’s also good to know that she reads this because when you love someone you should tell them and what a better way than a tribute like you have given to your second mom here. I hope you have the most blessed weekend.
I haven\’t commented forever but I\’ve been here almost everyday reading and when there wasn\’t something new posted I reread and found something new I hadn\’t gotten the previous times.
Your entry completely caught me off guard, in a very good way! I\’ve recently made friends with a widowed, 77 year old, retired doctor. He\’s my neighbor and for whatever reasons I didn\’t even know he existed until a few weeks ago. I completely understand where you are coming from. I feel like I\’ve met an earthly angel…I can\’t even begin to explain it as eloquently as you did, so I\’m not even gonna try!
I hope you have a fantastic weekend! Thanks for sharing a piece of your "Italian Drama Mama" with the blog world! It made my night! ~Kate
Hey K Sal….. (kind of like J Lo or P Diddy, but better, right?)
I honestly don\’t know what prompted me to this computer at this time of night…… but there was a reason……
My boys posted. You and Keith have something new.
I feel that from your posts, you\’re doing well. I hope that means physically, as well as mentally. And I hope that you are writing so much, you can\’t stand it. And, mostly, I hope you are enjoying it.
Have I told you this week how amazing you are?
Because if I haven\’t, then I am behind…. and this includes your "crew" — Miss D, Dar, Mandy, Lana, your bowlin\’ mama, your dama mama, the realness, the eyelash queen….. and so on.
Whether it\’s five weeks, or five years….. your story is going to make a difference.
Ok, think I should hit the hay now? That\’s what we say in Texas, anyway ya\’ll….
Seems you and I had similar ideas when it came to new entries this week.
Isn’t it amazing the bonds you make with people when you are ill? My second mom is Lurdes I wrote about her on my Mother’s Day Blog here! The difference between me and you is your mother was actually there for you. Mine left me to fend for myself for 7 weeks in the hospital.
When I was up puking, with cold sweats, hallucinating, shaking, and pain all over on Easter Weekend because I was withdrawing from the morphine my mother took one look at me and ran out of the hospital crying. She never did come back… but you know who was there holding my hand the whole time? Lurdes.
You know who was holding me in her arms rocking me back and forth telling me everything was going to be ok? Lurdes.
You know who didn’t think twice about holding me, hugging me and kissing me when I was full of blood, mucus, puke, puss, and just all around dirty from not taking a shower (nurses sucked and no mom to help me shower). You know who was there to help me shower when I finally had the energy? Lurdes.
These are just some of the things she’s done… she’s been my guardian angel this whole time and continues to be.
Cherish her always… as I will too,
What great Ma!
Isn\’t it awesome, the people God brings into our lives? SO glad you have your Ma! Take care Salvini! 😉
I have had the blessing of second moms in my life…and third and fourth moms…ladies who have always been there to support me 🙂 I am glad you have been blessed with your Ma 🙂
I slowly made my way through all of your blogs (ok, ok, ok, I read them all in two days!) and probably left a heck of a lot of comments, but yeah…..really enjoyed them all. I hate starting something half-way, so I started at the beginning until I ended up here!
Just wanted to say that I truly loved to read your blogs…not just because of the content, but also your talent…as an avid reader, I can recognise a gift when I see it (and I am DANG picky, my friend!)
I wanted to wish you good luck in every way! You seem like a great guy with a lot going for you, and someone any girl would be lucky to have! I am pleased that you have been blessed with such wonderful people in your life who love you the way they do!
So……I\’ll be peeking in here every now and then to check up on you, and I\’ve let all of my friends know about you as well (via my own blog)…dude, I\’m a geek, forgive me!
Take care and God bless you, Kenny!
I haven\’t been reading or writing here so much as I used to…not for a while. I thought I\’d come back to the blog that made me understand the allure of it all. Glad I did…smart ass or sentimental…it gets me everytime!
I just wanted to say a few words. First….thank God your parents raised such a thankful and in touch child. Without those values people wouldnt seem so important that cross your paths. I know we all have that special person that has touched our lives, but not all of us were able to regognize it as a blessing. I give your parents and family so much credit for raising such a wonderful young man.
Thank you so much for all you write. Each and every post has touched me in one way or another.
Its amazing the impact some people have on our lives. Sometimes, we take those people for granted, never realizing how important they really are. But from the sound of things, you know just how important she is in yours and your families life. She\’s a proud, strong, and good woman.
It\’s funny how in dire situations some people step up and others cower away. Did you ever dream your life would be filled w/ such heroes? This was nice to showcase one of them.
Ah how sweet you are! I know Margie must smiling ear to ear. She is one amazing lady! (I think you give a great mental picture for those who don\’t know her.) She is a strong, funny, hyper, intimidating-at-the-right-time, wonderful little woman! She packs a punch in that small package! In other words: She\’s got your back! Always.
Love ya Friend!
Wow… I actually found myself reading through all your blogs — your writing is vivid and real. I\’m so sorry about what happened, and, ironically, I wish I could appreciate life as much as you do. Thanks for the writing.
Hi! I have recently started reading your blogs and I have to say I am overwhelmed by your writings. Your life story is not an easy one and I commend you for putting it out there for others to read.
Since reading your stories I have come to realize some things about my own life.
See, I have been depressed for many many yrs and altho I am over the worst part, there are times when it creeps back into my life without any notice. Lately I have been feeling a lil low and down. I read your stories for inspiration. I want to live each day to the fullest. Sometimes it is not that easy…but I don\’t have to tell you heehee. Anyway, enough about me…I appriciate your time. I really hope you publish a book, you definately have inspired many. Keep up the great work. Ever want to talk? Ya got my email. Thanks again.
Hugs, Kellylynn 🙂
Kenny, what a great woman she sounds like. Your description of her in and of itself brings comfort. -patti
Dude I can\’t wait to talk to you! What\’s the plan for our combo b.day party shin-dig?? I\’ll call ya later. ANSWER! Love ya Friend.
That\’s why God sends such angles….he tells them what to say to us and do for us. You are very lucky to have such a special one. Have a good Memorial Weekend!
I\’m so glad you were blessed enough to have an individual like this in your life at such a taxing time, and of course you know I understand how difficult the initial transition areas. I have had many close friends in my, relatively young, quadriplegic life, however, no one has been able to understand me that well, with the exception of my brother. Good luck and all of your future endeavors and may continue to enjoy this close bonding you have with your second mother.
Great story as always!
So glad you had that person in your life- she sounds wonderful. I myself have been blessed a couple of times in my life with extended family like this.
Hope you are well!
What a beautiful angle u have!
happiness will always around u~~
God bless you and your Guardian Angel. Your story has greatly inspired me today.
I love my mama more than I can say and no one can take her place. But in a way, my second mama or my adopted mama as I call her, does what she does, not because we are blood related, but because she is a wonderful person, and a beloved friend. I know how you feel about ma.
Hey!Iam Giuliana and I\’m from Italy,I came into your profile acidentally while I was browsing in the net…But I wanna say that you seem an amazing person and I love your space.This post about your mom is so sweet.
Have a great day
Hey what\’s up kenny,
Thanks for including me in the Quad squad. I was wondering why your site kept appearing in my statistics.
When I was first injured I feel like I was surrounded by angels. From the moment I broke my neck it was as if God surrounded me and showed himself through all the people who came into my space. There was one nurse in particular who sat by my bed and hardly ever left my side. I don\’t even remember her name, only that her presence was so peaceful and comforting. Not really the same as your story, just thought I\’d share.
I\’m looking to make some more aggressive moves in my therapy. I may be attending project walk and I\’m looking into a surgery in Portugal. Have you ever thought about participating in the more experimental directions of recovery?
take it easy,
Nice Space man it seems you are pretty popular. Pass some of it this way. Come by and check it out.
Ya know Kenny, whenever I come here to visit you, one of two things INVARIABLY HAPPENS. It never fails.
You either have me laughing so hard that I pee myself (hate when that happens), OR, you turn me into what I always feared I would one day become: a weepy old man.
After reading this post, I am not laughing…
It has occurred to me, many times over the years, that there are certain people who are here, WITH us, in our journey through life.
They GET us, to such a total degree, that to the uneducated eye it almost appears uncanny, perhaps even a little bit ‘magical’. I have my own theories as to why that is so, but I won’t share them here, as that would be a blog entry unto itself.
Suffice it to say that it gladdens me to know that you have such a person, probably more than one such person, in your life.
Hi,this is a man from China and I am gonna to pursue my PHD at an american university from this fall.
Nice to see your posts at this space.You give me a deep impression.I came across to this place and saw there are so many frieneds(We can call each other friends,Cann\’t we?)leave their comments here.You guy wll be blessed.
I slept your return, but glad to see you writing again! I lost someone who held that place in my Life – my best friends Mom. She was the one I could go to when my number 1 Mom wouldn\’t understand. I feel lucky to have known her because she taught me what to be for some wonderful (or not so wonderful) young person that my daughter might bring home. Hope I can live up to the legacy.
Be well, Kenny.
Awesome entry. You must love her a lot…it shows. You are lucky to have each other in your lives.
hey thats great! very nice! glad you are writing again!
God bless Margie!!!
We could all learn a lot from her…
Blessings to you and your loved ones…
Awww, this entry got me teary-eyed. You must love Margie so much. I wish this world could have more Margies. We all need people like her in our lives.
What a cool tribute.
I was going to say I have a Margie in my life, but no, that\’s stupid — all people are different, individuals. So I\’ll say \’Cheers, Margie\’ and I\’m glad she is in your life and that you in turn appreciate her the way you do.
That was beautifully written. I am sure she knows how much you love her for just being in your life. Kudos!