Opinion: A mother’s love is never too good

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Loving and being loved is the greatest experience in life. Although intangible to the touch and incomprehensible to the mind, love is real and speaks to our common humanity.

As the son of an Italian immigrant mother, I learned that love is a textured language that can soothe and sustain, inspire and empower, but is not always coherent. We had our share of arguments. Sometimes words were expressed that should have remained unspoken. Love is almost never without friction. But time allows forgiveness and redemption to dismantle the grudge. Hearts are mended. Over time, you realize that love can be in conflict and still be understood and appreciated, if you really listen to it.

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The essence of love is the unequivocal commitment to promoting the happiness and well-being of the one you love. A promise expressed more faithfully in actions than in words. I never doubted my mother’s love. Everything she did for me made it clear.

A mother nurtures and mentors her child as long as God continues to endow him with a healthy mind and body. Mothers teach us everything.

This is some of everything I learned from my mother: To be tolerant and empathetic. Be generous and give back to society. To talk and talk about the evil you can see. To help the vulnerable.

From my mother, Maria, I learned the art of negotiation, I learned it by witnessing the many negotiation battles she engaged in with the farmers at the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets, the retailers on the Main, and the peddler who came to our house in its forest. -paneled truck. It was full of merchandise that he would offer her at presumably discounted prices. His sales pitch was always rebuffed with what were surely some of the first words my mother learned when she arrived in Canada: “Too expensive!” His price-haggling antics backfired at Eaton’s, but not for lack of trying, much to my utter embarrassment.

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Never idle, my mother was constantly gardening in our backyard or cooking, doing dishes or laundry, or preparing school lunches. She never watched television empty-handed; She always sewed, knitted, crocheted or embroidered. She also worked full time as a school custodian. She did it all for her family and made it look easy. I know she wasn’t.

She said no to most of my Canadian-inspired demands, like getting a dog, going to see a Disney movie, or joining the Boy Scouts. But she once said yes to something very Canadian.

One night an encyclopedia salesman who spoke Italian showed up at our house. My father, José, He immediately informed her that he was not interested in buying what he was selling. My mother asked the seller to explain what those books were about. She explained that these beautifully bound books contained articles on different branches of knowledge arranged alphabetically and would help her children with school projects. “We are buying these books,” she told my father. My love for reading increased even more.

My mother acquired a command of English that ensured that her demands were met, one of which was that I receive adequate medical care to cure my chronic asthma. We spent a lot of time at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The eastbound 144 bus was part of our trip home. One day, as the bus was driving down the street, which was then called not Docteur-Penfield but McGregor, I pointed out the McGill Law School and explained that it was in that building that students learned to become lawyers. That one day he hoped to study there. “Perché right?” She answered. Why not.

During our Sunday lunchtime family gatherings, my mother would remind her five grandchildren, in her adorable, broken English: “Never forget: Nonna loves you too much.” Her love endures in our family.

And I miss her too much.

Ralph Mastromonaco is a McGill Law School alumnus and practices criminal law in Montreal.

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