My Mother, My Angel

Becky Reynolds

On September 7, 1995, God called a bright, articulate, sensitive, and loving 85 year old woman home, to join Him in Heaven. Not so unusual, it happens every day. But, this woman was special. She was my mother, Mamie Margaret Pendolino, and she was my hero, my best friend, and the wind beneath my wings. When she left, my whole world was turned upside down. For me, the sun will never shine the same. Mamie was one of six children born to Sarah Valenti and Jack Bondi. Growing up in Meadville, Pa., she was financially unable to continue elementary school, and became employed at the Boston Store, and later, Talon, Inc. She was a full-time housewife and loving mother to three children. During the 70's she continued her life's adventure by moving to California with her children, Bud and Becky. From their birth until her death, they were the center of her life. She is remembered as loving, friendly, unselfish, warm, outgoing and deeply religious. Some of her favorite pastimes were playing the slot machines in Las Vegas, outings with her daughter, and private concerts from her musical son, Bud. She treasured loving kisses and hugs from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will also be remembered for her fantastic meatballs, (often imitated, but never duplicated). She was forever concerned for others, rather than herself. Where am I with my grief today, some 21 months later? I'd be lying if I said,"I'm coping". I'm not. I've lost my best friend, my mother, my shopping buddy, my companion, my children's "gram", my everything. I've found that when you lose a parent, a king-sized hole appears in your heart that NO ONE can fill, not husband, not wife, not child. If it weren't for the wonderful people I've encountered on the WWW, who are all also dealing with loss, I would've made no strides at all. They've listened when I've rambled, they've cared when I've cried, they've shared when I had questions, but most important, they've taught me that I'm not alone. The first six months were a nightmare. How do you adjust to life without your mother? There were constant flashbacks,picking up the phone to call her, seeing an article of clothing she would've loved, remembering her favorite food, flower, song, and on and on. The following twelve months or so, there were good days and bad days and days that I wished I were with her. There have been many tears, many empty moments and many memories. Some days I fall apart at home, some days at the supermarket or a restaurant. My grief has no shame. It's unanounced, unmerciful, painful and persistant. I'd give everything I own to have just 24 hours with her. I miss her hugs, her smell, her voice, her gestures, I miss loving her. I miss just having her there, just bieng my mom. There are days that I feel like such a hypocrite... I hope for a long life to enjoy my husband, children and grandchildren, yet, I long for the day when my mom will lead me to the "other side", and I'll be with her again. Then, this whole process will begin again, and the grief monster will rear it's ugly head, and it will be time for my children to go through their own life-altering process. Time has eased the horrifying moments somewhat, but I'm still so consumed with pain and sadness that I have made the decision to seek professional help in dealing with this horrendous loss. I pray that this, time, and God's help will heal me.

Becky Reynolds,
remembering Mamie Margaret Bondi Pendolino
my angel, my mother
July 22, 1910-September 7, 1995

You can send email to Becky at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 09-07-95
date of post 07-24-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW