"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Apr25th2016

Mending A Broken Heart

by  Phyllis Zeck

Auntie Phyllis  and her great grandchild

Auntie Phyllis and her great grandchild

This weekend I edited more of the three interviews that my brother Rob and I recorded with Auntie Phyllis in 2011.  Auntie was my mother Corinne’s older sister. You can listen to the first interview by clicking here. I’ve skipped ahead to our third interview but will be editing the other two interviews as time permits. In this discussion we asked auntie what has given her the most pleasure and satisfaction in her life. “My children”, she told us. Phyllis and Richard had five children; Mark, Toni, Ricky, Gina, and Michele.

We also talked about my genealogy research and how pleased auntie was to begin correspondence with her first cousin, Joe Del Principe.  Rob then moved the discussion to God, faith, miracles, and Heaven. Auntie Phyllis encourages her descendants (in 2011 she had 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren) to follow their dreams. We ended with a story about how Auntie “calmly” explained to an aide in her assisted living center the difference between spaghetti and macaroni.

Auntie’s daughter Michele shares a memory below about her mother, thank you Michele!

“My First Broken Heart. I suffered my first broken heart at the age of 15 and I’ll never forget how my mother helped me get over it. After I had been lying in my mother’s bed crying for a couple of days, my mom came home from work one day with a little pink and white heart shaped pillow about 6″ x 6″. Coming from a family of five children, we didn’t often get spontaneous gifts so it meant a lot to me and I knew it was an effort to help me get through my first broken heart. The pillow itself was nothing special but for some reason I kept it in my cedar chest for years. When I’d see it, It would remind me of my first love and my first broken heart.

Auntie Phyllis & Michele (appor 2010)

Auntie Phyllis & Michele (approx 2010)

Fast forward many years, and my grown daughter is lying on her bed crying her eyes out over her first broken heart and suddenly I understood. My heart was breaking watching my daughter with her first broken heart. I wanted so badly to help her get through it. I so wished there was something I could do or say to help her and I felt helpless. My heart hurt. I went to my cedar chest and picked up the pink and white heart pillow. It no longer represented my first broken heart. I now understood that when my mother gave me this heart pillow, it was because her heart was breaking and she wanted to do something, anything, to help me. It was now about my mother’s love for me. I knew what I had to do. I handed the heart pillow to my daughter and told her about my first broken heart and how my mother helped me get through it.”

Click on this button below to listen to an excerpt from our interview with Auntie Phyllis in 2011.

 

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