The Daily Suck
September 21st may not seem like a particularly special day to you, but it is for me. On this day in 1916, my great grandmother, Mam, was born. It’s the perfect day to remember not only her life, but her impact on my own, and I’m very excited to share the memories of such a wonderful person on my blog!
Mam was born Helen Marie Fabian in 1916 to an Italian family and lived in Mingo Junction, OH. She got married to Frank Rogers when she was just fifteen years old and gave birth to her first child, Grace, a year later.
I love her dress!!!
Anyways, Mam wasn’t just a normal housewife. During WWII, she got a job working on the railroads: big overalls, grease, and all. She went on to have two more children, Rich and Donna (my grandma), and ended up with eight grandchildren between her three kids!
That’s Mam in black on the left, along with her husband, Frank, her son-in-law, Vince, and her daughter, Grace. Did I mention Mam was a total babe?
On December thirteenth, 1968, Mam’s husband died, which prompted her to move in with her daughter (my grandma), Donna, her husband, John, and sons John (my Dad) and Eric, where she stayed for nearly the rest of her life. I really can’t overstate the impact that she had on bringing up my Dad and uncle after she moved in. She was such a joy and a help to the entire family, doing everything from cooking, baking, cleaning, and just loving them all in true Italian housewife style. She did this for as long as she was able to, even after my dad and uncle had moved out. I can still taste the warm chocolate cake that she would send over to the house when I was little. And that’s where Mam really shined. As a cook and baker, she was almost without equal, with her best dishes being homemade gnocchis, cheese raviolis, marinara sauce, Easter bread, rum cake, and chocolate cake. Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas dinners were a parade of one delicious food after the other; a tradition that my grandma still keeps going strong, being one mean cook herself.
Here’s Mam in the middle with her daughter, Grace, and my Dad, John.
After leading a happy and fulfilled life full of love and joy, Mam passed away on January 15, 2005 at the age of eighty-eight. I was only nine years old at the time, and I always wish that I had known her longer than I did. The years that I did get to spend with Mam, however, were incredible. One of the most striking things that I remember about my great-grandmother was her pride in her children and grandchildren. She was so proud of my father and uncle in everything that they did, and never failed to tell them how she felt and how much she loved them. It was the same with her grandchildren. Whenever my cousins, sisters, and I would put on a dance or a sing a song for her, she watched us with a joy and pride that I’ll never forget. Mam was lively and funny, but she also had one of the most compassionate hearts I’ve ever known. She would laugh when you would laugh, cry when you would cry, and wanted nothing more than to see everyone happy. Her tender soul and contagious smile made her loved by all who knew her. People to this day speak about Mam with such fondness and love, and I can only hope to leave a legacy as wonderful as hers.
I’m typing this not with tears in my eyes, but with a smile on my face, and that perfectly describes Mam’s impact on people. She was a happy person who made other people happy, and it was impossible to have a frown on your face when she was around. I know that she would be in the very front row at all of Spinning Jenny’s (my band) shows, cheering us on and making sure that we knew how much she loved us and how proud she was of us. I do know that she is looking down on us and praying for us always, giving us the same care that she did on earth in Heaven. Mam was an absolutely incredible woman that I miss dearly but remember with great joy. Happy birthday, Mam! Until we meet again in eternity.
I love you!
– Julia (aka Chickie Number One)