My Biggest Cheerleader. Revisited.
As I have been going through the process of redesigning my website my designer has asked me a few times where on the new website I wanted to place what she referred to as “the tribute to my mom”. A week or two after my mom passed away I posted her obituary for out of town family & friends to see. There was a button on my homepage labeled “My Biggest Cheerleader”, which she undoubtedly was.
Apparently that page has been one of the most visited over the years.
I’ve decided to place it here as my first post and as I plunge into a new phase of my business. It seems fitting in some way, knowing gratefully, she will always be a part of me, and everything I do.
As we near the date that will make an entire year without her I’m overwhelmed with bittersweet emotions. This has been the most difficult year of my life but yet in the midst of the pain there have been some extraordinary moments that have brought such joy. Those moments are tempered with the fact that she isn’t here to share them. Just months after my Moms death my sister welcomed a new member of our family, Nora Rose. My Mom would have adored her and being a grandmother! Most recently it was the invitation to be on Oprah that has made me miss her most. She was somehow always convinced that I would someday be on the show. She’d regularly start sentences with “when you’re on Oprah…”, so inspite of the impossible timeline presented to me I couldn’t help but agree. She would have simply been beside herself! It was truly an extraordinary experience in every way. Just moments before I stepped out on the stage a spotlight slowly brightened overhead and literally filled me with such warmth… I’m certain it was her beaming down from the best seat in the house. She will forever remain my biggest cheerleader.
I will forever miss her running in & out of my kitchen to bring me iced lattes or drop off a forgotten ingredient. One of the things I will miss most though was her weekly Friday afternoon visits to “evaluate” my cakes for the week. She always loved to see “my progress” and was convinced I was “always getting better”.
My sister, Ronda and I will always be grateful for a lifetime of unwavering support, constant encouragement and unconditional love.
A memorial mass was celebrated on Friday, November 28, 2008 for my mother, Marge Chiesa who passed away unexpectedly on November 21, 2008 at her Aptos home. Her sudden departure cut short her miraculous rebound from a cardio-pulmonary illness last year. Born in Gilroy, California, she was 63 years old. Marge has been a resident of the Santa Cruz area for the past 26 years.
Marge was a parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Community in Capitola and volunteered many hours on various church commissions and committees. She will be remembered most for her generosity of spirit. She received much joy in helping out with the “Giving Tree” organization and had a deep caring for all children. Her compassion for people and those who could not help themselves created a wonderful role model for her daughters, whom she loved most of all.
Her family will forever cherish her enthusiastic delight in celebrating all holidays, big and small. Her passion for fun extended well beyond the holidays; she needed no excuse for a party – “Happy Friday” being one of her favorites. However, the celebrations she cherished most were those involving the successes of those closest to her. She loved the Sound of Music, parades and marching bands, fireworks, roller-skating, jet skiing, Haagen Dazs ice cream and popcorn. A perfect day always began with “sleeping in”, followed by lunch with friends, Gayle’s “mixed grill – blue plate special” for dinner and ended with Johnny Carson (later followed by David Letterman!) Marge truly believed that Disneyland was the happiest place on earth and found no need for existence beyond the ride “It’s a Small World After All.”
Marge is survived by her daughters, Marina Sousa of Aptos, and Ronda Sousa of Chico. She also leaves her mother, Dorothy Chiesa, who resides part time in both Aptos and Gilroy and her sister, Carolyn Chiesa of Aptos. She was pre-deceased by her father, Margiorino “Midge” Chiesa. Marge leaves behind numerous loving cousins, countless friends and an extended church family. Marge’s childlike wonder was contagious, resulting in extremely special relationships with many children who will truly miss the affection and special attention of their “adopted grandmother”.
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