Overview - At the time my mother Rita Liuzzi DiTuri, was one hundred and two years young she was alert and remarkably beautiful. Throughout the years she would tell us stories about her family and I often thought of writing her life story but it remained dormant for years. Read more...
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More About Rita by Mary Restivo
At the time my mother Rita Liuzzi DiTuri, was one hundred and two years young she was alert and remarkably beautiful. Throughout the years she would tell us stories about her family and I often thought of writing her life story but it remained dormant for years. That is until one Sunday morning while we were listening to Italian House party with John LaBarca on radio AM 600. John was playing my mother's favorite Italian songs and she began singing along with the melody. Mom never had professional vocal training but loved to sing and continued to sing after the program was over. I soon became aware that she was singing a song about a young girl which was unfamiliar to me. When I asked about the song Mom smile escalated into a hearty laugh and it was infectious and I began to laugh along with her not really knowing why I was laughing. She explained that when her mother refused to buy her a new case for her books she whined and carried on. When her brother learned why she was behaving in that manner he surprised her with a new red bookcase the following day. She remembered how proudly she walked to school showing it off. Thereafter her brother teased her, as older brother's do, with a song he made up about his baby sister going to school with a red suitcase. Mom often spoke about her family but without a doubt this cherished story about her school days motivated me to seriously consider writing her biography. I began to ask questions about my grandparents and information poured out like an open faucet. Bear in mind that my mother was one hundred two at the time and I was astonished by how quickly she remembered dates, names and special events in detail. Every afternoon thereafter, mom took me by the hand, figuratively speaking and we traveled back in time. This was truly the beginning and I had no idea what was in store for me. I was mesmerized by the romances, her childhood, hardships, sorrow and world events. Irrelevant but amusing was the fact that I spoke to my mother in English (since my conversational Italian was limited and she answered my questions in Italian and you can imagine the belly laughs when I mispronounced Italian names. Looking back, I was most fortunate to have had those precious moments with my mom. It is a great pleasure for me to accompany you on this roller coaster journey into the past to the year 1856. Buckle up your safety device and enjoy the ride. I promise that together we will experience unexpected highs and thrilling lows, not to mention the countless bumps and turns as we venture along. I'm sure you will agree it is a story about an amazing woman that must be told.
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