My Mother was Catholic, My Father was Handsome…a Love Story

Mother & Dad

My mother was Catholic, my father was…handsome. The daughter of poor immigrants, and poorly educated, herself, this young girl of Irish/Italian heritage was looking for a better future. My father, too, was of immigrant parents, hard working, middle class, and Protestant. 

She wanted the love that an abusive father never showed her, and he, this dashing young tradesman, would give her that, and more. Still, she was Catholic and, well, he was a pool shooter.  Living in a flat above the pool hall he frequented, evenings would often find her purposefully loitering on the building steps, easy prey for his roving eyes.  Love finds a way…

Barely 19 and in a ‘family way’, she married him, probably to the chagrin of the family patriarch, and the local priest. After all, she was a Catholic girl and he…well, he was careless and cavalier.  In all likelihood, he was careless more than once, as six more children were added to the family tree in rapid succession. She was very Catholic.

Life was challenging for a young wife with five small children and an ‘old school’ husband who set the rules and expectations in a firm manner. Yet, for all the hardships endured, she worshipped him, depended on him for her well-being and her place in a middle class America. Besides, what were her options?

Their marriage endured, and only strengthened with time. My mother loved my father dearly and he relished his role as a strong family provider and leader. He was doing what was expected of him, then.

It was joyful, watching their love grow, an affair lasting 50 years. Life’s tough challenges were met and now behind them, and they basked in the comfort of their companionship, each one knowing the other’s pleasures.

And then, it ended. One morning, he kissed her goodbye, twice, went to work and didn’t come home. To the end, the handsome pool player fulfilled his vow to love and cherish, protect and provide.

The Catholic girl survived another twenty years, still in love with the same man but now adding God in her daily thoughts. After all, she was Catholic, and He…well, He was her Savior.


Dedicated to my wonderful parents

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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

17 thoughts on “My Mother was Catholic, My Father was Handsome…a Love Story”

    1. June, I wasn’t sure about posting it for public consumption but you liked it so much that I wanted to do it for you, too. Thanks for the encouragement.


  1. I love this post because it’s a story that everyone can relate to in some way, whether it reminds them of their own parents, grandparents or their own story. Thanks for sharing your talent and your story Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that’s an amazing story, albeit sad. I have so many questions coming out of it. But I guess that’s the element of a good short story. But still cannot stop thinking why did he leave and never come back?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Neha. They were married 50 years and he was 76. He worked hard, played hard and was a tough man with a soft side. At 76, he was still going to work. He heart finally gave out the day he went to work, hanging wallpaper on a job site. He always said, “when I go, I just want to go”. He went doing something he loved. They were a special couple, proud to call them my parents. And he was my ‘hero’, if we need heroes. Thanks so much for your question and reading of my essay. And to be honest, I was happy writing about them. (HAGD….😉)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww I understand now. Sorry I did not understand before why he never came back. That is really sad. God bless him and your mom. Yes you are so lucky to have had such wonderful parents and be able to still enjoy all the wonderful memories they gave you. That’s a great story!

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      2. Maybe I should have developed that line a bit more, but I think I wanted readers to think about it and see how it might impact them. You have given me an inspiration for a new essay. It’ll be hard but I hope I can develop it. Right now, I’m working on another simple one about dancing. As you’ve noticed, my topics aren’t ‘deep’, instead a bit whimsical, if that’s correct. I just started writing these last year and thoroughly enjoy the process. I should go for some training. It’s lots of fun to get feedback and meet nice people such as yourself. BTW (I do that to tease you), I’m on Instagram at ‘srbottch’. Lots of nice peeps (oh, yeah, Twitter, too) there, as well. Please keep in touch. Steve

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am sure we will stay in touch. Yes the best posts deal with simple topics. One of my favorite poet’s Ted Kooser as I am sure you will know, writes poems on the simplest of subjects yet that does not diminish the depth of the emotions his descriptions evoke.

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