Monday, July 22, 2013

I Remember Mom and Dad


Wedding DayMom and Dad
Helen and Gerard Fischetti


I Remember Mom and Dad

By Susan Marie Davniero

(Published The Pink Chameleon) 

This is their story – Mom and Dad (Helen and Gerard Fischetti). This is what I know when I was there. I remember Mom and Dad as being in love– it was the real thing. Their marriage was an equal partnership. There was no boss in this family.

They compliment each other as their differences only brought them closer. They seemed to need each other. I know I needed them – to guide me, to provide for me, and show me the way until I could do it my own way. 

I remember Mom when she was there sewing at her Singer Sewing Machine, playing her own written music and songs on the piano, studiously studying the checkbook balance at the kitchen table, or resting in bed reading a book beside Dad. Mom was there when I needed her to have one of "our talks." She always seemed to know the answer.  

I remember Dad as the handsome, protective, strong and caring father always polite. At home he always lectured us to use good manner saying our “Please” and “Thank You.” Dad was friendly and thoughtful – everyone loved him. My husband, Bob came to love him too. I knew this when I overheard him tell Dad; “You know I always loved you, Jerry. You treat me better than my own Dad.”  

All my childhood friends felt the same too. I recall my girlfriend, Stephanie, telling me “I wish my parents were like your parents. You just don’t know how great your folks really are.” But I did realized that they were great - caring about my friends, faithful to each other, always doing the right thing, and they didn’t swear or use bad language. I was always proud of my mother and father – I was never embarrassed.  

My parents didn’t try to be a friend, make a pal to our friends, but they were nevertheless were. They didn’t live vicariously thru their children, but they didn’t live just for themselves either. My parents didn’t butt in or pry, but they always had time for a talk. 

Mom and Dad always had something good to say about another person, scolding us if we made fun of anyone else and to put ourselves in their shoes. All three of us were proper little ladies growing up. 

I listened when Dad taught his daughters to follow the Golden Rule “Treat others like you want you to be treated,” which I later learned was the sentiments of our Catholic faith. Dad also instructed us to be good; “Don’t drag the Fischetti name thru the mud.” And I never did. 

Mom inspired her three daughters to be more than just what you look like, have a good personality and work in business. Mom always did it all and everything she did she excelled at – music, art, sewing, working, and business.

I could see how Mom and Dad shared their skills and talents with others. Mom would take on her friends’ clothes alterations so they could look their best or help balance a checkbook even for a college professor.

There was Dad always lending a hand with his mastery carpentry to finish a relative’s basement or hang a suspended ceiling. They were always willing to help if they could.

Their door at 18 Surrey Lane, Massapequa Park was always open inviting others to come in, the welcome mat was always out to host a friendly game of family poker, share a meal to break bread together, celebrate America's birthday at their annual 4th of July baroque (Dad’s rule was everyone had to dress in red, white and blue), and there was always a place setting to join our traditional Italian Christmas Eve 7-course fish dinner. Life was as full as that 7-course meal was – we all had our fill of food and fun.  

After their early years in Hollis, Queens and a move to Massapequa, Long Island – they had a good life. Apparently, all the years of hard work has paid off and they were able to travel, entertain, socialize, dine out, and pay for both of their twin daughters (me and Laura) formal lavish weddings. Now Dad could buy the new cars he always wanted. Dad was known to joke; “I buy a new car when the ashtrays are full.” 

Yet, even during the best of times, Mom and Dad were never materialistic, wasteful or extravagant. They always brought and spent only what they could afford, after all they were raised during the Depression and it left its mark.  

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Dad’s death preceded Mom by a few years until Mom joined him in Heaven. Mom was once again as I saw her beside Dad resting. Mom told me what she believed that “she would never marry again so she could be buried with my father.” Goodnight Mom, Goodnight Dad.

This was to be their story and yet it seems to be all about me. This is the only life I known as their daughter- the years I was there. I may not know all the statistics to fill the official records books. I only knew them as Mom and Dad. This is the story of the Mom and Dad that I will always love. Love never dies.

Written by: Susan Marie Davniero (Fischetti)

When Dad Walked Me Down the Aisle

Published Pancakes in Heaven/The Pink Chameleon

It was one of the happiest days of my life when my husband-to-be, Bob, proposed marriage. Not only because he made me happy but because he made my Dad happy, too. Dad often told me he hoped to walk me down the aisle
It seems that day was coming sooner rather than later. Bob and I only dated a few weeks and Bob already proposed on the third date. I hesitated to tell my parents because it was so soon. That night I came home from my date with Bob. Arriving home, I walked passed my Dad sitting up at the dining room table waiting up for me, we exchange our good nights.

Reaching my bedroom upstairs that I shared with my twin sister, Laura, of course I told Laura the big news. She insisted I tell the folks that night and woke up the whole family. Laura was adamant and made a scene raising her voice; "Tell them now! You have to tell them"

Everyone awoke, my older sister, Teresa, came to her bedroom door wrapped in her blanket, even the cats seemed curious. Dad, with Mom following, raced to the bottom of the stairs calling up; "What is it? What is wrong?" I meet their glares standing from the top of the stairs but said nothing. Laura persisted to make a scene repeating;
"Tell them now! Tell them now!"

Suddenly Dad became alarm demanding; "If you don't tell me what it is now I'm coming up!" Apparently, that line still worked me (although I don't recall Dad ever really coming upstairs) as I agreed to tell him. "Alright I'll tell you." I paused while looking directly at Dad alone and spoke; "Bob asked me to marry him tonight." Dad froze, staring at me and spoke softly, almost afraid to ask; "What did you say?" I smiled as I replied; "I said yes."

A silence overcame all of us in the sudden surprise of it all - one of Dad's three daughters was getting married! Dad stayed up all night after that. It was the happiest night Dad waited up for me. Dad finally got what he was waiting for - one of his three daughters was getting married. And Dad will be walking his daughter down the aisle.

Written by Susan Marie Davniero


(In Memory of Father Gerard Fischetti)
Published Creations Magazine

I can see Dad there
Handsome with dark wavy hair
He sings the tunes
Ballads and romances he croons

Always the gentlemen
I can remember when
He dressed quite the man
A stylish Dapper Dan

Three daughters had he
Susan, the name he gave me
Caring and giving
He loved living

Poker - deal him in
He played to win
Proud veteran of WWII
Salutes the red, white and blue

With finesse he toils
Gardening in the soil
At his workbench he stands
A master craftsman in demand

The cigarettes he crave
Put him in an early grave
No more was I serenaded
The songs have faded

I can see Dad there
Handsome with dark wavy hair
His photo frame on my night stand
He sits pose with a cigarette in his hand

Written by Susan Marie Davniero

(In memory of My Mother, Helen Fischetti)

Published Great South Bay Magazine
by Susan Marie Davniero

Dreams of a Mother’s past
A life that did not last
Your death took you away
I had something to say
Revisit another time
When Mother’s love was mine
Only to be found
Homeward bound
Yet in the nights’ air
In my dreams you are there
The love I thought burned
Tonight has returned
Feelings gone from sight
Seen in darkness of the night
A guiding light beams
Mother into my dreams
And I can have my say 
To wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

Radio Days Are Here Again

Published Pancakes in Heaven 
Turn the radio dial back to the Golden Age of Radio. Being a younger baby boomer, I may not have memories of listening to old time radio shows – my memories of old time radio is WCBS Radio blasting rock n’ roll, such as Beatles or Stones, from my clock radio alarm waking me up for school.  
Yet, my parents, Gerard and Helen Fischetti, were of the WWII greatest generation when families gather around the radio for home entertainment. Revisiting Mom’s good old Radio days my sisters and I gave Mom, Helen Fischetti, recently widowed, a replica of the old fashioned style desk top radio as a Christmas gift. This replica resembles the old fashion radio almost exactly, yet the new replica was modernized to adapt playing Mom’s music tapes.  
Now widowed in a retirement community without Dad, Mom found companionship in her music. Mom wrote the songs, played the music on the piano and listened to the music on the tapes playing from her replica radio.  The desk top old fashioned style radio was perched on an end table amplifying the music to reach her wherever she was in the house. I can still hear Mom singing songs accompany by her piano playing, sewing at her Singer machine, or cleaning her house with radio turn on as background music. It seemed the radio was never off.  
The new radio was only a model styled like the old radios it didn’t re-broadcast the old radio shows such as “Ma Perkins” or “War of the Worlds” - that would be a Twilight Zone episode. Yet, I like to think when Mom looked at the desk top 1-ft size plywood replica radio with circular dome, decorative speaker panels and round dials it was a snapshot from good old radio days of Mom’s past. 
Alas, when Mom passed the music died. The radio was now turned off, until I took her beloved radio home displaying it on my end table. My husband Bob turned on the radio to his favorite Sports FAN Radio 66AM and never shut it off. Once again it seems the radio is never off and the radio plays on. What was old is new again. In my house, radio days are here again.
Written by Susan Marie Davniero

Published Newsday

Essay: Coffee, Dad and Me on Christmas Morning
December 25, 2014

by Susan Marie Davniero

It was Christmas morning and I was just 5 years old. Under the tree, I saw it -- the blue tea set with the white florets around the trim that was on my list for Santa! It was just a plastic replica of English-style Waterford china, but I loved it as if it were real.Knowing how much Daddy loved coffee, I wanted the set so I could have coffee with him. I always wanted to be near my dad, Gerard Fischetti, he was a handsome gentleman who sang to me and protect me.

That morning I thought I'd surprise him. With teacups in hand, I dashed to the kitchen. I could smell Savarin-brand coffee brewing. It was the only kind my dad drank. When we grew up in the 1960s, my sisters and I called our dad the "El Exigente," the demanding character in Savarin's TV commercials.

At 5, I wasn't allowed to touch anything hot on the stove, but I broke the family rule and reached for the coffeepot.I carefully poured the coffee, and added a bit of milk and sugar the way Daddy liked it. Then I poured myself a drop of coffee (I was too young to drink coffee) and added a lot of milk, so Daddy and I could have a "tea party." (Dad didn't drink tea.)

I cautiously carried a tray with our cups and saucers to the living room, where Dad relaxed in his favorite soft brown chair smoking a cigarette. I remember announcing, "Daddy your coffee is served," as if I were an English butler.

Always the gentleman, Dad thanked me. "How nice, young lady, thank you," he said reaching for his cup. The cup was way too small for Dad's hand, but just the right for mine.

We sipped our drinks. Unfortunately, the cups gave our drinks a bitter plastic taste, but Dad didn't seem to mind. He finished his, smiled, and placed the cup on tray.

"That hit the spot," he said, quickly adding, "One cup is plenty, I'm full." He never drank just one cup of coffee, but this was his way of tactfully turning down a second without hurting my feelings. I didn't even finish my cup because of that plastic taste.

That morning I learned from Dad's politeness that sometimes we need to be nice and act in good taste -- even if it just doesn't really taste good.

Written by:  Susan Marie Davniero

Resides in Lindenhurst, NY  

Published Ground Coffee for Breakfast 

My mother, Helen Fischetti, is never far from my thoughts, although she passed away many years ago.

I remember when Mom in her golden years retired and widowed. To cheer Mom my sister and I often would give her white Blessed Mother statues in a bed of white flowers. Flowers also seem to fit the occasion for holidays, birthdays and then at last in her hospital room during her terminal illness.  

Mother rested during her illness comforted by a shrine of Blessed Virgin Mary pure white statues. Mother prayers to the Blessed Mother were her solace – she was never alone with the Blessed Mother beside her. Alas, Mother’s passing was in her bedroom next to the bureau with one of the Blessed Mother pure white ceramic statue. 

I recall one week after Mother’s passing during my mourning; my faith was awakened one morning. This one morning I walked to the rubbish to discard trash, when something caught my eye – it was an immaculate pure white Blessed Mother statue glistening in the sunlight erect on top of the trash can! I like to believe this was a divine message from Heaven conveyed by my beloved departed Mother 

To this day, the Blessed Mother statue, that I found, sits proudly on my bureau in our home besides Mother’s photograph. I feel Mom is always with me. Perhaps, my mother’s prayers to the Blessed Mother were answered after all. 

Written by Susan Marie Davniero

Dad Gerard Fischetti
singing w/Uncle Gus guitiar

Dad, Sing Me a Song
(In Memory of Dad Gerard Fischetti)

Published Pancakes in Heaven

Dad, sing me a song

Tell me how I belong

To you, as a family
Together in harmony
Dad, sing me a song
Tell me to sing along,
Sing with me now
And teach me how
Dad, sing me a song
Tell me about the days I long
When you were big and strong

before we parted and said so long

Written by Susan Marie Davniero

I Remember Mom and Dad

(In Memory of Helen and Gerard Fischetti)
Published Long Story Short, Poet's Art, Pancakes in Heaven

This is to be their story
Mom and Dad in all their glory
Love brought them together
They complimented each other
It was a good life
For this man and wife
I know I needed them
To provide and guide me
During those formative days
Until I went my own way
This serves as a memento
From a time long ago
All I have come to value here
Wake on days when I was there
Footprints of steps at every age
Born from the early stage
Alas all good times must end
Mom and Dad are in Heaven
To my parent I bid goodbye
My love will never die
For those years we had
I remember Mom and Dad

Written by Susan Marie Davniero

(Memory of Gerard & Helen Fischetti)
It was our first home
For me and Bob all alone
Honeymooners dress up a bit
When the folks come to visit
Mom and Dad made their requests
Not as parents, but as quests
Drinks, dinner and desert as hosts
We serve a meal to my folks
My folks did not bother
To treat me like their daughter,

For at this time in my life,
I was not a daughter, but Bob’s wife
Written by Susan Marie Davniero

Mom and Dad at Our First Home Floral Park, NY

Wedding DayMom and Dad
Helen and Gerard Fischetti
Wedding Vows
Published Poet's Art

Together as one
Marriage has come
Bride and groom now 
by the wedding vows
Their wedded bliss
Sealed with a kiss
Married life start
'Till death to us part

Susan Marie Davniero

Cooking Up Wishes

Published Long Story Short 

My cooking days from the past

Learning basics in Homemaking class

When I was a high school cook

Cooking family dinners when Mom work

Assistant Manager at the bank

At home I was Mom’s assistant cook

With each of the family dishes

I was cooking up wishes

Pitch of love, a kiss of this

All went into the loving mix

Recipe’s a taste from the past

Season with a lot of love to last 

Nowadays when my family comes over

I serve the past recipe leftovers

Written by Susan Marie Davniero

Mom’s Birthday Card on my 14thBirthday

When I cooked the family dinners

(Dedicated to my Dad, Gerard Fischetti)

Published The Pink Chameleon and Long Story Short

St. Gerard honored with esteem
On Feast Day of October sixteen
Missionary order of 1700’s preaching
The Word of God he was teaching
St. Gerard Majella’s contribution
Miracles of his bilocation
Attributed quotes of his released
“Only God can give peace”
Alas, St. Gerard’s death has come
Here the will of God is done

By Susan Marie Davniero


(Dedicated to my Mother, Helen Fischetti)
Published The Pink Chameleon and Long Story Short

Empress Mother of St. Constantine
With faithful grace so pristine
Awaken converted to Christianity
Merciful gifts of charity
Church founded by her hand
Home on the sacred Holy Land
Tomb of the Lord came across
Miracles flow from the Holy Cross
Forever framed with Cross by art
August 18 Feast Day embark t
Honoring St. Helen’s heart
By Susan Marie Davniero

Gerard J Fischetti

  • (Oct 8, 1917 - May 17,1982)          

Birth: Oct. 8, 1917
Death: May 17, 1983

Family links:
Helen Cioffi Fischetti (1925 - 1995)



Calverton National Cemetery
Calverton Suffolk County
New York, USA
Plot: 10, 0, 2048

US Veteran's Affairs

Gerard J Fischetti
And that is all she wrote...