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Mom had been saying for some time that the only thing she wanted for her 50th anniversary was to have a Mass said with all her children present. She wanted the Mass said at Epiphany Church in South Miami where we’d been centered as a family, a place full of many happy memories for all of us.
Nobody gave any indication of listening. In fact, plans were underway to collapse the anniversary celebration into another family reunion, but in Massachusetts rather than Miami. Then, Terry broke a vertebra in his back skiing in Utah. In a drug induced state, he heeded Mom’s call. When he got back to Chicago, he contacted Monsignor O’Doherty about saying a Mass at Epiphany for Mom and Dad. Terry recruited me as deputy and, with the cooperation and effort of all us kids, he kept on going - planning and organizing throughout the whole of that year.
All seven kids, spouses and grandchildren convened in Miami, from all over the country, the week of April 13th – April 20th at the Silver Sands on Key Biscayne to begin the week celebrating Mom and Dad’s 50th! As Mom wished, we kicked off the festivities with a Mass, held in the old church at Epiphany, with Monsignor O’Doherty officiating, and with our neighbors of many years in attendance, followed by a reception in the school courtyard.
The week that followed was full activities that we used to do as a family; boating to Elliott Key, waterskiing, picnicking, exploring Bear Cut, visiting the Seaquarium, Vizcaya, and the Parrott Jungle, seeing friends and the old neighborhood.
It was an anniversary to remember! I think every last one of us hated to see it end.