“I See Myself In You!”

Moms New PlaqueHappy Hump Day, All!

Yes, Wednesday is like a “universal” day of getting through the rest of the week. This was even true when I was a student at Princeton and worked on the student run radio station, first as a news person responsible for Associated Press stories reaching the air and the listening audience there at Princeton and locations nearby. Then, after it appeared that the minority students, though mostly African American, decided that it would be appropriate to have a “third world” programming format included in the scheduling which was promptly named “Triad: The Sound of The Third World”. So perhaps, there was no coincidence that I was the disc jockey for Wednesday night Triad … I brought the weekend in on our college campus! The weekend started on Wednesday night!!

Today is the eighth anniversary of my mother’s passing. I am indeed a “Momma’s Boy” since I was the youngest of four, and, since we didn’t really need a baby sitter, I hung out with my mother until I started kindergarten. She would come to pick me up when she finished her domestic engineering jobs at different families’ homes in White Plains and Scarsdale, even Hartsdale, NY. I was with her when she conducted her Girl Scouts activities as a troop leader and often was a “tag-a-long” when they had camping trips and overnight events. Just yesterday afternoon, I was explaining to a dear friend Alina that we were so very close. So close, in fact, that I can still feel her aura around me always, but especially in times of challenges. Don’t get me wrong, my father was always around as they were happily married 50 years before “Big Ike’s” passing in 1989. He worked every day, either at his garage assignment or until landing a more conventional job with Pinkerton Detective Agency as an armed guard. It’s just that he was the male role model for me and Hank which forged a strong work ethic in both of us … definitely in me. I still have their picture together with my daughter Ayanna on my night table to this very day!

Lastly, I wanted to thank Robert Andrew Schulman aka “Bobby” who donated the costs of my mother’s plaque, since it was overlooked when she was buried, as well as airfare for me to travel to the Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, NY on Yom Kippur where we had a service to honor the final placing of the plaque. His son, Ariel, also attended along with Ariel’s mother and his girlfriend. My sister Edna also rounded up her son Brandon and her grandson, Trent, and we all stayed in the home of the major client that my mother worked for as a domestic engineer – The Landauer’s. Even Elizabeth aka “Betty”, who was also a close friend as well as employer of my mother, stood graveside with us to commemorate the plaque’s placement. Betty is 95 and my mother would be 96 years of age. My daughter Ayanna, Gordon Derouseau and his two sisters, Joanne and Yvonne, were also there to show love and support for our family, as well as “Drew” Coggins, a close family friend in New York, too.

There is no doubt, that with so much time spent together, not to mention she and my dad attending my graduation from Princeton University, we are still very close. Marietta Dolores even traveled to Cali, Colombia, South American for Easter one year when I worked there as an English teacher for five years. She liked to travel, too. Places like the Vatican and Rome, Paris, even Cairo, Egypt and places in Israel were included in her itineraries several years before Alzheimer’s claimed her memory. I will never forget her … my heart and my soul … my mother – Marietta Dolores Cook.


John I. Cook, Director

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