Homemade Ravioli

A place for Quattrones, Betteridges, and Praticos to share our family stories, history, and heritage.

The greatness of my mom

cropped-img_2143.jpgThe greatness of my mom is her generosity.

I am so happy that she and my stepdad found each other so many years ago because he also possesses the virtue of generosity. Together, they have given me many years of learning by their example.

It goes back a long way in our family the more I listen and the more I dig for family stores. For every Quattrone, Betteridge, & Pratico, there are countless stories of someone offering their time, their house, their possessions, their money. Listing those examples seems flimsy at the moment because no one does it for the recognition. They do it for the family.

I grew up seeing it, but it took time before I connected all of the dots and saw the common theme of generosity spread throughout our family–both in little ways and in great ways.

I think of the history of my great-grandparents and all of jostling around that happened to make sure everyone had a place to live, a warm meal, and a lot of support. I think of Gregori and Bepa’s first, emotional, years here and how they needed support and love. I think of the large Quattrone family making it work through The Depression and many wars. I think of all of the cousins and aunts and uncles who came together every day, who maybe moved physically but who still remain anchored to something tangible in the family. We keep coming back to one another today like we kept coming back together on 10th Street.

We come together because the family has been rooted in something that stands the test of time: a generous spirit. We may have moments where we don’t have a pot to cook a bean in, but family members, like my mom, would give up that bean. And have.

FullSizeRender-3For me, my mom has always been, indeed, my first role model and example of generosity and I am gathering that she has her parents and grandparents to thank for that lesson and example. I remember Joe Betteridge telling me the story of when he and Joanne lived with my grandparents on 10th Street when Joe and Joanne married. I hadn’t known that. But Joe told me, and Joe had this wonderful way of hugging you. He hugged you really hard, you know? And he kissed you and sometimes his scruff scraped your face. But it was like he was hugging me so hard in those moments to press his love and appreciation of  my grandparents into me. He always always always told me, “I loved your grandpop.” He couldn’t tell me that enough. So much of that love is rooted in generosity.

I love and admire Joe for being so generous with  his feelings. Not something everyone can do or is willing to do. This is another great trait in our family.

And I imagine my mom growing up around such great examples of generosity and how it just became a part of who she is, a large part. And it is something I think about a lot as a teacher. Generosity is the first word I think of when my mom comes up in conversation with my students. I teach middle school, and they ask. They wonder about their teachers and their families. And so, I tell them that nothing my mom does surprises me because so much of who she is and what she does is rooted in the virtue of generosity.

And generosity has been the soil that our family roots were planted in a long, long time ago.

About Brian Kelley

Middle school teacher, co-chair of our ELA department, and co-director with PAWLP. Follow me on Twitter @_briank_.

4 comments on “The greatness of my mom

  1. fmquattro
    February 8, 2015

    Wonderful story ! Thanks, Brian.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joanl777
    February 8, 2015

    THank you Brian. That is so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. markquattrone
    February 9, 2015

    Thanks Brian, great story and photos.


  4. mbqhclover
    February 10, 2015

    Brian, soooooo true! (See my comment about Aunt Helen Q.)


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