A Candle Lit for Lucy

There is a tradition when a girl turns sixteen where she lights sixteen candles with each candle honoring someone special who has influenced her life. Although this custom came way after I turned sixteen I have often thought about the sixteen people in my life whom I would have asked to light a candle. Well, the light of one of those candles has been extinguished, as Lucy Roberto would have been one of those I honored. And I would like to briefly share why I chose Lucy as one who has influenced my life, the woman whom I have always felt was like a second mother to me.

Lucy was truly a woman of her times. Her attributes and abilities were many. She was an astute business woman dealing with customers with great respect and understanding. She was smart as a whip keeping those ledger books straight and keeping her son Nicky on track with his service calls. She was a great cook and entertainer, having generously fed everyone that walked through her front door. She was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, niece, cousin and friend, loving her family to the end, generous to all, always willing to lend a hand or offer advice. We are all very lucky to have had her in our lives and I am sure everyone’s lives that she touched has a special memory of Lucy which we will always keep close to our hearts. I could go on for hours expounding on her qualities, however I will just focus on one point especially meaningful to me. Lucy had an inner strength beyond description and she was tenacious. When faced with this horrendous disease, ovarian cancer, six years ago someone e3lse of her age might have given up. Not Lucy – she chose to fight, to give it her best shot. She would tell me she had no other choice. On those many mornings when traveling to Sloan-Kettering for her treatments, I marveled at her resilience, never complaining, never questioning. Just accepting her fate. This past January I again witnessed her ability to endure, to fight back. At 84 years of age and on life support, she fought back with the encouragement of her loved ones and even was well enough to attend and enjoy my daughter, Lisa’s wedding. No one would have thought it possible. I know she believed that you can keep going, long after they say you can’t.

So we take this as a lesson taught to us by Lucy to take each day as a gift and focus on the happy memories we have stored away and be tenacious, enduring and strong in the surprises this life has in store for us.

And now today, many years after my sixteenth birthday, I light a candle for you Lucy, knowing that it’s flame will be forever lit in my heart.

Story by: Madeline

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