Barbara Kathleen Alessandro of East Hampton Connecticut ascended into Glory on April 2nd, 2023. While we are thrilled for her new home placement, we are not pleased with her choice at this time. She specifically stated to us that she would be “staying for a while” just a few short weeks ago.
So apparently, it’s traditional to list who is still here on earth. Okie Dokie - husband Lou Alessandro, brother Charles Carson, her favorite daughter Debra Lawrence, 9 grandkids and 1 great grandkid! She kept them all straight with about 1265 notes written on the backs of junk mail that filled a 6-foot dresser. I can’t say who she leaves behind, because she would never leave behind anyone. Mom was the kindest person I knew.
She was born in Kansas, and I’ve been specifically instructed not to tell you the year. Mom had strict rules about sharing her age! (I secretly know, but I won’t tell.)
Mom received countless awards for her tireless work with the garden club, Camp Fire Girls and as a realtor. Seriously she was incredible. Did any of you know she was a chemist? The first woman in Kansas to receive a Master’s degree in chemistry, she went on to get her pilots license and was an incredible musician. Instrument of choice? The drums. No joke. However, mom didn’t want to be puffed up. She was always focused on others and their accomplishments and needs. She taught all of us that we could do anything we set our mind to. So, we tried anything… and everything. I got in a LOT of trouble for trying a bit too much. Mostly between the years of 1982-1987. Let this serve as a formal apology for all things I did in my teenage years to the teachers and preachers and neighbors in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Some of our favorite memories are of meal prep and consumption. I have never met anyone more meticulous. It took mom 4-11 hours to make a meal, and almost as long to chew it. She insisted that we chew every bite 40 times, and by then it had digested itself. She was a fantastic cook though and made the best pies and cakes!
Her most celebrated talent was her innate ability to frustrate the staff at the local thrift store for their annual bag sale. For just a few dollars you could fill a grocery sack with all the items you could fit. In Tetris-like fashion, she would pick a corner of the store, plop down on the floor, and put an entire back to school wardrobe for two and a toaster in one grocery sack. She would spend up to an hour carefully squishing and folding and rolling each piece as I would keep bringing additional items to her for her to squeeze in “just one more, Mom!”
She also took thriftiness to a new level. When cleaning out a closet in her home a few weeks ago we found 124 (not exaggerating) sample size tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss. The best part is she wrote, with perfect handwriting on many of the boxes, a grading system and comments on each brand of toothpaste. I can see her at the dentist now, asking “how much free stuff can I get?” Suffice it to say we are set for life.
I have so many stories, and mom NEVER lied, so they are all true, well except for I can never remember all the details like mom so I can’t share them. I do remember that my parents bred award winning Himalayan cats for a number of years. It was such a part of her life that I began to call her “The Cat Lady” to all my friends. She didn’t like that.
She loved plants but please don’t give them to us because I can’t keep them thriving. Instead please honor her by remembering the things she loved the most (ships, butterflies, and ice cream) and hug the ones closest to you today (but not too hard, when I did that to mom she would hit my arm and say “Stop it! You’ll break me!”).
Mom will be cremated, and her ashes will be scattered in a shipyard and in the ocean. This was her specific wish. And she was SUPER specific. About everything. We all loved her so much. She’s up there right now taking notes for Jesus and telling him jokes. Every time I watch Mr. Bean I’ll hear her loud cackle in my head and wonder how I will live without it.