Saturday, May 08, 2010

Dolores Deabler Capone Happy Mother's Day REPOST

My sister Dolores was a study in contrasts. Proud mother, English teacher, Tarot card reader, Poet, Lover.

When she was about 41, her husband died of a heart attack while they were visiting friends. He was Italian and had never permitted her to work outside the home. She was left with little life insurance and 4 teenage children to raise. However, she was also gifted with a fierce determination to succeed and a natural gift for writing.

In the 17 years remaining to her, my sister saw her 3 daughters married and suffered with her son, who endured extensive brain damage from a head-on car accident.

While working full time she started taking college courses and received her bachelor`s degree fron Gwynedd-Mercy College. Continuing with her education, she earned an M.F.A. from Beaver College and finally reached a personal goal; teaching creative writing at night while continuing to work full-time.

I should mention that she wrote a small book on the history of Warrington Township, Bucks County, PA when she was 38 and had never attended a college class. I`m happy to report that it is still listed on!

Dolores was for many years President of the Philadelphia Writer`s Conference and a scholarship is awarded to a poet each year to attend the conference in her name.

The first remembrance I have of her fierce determination occurred when she was about ten and I was about seven. In our bedroom in our Grandmother`s house, we overheard our parents whispering of money problems. There was talk of whether it would be better if she and I were placed in the Catholic Charity`s home. My sister never said a word; at age ten, she grabbed my hand and together we snuck out of the house. For the next two hours Dolores led me to the nearest apartment houses and actually had someone speak to us about renting. I don`t believe my parents would have ever abandoned us, but just imagine the strength in that ten year old girl!

In her late 40`s, Dolores faced the diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and conquered it, facing the treatment with her usual strength, not slowing down more than necessary. Her battle was assisted by the love she had found in a man devoted to her.

Some ten years after she had been free of cancer symptoms, extreme pain caused her to see her Doctor. The cancer had returned in a more virulent form and very early on a hot August morning in 1996, Dolores expired. I was astounded at seeing her in repose, looking very much as her mother did before her, smiling and at peace.

There is so much sadness in seeing someone you love die just as their life seems at its fullest; children grown and settled, education complete, teaching at the college level, deeply in love. And yet, the realization that God had given her the time to realize her goals causes me happiness.