Adele Scarci McNeeley, age unknown
After weeks of navigating around moving boxes stationed like a bunker in my living room, I unpacked them. I am nothing if I am not lazy. Anyhow. Not every box I dug through held memories or stashed money or family heirlooms. But there was one treasure that gave me pause. The heirloom is not of any monetary value. It’s a folder of poems my grandmother, Adele (some know her better as Ollie), collected throughout her youth. There are the obvious reasons this folder means so much to me. I flipped through it years ago, but today it means something different, something like time-travel and body-hopping into my youthful, Irish-Italian grandmother pasting her romantic thoughts of the world, her hopes for love, her dreams of happiness all wrapped up in newspaper cutouts and handwritten poetry.
Today is my Mom’s birthday (Happy birthday, Momma!). This post is for her. But in the future, I’ll post more of Grandma’s little messages. Because even though I could easily find these quotes and poems on the internet, they are far richer to me found inside this timeworn folder in the handwriting of a woman I still miss and love after all these years.
The folder’s introduction is as follows: “These are copies of the poems collected by Adele Scarci McNeeley when she was young. Enjoy and treasure them as a portrait of a young and happy woman.”
“I believe in Goodness, as a dog believes in a bone — no more arguably, no less eagerly.”
“I believe that Life is worth living, and that Death is probably worth dying also.”
“I believe in the wisdom of often saying “probably” and “perhaps.”
“I believe that personal happiness is a good thing, and that there is no inherent virtue in doing without it.”
“I believe that we are ninety percent animal, and that the remaining ten percent offers us our change to rise above or sink below the animal level.”
“I believe in the enjoyment of simple things — a child’s love for a toy, a smile between friends, a touch between lovers, being tired after a long walk, being old after a busy life.”
“I believe in Truth — the Truth we may never find, but which, hopefully even though it may be hopeless, we must pursue to the end.”