On another day, I do not remember if it was before the incident of the figs or after, I was visiting my Grandma Jessie.  As usual, I was in the kitchen sitting at the table talking to my Grandma. She spoke to me in both Italian and a little English.  However even though I did not speak Italian I could understand my Dolly.  I never wondered how she understood me because I only spoke in English.  But somehow we were always able to communicate and we never had a problem.
Grandma Jessie had just placed some coffee (milk with a taste of coffee) and of course her home-made Italian donuts in front of me to enjoy when she told me she had a surprise.  But before I could see the surprise I had to eat my donut and drink my coffee.  I ate quickly and drank my coffee fast and soon I was ready for the surprise.  Even though I was a young man I was excited about the surprise my Grandma had for me.

Into the formal dining room we went and there before my eyes was the statue of the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ.  Yes, her surprise was a statue of Mary, the mother of God. I just stood there looking at the statue.
However, this was not just another statue of Mary, it was an old statue of Mary and it rested on the floor of the dining room with the top of Mary’s head almost reaching the ceiling.  It was a giant statue of Mary and it stood almost eight feet tall.  I was spellbound.  For once in my life I could not speak.  All I could see was this giant statue of Mary.  Catching my senses I asked “Where did you get the statue?”  All the time I was thinking why would my Grandma want something like that?  Yet at the same time knowing why my Dolly would want the statue.
She told me how she got the statue from the church and that one of the priests gave it to her. She was so proud of her statue. She pointed to it and touched it telling me how beautiful it is and how wonderful.  I could see the sparkle in her eyes as she told me both the story of how it became hers, and then the story of the statue.  The next thing I knew we were saying the rosary in front of the statue. My Grandma’s face was all aglow and I knew that she was both proud and pleased that the statue was hers.
I cannot count the times I prayed with my Dolly in front of the statue of Mary, but I am sure it was more than just a few times. I can tell you how the statue scared me one night when I slept over her house and I got up from bed to get a glass of water.  Walking into the dining room I was scared awake after catching sight of the giant statue of Mary and me thinking that it was something else.  It did not scare me as much as the crocodile my sister Marianne told me about in fairy land.  You remember the crocodile that slept under my bed at night.  Waiting to bite my arm or leg off just as soon as it dangled from the bed.  But the statue of Mary did scare me.

(Note: to Daddy’s “Peanut” – I see your memory is fading fast, your comment implied I was not the best driver, but I was!)

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