4 Years

Centerbrook Cemetery – Mum’s for the Socci’s

Today marks 4 years since Charley died. His mother always decorated the graves during holiday times. I try my best to get a Mum plant down there in October and something for Christmas. Since Charley died in October it gives me a reason to visit around that time. He’s not buried here as he was cremated and I have held onto his ashes for all these years. When the marker was first placed, I did take a small amount of ashes and bury them right in front of his grave marker. The marker was important to me so there would be a place for people to visit. Today when I arrived I was touched to see that someone still remembers my mother-in-law, Lily.

I decided it was time to let go of the ashes. I knew I wanted to put them in the water, in a place that meant something to him. So after the graveyard, I headed to Hammonasset Beach.

Hammonasset Beach, Madison, CT

Along with the ashes, I had my wedding bouquet and the roses from Charley’s and my Father’s funeral saved in a ziplock bag. I tossed the dried bouquet and flowers into the ocean. There is something so peaceful about “big water” I opened the urn but I couldn’t get the bag out of it! Really Charley, difficult in death like you could be in life? This could just be my fault for waiting for so long to let them go! I was able to pour some ashes onto the sand — but there was more traffic on the beach than I expected so I decided to try to find somewhere a little more private.

At the beach I reserved some of Charley’s ashes and put them in a small urn with my Dad’s ashes — because eventually I want them mixed with mine —

Charley spent a lot of time in Old Saybrook “playing HAM radio” so I got back in the car and drove to Saybrook Point.

Saybrook Point – the final release

In the movies you see these romantic scenes of people releasing ashes…well, let me tell you — when someone around 200lbs is cremated…there are LOTS of ashes! I wasn’t successful in spreading them at the beach so I had about 3/4 left inside of the urn.

It was such a beautiful day — I walked along the point and found this little nook — some of the ashes made it into the air, and the rest landed in the water…I spent some time watching them get washed out into the ocean. I know Charley is at peace…and it felt good to let the ashes go. My life has come so far in these past 4 years. I’m grateful for everything. The difficult times and the joyful times… Amor Fati … love your fate.

The Blondes

Originally posted on Facebook in 2013

Maybe it’s too soon to talk about it.

I held Shammy in my arms as the Vet administered that final shot. She passed very peacefully and we brought her home and buried her with the rest of the pets in the back yard.

I could not help but think of the final moments of my MIL’s life.

She died alone.

We had spent hours and hours with her in hospice. The day she died we had an appointment and then decided to have lunch before going to the hospital. When we got there and walked into the room she was dead. The nurses had turned her not 10 minutes prior.

She was still warm.

We told the nurse who shut the door and let us spend some time with her. I hope Lily was there to meet Shammy when she passed and my blondes are back together again. I’m sorry if this is morbid. But it’s what is on my mind. I think being with someone or a pet a they pass is an honor.

And may everyone pass peacefully.

Lily Strange Socci and Champagne “shammy”

Song of a Life

Originally posted on Socci.com December 19th, 2009

After I met my 1st husband I gave him a copy of this poem. For those of you that know our story you’ll understand. I don’t remember where I originally found it…maybe in a book I read. But, wouldn’t it be nice if we could always be in tune with our own song and when we falter we would have those surround us with love instead of judgment. I am so thankful for those of you I have history with and sing my song to me in your own ways.

——————————-

When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she
goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray
and meditate until they hear the song of the child.

They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses
its unique flavor and purpose.

When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they
return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.

When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s
song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village
gathers and chants the child’s song.

When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the
people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person
hears his or her song.

Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family
and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth,
and they sing the person to the next life.

In the African tribe, there is one other occasion upon which the
villagers sing to the child.

If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or
aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the
village and the people in the community form a circle around them.
Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not
punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you
recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that
would hurt another.

A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when
you have forgotten it.

Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or
dark images you hold about yourself.

They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness
when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your
purpose when you are confused.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song
to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when
you are in tune with yourself and when you are not.

When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and
when you feel awful, it doesn’t.

– Author Unknown

RIP – my mother, Lily Strange Socci July 30, 1924 – January 31, 2013

We’ll have more to say later. For now, the obituary I composed. Rest in peace ma…

Lily Strange Socci
Lily Socci

Lily Strange Socci of Centerbrook died at Middlesex Hospital, Middletown, CT on January 31, 2013. She was 88 years old.

She was born Lily Louise Strange, the youngest of three children, to Louise (Wright) and Charles H. Strange on July 30, 1924 in Pottsville, PA.

Lily was best known for her one woman show, “The Pink Lady”, which included original comedy, songs, and impressions of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Mae West. She had appeared on stage or worked on stage productions with such notable celebrities as Art Carney, Joe E. Brown, and The Public Theater of NYC’s Joseph Papp.

She was the mother of two sons, Joseph Peter Socci born 1964, and Charles Strange Socci born 1966 of Centerbrook. She was the former spouse of their Father, Peter Joseph Socci who was remarried and died in 2005 in Danbury, CT

In addition to her theatrical activities she was a tireless advocate for closing the large state institutions and integrating the mentally challenged into the community. She cared for her Downs Syndrome son Joey at home until his death in 1992.

She also briefly taught art in the public school system, and was a lifelong lover of painting, drawing and pastels.

She obtained her undergraduate degree in English at Penn State, her teaching certification at Southern Connecticut State University, and a Masters in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University.

Lily was an active member of many organizations during her life time, including: The Daughters of the American Revolution, the National Association for Retarded Citizens, the Cappella Cantorum, Trinity Lutheran church choir, and the The Middletuners singing group of Middletown, CT.

She was predeceased by her son Joseph Peter Socci,  her Father Charles Hodgetts Strange of Jacksonville, FL, her Mother Louise Wright of Centerbrook, and two brothers; Charles Alfred Strange of Milford, CT and Walter H. Strange of Pelham, NY.

She is survived by her son Charley and daughter-in-law Kristin Lynn Socci (McGarigle) of Centerbrook, two grand-children, Alexander David Charles Socci, and Norma Lucille Louise Socci of Deep River, her beloved dog Champagne “Shammy”, and dear family friend of 50 years Frances Outland of Middletown – as well as her lifelong childhood friend in Pottsville, Evelyn Berger.

Family and friends may visit the Swan Funeral Home, 1224 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, Thursday, February 7, from 5 to 7.  Funeral Services will be held Friday, February 8, at 1 pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 109 Main Street, Centerbrook CT.  Interment will follow at Centerbrook Cemetery.  Please visit www.swanfuneralhomeoldsaybrook.com for tributes and condolences.

Published in The Middletown Press  on February 5, 2013

 

I’ve composed a photo album for my mother, which may be viewed by clicking the following link. If you have any photos or video to share, please let us know! Our number is +1 860 581 8361 Lily Strange Socci Photo Album