I have this sweet little 86-year-old mom. She’s amazing, really. She is also very religious. One of her dressers has, like, 14 statues of saints on top, along with a small replica of the Pieta. One wall has a massive crucifix — I mean HUGE — and the other has these rosary beads, I swear, that are each as big as a racquetball. This woman has a faith so strong that one day she had me thinkin’ I might’ve just seen a miracle.
Ma lives in the same Bergen County high-rise as my brother. Everyday morning she races in her wheelchair to the sliding doors by the terrace, where she crochets while looking out the window to complain about what all the people out there are doing. She lives on a low floor, so nothing passes her. She can tell you who went in and out of the deli — and what she thinks they bought.
One day she decided she wanted to rearrange the living room. Pretty soon, everyone was there, moving this, moving that, while she supervised — cutest wheelchair CEO you ever saw. She just LOVED her “new” digs.
A week later she gets a call.
“This is Antoinette from the Deli.”
“Oh, hi ya.”
“Mary, we are looking at your terrace doors and… well… um …”
“Well, we see the Blessed Mother in the window.”
“WHAT??!!! … I’ll call ya back.”
So she calls the kids (I pretend I’m not home).
My Big Bro, the oldest, goes downstairs and looks up. My mom and my sisters see him making the sign of the cross. OH, MY GOD!
One by one, my sisters go down to look. Same thing.
That night I call Mom.
“Babe….” she says.
She tells me the story but leaves out the part about what the deli lady told her. Then she says: “What do you think is on Mommy’s window?”
“I don’t know Ma. What?”
“The Blessed Mother!!!”
So the battle of “whys” and “why nots” begins. I finally give up. My Ma’s faith wins.
For the next week, that’s all I heard about.
People at the deli are sellin’ tickets to see “the vision.” My brother is upstairs trying to figure out how HE can capitalize on this. My sisters are in awe.
Me? I’m at my shrink.
Before you know it, there’s this pilgrimage on Bergen Boulevard, as people come to see the vision. Some of them ask to come into the apartment.
So now I have to go find out for myself, and you know what? I see the same vision!
I’m like: No, no, NOOOOOOO. You read about this shit in the Enquirer! Man In Coffee Shop Sees Blessed Mother on a Potato Chip….Not here. Not in my Mom’s house.
I’m thinkin’ something just ain’t right here. So I look around the place — and I find it. She had a sun catcher with all these crystals hanging from it, and behind that was a glass figurine of the Blessed Mother. We must’ve put it there during the redecoration.
As soon as I moved the figurine, the only Mary left was my MOM.
She was sooooo disappointed, but not as much as my brother, who’d already called the newspapers and was finagling a deal to get folks up there to rub the glass for $5 a pop.
Funny, though: As soon as the vision was gone, pigeons started showing up on her terrace. She got so pissed, yellin’ and shushin’ them.
This went for a week. Then she called one night and said they were all gone.
“Thank God, Ma.”
“All but one,” she says. “I did this, I did that, but he won’t leave, no matter what I do.”
“You know what, Babe?” she says to me. “I think it’s Daddy.”
Reviewers have raved about Maryann’s music & standup. She’s opened for Joy Behar and Ray Romano, and has played The Laugh Factory, Broadway Comedy Club and Dangerfield’s. She has a CD out and will be featured on Danny Aiello’s upcoming album, “City of Light.” Judging from the looks of the packed houses, she’ll also be staging plenty more performances with the ITALIAN CHICKS, whose show has been called “part meatball, part cannoli.” For more on Maryann, the group, where they’re performing & how to get tickets, click here:
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