I have two cousins named Marie Turri. One, who now goes by the name Marie Burgos, is the daughter of the late Joe Turri, a sibling of Mom's ("St. Frances of Turri"). The other Marie now goes by the name Marie Turri Smith, who is one of the children of Sonny and Carol Turri. Sonny, who has also passed away, was the son of Adolph Turri, another sibling of my Mom's.
In any case, I remained close to Marie Turri Burgos, daughter of Joe, since I was a kid. But Marie Turri Smith, daughter of Sonny, had lived in Endicott, New York, and would only visit our main family Rochester home on Erie Street (across from where now stands Frontier Field) in the summers with her Mom and Dad, and the other members of her beautiful family.
I have seen Marie Smith only once since those early summer days in the 1960s. But clearly, our bond is just as strong as it remains with Marie Burgos, as was evident by a sweet message I received from Marie Smith (with whom I only recently reconnected - via Facebook).
It is now clear to me that it was coincidence that my Mom shared a special bond with Sonny Turri (father of Marie Smith). Somehow, that bond has transcended time and space with a message on the importance of keeping priorities in line and what really matters in life - which is only part of Marie's beautiful message.
As such, and with this Marie's permission, I share that message with all of you now, below. (Her message is then followed by the link to my tribute to my parents, which is referenced in her message).
Have a blessed day.
MESSAGE FROM MARIE TURRI SMITH:
Hi Herbie J,
My mom told me she was in contact with you and was supposed to send me the link to your site and keeps on forgetting so I decided to google you.
She told me about the beautiful post about your parents and I just finished reading it. It sparked so many memories about the summers as a child growing up on Long Island with a Dad (Ralph "Sonny" Turri) who had family in Endicott and Rochester.
My parents would pack the 5 of us (me, Ralph, Diane, Bill, and Tim) up and we'd go to my grandparents in Endicott ("Grandma and Grandpa Gertie," as we called them), then travel on to Rochester to visit my Dad's many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
I remember so vividly the house on Erie Street with the men playing cards at the big table and all of us busy trying to stay out of trouble. I remember how theatrical you were for a "little kid." I remember the race riots and the Monkees concert Pam, Evie, my sister Diane, Joanne, and who knows who else went, too. I remember the hot pies and pop, my great grandmother, Uncle Vince and Aunt Rita's house on Honeyoye Lake...and so, so much has been spurred by reading your post.
I was to the apartment in (Greece, NY) many years ago for a party for your mom. My mom came up for the party and stayed at my house (I live in Fair Haven, NY) and it was so great to see everyone then.
I am ashamed that I never kept touch with all of you...family that was so important to my Dad.
Well, I could go on and on and on. I do want to say I am sorry for your loss. We lost my dad in 1989, far too young, just 3 weeks short of turning 60. What my dad instilled in us, with those long trips to Rochester, NY was the deep sense that family is a treasure."
A Tribute To My Parents