by Barbara Guarino Kruk

The joys of having siblings is an emotional state I will never experience. Living in a large family surrounded by brothers and sisters, all of whom are fighting for the love and attention of their parents is something that is foreign to me. Why? The answer is because I am an only child. When you are the only child, you forge a bond with your parents that is quite different from those who must share their parents love and attention. It does not mean that households with multiple children are not loved. Having had two of my own children, I can attest that I love them equally, but in different ways. A single child has its parent’s undivided attention. They become treasured and precious, like a rare object, a jewel to be protected.
Being an only child can be lonely and as one becomes an adult with aging parents, the burden of caring for those parents is shouldered by one person: you. You are the sole decision maker. Right or wrong, you must become the caregiver, the parent.
Florence Bivona knew early on that she would become the caregiver to her aging parents. She did not balk at the responsibility; she embraced it. Together with her loving husband John and her four children and grandchildren, she managed to maintain a balanced relationship with her elderly parents.
“I feel alone” were the tearful words Florence spoke to me. “I am now all by myself. I knew this day would come, but now that it is here I feel abandoned.” I felt her pain in the pit of my stomach, that nagging ache that I felt when I was a child.
On June 4, 2016, Carmela Williams, at the age of ninety-one years, left this world. She had suffered for a long time with her illness but found solace by the comfort of her beloved daughter and her extended family who went daily to the hospital to visit her.
It was my pleasure to have known Carmela and Charlie Williams for the greater portion of my life. They were wonderful, salt-of-the-earth people. I worked with them on many charity functions for the A.E. Terino Order Sons of Italy in America, the James V. Kavanaugh Knights of Columbus and St. Jude’s RC Church. They were a wonderful, loving, couple, who had been married for over sixty-years when in 2005 Charlie William was called home to Heaven. Carmela was never the same after his passing. They had spent a lifetime together with their lives and memories centered on their little girl Florence and her loving family.
How lucky Florence and I are to having loving, caring and supportive husbands that adopted our parents. While most men run from their in-laws, our husbands ran to our parents and embraced them with all the love of a birth child. Carmela and Charlie found a son in John Bivona. His kind and respectful ways made them become a family.
While Carmela’s passing has left a deep wound in Florence’s heart, her death is bitter sweet. On the one hand, she is now an orphan, on the other, she is thankful not to see the woman who was more than a parent not suffering. Carmela was her friend, confidante, teacher, and role model. Later in life, she became her child. What mother can bear to lose a child?
Through the love and caring of her husband and children Florence will find her happiness once again. She may have lost her parents, but she still has her soulmate John and her beautiful children and grandchildren.
Farewell Carmela, rest in the knowledge that your baby girl is loved and protected.
Augusto Diaz, age 77, of Mastic died at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on June 4, 2016. Born in Peru he retired from the Stony Brook Fire Dept. as a custodial supervisor. He was a racecar enthusiast, an avid gardener and loved to go landscaping. He enjoyed the music of his Latino heritage, traveling and watching boxing. His canine companion Lilly will sorely miss him. His loving wife of fifty-five years, Felicita, survives him. He was the beloved father of Tula (Frank) Marchese, Lourdes (Vincent) Laoerenza, Jacqueline (Tim) Seibert, and Linda (Adam) Shulder. He was the cherished grandfather of Anthony, Robert, Bryan, Evan, Christopher, Jennifer and Alexander and great-grandfather of Carlee and Haylee. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley where St. Jude’s RC Church conducted wake prayers. Interment took place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Coram.

Gertrude Newton, age 83, a local resident of Moriches for the past 24 years passed away on May 12, 2016 in Patchogue. Gertrude was retired from the Brentwood SD. She was a past president of the Brentwood PTA. She had a love for ceramics, gardening and flower design. Gertrude is pre deceased by her husband Richard I 2004. She leaves behind her beloved children Linda and Patricia, dear sister Patricia, brother John, cherished grandchildren Danielle, Christopher, Melissa, Jillian and great-grandchildren Angelic, Kayla, Kyle and Amaray. Family and friends gathered at Wesche Funeral Home. A prayer service was held before laying Gertrude to rest at LI National alongside her husband Richard. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Wesche Funeral Home Inc., Center Moriches.

Carmela Williams, age 91, of Shirley, died after a long, difficult battle with her illness at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on June 4, 2016. Carmella was born in Italy and was a seamstress by trade. She loved going to Atlantic City, playing Bingo, crocheting, and listening to the music of her Italian heritage. She enjoyed making her famous Banana Bread and homemade pastas. She travelled to the place of her birth in Italy and Florida. Her beloved husband Charles predeceased Carmela back in 2005. Her only child Florence (John) Bivona survives her. She was the cherished grandmother of John (Caroline), Florence (James) Bivona-Eaton and Thomas (Janice). She was the adored great grandmother of Christopher, Riley, John, Joseph, and Ashlynn. Her siblings, who reside in Italy, are Rosalie Cuzzola and Nino Orlando. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home. A Mass was offered at St. Jude’s RC Church. Interment took place at Calverton National Cemetery.

Filed in: Obituaries

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