Monthly Archives: April 2015


By Alexandra H. Rodrigues

Published in South Bay’s Neighbor 2014

Our moods tend to brighten in a blink

When of all different flowers we think.

We ignore that they will wilt,

Their fragrance will remain in us instilled.


Same goes with thoughts of people we have known

We remember kindness that to us they have shown.

Their smile and the shine in their eyes,

Stays part of us despite their demise.


Life steers us thru many ups and downs in a blink

Often our moods will change in a wink.

There cannot be only days of joy in this endeavor

Just like a flower cannot bloom forever.


Good and bad tango to a dramatic beat

Even the flowers for dirt have need.

Our thoughts and deeds are the future’s seeds.

Enjoy any beauty that with your blossoming me

They Would Not be Remembered

Published May 2015 in Great South Bay Mag

In front of me is a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, NY 11735.  It is from November 8, 1993, directed to Mrs. Del Zappala, 222 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012.

It reads:

Dear Mrs. Zappala: I have enclosed a map of the cemetery with the section and grave location of your husband, Richard A. Zappala. The burial was conducted on November 4, 1993, and the remains placed in grave 1378A.

The information you provided on the ‘Certificate of Monument Date’ will be utilized to order the headstone.  Once the headstone is received in approximately 0-12- days it will be installed. We will mail you a post card once the stone has been installed.

If we may be of any further assistance please contact Annette Bianco at 516-454-4949.

Sincerely, Mike Cariota, Cemetery Director.

This letter was in a file, which my husband Raymond Rodrigues, had kept.  He too has passed on in the meantime. As a matter of fact, he too is buried in a Military Cemetery, but he is at Calverton, New York. I would have preferred him to be in Farmingdale, as this is much closer to my residency; however in 2010 there was no longer any space available in Farmingdale.

“Do the dead know when we visit them?”

One day in the future I will join him at Calverton.  This is a thought which is not exactly pleasant to me and oddly erroneous too.  I am not even an American Citizen; I came from a country, Germany, where my husband won his medals of war, including the Purple Heart.  Just like my entire life can hardly be called traditional, this too falls under the heading “Idiosyncrasy. “

Richard Zappala was my husband’s nephew, the son of his oldest sister Hilda. When I met him, he was already in his second marriage to Del Zappala. He had gotten hurt during a maneuver while in the Service and thus was buried with Military honors.

I remember Richard as a pleasant personality, heavyset, a smoker and drinker and always full of jokes. I knew him for nearly 30 years but only met him at family gatherings, maybe once or twice a year. Del his wife was a charming Blonde, a good singer and somebody nice to have around.  As I understand she was many years older than Richard, maybe about 15, and she was the bread winner.  She loved Richard dearly and gladly accommodated his aimless lifestyle.  In old times Richard was said to have been on road shows as an actor, but I cannot remember him ever working while I knew him. His failure to make a living obviously contributed to the break-up of his first marriage to Sybill.  He died at the early age of 53, succumbing to a heart attack while food shopping.

Del died many years later. During my last phone conversation with her she mentioned that she was working on her blood pressure, which was at stroke level and that we would get together when she felt better.  Well she did have a stroke shortly after this call and died several months later.  Her body was sent to her family members someplace at the outskirts of Pennsylvania.  At this point nobody, being that there is only Mary, my sister-in-law, who did not know the answer when being asked, knows the address. Unfortunately, Mary Petit, my sister-in-law had a fall-out with her son and their connection has broken off.  Mary’s daughter, Diana passed away July 2011, following a devastating fire in their house in Jersey and also suffering from Liver cancer. Richard Zappala also had had a sister, Dorothy.  She too died from cancer a few years after him. There are no offspring from either Richard or Dorothy. Mary’s son Mark however has two children, Tiana and Garrett, and I am contemplating to possibly send them a copy of this write-up in the near future.  I myself am of advanced age and the term “In the future” will be chiseled into “Near future” by me from now on.

In the “very near future” I will compose a write-up about my own family. Luckily I have kept pictures, letters and hear- say anecdotes since my early youth.  Maybe my grandson, Adam, now 5 years old, will one day take the notes into his hands and venture  on a trip into the past.

(The point that I would like to make with this outpour of data, which obviously has no meaning at all for any of you, is that our instructor Mary Haughey has done a great service to us by challenging us to write down our memories. She did that in a caring and stimulating way and for that we all should be grateful.)

People and happenings, otherwise forgotten, will live on in the written word!


By Alexandra H. Rodrigues
Published in Famous Poets of the Heartland April 2015
South Bay’s Neighbor April 2014
Famous Poets September 2014

I close my eyes and there they are
Faces of people once friends near and far.
No longer on earth they nowadays walk
Yet in a voiceless whisper to me they talk.

Never they come one by one to my side.
But as faces around my head they heed my invite.
Souls they are now with faces on loan
For a short while excused from the father’s throne.

They must have heard my searching cries
As my brain stumbled between truth and lies.
What is in store when life runs out
Human answers leave room for doubt.

The faces fuse deep wisdom into my soul
I feel the answer and it makes me whole.
Their vision alone gives me inner peace
Which grants a soul-felt, true r


By Alexandra H. Rodrigues

So you want, or need, or consider to move
Let’s say , you search to live under another roof.
Emotions first will surface your plans to haunt
As if your grandma’s wedding ring you pawned.

“Why do this, should I do this or is it better to stay
How about the memories collected here day by day”
Are the thoughts that occupy your mind
As a sensible solution you want to find.

First you try to force yourself to refrain
Till finally you begin to explore the gain.
A new beginning is like a breath of fresh air
Wanting to make a move is only fair.

Places to live are millions on earth
The least choice we had was our place of birth.
Only when our soul a vacuum does fill
Square feet of space can become an idyll.

Consider what best fits your taste and pocket book
Order your emotions to let you off the hook.
In life a decision now and then has to be made
Don’t get caught having to say “Now it is too late”



Your child always remains your child.
By Alexandra H. Rodrigues

You entered my life like a ray of sun
And you made me whole.
No more “I”
Together we knew when to laugh or to cry
For we needed to share.

You now turn thirteen and you want to be “You”
Not an image of me.

So I search for my :”I” and I let you be “You”
Individuals we both!

Letting go can bind too
So enjoy being “YOU”
For you see
I’ll settle for a few precious moments of “WE”
For I am you mother.

Added 2012-05-22

And now you are Forty and mature
A parent yourself and proud I am sure
I got old but not feeble, you can still count on me
And as Your son ages, you will see
How precious loving and sharing can be

Added 2015-04-14th HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Age 43 by now you have reached
Several hard lesson by life you were teached.
Daily chores stunted your creativity
Influenced what you truly wanted to be.

We all are subject to challenges of kind
Mine by now encumber body and mind.
At your age you may sometimes resent
To have to give up time that for fun could be spend.

Not all is as it once has seemed
To make amendments one is deemed.
My wish for you is that the future brings you award
As you earned it by always being a good sport.

If It is meant to be
Make it big and win the lottery
Or settle for a gratifying fulfillment
With your son growing to give you a hand
Which is a blessing I well understand.

I started this poem to my son 30 years ago and gave it to him periodically. Today is his 43rd birthday.