We miss you, JoAnn

Tina’s mom JoAnn LoBianco Serafini passed away 15 years ago today. There are many things that aren’t certain in the world, but one thing is for sure, JoAnn died too early.

To hear Tina talk about her mom is heart breaking and heart warming. She loved her mom dearly. Tina describes her as her best friend.

“She would have loved you so much,” Tina tells me occasionally.

“I would have loved her, too,” I reply.

The above photos were stills I pulled out of a video. That’s her mom in the middle. Tina is on the left. The other little kid in the shot is Tina’s brother Michael.

It’s a sweet series of photos, and some of the only shots Tina has with her mom.

It’s refreshing to hear Tina talk about death. She doesn’t come from a religious background, and she has no qualm about the idea that there is no heaven. Let me rephrase that about her background. Tina went to a Catholic school. But Catholics accept science. They aren’t as delirious in a Yeshua Fog™.

When she hears me tell her about things I was taught, her eyebrows furrow and she says, “What were you taught? People really think that?”

It’s like Tina is the mirror in the fun house that isn’t screwed up. You go by the believer mirrors, and your body bloats at the bottom and your head is too big. The mirror that is Tina is what you get. It’s a reflection of life the way it really is. She’s a cool wind on a warm day. And I love her.

Mind you, Tina’s not an atheist. The romantic in her wants to believe in things like an afterlife. She’d like to believe in something resembling “god.” She doesn’t claim she knows exactly what that is. I find this truth incredibly attractive in Tina. No one can know for certain. Why do people claim they do?

Tina’s mom sounded like an amazing, loving person. Tina talks about how JoAnn took Tina shopping in the city as a little girl. When Whole Foods opened, JoAnn and Tina ventured to the city to shop there. Tina talks about how her mom worked three jobs at a time to make ends meet. She talks about how her mom would sit on the couch with her feet pulled up. JoAnn would talk on the phone with her body reclined against the sofa’s arm. Tina would sit down beside her mom and rest her head on her mom’s shoulder and stay there for hours.

If your mom’s nearby, go give her a squeeze. If she’s not, go give her a call. Thank lucky stars that an unknown something didn’t take your mom too early. You’re luckier than you might think.

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