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In Memory Of Maria

“I never meant to cause you any sorrow, I never meant to cause you any pain, I only wanted to one time to see you laughing, I only wanted to see you, Laughing in the purple rain”  Prince Rogers Nelson

Over the years I have many people I have loved come and go. Some have passed on to the great beyond. But these people are not gone they are alive in my memory. Thoughts turn today of my friend Maria. 

WOMAN photoI met Maria when I was attending the mental health outpatient program. She was a fellow patient. I recall her going over with me to the local Quick Check. There she volunteered to buy us food from her food stamps. This upset me terribly as it would be taking much-needed resources from her family. I think Maria was trying to buy some friends with her generosity.

We became good friends. She soon invited me to her house and I went with my friend Steve. I think Maria’s mother Angela was leery of two men coming to visit so we didn’t stay long. I believe what happened was Angela went to the store with Maria.

Well, days passed into weeks and weeks passed into months and months passed into years. I only stayed at the mental health programs for a short time but Maria and I kept her friendship. Maria would always be making me something to eat or we’d go to the local restaurant to by something. I remember that Maria would make some yogurt pie. It was a simple dish of mixing yogurt with whip creme in a pie crust. Sometimes Maria would come to me to the Manhattan Church of Christ and when we had our luncheons she would bring her yogurt pie.

I was often at Maria’s hanging out. We would smoke cigarettes together and simply talk. Sometimes we would visit friends. I soon became friends with Maria’s family.

Maria’s father Frank was a retired carpenter. I was going to college during the year and when I had the summer off I would work with Frank. I was a terrible carpenter and I couldn’t even hammer a nail straight, but Frank in a fatherly way was very patient with me. I did the grunt work like carrying supplies and stuff. Frank wasn’t too generous with the money maybe giving me twenty dollars for a whole day’s work. Still, he was extremely kind. He would make me breakfast in the morning before going out and he would always buy my lunch as well.

Maria was a very outgoing person trying to be everybody’s friend. She had a job watching some children from a woman named Lisa. Lisa would exploit Maria only giving her a few dollars for a day’s work, but Maria didn’t mind. I recall when we were driving we heard the song by Bob Dylan called Maggie’s Farm. I changed the lyrics to sing “I ain’t gonna work on Lisa’s farm no more.” It gave us a big laugh.

Maria simply put couldn’t handle life. She was always running into the psychiatric hospital. I would always come and visit her.

When Maria’s daughters got married I was privileged to attend their weddings.  I recall one time Maria called my house and spoke to my father when I wasn’t home. My dad was shook up as he came to me and declared “I’m not a nasty person.” Apparently, my dad wasn’t being too friendly and Maria told him “you don’t have to be so nasty.”

All good things end and one day when I came home from work my mother said that she had very bad news that Maria died. She had a sleeping problem and died in her sleep. I recall how broken up Frank was at the funeral crying. I remember the day after hearing of Maria’s death as I was driving to work to Trenton crying along the way.

I kept up with Frank and he and Angela came to my wedding. Eventually first Frank and then Angela passed away. Nobody ever called me to tell me of their demise so I couldn’t go to their funerals. I wrote a song lyric about Maria. It is in my book of song lyrics called “Without The Music”

Please purchase Without The Music.



This isn’t about gold this isn’t about glory
This is just an everyday story
My friend Maria is forty years old
My friend Maria has a heart of gold
Maria, Maria, sweet Maria
I know life is very hard to ya
The other day you broke down and cried
Things are really tough that can’t be denied
Just from the look in your eye I can tell
That you are going through a living hell
I know life is going to get better
Cause now it’s the two of us together
I look out for you and you look out for me
Hand in hand we’ll walk for eternity

We are strong and weak
We are mute, but we can speak
We are both enslaved and free
We are blind but we can see

Well you never sang on the radio
And you never starred in a t.v. show
But you are still a beautiful starlet
You are a person I’ll never forget
You say that you are my best friend
I know that you’ll be loyal to the end
You look out for me and I’ll look out for you
Together there is nothing we can’t do
We have a love that’s precious and sweet
Life may have us down but we’re not beat
I want everyone in the world to know
That I Love Maria Pacifico

We are strong and weak
We are mute, but we can speak
We are both enslaved and free
We are blind but we can see

They say we’ll never make it you know
But the truth is we don’t have far to go
The word may be against both of us
Well we don’t need the Earth we have Jesus
I can still remember the say we met
We shared coffee and smoked a cigarette
We were both out of it we were both down
Yet we manage to bring each other round
They say we’ll never make it anywhere
Well if we’re together I just don’t care
We’ve been cheated, mistreated abused
Life was a mystery, we were confused
But with you as a friend I learned to laugh
We were like twins you were my other half

We are strong and weak
We are mute, but we can speak
We are both enslaved and free
We are blind but we can see

In Memory Of Maria

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2019). In Memory Of Maria. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Jan 2019
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