Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Remember Grandma - A Memorial

Grandma and my mother, Marie
Last Christmastime, we lost our beloved grandma. On the exterior, it seems like she was a little old Italian lady who didn't really make her mark on the world.  But as we all know, appearances are deceiving and the world we live in lies.  So on the date of her birth please excuse this break from my normal creative endeavors and let m share this piece I wrote for her funeral.
As I look over all of you here, I'm reminded how one simple, Italian woman's life can touch so many.  Obviously, my grandmother didn't need to have a high profile job, nor fancy house or designer clothes to be so loved. 96 years is an amazing legacy - more than most of us can hope for  - still I'm sure it will be the little things that she'll be remembered most for.

When I started thinking about what to say today all sorts of images came to mind.  Coming down the hall to be greeted with a ready smile whether it was 7 am or 10 at night.  Her trying to feed me no matter what the time.  Smells of warm macoroni and broccoli just waiting for some romano cheese.  I remember Grandma.

I can see her sitting on the porch in the afternoon, reading the Sentinel and never missing a chance to chat with her neighbors. Hanging out clothes in the summer and chopping vegtables for dinner.  Offering up Maple Walnut ice cream like it was medicine that would sooth the soul.  I remember Grandma.

There I am over the shoulder of Gram on the right

I see the years marked by annual events - St. John's festival with its fireworks - Bocci  with its fun competition - Christmas Eve with the sea of food.  All of which were just excuses to stop by Bouck Street and visit Grace.  I remember Grandma.

I smell Saturday morning meatballs cooking - nugging you awake and enticing you to steal one before they made it into Sunday's sauce.  Uncles stopping by for a cup of coffee and to see what's new. Quiet afternoons where a nap, crochet and watching soap operas weren't unheard of.  I remember Grandma.

My Uncles, Mom and Grandma on her 90th
I see us going to Sunday morning mass  - sitting with Polly in the same pew counting all the pretty hats. Speghetti and meatball dinners with her weekly one glass of wine. A long table filled with Canasta cards and Aunts just hoping that they'll make their meld.   I remember Grandma.

I hear the quiet click of rosary beads for her nightly prayers.  Knowing that I had a praying grandma who loved me as much as she loved God.  Drifting off to sleep I knew that no matter what I became in my life - my grandmother loved me for me.  I remember grandma.

Of course I miss her but her memories are always in my heart  -- reminding me that its the little things in life that effect the people around you - its the little things that make life worth living.  That's what my grandma taught me.



Annette said...

Love to you Nina.

Nina said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandma. It brings back memories of my own family. On holidays we always had meals that lasted a long time with lots of food starting with an antipasta and ending with coffee, pastries, fruit and nuts. And no dishwasher! Thanks for sharing!