Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grandma Angelina 10/30/1908 - 10/01/2008

My beautiful Grandmother passed away this morning at around 5 am. After suffering a very major stroke on Sunday, September 21, she tried so hard to hold on. But she couldn't. She was just too tired and too broken. She was absolutely one of my most favorite people on this planet and now this planet is going to feel a little emptier without her. She taught me so much. She taught me things she probably doesn't even realize she taught me.

She came to this country from Sicily as a small child and then helped to raise her six siblings.
Married at 15, a mother at 16 and very little education, she was the smartest person I have ever known. She lived through the Great Depression and one of the things she took from that was deep dislike of ground meat. It was the only meat available to them and for as long as I have known her, the only time she would ever touch it was when she was making meatballs for pasta. But she would only taste the mixed meat raw and that's all. She never ate those delicious meatballs she made for the rest of the family.

She began working later in life and driving even later, not getting her drivers license until well into her 50's. She worked into her 80's. A funny little story I just recently was told was that when she was 80 and working in a pizza parlor doing what she did best, cooking, she asked for a day off to go to her son's 65th birthday party. Well her boss thought SHE was 65 so he asked her how she could have a son who was 65 if that's how old she was. My quick thinking Grandma said, "he's my husband's son." She went to
the party and she continued to work.

She was sharp as a tack until the very end. She knew everyone who came to visit her. She knew what was happening to her. She was aware that her condition was very bad. I sat at her side every single day, held her hand, soothed her and told her how much I loved her. And even though she could not speak, I could see in her eyes that she was telling me she loved me too.

I am who I am today because of the love of this wonderful woman. And my heart aches with sorrow at how much I will miss her. But yet, I know I'm lucky. Believe me when I say that because to be 42 years old and have a loving Grandmother in my life is practically unheard of. My whole family is lucky, especially my mother who, at 78, has had her mother her whole life. Which reminds me of another little story. Two years ago my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Grandma asked me to take her shopping for a card. When we got to the card shop she looked around and looked
around. Finally she said to me, "I can't find a 'To daughter and son in law on your 50th wedding anniversary' card" I smiled and looked for another card for her. It just never dawned on her that most people don't live to see their children celebrate 50 years of marriage so a card like that most likely does not even exist.

I can go on about her forever.
Her love for her family was unparalleled. But I will leave you with a thank you for all the beautiful emails and messages. For all the prayers and condolences. For being the most thoughtful people in the whole world and always making me feel special. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you and end with the poem that reminds me of my beautiful Angelina and if I have the courage, will be reciting it at her funeral on Saturday.

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

18 comments:

Anna1916 said...

She is a beautiful, wonderful woman, and though your heart will hurt from her passing, it will always be full of the wonderful memories she leaves you with!

Love you, Kathy!

Anna

Helen said...

Kathy,
You now have your own personal angel to watch over you. She is a love you will never forget and that love never ever dulls...

I see my nana in all things beautiful...

I am so sorry for your loss...

Helen

Carol said...

What an amazing woman she was, Kathy! I loved reading what you wrote and I believe it does heal us to relive the wonderful memories with others. I look forward to hearing more stories, and reading more tributes, to this wonderful, amazing angel who has touched all of our lives, though we never met her in person. I know you will miss her terribly and my heart goes out to you. But I know you'll make her proud as you always have, once again, by reading that beautiful poem on Sat. xoxoxox

neurosissy said...

What a beautiful tribute to Grandma Angelina! She is going to continue to influence you in the years to come, as the best of Angelina resides inside you. I'll be holding your hand in spirit and thoughts on Saturday, my friend.
(((hugs))
Carla

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing your Grandma with us!

junie said...

My heart aches for your loss and yet amazingly is thrilled that you had Grandma for so many years to enjoy her. She was a blessing and a gift. There is nobody like a Grandma. And Kathy, you will not only carry these precious memories in your heart every day for the rest of your life, but you what you have learned from your Grandma will give you the ability to share with others in your family in the future. She will live on not only in your heart but through you and the parts of her that you share with those you love dearest. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with your family at this most delicate time.

bikeral said...

i am sorry to hear of your loss. i also had the good fortune of having my grandmother live into her 90's. she shared her lifes experience with all of us. my wife's grandmother lived to the age of 99. what i am trying to say is we should consider ourselfs blessed to have had the love of such wonderful women in our lives for the amount of time that we had. again our hearts go out to you

Keith said...

All her life she was a beautiful woman - inside and out - and so funny! What a woman to have as your guardian angel.
xo
Marianne

Sue said...

Kathy,
Thank you for sharing your Grandma with us. My Grandmother was the most important person in my life and I still miss her. She was born one month before your grandma. I guess they made them very special that year. My Grandma passed away in Feb. She too, was as sharp as a tack until she passed away. God has a special place for our wonderful Grandmas.
You are in my prayers.

Sue

Lenny Roberts said...

Kathy
Simply beautifully written. I'm sure you've read this poem about moms, but maybe others have not. It certainly would seem to apply to grandmas, too:

Your mother is always with you.
She's the whisper of leaves as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of bleach in your freshly-laundered socks.
She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well.

Your mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every teardrop.
She's the place you came from, your first home and she's the map you follow with every step that you take.

She's your first love and your first heartbreak.
And nothing on Earth can separate you.
Not time, not space, not even death.

Anonymous

Jules said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandmother...that is a rare gift to have spent so many wonderful years with such an amazing woman! The stories she must have told you! God Bless you & your family as you say "goodbye". Just remember how special it will be to reunite in Heaven again someday & the many stories you will be able to share with her :)

Doreen said...

Your tribute to your grandmother was one that touched us all. You have been so very fortunate to have had that kind of love in your life. God bless you and your family.

Sandie said...

Kathy,

I never knew my grandparents so I envy that you were able to have such a long and loving relationship with your grandmother. My own daughters are very close to my mother and I know they will grow up with the same love and adoration for her that you have for your beloved grandmother. My heart aches for you, but I am sure that this wonderful woman is in the best place of all, waiting for her family to join her.

luvhairymuscle said...

So very sorry for the loss of your Grandmother.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

liljessicae said...

Kathy,

I am so deeply sorry about your loss. Your story was beautiful and so heart warming to read. I wish you peace of mind during this difficult time. Try to think of the beautiful memories that you have of your precious grandmother and remember that she will always be with you.

Jessica

Kathy said...

Thank you all so much for your beautiful words of support and encouragement. It means more to me than I can ever say. It hardly seems possible that she is gone. But yet, there is an emptiness. I think a part of me will always mourn for her. But the best parts of her live on in me, in my brothers and sister, in my nieces, in my mother. Lucky is definitely what we are.

DLBeLL1984 said...

You were so lucky. I wish I could have been so lucky to see my grandma on on my mother's side. She passed away before I was born so I never got to meet her. I just get to hear storys about what an amazing woman she was.

I'm sure your's was just as amazing too, and it's always said when we lose someone we care so much for.

Jackie said...

Kathy, I know I told you this when we talked, but I wanted to post here too that I think this is the one of the best tributes I have ever read. You can tell she meant so much to you. Much love, Jackie xox