Posts Tagged ‘Grandmom’

Christmas this year was hard.

We literally had no money for anything.. tree, gifts, etc.

I’ve never NOT had a Christmas but I guess there’s a first time for everything and truly, it gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my faith and walk the walk in regards to celebrating Christ’s birth instead of getting all caught up in the commercial holiday. I was also able to give to a family that was worse off then we were and that truly, was the best present I had ever received.

If it was just the two of us, it wouldn’t really have been a big deal but with the kids.. well.. they can only “understand” so much regarding adult situations but they were shipped off to the Crack Whore’s for the weekend since she was loaded down with gifts for them.

Fortunately, my big ol’ Italian family celebrates the Feast of the Seven Fishes and they were more then happy to have me and Chief over. Especially because we’re moving and may not be back here for a while.

My family knows our situation and even though the last thing they would have expected was a gift, I didn’t feel right receiving empty handed. It’s just the way I am.

So a few days before Christmas Eve, I’m sitting in my mother’s living room watching one of her soap operas and it hit me.
The PERFECT gift for my aunts and cousins. I literally jumped off the couch excited and told my mom what I was thinking. She was excited to.

My grandmother passed away at 97 in July 2009. She truly was the matriarch of our family and she is very, very missed by all of us. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating.. I’ve realized as I’ve grown older and met different people and joined different families that mine is truly the exception to the rule. There is no dysfunction.. we are close.. we are there for each other.. supportive of each other.. we all get along.. there is no stress when having to do a seating chart..

Christams Eve’s dinner was always at my grandmother’s little South Philly row house. Imagine trying to stuff 40 or more people in a box and you kind of get the idea of what dinner’s were like. It wasn’t uncommon to be lined up on the stairs with plates on our laps!

After she died, my her youngest daughter (my aunt) took over the mantle to keep the tradition alive.. and even though it meant driving an extra hour or so to her house, we gladly do it because gosh, with everybody’s hectic day to day there is no way we were going to miss the opportunity to get together.. eat.. and laugh. The things we do best!

When they sold my grandmother’s house, my mom had given me all different kinds of plates and cups and saucers that my grandmother had collected over the years. Things that no one could really use but things my mother and aunt didn’t have the heart to throw out. The thought was that I would take them to a flea market but I never got around to doing that.

The idea that I had sitting in my mother’s living room was to turn part of the tea set I had inherited into candles and gift them to my aunts and cousins. It seemed so perfect. Something that I could make less then cheap but was priceless.

I also created a tag with my grandmother’s picture and the words “Grandmom’s Cup of Love”

I knew that the gift would be well received.. but I didn’t expect just HOW well..

There were tears .. a lot of them.. and it made me feel bad because the last thing I wanted was for anyone to be sad but at the same time, I felt really good because I know that they were appreciative and that their sentiment was sincere.

Turns out that one of the worst Christmas’ turned into one of the best!

… so I was over at The Pretty Project and came across this little ditty of a soap that was reviewed and described as being THE perfect soap to use if you wanted a little.. um.. EXTRA something out of your bath.

Heh.. well… Y’ALL know I’m all for anything that gives me a little EXTRA something during my bath!!!

And even though I don’t normally TAKE BATHS .. the temptation was FAR too great to not give this a try.

I couldn’t find it in any place local so I had to drive the 5 miles to the mall… then when I came home, I had to don the hazmat suit and 55 gallon drum of disinfectant and saw-all powered scrubber to clean my tub.

Don’t get me wrong.. I clean my bathtub ALL the time. It’s just that I live with BOYS… boys with cooties and pubic hairs that appear out of nowhere. Sorry.. but there was no way in HELL I was going to sit my naked ass in that tub.

So I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed … and bleached and bleached and bleached.. and Kaboomed and Kaboomed and Kaboomed.. and scrubbed some more but I still couldn’t get past the thought of sitting in THAT tub.

But I wanted to use this soap SOOOO bad…

Knowing that I needed some much needed .. um.. “relief” .. well, I don’t know about much needed .. ’cause I don’t think I needed it THAT much but still..


OBVIOUSLY the “relief” angels saw my plight. The clouds parted. .the monks sang and the brilliant idea was plopped onto my head.


My grandmother passed away a few months ago and my mom and aunt are doing some sprucing to get the house ready to be sold. I think they’re absolutely insane because the house … being formerly owned by a 96 year old ITALIAN woman was spotless.


Um.. you get where I’m going here???

Since there was absolutely no chance of being snagged :: mom is away for the week .. WITH the aunt :: I casually call her on her cell phone and ask her if the dishes my grandmother wanted me to have but I’ve had no time to pick up were still at the house.

MOM: They’re there. Right were I left them for you to pick up. Not that you’ve had the time (( insert major sarcasm there ))

ME: OH! But hey!! Guess What??? I HAVE THE TIME!!

MOM: Oh. How come?

ME: Just… because…. well, I do. What’s the big deal?

MOM: No deal.. just asking why all of a sudden you have time to pick them up when you never could find time before. Is it because I’m away and you don’t have to see me?

ME: No MOM!!

MOM: Hmph!

NOTE: I hate when she does the HMPH noise. And no matter how many times she does it.. I still CAN NOT help but get all indignant and tell her the truth.

ME: Ok! Ok! Do you want to know the truth? I bought a soap bar that is suppose to give you the most amazing orgasm.. ok? Satisfied?

MOM: Who do you BELONG to? My God, Leese! Of all the things you could have said to your mother, you make up something about orgasms???????

ME: Well.. you were just being ridiculous and that was the most ridiculous thing I could think of.

MOM: Bye!!!!

So now. .with my mother’s quasi-permission.. :: and less guilt, I might add :: .. I flew down to my grandmom’s faster then Vin Diesel in The Fast and The Furious and set about my quest.


It did EVERYTHING it was suppose to..

So well.. in fact.. that the first thing I did when I came home was tell Chief that we either have to built a second bathroom :: IN OUR RENTED HOUSE :: or get Bath Fitters or a new tub or SOMETHING.. DAMMIT! SOMETHING!

He so didn’t understand…

Yknow… sometimes I just forget that I’m not writing a personal email!!

I have literally gotten tons of emails asking about this particular post .. and the comment I made in response to The Goob about my grandmother ( Nonna ) seeing an up close and more then personal picture of my Va-jay-jay ( snatch ).

Here’s the story:

A few years ago, I feeling some kind of lump? Bump? SOMETHING down in the nether regions. No matter how I contorted myself over a mirror :: um, you get the idea, right? :: I wasn’t able to get a satisfying view of whatever it was that I was feeling.

Since necessity IS the mother of all inventions.. or in this case.. curiosity seeking.. I grabbed my digital camera and started taking pictures in the attempt to SEE what was down there.

NOTE: Contrary to those who wink and nod when told this story, I was NOT taking pictures of the Va-jay-jay for ANY. OTHER. PURPOSE!! Dammit!

I upload them to my laptop and FINALLY get to see what the issue is. Turns out, it was just an ingrown hair that FELT a lot bigger then it actually is.

Satisfied that I wasn’t secretly implanted with something from an alien abduction, I closed the laptop and went about my business. That being a date with a guy that was SO going to include naked fun.

Hence the urgency to find out what the HELL was down there.

Anyway… so fast forward a week? A month? I don’t remember.. but it had been awhile. My relatives in Italy had emailed me some pictures of my grandfather’s ancestors and I took my laptop down with me to my grandmother’s to show her.

My mom had something she needed to do that night so I had to sit with my gradmother because she wasn’t well enough to stay by herself.

Anyway… so I tell her about the pictures from the family and fire up the laptop to show her.

My laptop at the time had a 17″ screen :: I believe. Don’t know for sure but it was a bigger one then I have now :: So I pop open Picasso and started a slide show of my families pictures. Not really paying attention :: there are so many oohs and aahs that I can appear interested in :: my mind drifted off until I heard my grandmother say, “.. what’s that?”

I turn to look at the screen and





There.. filling the WHOLE screen is my Vagina. Since the laptop was sitting on my grandmother’s lap, I just started hitting the finger pad to move the mouse and close the goddamn window.

Not that simple.. because.. THE DAMN COMPUTER FREEZES

Meanwhile, my grandmother keeps asking what it is and I keep telling her I don’t know.. just some random picture.. until finally I rip the laptop off her lap and snap the lid down.

I was somewhere between mortification and hysterical laughter when I called Goober and told him what happened.

His immediate response?



In this sickening sing-songy voice!

Very rare has an opportunity gone by where Goob teases me about it.

So that’s it.

The whole story.

95 years and 3 months ago, the oldest of 11 children was born to Italian immigrants.

The mother had immigrated to the States and turned her little house into a boarding home and sponsored other immigrants who came to American from her little town in Italy.

One immigrant was a shoemaker by trade and just figured he’d jump the ship to America one day. He didn’t know anyone here.. let alone a woman who gave people from her town a place to sleep and meals to eat. In fact, he didn’t even know anyone on the ship.

When the ship landed and he was told that he wasn’t going to be able to get off of it, one of the men who this woman with the boarding house had already sponsored told him about her.. and then told her about him.

Feeling bad for him.. they concocted this story about being engaged but were too poor at that point to afford to BE married. They figured that no one would be able to turn him away after hearing how he scrimped and saved to buy a ticket to be with his beloved.

They were right.

Over the collective cloud of  Awwwww the ship’s steward’s notified the captain of this poor couple’s plight and he announced that he would marry them.

Right there.

On the ship’s dock.

There really wasn’t much they could do except go along with the charade. So they got married… right there.. on the ship’s dock. I can tell you that this woman was NOT pleased in the beginning and gave the her new husband a hard way to go .. but eventually this man won her over and she fell in love with him.

They had their “marriage” blessed by the church and a year or so later, their first child was born.

A baby girl they called Mary.

Mary grew up helping her mother cook for the boarders, cleaning the house and caring for the 10 children that were to follow her.

When she was 20, a man came to stay with them. He was just into his 40’s and had returned to America to find work as a carpenter. He had never married. Not sure why.. but even HE knew that it was just about time to settle down and so he evaluated his options and figured the 20 year old daughter of the boarding house owner would make a good wife and mother.

So he courted her.. and eventually asked him to marry her.

She agreed and they went on to have three children of their own. The oldest being a girl.

Their first born daughter is my mother.

Mary is my grandmother.

And after 95 years and three odd months, she took her last breath.

My grandmother was an amazing woman. I know that most people say that about their grandmother’s but she honestly was.

Unlike most woman of MY generation, my grandmother lived for her family. Lived for caring for them. That was her job and she reveled in it.

We used to joke that she could feed a Roman Army any time.. night or day.. because her refrigerator was always over flowing. She was mortified if she thought you left her table hungry because for her.. food cured everything.

Depressed about breaking up with your boyfriend? Here.. eat something.

Having problems with your job? Here.. eat something.

There were times when I would stop over after work just to visit and she would INSIST that I eat.

HER: Eat something.

ME: Not hungry, Nonna.

HER: What? Not hungry? How come?

ME: I ate already.

HER: You ate already? How could you eat already? Here.. eat some of [whatever]

ME: But I’m not hungry.

HER: What? I can’t believe it..

That conversation :: or variation of it :: went on all the time. Worse was when her hearing started to go and you literally had to shout I’M. NOT. HUNGRY.

You didn’t know if her “WHAT?” was because she couldn’t hear what you were saying or because she just couldn’t believe that you didn’t want to eat.

She was also very tolerant of the strays I brought to her house.. whether 2 legged or 4 legged..

One time..  long after my grandfather had died and she had moved to a smaller house..  I was living in an apartment with my psychotic ex-husband when we found a stray dog. Cute little thing.. almost like Toto from the Wizard of Oz.

I couldn’t bring him into my apartment and it was too late to take him to the SPCA. My mother already had a dog who was psychotic in it’s own right so the only other place I could bring it was to my grandmothers.

Mind you.. for as good as my grandmother was… for as sympathetic as her heart was.. animals in her house just didn’t happen. My grandmother was beyond meticulous when it came to cleanliness and we used to joke around that she would wait with a can of Pledge cocked and ready for a piece of dust to fall on her furniture!

So even though I didn’t want to.. I felt too sorry for this little fur ball so I called her and asked her if it would be alright if I stayed over JUST ONE NIGHT with the dog and I PROMISE. PROMISE. PROMISE. not to let it get into anything or jump on anything or pee anywhere.

She said okay because I was her granddaughter.. because she loved me.. and because she knew how worried I was about this dog.

So what was the first thing she did when I arrived with it?

Feed it, of course!

I could go on and on.. there are so many stories and so many of her quirks that just make us double over and laugh :: a rite of passage for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was dusting the brass tips of the dining room table legs ::

When you reach her age, it’s inevitable that things will start to go wrong beyond the normal aches and pains. Eventually, her heart started to become weak and she would suffer congestive heart failure and wind up in the hospital. This happened a few times over the past few years and each time we held our breath.. waiting.

This time, when she went into the hospital, the doctor told us that there really wasn’t much they could do. She had one leaky valve in her heart.. another was only functioning at 20%.. and at 95 and some odd months.. they couldn’t operate.

It was a waiting game and one that caused my family a lot of stress. No doctor, no matter how talented they are, can give you the exact date of of someone dying. If they could, my grandmother would have died years ago.

I believe she remained with us for as long as she did because she was well loved.. she wasn’t alone.. never lonely.

Out of all my cousin’s, I was the one that always lived close by so I got to see her more often then they did. I’m thankful for that.. I’m thankful that I got to share things with her that they didn’t.

The last day she was here, I told my mom and my aunt that I was going to bring them dinner. All afternoon my grandmother was asking my mother “Where’s Leese? Where’s Leese?” .. and my mother would tell her that I would be there with dinner.

She liked that. For some reason, no matter how many times I told her that whatever culinary delight I brought with me was prepared by Chief, she always thought I cooked it.

When I got there she looked better then she had in the previous two weeks of being in the hospital. She had color.. her voice sounded stronger.. and even though I knew she was never going to be “well” well, I didn’t get the impression that she was as ill as she had been.

We were there for about an hour when she started to fidget in her hospital bed.. complaining she was tired. So an hour earlier then we normally left, we said our goodbyes and I kissed her on the forehead and said, “.. love you” like I always did.

The following morning, my mom called me to tell me that my grandmother had passed.. with no drama or trauma.. in her sleep.

It’s hard knowing she isn’t here anymore. No matter how prepared you are for a loved one’s death.. you’re never really prepared.

It feels like the sun is less brighter.. that the night sky has an extra star.

I have no complaints.. more importantly, I have no regrets. There is no question that I will miss her..  that it will take time for me to get used to her not being near me.

But she is in my heart.. where she will remain until I too, take my last breath.

Te Amo, Nonna.  Lo mancherò