Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

This show is right up my alley because it has to do with genealogy and connecting with your roots.

Hence the title of the show.

Anyone who knows me in person knows that I diligently work on my family tree.. over achiever that I am, I’m doing both my mother and father’s family at the same time!


The limited series :: I hope there’s more in production :: delved into the family trees of Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmet Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brook Shields, Susan Sarandon so far with Spike Lee to be shown next week.

The celebrities themselves are hands on with the research .. to an extent. I mean, the good folks at have a way of turning up some incredible documents as well as the professors and historians making cameo appearences and making things a hell of a whole lot easier for them then it would be for you and I.

But the stories.. oh my God, the STORIES are incredible. Like, did you know that:

Sarah Jessica Parker has an ancestor that was one of the last woman tried as a witch in Salem.. but was released because there was some type of ordinance passed that discontinued the whole “witch” thing?

Emmet Smith was found, through DNA testing, to be 80% African .. one of the highest percentages known?

That Brooke Shields can trace her Italian roots back to an ancestor who originally migrated from France and started the first Italian bank which grew into one of the largest in the world.. and that her French roots go back to include the most prestigious of Kings?

But Susan Saradon’s story is the one that really broke my heart.

She was trying to find information on her maternal grandmother, who had left her small young children and then disappeared. No one knew anything about her save for a picture that someone had from a long time ago. She was able to find out that her maternal grandmother’s family was from Tuscany and had strong roots there but back in the day, her great-grandfather came to the United States skilled in making statues.. thinking he would have a better life.

He didn’t.

Him and his wife settled into an NYC tenament where 6 of their 9 children died. His wife died also. It was found that Susan’s grandmother got pregnant when she was 12 by her 18 year old neighbor. They were probably forced to marry and I guess life being what it was, she wound up leaving for the bright lights of the clubs in Manhattan. She remarried but that marriage didn’t last either.

With a little more digging, Susan was able to find out that her grandmother married a 3rd time and this marriage had lasted 30+ year.

She lived out her life an hour away from NYC and I wondered .. as I’m sure Susan did .. if this woman who had gone through so much ever wondered what had happened to her own children. I’m going to assume that she did. The pictured they had shown of her as an elderly lady :: her nieces through marriage were found and a meeting was filmed :: showed a great sadness to her.

Usually at the end of the show, the celebrity would have a conversation about what they had discovered with one of their family members. This didn’t happen this time because I’m assuming that the knowledge and emotions would be too hard for Susan’s mother to show on camera.

If you have a chance to watch it.. please do. I highly recommend it.

The shows are also listed On Demand if you have it..

.. so I was going to get all Once Upon A Time-ish and start spewing this story about a lonely tree in the the Holiday forest that found a home in my house.

But dinner’s in the oven and I don’t have time so you’ll just have to be bombarded with the real story.

You can't really tell from this picture but the tree really is 9 feet


First of all, let me tell you that the painting above the gel-canister fire place is a view of  St. Mark in Italy. My mother has had that picture for EONS and thought it was A REALLY REALLY NICE GESTURE to give it to me after I bought my first house. Mind you, this was after my father died and since he was the one that actually WANTED the painting, I think she just wanted a guilt-free excuse to get rid of it.

I don’t have the heart to throw it out.. but I also do not lack decorating savvy so I only hang it when she either comes over :: which she never does :: OR when I have to send a picture of the tree to her cell phone.

This way she thinks it’s on the wall.. I get away with her thinking it’s on the wall and everybody’s happy.

Ok.. with that said..

You have to picture this so that you get the full effect.

This is a picture of the right side of my dining room. The entry way on the left side of the tree leads to the stairway to the second floor.

The fire place is one of those “real flame” ones that use the big sterno gel things. They’re actually pretty cool. You can’t tell from the picture but the fireplace itself is REAL!! wood and even though they market the ambviance .. it really does throw off mega heat.

So normally … like OTHER normal families.. the tree is put up in the living room. However, with the addition of a hand-me-down sectional from my uncle, the 52″ flat screen and 110 gallon fish tank had to be re-arranged. Putting the tree up in the living room meant that everything had to be re-arranged again.

Man’s job.

I can move around the furniture but there was NO WAY IN HELL that I was even going to think about moving the flat screen and forget about the fish tank.

His babies.. not mine.

NOTE: Although our three year old fish, Mr. Pink :: fuck him, I named them anyway :: did not die after all. I think he was just starving to death because I finally remembered to buy fish food and he came right around. Ah, another story for another time.

Anyway.. so we decide to get the tree on Friday because of the STORM! OF! THE! CENTURY! on Saturday. The plan, as Chief tells it, is to take off the webbing on Saturday so the leaves can fall and then decorate it on Sunday.

Fine. Whatever. I just wanted a damn artificial tree anyway.

So Saturday comes.. and the damn thing is still sitting on the front porch with the webbing still on.

Ok.. so he openned the shop amid the blizzard and had to walk home through it.

Big hairy deal.

Sunday morning comes around and since he didn’t cook the big breakfast to celebrate the STORM! OF! THE! CENTURY! like he said.. I figured we’d get to the tree.


By one in the afternoon, he was conked out in the bedroom.

Well.. I guess I’ll at least go up in the attic and get the decorations out. Maybe that will spark a fire in his ass.

So I go upstairs in the attic.. now, mind you, my attic runs the full length of the house on either side. So basically I guess I have two attics. And it’s a big space. If the roof wasn’t slanted you could definitely chain a few kids to the beams and keep them there forever a while.

I don’t normally go in there. Ever. But I went in there this time and it was trashed. All the decorations from last year were just thrown around.. broken balls all over the place.. wreaths strewn about.. stocking with all kinds of shit all over them just thrown all over the place.

The kids put the decorations away last year and when I took a look at what the attic looked like I WAS ROYALLY PISSED.



NOTE: OMG.. I just remembered RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW that the cops were up there when they raided the house last year. Shit! Not that the kids wouldn’t have just thrown the decorations up there but I bet you the police did the same thing to my attic that they did to my bedroom!! Um.. how do you spell “woops”?

Ok. My bad.

Anyway.. so my little pissed off self had a discussion with my little OCD anally organized self and I cleaned the attic. Not quietly, mind you. Cursing and bitching and all of that the whole time.

I bring whatever decorations I can salvage downstairs :: funny how all the ones that broke were from girlfriend’s past, huh? Talk about irony! :: and then stomped to the front porch .. passing Bubba who was playing PS3.. lifted the 9ft tree.. started to carry it into the living room.. felt something go “ccrreeeiinnccchhh” in my 44 year old back.. dropped it.. and then started to drag it across the living room almost knocking down the flat screen tv.

Fuck it, I figured.. if nobody was going to do anything in the living room to make room for the fucking tree that I didn’t want.. then I’m just going to stick it where ever it could be stuck and that’s the corner where it is now.

Who cares if it blocks the stairs? No one is sleeping in the bedrooms upstairs anyway so go ahead… argue with me.. I DARE you!

With all the grunting and dragging and hollering at the dogs to get the HELL out of my way, Chief and Bubba lined up like little Dr. Who robots to help.

Full of fucking Christmas cheer now, arentcha boys?

So the Ultimate Tree-Putter-Upper stands the tree up in the stand and tells me he isn’t going to secure it to the wall until I put the lights and decorations on it.

ME: What are you talking about? I’m only going to decorate the part that everybody sees.

CHIEF: You’re kidding right?

ME: You’re telling me I should decorate the back of the tree? The back of the tree that’s facing the stairway that nobody is going to be able to use? You’re kidding me, right?

CHIEF: But.. um.. isn’t that.. like.. a little .. um.. ghetto?

ME: OH.. cuz we’re so fucking bourgeois, right? I forgot..

CHIEF: Forget I even said anything.

ME: Good call, Bucky.

So he goes and does something.. don’t remember what.. maybe take a hit to take the edge off.. who knows.. but as I’m trying to untangle the icicle lights to put on the tree :: yes, I did say icicle lights. I like a bright tree :: nobody remembered that we have a very curious kitten in the house. A kitten who’s natural instinct is to get into anything and everything that will make my life miserable.

So while Ernie, The Terrorist Puppy is chasing the kitten through the house she jumps.

Onto the tree.

The tree that isn’t yet secured to the walls because Father Uber-Christmas wanted lights behind it.

And it goes down.


Onto the dining room table where I have a decorate basket filled with Christmas balls that goes sliding across the table and onto the non-carpeted floor.

I honestly wanted to cry and I don’t cry over stuff like that but I was SO overwhelmed and that just added to the overwhelmed-ness.

Chief comes running out of the bedroom and Bubba comes running into the dining room and I just put my hands out like Diana Ross stopping love and said;




They knew better then to argue and where probably relieved that they got a free pass.

So I cleaned everything up and lifted the tree up. I couldn’t secure it because I’m not tall enough to secure a 9′ tree.. especially when the steps are now blocked. So I filled the base with water thinking that would at least give it some weight and proceeded to put the lights on.

Everything was going well until my OCD self just HAD to do something with the fireplace.

Remember, it takes gel canisters but I do have real logs in there just for appearances. I had bought these lights last year that look like real flames but found out the hard way that they burn too hot to put them on anything that would burn or blow up so I figured HA! I’ll put them in the fireplace.

So as I was monkeying around with them, I figured I would plug them into one of the icicle light sets. Fine. No problem.

I crawl under the tree and as I’m digging around in the branches for the end of the icicle lights, Ernie decided HE wanted to know what was under there and tried to belly crawl around me.

Ha.. ha.. cute.. UNTIL he used MY BARE FLESH to dig his claws into to pull himself under. I howled.. instinctively jerking back and amid the rain of pine needles, felt the tree falling. And me getting soaking wet from the gallon or two of water that I had put in the base.

Again the boys came running and again I told them to get the HELL away from me.

The knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle this one.. being all wrapped up in a tree and everything.. so they helped and I give them credit for trying not to laugh.

So everything gets cleaned up.. AGAIN.. and I go back to monkeying with the flicker lights.. hoping to be enveloped by some kind of holiday zen.

I finally get the lights just the way I want them :: thank you duct tape :: and go to plug them in. You know.. to the icicle lights? Yea.. well.. the only problem with that is that when the tree was re-erected for the second time it wasn’t exactly in the same spot.. so the end of the icicle lights was further way and when I tugged on the extension cord to get more leeway .. well.. you know what happened.

If you don’t.. just take a look at the picture again..

Picture me sitting in front of the fireplace where that nice little glow is coming from .. see that where the tree is? Now picture where it would fall if you tugged a little too hard on the extension cord.

Actually the tree in the picture is pushed back further then it was when it fell RIGHT ON ME the second time.. but you get the idea.

CHIEF: We’re getting an artificial one next year, huh?

ME: I hate you

CHIEF: Oh, come on.. at least I didn’t say TIMBER!!

Ok.. so before I get into this post, let me bring y’all up to speed by saying that I no longer have health insurance because I was laid off in July. Even if I would consider it, I am NOT eligible for state aid because I receive unemployment. I AM eligibile for a private HMO but have to wait through a 7 month “grace” period.

So with that said …

This past Wednesday, The Good Doctor’s husband came into the shop for turkey. Chief explains that he doesn’t have the turkey that The Good Doctor’s husband likes because I’ve been sick as a dog and without me in the shop or doing the running around, everything is on a skeleton.

The Good Doctor’s husband asks what’s wrong.. Chief goes into my litany of symptoms… and the Good Doctor’s husband tells Chief to have me call ASAP and they’ll fit me in.

So Chief calls me and I am SO NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. I don’t like going to doctors. He knows this but OBVIOUSLY is more concerned about my well being then I am. But now I’m in a bind because it’s The Good Doctor. Who is not only a super sweet person but a really good customer and since Chief had to open his big fat mouth and they’ll willing to fit me in.. I have to call.


It was around lunch time so I figured I’d wait an hour before I call. I tell him this.. he seems satisfied and I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Until my cell phone rang.

Until my cell phone rand that The Good Doctor’s name came up on the caller id.

Fuck! He gave them my freakin’ number.

He knows me SO well!

Wind up is is that I couldn’t be seen until Thursday at 11:15am.

I immediately call Chief and chastised him on giving out my cell phone number. But he knew the deal and was just glad that I made the appointment.

He wanted to come with me but since my appointment was at the start of his lunch rush, I told him I could go at it alone. I figured I’d be feeling better by the next day anyway and also, I didn’t want him there when they weighed me.

Trivial girly stuff.. but it is what it is so what can I tell you.

I actually am NOT feeling any better at the time of my appointment. And as I’m sitting in The Good Doctor’s waiting room I am suddenly overcome by the feeling of passing out. I only ALMOST passed out once and it wasn’t a nice feeling. It was so bad that I couldn’t even hold the pen to fill out the paperwork.

So I get all girly and sniffly and call Chief and tell him that I need him. The shop is only a few blocks away and he was there in an instant. And of course, as soon as he got there I started to feel better and told him he could leave. Of course, he looked at me like I was insane but I knew his mind was on the store and missing the lunch rush money and I started to feel guilty that I had even called him in the first place. But he felt that his place was with me so he stayed.

When we finally got called into the exam room and The Good Doctor started to exam me, and based on what I was telling her she says that there is a very real possibility that I contracted the Pig Virus :: H1N1 to all you non-rednecks :: and that if I had come in sooner she could have given me something that would have made me better faster.

Wonderful. What the hell can I tell you.

She then asked if I smoked. If Chief wasn’t there I would have lied and said that I was able to quit xx months ago or get all giddy and excited by telling her I HAVE XX DAYS CLEAN! but I couldn’t because he was there and so when I told her that I did, OMG.. her reaction was SO FREAKIN’ OVER THE TOP.

I mean.. ok. I know smoking is bad for you. Worse then bad. I get it. I really, really do. I know I’m setting myself up for all kinds of horrible things. And I’m NOT justifying it. I swear, I’m not. But she laid into me SO hard and SO fierce that I really just wanted say LOOK BITCH, CAN WE FOCUS ON THE PIG VIRUS HERE?

Seriously.. I felt like I was in one of the Scared Straight movies that they show teenagers about prison life.

She pulls out this paper with information on the patch and the gum and the things you suck on that will help you quit smoking and wouldn’t get off the subject until I agreed to use one of the above to stop. I played along and went with the things you suck on because they had a coffee flavored one.

The worse part of it all… is that when she gave me the inhaler medicine and the nasal spray.. she proceeded to tell me how much they would cost if I had to go to a pharmacy and get them and that it’s just a waste to give them to me if I’m not going to stop smoking. Then she proceeds to tell me that:

  • I shouldn’t even be seeing you because you don’t have insurance and it’s a big liability
  • If the president’s healthcare goes through, you wouldn’t even get treatment if you had cancer because you smoke.

Now.. ok.. so since when is getting paid in cash for an office visit more of a liability then being paid for an office visit by an insurance company?

I’ve worked both sides of health care for the past 23 years :: until I got laid off :: so I know how everything works .. and trust me, it’s not the way it’s being presented to the masses.

But I’m not getting into that.. I’m too exhausted and spent to go into all that now. Maybe later.

Anyway.. so she gives me the 200.00 a month inhaler and the 150.00 nasal spray :: but come one, they were samples and didn’t cost her anything :: and then writes me a script for 7 antibiotic pills that cost me 108.00.

I know she didn’t mean to make me feel like I was a dredge of society. But she did.. she made me feel like a failure because I didn’t have health insurance. She made me feel like I was just someone who was coping free medicine. She made me feel like I wasn’t up to her standard and the only reason why she lowered herself to treat me is because her husband loves Chief’s turkey.

She literally had me in tears and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.

On the way home, I told Chief that I absolutely hated him for making me go through with appointment and it was the kind of hate that would never be forgiven.

He said that was fine, as long as I was around long enough to hate him he didn’t care.

Now here’s the thing.. if you want to discuss it or debate it or whatever you can go right ahead but I’m not going to partake. I’ll just leave my 2 cents here for y’all to mull over:

If healthcare is going to be re-vamped, then it needs to be REVAMPED. You can’t half step this one. It’s so bad.. and so corrupt that it literally has to be restructured as a whole.. not bits and pieces of it.

Health Insurance should only be for long term treatments, surgeries, pregnancies and stuff like that. Everything else should be fee for service. You go to the doctors, you pay the doctor visit. If one doctor charges 50.00 a visit, then go to the one that charges 35. The fact that doctor’s do NOT see uninsured people only puts more strain on emergency rooms. We, as a country, are used to having things FAST. And I think because of that, we’ve forgotten when we really need to see a doctor. I can’t tell you how many people sat in the ER complaining of a sore throat.. or an earache.. or something really, really minor. All that did was tie up the ER and waste resources.

If the government is going to model health care on a foreign country, then they should model Italy’s. And I’m not just saying that because I’m Italian.. I’m saying that because I have relatives in Italy and we’ve had this discussion. No system is perfect. Not everybody’s “needs” will be met but we need to move away from what we think we are entitled to and get back to the way things were before we were indoctrinated with insurance is king.

Kids have all inclusive coverage from birth to age 16 .. the elderly are covered from 67 (I believe) on up.. again .. all inclusive. Or 70. I forget.

But doesn’t that make sense?

And how about this? If the government is SO amped on getting involved in this and instead of baiting and switching or money this or money that.. just open freakin’ clinics so that people who can’t afford private health care and who aren’t eligible for medicaid have a place to go to get care if they need it.

Oh.. and welfare? Yea.. make people work for it. Clean the streets.. scrub graffeti .. do what people who get community service have to do.. board up old houses for Christ sake.. something. Anything.

Benjamin Franklin said it best:

I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Okay.. I think the meds are kicking in and I’m getting all scattered over here. My apologies.. I’ll end my rant now!

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