A Year Without You…

It’s hard to believe, but one year ago today I received one of the worst calls. I was fast asleep and woke up to the phone. It was my dad. “Maria, I have some really bad news. Gram has passed.”

It was in that moment that the life that I knew became a fixture of the past. My grandmother was everything to me and to my family. She was the matriarch of our family- there was nothing that she couldn’t do. I always knew that there was something truly special about this lady. However, once she passed, this became even more evident.

Most importantly though, I miss our talks. Each week, sometimes a few times a week, we would get on the phone and I would share with her my latest news. So Gram, if you are out there somewhere, there are a few things I want to catch you up on.

1. We made it through a year of firsts without you and the hardest of the firsts were holidays. You were all about the holidays cooking for nearly 40 people making everything from scratch and doing so flawlessly. It will never be the same without you, but we have kept everything the way that you would have wanted it. We still get together as a family with the same menu (wedding soup, turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pasta, ravioli, meatballs, salad, Mancini’s bread and a massive amount of desserts). The food is amazing; however, it takes all 40 of us to make it.
2. I miss your advice. You had a way of simplifying life’s challenges always making me feel good even when I failed. I especially miss the gardening advice. Without it, I have failed terribly at making anything grow. It is actually quite pathetic. At times, I can hear your voice saying, “What are you doing? That’s not the way to do it.”
3. The things you have prayed about have come true. Joe and I both have jobs and we are in the process of buying a house. Maybe this had something to do with you?
4. We are all doing well. Dad has lost 40 pounds. Mom got a new job and a much better boss. Kelly is working less and resting more. Everyone is happy and safe- just the way you always wanted us.

I could go on and on, but I know that you never liked long drawn out conversations because you always had a lot to do. I’m assuming that it is no different for you in heaven, so I will spare you the grief.

We miss you and we love you. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have a thought or memory of you. That, to me, is a constant blessing. I still hear your voice in my head. I play your answering machine messages back on my phone when I am having a rough day. I watch your cooking videos every time I make Italian food. I do still cry, but sometimes I cry happy tears when I receive a sign knowing that you are watching over me.

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