May 18, 2007 is a day I will never forget. It’s the day my grandmother passed away.
My grandmother, Carmella, was an integral part of my life. I was as close to her as I am to my mother. From the day I was born, she was an important part of my life. And even though she is gone, she will still ALWAYS be important.
I pretty much grew up at my grandparents house. If we weren’t at home, we were at grandma and grandpa’s house. I have a very large Italian family, and we all had Sunday dinner together every week. Most weeks we went to grandma’s house at least one other day as well.
I learned to bake and cook under the watchful eyes of my grandmother. She shared her green thumb with me, as we worked together in her garden each spring and summer. We’d sit together at her dining room table after Sunday dinner, chatting and (when I was old enough) sharing a small drink of Bailey’s Irish Cream together.
My grandmother had more love for her grandchildren in her pinky finger than anyone I’ve ever known. She always knew just how to make us feel special and so, so loved. There was never any doubt in my mind about my grandmother’s love for me. It was always so evident.
Time spent with grandma was time I always treasured. And the great thing was, we didn’t have to go somewhere special or do anything in particular to make it special. It was special just because we were together.
My grandmother always lit up a room when she walked into it. She was vibrant and full of life, and brought that with her wherever she went. Her smile always warmed my heart, and brought joy into my life.
I will always miss my grandmother. I think of her each and every day. Every time I make pasta and sauce, she is right there with me. When my house is filled with the scent of Christmas cookies, pie, and cake, I feel her with me. As I weed in my garden and take special care of the plants I have that came from her garden, she wraps her arms around me.
My Aunt Laura used to always tell me that out of all my cousins, I looked the most like my grandmother. Recently we went to visit my grandmother’s sister (who can be seen in the background of the picture above), and she said the same thing to me. It’s a compliment I don’t take lightly. It’s probably one of the best compliments I could ever receive. And it allows me to carry my grandmother with me even more each day. I can look in the mirror and see her looking back at me.
Grandmothers are special. And while it is very painful when they pass away, a part of them always lives on in us. There are reminders of my grandmother all around my house. From the picture of her in my kitchen, to the hens and chicks planted in my garden, the blanket she made for me when I was a little girl, to the way she lives through me in all she taught me to be and do.
I love my grandmother very much and I will always miss her.