Monday, December 22, 2008

my grandmother...finding peace

Its really late and I should be in bed sleeping...the rest of my family is. I am behind on making my Christmas gifts so I'm playing a little catch up while its quiet in my house. I don't really have much quiet time in my life...obviously I'm pretty busy. Since the word that my grandmother was sick and the trip to Connecticut I've not really reflected on my feelings about this. I see everyone around me grieving and finding closure with the fact that she is no longer with us...but I've not yet reflected on my own feelings until just now. Truly, I have never lossed someone I really loved and cared for until she passed. I've heard that some people grieve instantly at the thought of someone close to them dying...I wasn't one of them... I think deep down inside I was in denial that soon she would never be with us anymore.

The real reflection is that although my father Joe is not my "biological" father...but he has NEVER felt to me anything less than that. I love him so much that my heart tears in two thinking of anything ever happening to him. Grandma Landino scooped me up at three years old, and all of my fathers family treated me from the beginning as if I was there own flesh and blood. It was because I felt so close to grandma and THAT family that I literally felt like there Italian flesh and blood...feeling this brought me closer to my dad growing up. I would tell people at school that I was part Romanian part Italian and even did school projects on that heritage...I was (am) so proud to be a Landino.

I remember loud Italian holiday dinners...grandma was an incredible cook. It amazes me how much grace and charm she had amongst so much chaos in her home. My father has 4 sisters and 1 bother (bobby died a few years ago to cancer also)...when we were all together it was crazy...loud...and so much fun. This was familiar and comfortable. My mom would always joke about us being the two blonde oddballs...but I never really took that to heart...I was a matter how much different I was from them at times.

I remember how much she loved my grandfather...those two were married for over 50 years. I picture how sweetly she cared for him...rubbing his shoulders and kissing the top of his bald head.

I remember how much she loved my brother and I, and how her face would light up every time she would see us. It made me feel so welcomed and wonderful. I looked forward to visiting her every year.

I remember how she cared for herself. I have particular memories of watching her put her make-up on at the kitchen table...and thinking I hope my skin looks as pretty as hers when I am at her age.

I remember how she really listened when I spoke, like there wasn't anything more important then what I had to say...she really made me feel like I was something pretty darn special.

I remember the first time she held my son...and how the love in her eyes lit up the room. I felt so honored to bring something into this world that could create so much joy.

I will always remember the last time I saw her, she was holding my newest baby Lucy and my baby nephew Joey... that image is still fresh in my mind. I felt so wonderful that I could bring her that joy one more time before I said goodbye.

Little did I know, that was my last goodbye. My heart has a little empty spot now that can never be refilled. Its really weird, I can't imagine that my life will be missing someone so profound. My heart goes to my father and his siblings who are now without a mother...I cannot imagine how that must feel (I don't even want to think about it) and more so for Grandpa Landino who has lost his soul mate. I pray that he finds some peace in his heart to go about day to day life without her.

Anyway, (sigh) I don't think I have completely felt what I need to... I know I haven't found my peace yet. It will defiantly be nice spending this Christmas with my father at home...I thought that he would be away for sometime helping to keep Grandma as comfortable as possible while she went through that process. I am grateful he is here now. I'm tired. Going to bed now.

1 comment:

Madeline said...

It sounds like you have been very blessed in your family life. I know how sad it is to lose someone you love so much. I hope this Christmas brings many joyful memories as well as more blessings to you.