August 22, 2012

Grandma Rememberance

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:15 am by ginalucca

I recently stumbled upon a quote that captures a lot of how I feel.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

We have lost someone so unbelieveably special and there will always be that sting knowing that she is no longer physically here with us. But she is still very much alive in the things that we do, the words we say, and the people we love. Grandma Joanie was a gem. One minute she is telling you to get away from the screens and stop pushing on them, and the next she is rolling her eyes laughing at a story she is telling.

Many of my favorite memories with Grandma are of sitting at the table, pouring her some more coffee, and listening to her tell every little detail about a story that she probably has already told you. She would get so excited and have you grinning from ear to ear just waiting for the punch line. And of course, there were at least 5 or 6 “whoas” thrown in there for good measure. I don’t think anyone can forget when Grandma lost her teeth at Bernard and Gina’s going away party. And in case you had, I think there is still footage of it floating around some place. I laugh thinking about calling Grandma for recipes. I’m someone that requires a step-by-step process and defined amounts for ingredients. She was a true baker though and never needed to really measure things. Terms of measurement to her were “a little bit”, “not much”, “just a tish”, and she never understood what I couldn’t grasp about this.

It is hard to imagine living a life where Grandma is not a phone call away. It breaks my heart knowing that she will not physically be here to see me get married, or to meet the children that I will someday have. But it is through those stories and those recipes that my children will get to know her and I know that she will always be watching over all of us; probably shaking her finger when we do something she doesn’t approve of like climbing up the laundry chute or lying about going to see a movie.

Grandma taught us all so many important lessons. She taught us how to be strong, to be independent and hard-working. She taught us how to raise a family, how to love, and that you always give up your seat at the table for an adult; even if you are one yourself. I think we all have so many amazing stories about Grandma and that is part of what makes this process a little easier. We remember her through those stories and we laugh and smile because it is a reminder that she is always here with us.

I am so incredibly thankful that I have someone like Grandma to look up to. She and Grandpa are the epitome of love and I know there is nothing that can compare to the love they shared. Always say “I love you” to those you hold dear in your heart. Too often we assume that the other person knows this already, but there is nothing in the world that I would trade to tell Grandma that I love her one more time. As we say goodbye for now we need to always remember that her love, her laughter, and her smile live on in all of us. She would want us to remember the good times and stop fussing over her and all of this.

With a heavy heart we will learn to live our lives again. People will still go out to Grandma and Grandpa’s, even if no one is home, and sit on the porch, watch tv, or raid the fridge and cupboards for food. So Grandpa, you better keep that place stocked. ☺

I end this with one other quote that my cousin Melanie recently posted. It is a quote by Emily Dickinson.

“Unable are the loved to die,
for love, is immortality.”

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August 9, 2012

Family

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:24 pm by ginalucca

I haven’t written a post in a long time. It’s not to say that I haven’t had a lot of really great stories or adventures to share, it’s just that sometimes I dont have the time or I’m worried that the people the story is about are going to read it and get mad. Typically my posts are pretty funny (or at least in my opinion they are) and have a fairly light tone to them. However, today I am writing a post to be able to get my thoughts and feelings out as it is a very cathartic process for me.

Today has been a very difficult day for me and I find myself crying at any given moment thinking about my family. My Grandma Joanie was transported via ambulance down to Duluth earlier this week and she has not been doing well. She got sick a few months back and it has been one of the hardest things to hear and see. When I went home in July I wanted to spend so much time with my family because I think that we sometimes forget how quickly they can be taken from you. My Grandma has always been very independent and talkative….always very chatty and loves to overuse the word “whoa”. 🙂 Sadly the last time I saw her was probably the first time I have ever seen her cry and it just broke my heart in to a million pieces. She told me that she was sorry that she was upset and that she has just had a very tough last month. I tried to console her staying optimistic and positive telling her that I love her, she looks great, and that I’m praying for her. It’s always so difficult to see someone going through so much pain and knowing that there is nothing that you can do for them.

Getting a phone call this evening telling me that my Grandma has renal failure and respiratory failure I had to pull over my car as I started to process the news. How do you even begin to process the idea that someone that has been such a big part of your life will soon be gone? How do you try to console a parent who is losing one of the single most important people in their life? Life just seems so unfair sometimes and it just feels like we are losing someone so unbelievably special far too soon. It makes me physically sick to think that my Grandma will never see me getting married. She will never meet the children that I have. She will never know how much I love her and how important she will continue to be in my life.

I can’t even imagine what my my mom, her siblings, and my Grandpa are going through right now. How do you even begin to prepare for something like this? Growing up in a large family can be such a fun experience and it’s something that I would never trade. As I get older though I realize that this once large family will begin to grow smaller and smaller. I believe that God has a plan for everyone and as angry and frustrated as I get about it, there is nothing that I can do to change it.

Thinking about my grandparents my heart just breaks. How are you married to someone for almost 60 years and then try to live your life without them? It’s pathetic to think how upset I was breaking up with someone that I dated for a little over 3 years. That is nothing compared to the love that my grandparents have for one another. I always think back to the one afternoon I saw my Grandpa give my Grandma a little tap on the butt and smile at her. I think it was one of the funniest and sweetest things I have ever seen. To know that people can be so much in love after that many years is amazing to me, especially in a world where divorce is as normal as ordering in pizza for dinner. I pray that I will someday experience the same kind of love that my Grandma and Grandpa have shared for this long. They have set such an amazing example for me, their 11 children, and all my cousins.

It’s always funny the things that remind you of someone. For example, I will never forget the memory of my Grandpa introducing me to peanut butter m&m’s. They are still one of my favorite treats to this day. I also remember being like 7 or 8 bragging to my friends at school that my Grandma loves to play Nintendo and we often would battle at Dr. Mario. She would whip my butt at it and show no mercy! lol.  I remember her asking me to pour her more coffee and would then tell stories where the word “whoa!” was used probably 5-6 times; all the while slightly rolling her eyes and laughing at the shock value of the story.

I don’t know what kind of person I would be if it wasn’t for someone that was such a huge part of my life growing up. She taught me to be strong, independent, believe in myself, and that you should always give up your chair at the table for an adult. 🙂

Selfishly I pray to God that he keeps my Grandma here longer because I’m just not ready to let her go. I don’t think anyone in my family is truly ready to let her go, but I also don’t want her to be in any more pain.

Grandma, I know in our family we don’t seem to say it or show it enough but I love you. I love you so much. I don’t know who I’d be or where I’d be if it weren’t for you. You are an amazing mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife, sister, and friend. Everyone who knows you has been truly touched by you. I cannot thank you enough for all the love you have given me and all the wonderful things you have taught me. Words cannot explain how much you mean to me and I’m just glad that we were able to spend some time together last month when I was home. Every time I hear someone say “whoa” I will think of you. Every time I see a couple playing cribbage I will think of how you taught me how to play. You are an amazing example that I will always look up to and someone I will always admire. I love you and I will always keep you in my heart.

xoxo,

Gina