Friday, December 28, 2012

Nonna....Rest in Peace

With some of her children

I usually keep this space reserved for professional reflection, learning and input. This post is about something more personal.

About a month ago, while I was on an airplane heading overseas, my grandmother, my nonna....passed away.

The message from home left a deep feeling of helplessness. I would miss being with the family during this difficult time. I would miss the funeral.

With some of her grandchildren
Since that time I have felt a bit restless about not being "present" for her funeral. This is the eulogy I never had a chance to give.

This is dedicated to Nonna Carmela

Nonna emigrated to Canada over 60 years ago. She was a faithful and devoted wife to her husband. She was a caring and nurturing mother to her children. As a mother in a young immigrant family she knew that her role was to care for the needs of the household - her incredible success is evident by how she and my grandfather (nonno) raised and nurtured their own children to be responsible nurturing parents themselves.

When I look further at the faces of all the grand children and great grand children, I see Nonna's legacy of love and nurturing imprinted on their hearts as well.
With some of her great grandchildren

Nonna loved all her grand children. For many of them she became a second mother - the primary caregiver and babysitter to so many. Whether it was changing diapers, preparing food, delivering forgotten lunches to school, reprimanding or wiping away tears - she was like a mother.

Who could forgot the traditional Sunday dinners at Nonna's house. With the finest tomato sauce and THE finest hand made pasta in the world. No joke - the best.

As a role model for my own daughters and the other grandchildren and great grandchildren, Nonna will be remembered for her commitment to love of family, her nurturing presence, her sense of self respect, her commitment to friends, her sense of humour and life giving perspective on life.  

Nonna did everything fast. Her quick lips would have made her a fine auctioneer - if you could understand a word she was saying.  This "need for speed" caused her to break more plates and dishes than if she was at a Greek party. You knew nonna was cooking in the kitchen by noise of slamming cupboards and falling dishes.

But here is the salient point - no matter how many spills or goof ups she made - she always did it with a smile on her face! Nonna's ability to laugh at herself made us love her even more. She had an innate and instinctual understanding that in life we are not to sweat and stress over the small stuff.

This is one of Nonna's main lessons for me.

Nonna leaves behind a tremendous legacy - one coated in love and nurturing and profound understanding that in life we need to laugh at ourselves

All of us will miss her. She has now taken her rightful place in heaven with her husband and daughter and all those that have gone before her.

Nonna, thank you for everything you did for me. I  miss you and love you.

1 comment: