I Believe in honoring those who have passed

Stephanie - Cortlandt Manor, New York
Entered on May 11, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, legacy
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I believe that we need to honor those who have passed and cherish our loved ones.

I have a large Italian family. We are loud, eat a lot, and are religious. My nana loved olive green and anything turquoise. She’d always tell me that I reminded her of when she was young; she thought we looked like twins. I remember her cooking thousands of different pastas and singing to me in Italian. I remember her cooking in the kitchen and sleeping with her dogs or as she called them her “girls” on her lap. My grandmother was the head of my family; she was strong, artistic, and opinionated. Three months ago my Nana had a stroke.

She had just broken her hip and left the hospital well on her way to recovery when the stroke happened. She was moved into the intensive care unit after being in the hospital for about a week. She decided that she did not want any extreme measures to save her life. What that meant was that she did not want to have the doctors shock her heart or put her on a respirator. She died the next day. My grandmother, Alvera Gheduzzi died, and I was infuriated. I was mad that she gave up, that she just left us, left my mother, her children and me. Not only was I mad at her, I was mad at God. Now I’m not naïve about death, I know that we all die, and I believe we go to heaven. I was not ready to lose her, not ready to have tasted her last sauce or have her yell at me for letting my nail polish look like shit. I was not ready to lose her but I had to be ready I had to be there for my siblings, my cousins, my family and most importantly my mom.

I remember my nana twirling my brown curls in her fingers. I remember people telling me how I look like my grandmother did when she was young. I was pissed that God took her from me. My mom had once told me after my grandfather died that death is apart of life and that heaven is kind of like a party. She explained to me that we should celebrate life and remember our loved one lives. She also told me that in heaven we are united with all those who that have passed, and at least for me that helped thinking that she was with her mom, her family and with her friends. I’m grateful that she was able to see me go to prom, to mature into a young woman. I’m glad that I have so many memories with my Nana. I believe that we should cherish those who we love in our lives and remember those who have passed. I know that my Grandmother had a long and happy life. I believe that she is in a better place, watching over her loved ones as she always did.