Aunt Lori remembers her mom, the original Nana, my grandmother

On the 15th anniversary of the death of my grandmother, my Aunt Lori sent out an email to family and friends. My aunt, whose name is Gloria, we actually called “Aunt Lori, when we were younger. I thought of this when reading the email she sent and wondered why we started called her “Aunt Gloria.” Aunt Lori is the youngest of my grandmother’s children–one of seven surviving (Agnes, Phylis, Mary, Margie, Nancy, Ray). My mother, June, died in 2002 and my Aunt Lucy died in 2005.

My grandmother, Consuelo (Connie) was born in Tampa, moved to New York with my grandfather Raymond and then to California–where my Aunt Lori was born. My grandfather died in 1960.

It is a beautiful and moving tribute that Aunt Lori wrote.  As I read it at my desk, I wondered at how it seemed so long ago, but then again, just like it was yesterday that, I, too, was standing in my Nana’s kitchen …

OCTOBER 23RD…..A SPECIAL DAY TO REMEMBER.  IT WAS 15 YEARS AGO MY MOTHER LEFT TO SEE OUR FATHER AND JOIN OUR FAMILY IN HEAVEN….NO DOUBT SHE IS THERE PLAYING CARDS WITH DELORES; THERESA AND EVERYONE ELSE SHE MET…..IT’S NOT  HER DEATH I CELEBRATE…..BUT THROUGH HER AMAZING LIFE, LESSONS AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE SHE GAVE TO ALL OF US….

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST A MOTHER, YOU KNOW WHAT HOW DEEPLY IT HURTS, AND I TRULY SHARE YOUR LOSS.    NOT A DAY GOES BY; THAT I DON’T THINK OF HER, AND WISH TO OUR GOD, I HAD ONE MORE DAY., NOT SELFISHLY, NOT SO SHE WOULD EVER SUFFER ANOTHER DAY…..JUST MAYBE SO I COULD HAVE ONE MORE DAY…….. A DAY TO DIAL HER NUMBER AT 6AM JUST BECAUSE SHE KNEW IT WAS ME; CALL HER JUST TO HEAR HER TELL ME SHE GAVE ME THE BLACK BEAN RECIPE A HUNDRED TIMES; A DAY TO HEAR HER YELL I WASN’T KNEADING THE DOUGH PROPERLY; A DAY TO WATCH HER BEND TO PRUNE THE ROSES AND PICK BLACKBERRIES FOR THE AMAZING JAM SHE MADE; A DAY TO WATCH HER STAND AT THE STOVE, STIRRING THE FAMILIAR POT OF YELLOW RICE AND CHICKEN, OR HER INCREDIBLE WHITE BEAN SPINACH SOUP; A DAY TO WATCH HER HANDS SEW MY DRESSES OR CROCHET A PERFECT AFGHAN AGAIN; A DAY TO RUB HER SWOLLEN FEET WITH LOTION, NOT TOO HARD SO THEY DIDN’T HURT; A DAY TO SEE HER HOLD MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN, TELLING ME HOW TO DO IT RIGHT; A DAY TO SEE HER FACE LIGHT UP WHEN WE WALKED IN THE ROOM; A DAY TO HEAR HER SING LULLABIES; LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART; THE WOODPECKER SONG, AND TWILIGHT ON THE FERRY; TO ALL OUR NEW BABIES; ……A DAY FOR HER TO PLAY HARRY BELAFONTE RECORDS; A DAY TO WATCH HER ROLL COOKIE DOUGH AND DECORATE THEM FOR HOURS;  A DAY TO SEE HER CREATE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR ALL OUR CHILDREN; A DAY TO SEE HER CREAT MAGIC FOR ALL OF US AT CHRISTMAS………..A DAY TO WATCH HER SWEEP THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE; A DAY TO STAND AT THE RINGER WASHER AS SHE GOT HER FINGERS CAUGHT; A DAY TO OPEN THE REFRIGERATOR TO FIND A BOWL OF FRESHLY STARCHED CLOTHES FOR ME TO IRON; A DAY TO WATCH HER IN THE GARAGE AS SHE PUT TOGETHER RESIN GRAPES; A DAY TO SMELL HER FACE OF ESTEE LAUDER AS I KISSED HER; A DAY TO SEE HER PERFECT SALT AND PEPPER HAIR TURN SILVER; A DAY TO JUST SAY I LOVE YOU TO HER…..AGAIN.

IF YOU STILL HAVE A MOTHER; MOTHER IN LAW, OR ANY ONE PERSON WHO LOVES YOU DEARLY, (I DO) AND MEANS SOMETHING TO YOU….WHETHER THEY’RE CRABBY; CRANKY; NAGGING; OR A BIT UNREASONABLE AT TIMES…..(WE WILL ALL BE THERE ONE DAY)……..REACH OUT; EMAIL; CALL THEM; TELL THEM SO; AND GIVE THEM A HUG TODAY FOR ME…..I WISH I COULD!  IAM BLESSED; TRULY BLESSED TO HAVE KNOWN HER AND THANK GOD FOR ALL SHE TAUGHT ME……

IN CASE I HAVEN’T TOLD YOU ALL…..I LOVE YOU DEARLY; MISS YOU, AND THINK OF YOU OFTEN..  PLEASE DON’T PASS THIS ON……..

LOVE,
GLORIA; MOM; AUNT GLORIA……

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