10-09-18 Marguerite and Tom DiGiovanni

Grandma DiGiovanni and Uncle Tom 9/18/10

{This was written 11/6/10 – but due to being otherwise occupied, it’s only being posted now – further updates to follow.}

My Art, Heart and Healing progress and updates are put on hold. My grandmother is dying. I’m on a plane now, headed to Washington, D.C. to be with her. I desperately hope that I get there before she passes. All of her kids on their way – I hope we can all be around her bedside during her transition to the other side of the veil. Family sending her off. Family welcoming her in. I know they are there, waiting for her, glorying in her graduation day.

She is 95-years-old. She is full-blooded Italian – her parents from Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy. Not even 5’ tall. She ate ice cream every night. She leaves behind five children. Eleven grand children. Eight great grand children. The legacy of love between her and my grandfather, Nicolas, who died some 25 years ago (I have a picture of me on his lap, but have no memory of him, so I rely on stories). A widow for so long. Within the next couple of days, they will be reunited and celebrate their love, once again, for all eternity, never to be separated again.

I didn’t know my grandmother as much as I would have liked to. Of course, we never realize that until it is too late. My parents lived on the opposite coast all my life, and we didn’t visit her much. Though what I remember is her quiet, loving smile that she always wore. Always a lady. Always positive. Always happy. A very quiet soul. A very silent strength.

She married around the age of 30. In her day, this was rarer than in our day. She started her family later in life – which brings me comfort, not having my own children yet at the age of 34, and being concerned about getting a late start.

My grandfather owned three restaurants – Giovanni’s. The restaurants don’t exist anymore today, but my grandma still owns one of the buildings. I hope to see it on my visit. I hope to breathe in a bit of their life together – to collect as many stories as I can from anyone I meet at my grandmother’s funeral. Why is my heart so turned to them? In the Bible, in the book of Malachi, it talks about the hearts of the children being turned to their fathers and the hearts of the fathers being turned to the children. I get this. And I get that I will be more connected with my grandma when she passes than I probably ever was in this life.

I’m praying for a lucid moment from her before she passes, though I have no expectation. It would be a miracle. I so badly want to connect with her, even for a moment. She hasn’t eaten now for a week or so, and refuses food by putting her hand over her mouth when the nurses try to feed her. She is ready to go.

My dear uncle Tom told her that if she is ready to go, it is okay. He says her eyes welled with tears in response… a lucid moment after one-and-a-half years with Alzheimer’s. My other dear uncle John said when he visited with her a couple of days ago, she just lay there singing. I love that.

May her sweet soul find mercy, comfort, joy, and beauty in her transition. I pray I may be there with her when she passes on. A very spiritual time it will be, indeed.

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If We Don't Have Stories, We Don't Have a Past
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