I know Mom nor Dad could look after me properly, and I became you and Papa's responsibility. I am thankful for a good old fashioned Italian upbringing. Fast track a few years and I moved off to college and could cook better than any girl I've ever dated. Ha. Thanks Marm.
I didn't come home often enough and every time I did I could see time wearing you down. You got to see me graduate, the first in our family to go to college, and you and Papa were more proud than Mom and Dad.
I didn't move back home because there was no opportunity there and I know you understand that but I feel guilty because you used to ask me when I would be moving back home all the time.
Flash two years ahead and I get a text from dad that you're in ICU with a stroke, come to find out was complications from lung cancer in which non of us knew about. I cried the whole way home. I was going to wait until Saturday morning to come up and see you but Mom encouraged me to come up the night I got into town even though it was 9 pm.
Thank God I got to give you a hug one last time in ICU. I know it took everything you had to sit up in bed and give me a hug. The next day they pulled the plug and started giving you oral morphine and it was just a matter of time.
I wouldn't leave the hospital like everyone else that was getting tired of waiting and watching you hold on to life and struggle with every breath. I couldn't leave you in your time of need. Afterall, you were there for me in my time of need. Inevitably, at 4:07 am Sunday morning, you went home to God. As much as our hearts hurt, we knew you were no longer in pain.
As bad as I hurt, I couldn't imagine Papa's hurt. 54 years of marriage. I've never seen the strongest person in my life shed a tear until that day. I was strong during the service and burial but I still find it hard to keep it together when Papa starts talking about you 7 months after the fact.
What even brought me here was the memory of when I was about 12 sitting with Marm talking and looking at old photographs. She looked at a picture of her and her grandmother and said, "I miss my grammy" and started crying. I didn't quite understand and just awkwardly sat there. I now know that feeling.
I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to tell my story. I know its been 7 months but i still have tough days and it helps to let it out once in awhile. Thanks again and God bless.