Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It'll be a month soon...without Nonna

It's been nearly a month without Nonna. It seems unreal.
Here's a poem for my Nonna:

For my Nonna (written march 4-5 2011)

Time has stopped

You’re now gone

I try, desperately, to hold on to all my memories of you

I’m scared I won’t remember things

Like the way you smelled of your flannel nightgown in the mornings with your slippered feet always too warm

The sun, that came streaming into the kitchen and your voice sounding crinkly with the sounds of sleep still in it

The pancakes you lovingly made for us so often in the sun drenched kitchen, Saturday mornings. And even as you became ill you insisted on making me pancakes, one last time

Your beautiful face; soft with wrinkles

Your memories ,which were so vivid, how an orange you ate while on vacation, tasted as sweet as honey, or how you first learned to make pasta for your family at age 5

I first learned to bake with you, I was also 5

Your forever earringed-ears

The way you made it all look so damn easy; cooking your incredible feats, which took you hours, and serving up dish after dish, everything so perfectly timed. We took it for granted

Having left your country and your mother

Christmas Eve, baccalá, you, Nonno and I enjoying that ancient dish

Your strong hands that refused to accept the painful reality of your arthritis

Easter and your delicious paloma

Your make-up free face

Your orderly, and meticulous routines

Your giant heart

Your numerous phonebooks

The olive oil and vinegar, the salt, the wine, the bread baskets with their napkins always folded inside in waiting anticipation-everything in the kitchen all having their own exact spots; everything had a home, and was loved

Your absolute reverence for the dead

Stories of your childhood -you at 6 hitting the local 16 year old Goliath right between the eyes with the steady aim of a practiced slingshot user

Making wine with you

The last time, 2 years ago now, that you and I decided to make pizzelle, we laughed a lot. We spent over 3 hours baking , and kept laughing at how much batter we made and how long it was taking. They came out well

Your favourite nook in the kitchen, where you liked to read

Lunchtime, mid-week you, Nonno and I, and both of you would vie for my attention to tell me stories. It was my favourite thing in the world sitting with you both, eating and listening to your long ago rememberings

Your hugs, and as you got ill I could feel your hugs became tighter. I felt helpless

Your incredible bargaining skills -which I have proudly inherited

Your deep sensitivity

Your insomnia, and the way you were more concerned about me getting more sleep when I stayed over, then you. You knew I inherited your insomnia too

The way, even though it’s been many years since Pucci’s death, you still hurt

Always knowing, somehow, when I was sad. You could always see my pain.

You never missed one birthday of mine, not even this last birthday, even while you were in the hospital for over 2 months. You were upset because you had no card or cake to give me that day. A week or so later, I got your card, which I treasure

Your beautiful garden sustained you. Even with your aneurysm, painful back and hands, and a walker, you found ways to slip outside and touch the earth!

Your will, determination, sharp tongue and your spirit

Your poetry,

Your volunteerism. You did so much for so many people

You were my protector. I felt so safe with you, so loved

There are so many memories I want to remember out loud, forever, so that I don’t forget

Now you’re gone, and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.

This poem doesn’t feel finished, but, maybe it never will

Easter’s coming and I don’t want to celebrate, you’re not here, and Nonno cries for you every night