Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm ready to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

I lost my grandma last Wednesday. She went peacefully and was ready to move on to her next place. In fact, she said that she, "Was ready to die she just didn't want to be there when it happened."

I was driving with Cara and Kay in NYC on my way to celebrate Kay and Ann's incredible accomplishment - a knitting book that doesn't suck one tiny bit - when my mother called to let me say good-bye to the grandma. A harder task does not exist. What do you say, "Have a nice trip?" It helps to know that grandma had a wicked sense of humor and lived her life strongly. I hope to spend some time reflecting on all that she gave me. I hope that this will make it to the blog.

For a small bit of her check out this post on her mad pasta making skillz.

Here she is as a child

My great-great grandparents, Domenica and Antonio with my grandmother Maria Guiseppa, 1925 in Poggio Pigenso, Italy (where the family is from.)
My great-grand parents were named Augustino and Angelica.
My grandmother was called Josephine (English version of Guiseppa) until she graduated from highschool and realized she had two names. She hated Josephine and went by Marie from that point on.

As a mother (there was a third child to come ~15 years later!)

My grandmother Marie Josephine (the english version of her Italian name) and grandfather Vincent (Vincenzo in Italian). My father Michael Angelo (standing) and my uncle Vincent Michael. This was taken in Batavia, NY or Oakfield, NY sometime ~1947.

As a grandmother

Marie Josephine, 2005, 80thBirthday

She rocked.
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Blogger Cathi said...

I'm so sorry, Wendy. I think it's so great that you have been able to spend some time from her in the last few months, and all of the traditions that she has passed down to you.

4/10/2006 1:03 PM  
Blogger Earin Marybird said...

Dear me. I've been thinking that you've been holed up knitting away and passing judgement during jury duty. I enjoyed your pasta making entry so much (having attempted on my own to make pasta years ago). I admired (and envied a tiny bit) that you had family to support and give advice on the "right way". It is never easy to lose a loved one and many layers will evolve over time. But bottom line: she loved you, you loved her and that is what life is all about.

4/10/2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger margene said...

Cara told me how calm you were. She sounds like a fabulous lady and one you were lucky to have as a mentor. May you find peace. Hugs, grrl.

4/10/2006 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Jackie said...


I'm sorry about your Grandma.

No matter what the circumstances, it's never easy. :(

4/10/2006 1:16 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. It's never easy to lose a loved one, esp. one that touched your life so much. Your grandmother sounds like an incredible woman and you were so fortunate to have her in your life. You resemble her in facial features greatly. She'll always be a part of you. Hold her in your memories with much love and care, as I'm sure you will. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

4/10/2006 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Daphne said...

My condolences. I loved your posts about spending time with your grandma... You do her and your whole family wonderful honor here in your blog. I don't know how you say goodbye. I'm truly sorry for your loss.

4/10/2006 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

*Big Hugs*

Sorry for your loss.

4/10/2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger Jofrog said...

Losing a family member is always tough. Losing one that you like to hang out with and you consiter a friend also, is even harder. I know it sounds cliche, but they never really leave you. I'm sure you have a million memories to last you forever.


4/10/2006 1:30 PM  
Blogger --Deb said...

Oh, I'm sorry! She sounds like she was a wonderful woman, though . . . and that line about not wanting to be there is just priceless. Sounds like she went out with a smile.

4/10/2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous elisa said...

Love you.


4/10/2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like such a wonderful person.

4/10/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

Oh, sweetheart... Your pasta-making post is one of my all-time faves. So much love and passion and respect. I love this one, too; same reason.

((Love and hugs))

4/10/2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

What a sweet post. I am so sorry for your loss, but thanks for sharing a little about her.

4/10/2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger Lucia said...

Your grandma sounds like one cool lady. I'm sorry for your loss.

4/10/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger bethieee said...

Hugs, Thank you so much for posting the pictures. Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman.

4/10/2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your grandma. I love the way you described her in the pasta post and the pictures you shared today are priceless. I'm thinking about you and your family. You need a casserole? I'm your man.

4/10/2006 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Cara said...

Hi my friend - so glad to see a post from you. I was getting a little bit worried. Are you home? I hope it was all calm with the family. You look just like your grandmom! A beautiful woman who reminds me a touch of my own beloved grandmother. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Thinking of you and loving you! L, C

4/10/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger Martita said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. She sounds like she was a real pistol. I love that picture of her on her 80th. You can just tell she was something special. Thank you for sharing her with us.

4/10/2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger Stitchy McYarnpants said...

I'm so sorry, Wendy. I'm sure she was glad to know that you're carrying on with her legacy of being a spunky, funny woman. You look a lot like her, and I can just tell from those photos that you've got her spark.

4/10/2006 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Rachel H said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Wendy. Thank you for sharing your Grandma with us in these photos and your stories. You look so much like her.

4/10/2006 2:55 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

What Stitchy said.

The saying-goodbye part of life sucks big-time.

Take care.

P.S. When you are up for it, I would love to hear about jury duty.

4/10/2006 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Shelley said...

I guess we say good bye to our family when they die the same way we say hello when they are born: I love, love, love you. It's enough. I lost my grandma about 40 years ago, but she has always remained part of me. Hugs.

4/10/2006 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

I'm so sorry about your grandmother. Besides the "right way" to make pasta, sounds like she shared a good way to live, too.

4/10/2006 3:07 PM  
Blogger Lorette said...

My dear, I'm sorry. But also happy that you were able to share so many good times with your grandmother. She sounds like a very special woman. And you do look just like her!

4/10/2006 3:40 PM  
Blogger katiedid said...

You have my sympathies in this tough time. Your grandma seemed very cool and I'm sure you'll always carry part of her with you.

4/10/2006 4:46 PM  
Blogger goodkarma said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I think it's wonderful that you were able to connect with your grandmother, though, and she and her skills will continue now. *hugs*

4/10/2006 5:05 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I'm so sorry.

This line in your post jumped out at me: "I hope to spend some time reflecting on all that she gave me. "

You will spend time reflecting, don't worry about that. I lost my grandmother (she was also my last living grandparent) in 2000 and I think of her almost every day. She gave me knitting (teaching me when I was young) but she also gave me so much more.

You'll get to this point, too.

4/10/2006 5:20 PM  
Blogger CynCyn said...

i wish i could think of something to say/write that would make losing your g'ma less painful. I'm glad you were close to her and able to learn so much from her, b/c it sounds and looks like you take after her a great deal.

Here's hoping she's having a fabulous trip, and that she has joined other talented pasta makers!!

4/10/2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger Darcy said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandmother - seems like she was a very special lady. So nice to hear when people leave this earth content and full of years. My grandmum's speciality was cinnamon rolls. Hope you are healing well.

4/10/2006 6:24 PM  
Blogger wenders said...

Oh, sweet pea.

That's my first thought.

My second is how lucky you both were/are to have each other. Your grandma pasta post made me reach out and reconnect with my wannabe-Italian grandmama, for cookies, though, not pasta.

This is a lovely tribute. Sending you pink light and all that is positive your way.

4/10/2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger maryse said...

i'm so sorry about your grandma. when i read the start of the post, i thought "no not that grandma!" because i felt as if knew her too from your post in february.

you're a lucky girl though to have had her in your life as long as you did.

4/10/2006 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing her with us. How lucky to have had such a close relationship.

4/10/2006 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Niki said...

Thank you for sharing a little of your grandmother with us. I also was very lucky to have wonderful grandmothers, and I agree with you...they rock! Happy memories to you and your family.

4/10/2006 8:13 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. I love the pictures you posted. It looks like she had a full life; not that that makes losing her any easier. It's amazing to think of the changes she saw in her lifetime. Thank you for sharing her with us.

4/10/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger Norah said...

Oh Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing. What a lovely tribute to her. Thanks so much for sharing.

4/10/2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm so sorry Wendy, it's so hard to lose someone you've spent your lifetime loving. Your post was a marvelous tribute to her (she would be honored I'm certain). As you reflect on "all she gave you," remember to laugh some too. Take care of yourself....we're all here for ya.

4/10/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

Ah, Wendy-Darling... I add my condolences and comfort all the way from Texas... and the familial "pink light" that Wenders sent. The woman in the photograph looks so good natured and vibrant. What a great lady to remember and incorporate into your personal pantheon of role models. (Did SHE knit that sweater, for example?!!) How is the related parent doing? I didn't know my mother's mother very well, but when she died, MY mother really fell apart... That was frightening for me, just nine.
Keep us posted, and ask for what you want.

4/11/2006 1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. Your grandmother seemed to be a great person. At least you'll have many, many fond memories. ((HUGS))

4/11/2006 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Kathleen said...

Oh sweetie. I am so sorry for your loss. I absoluetly loved the pasta post. Hugs.

4/11/2006 7:25 AM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

Oh, Wendy. I am so very sorry for your loss.


4/11/2006 8:17 AM  
Blogger Fannie Pie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing that pasta making day with everyone, it was one of my favorite blog posts ever. You do seem to have gotten the wicked sense of humor, and I'm sure so much more. Keep being her grandchild!

4/11/2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger Gypsymoth4 said...

::hug:: ::love::

I'm so sorry, Wendy. I know from your stories of her how special grandma was, and what a unique relationship you had with her.

Your grandma lives on in you!

4/11/2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger Terby said...

Sounds like there's a lot of her in you.
I'm sorry for your loss.

4/11/2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger Jscothammerquist said...

Dear Heart, My thoughts are with you at this time. Thank you for sharing the photos and a little of your family history.

How lucky you are to have the lovely memories that you do. Hold them tightly, they are very precious. Judy.

4/11/2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

So sad for your loss! She sounds like a wonderful gift in your life. Thanks for sharing a bit of that with us.

4/11/2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger ann said...

smooches for you

4/11/2006 3:02 PM  
Blogger knitnthings said...

I'm sorry for your loss... **Big hugs for you and your family

4/11/2006 3:15 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. Your Grandmother sounds wonderful .... how blessed you were to have each other.

4/11/2006 8:34 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

I'm really sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful grandmother.

4/11/2006 8:36 PM  
Blogger Dani said...

I'm sorry that you have to go through this. Your writing does indeed show how strong your feelings are for your grandmother. It is such a blessing that you have photos to go with your memories.

4/11/2006 10:23 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

My thoughts are with you and your family. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman! Take care...

4/11/2006 10:24 PM  
Blogger Jennifa said...

I know how hard trying to find proper words to say good bye is. When my grandmother was dying of cancer, I was sick as well, and couldn't ignore it anymore, and had to go to the hospital myself. I knew when I entered the hospital, I'd never see her alive again, and that was one of the hardest things I ever did, saying good bye before I was admitted. I at least, and you, have the reassurance of knowing you got to say something, that she got to take with her.


4/12/2006 2:57 AM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

She sounds like a fabulous lady and a great grandmother and you were lucky to have her. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love what she said.

4/12/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

I'm so sorry that you lost someone you loved so very much. It is special to hear that you knew your grandmother so well though. That is really uncommon so I'm glad you had some wonderful years with her.

4/12/2006 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

I'm so sorry you lost someone so dear. In my religion, one's loved ones are alive for as long as they are remembered by those left behind. Carry her with you, and have those wonderful parts of her in your heart. *hug*

4/12/2006 2:53 PM  
Anonymous paula said...

I'm SO sorry about your Granny.

I lost both of my Grandparents within two months of each other about a month ago, so I can certainly sympathize.

Your Granny looks WONDERFUL.

Hang in there.

4/12/2006 10:03 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I lost my grandmother this past October. I know how it can be so painful yet so much a relief at the same time. My family and I all agreed that while it sucked for us, it probably wasn't such a bad deal for Grandma, and that brought us comfort. Thanks for sharing the pictures; I can see all of your relatives in you.

4/12/2006 10:34 PM  
Blogger John David Roberts said...


Very sorry to hear the sad news. She sounds very wise to have been ready to go, but a little anxious about the moment.

John and Laurelyn

4/13/2006 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss honey.

I hope she had a good trip.

4/13/2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

I'm so sorry for your loss :-( Grandma sounded wonderful, and I am SO glad you got to say goodbye.

Much much blog-love going out to you over the dsl line...

4/13/2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your gramma's passing. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of mine. I was truly blessed to have mine until I was 39 years old. Be thankful she lived a long life and that you got to know her as an adult. My son lost his gramma last year(my mother), he was her greatest joy, as I was to my grandma. I am glad he is old enough that he will remember that love.
I de-lurked to tell you this.

4/14/2006 6:17 PM  
Blogger Sweet Camden Lass said...

I'm sorry to hear that she's gone. And I'm glad you've got such good memories of her.


4/18/2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous frecklegirl jess said...

I feel awful I forgot to give you my sympathies in person tonight. (I was so flustered- Harlot! aah!)

Better late than never maybe- hugs!

We can always treasure our grandma memories...

4/20/2006 10:41 PM  

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