On August 11th my dear Nonni passed away. As much as this was "expected" (can it ever really be?), it was still extremely difficult for our family. My Nonni was such a special part of us. She was loved by everyone she met. She loved to laugh, loved to make others laugh. Most importantly, she wasn't afraid to laugh at herself. She was fighter, she was so tenacious. My grandfather passed away 22 years ago and she learned to be strong and independent. She opened up her own bridal shop, The Wedding Belle, which she owned and operated for many years. When she retired from that she started doing guided lighthouse tours all over the state of Maine. She also was a talented jewelery maker. And, as if that all isn't enough, she is an author! She wrote a children's book called "Ida's New Home" and was in the process of writing a second book. Did I mention that she was a wonderful singer? I know that she is singing with the angels right now. Knowing Nonni, she's probably the angel choir director!
As my family gathered over the past few days, it was so great to be able to remember Nonni and reminisce about all of our wonderful memories with her. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. My brother, cousins, and I all spent a lot time at Nonni's house when we were little and have the same favorite memory. Our evening tradition was to eat Breyers coffee ice cream and white cheddar Smartfood popcorn while we watched "I Love Lucy" or the Red Sox games. So, on Friday night, after the funeral, what else did we eat but Breyers coffee ice cream and white cheddar Smartfood popcorn. It was only fitting. I know Nonni was smiling down on that :)
We will all miss Nonni so very much. There will be a void in our family forever. She taught us all many things, especially to be strong. She loved the Lord first and she loved her family fiercely. She was never afraid to speak her mind even when it may not have been the popular opinion. Nonni brought so much joy into a room. One of my fondest recent memories of Nonni, before her health started to decline, is her dancing at my wedding. She looked like the belle of the ball in her blue sparkly gown. That is how I will forever remember her. I love you Nonni. Enjoy your mansion in Heaven, I'll meet you there someday.