Nona

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last weekend, we said goodbye to Michael's grandmother.

Honestly, it was one of those situations in which her death was really a blessing. Nona's health and mental well-being had been declining for the last several years. Her husband--Nono--was her sole caretaker and when he passed away after a short illness two years ago, Nona had to go to live in a nursing home.

It wasn't easy on anybody, but it was especially hard on Nona, of course. It was sad.

We took Nora to see her a few times, the first being just a few days after she was born. This is the only photo we have of her with Nora. On the one hand, I'm disappointed we don't have more; on the other, I'm so happy that we at least have this.


Nona wasn't always "with it." Her short-term memory seemed particularly poor, so she often didn't remember things that had happened recently. She had good days and bad. But for some reason, she almost always remembered that Michael had a baby girl.

Nona was a sweet woman. She was quiet. Like Nono, she was born and raised in Italy, immigrated to Argentina where she raised her own kids, and then moved to the U.S. with her adult children. She, too, never learned the language, so I never really had the opportunity to truly talk to her.

As you can imagine, losing a parent is difficult at any age, so the impact of Nona's death was felt mostly when I saw how it affected my mother-in-law. I have held fast to the belief that Nona is now in a better place, and reunited with Nono. It made the whole situation so much easier to deal with. It's comforting, even.

When I remember Nona, I will remember happier times. The Thanksgivings and Christmases that we all enjoyed together--with Nono, too--in years past. Like true Italians, Nono and Nona loved their wine, especially at the holidays. :)

As we laid Nona to rest on Saturday, I just kept picturing her free of nursing homes and illness and pain--and with Nono. And I couldn't help but smile inside.

May you rest in peace, Nona. And finally be with your true love once again.

3 comments:

Amy March 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM  

Sorry for your loss Heather. When my grandpa died a few years ago, it also comforted me to think of the fun things he was doing with my grandma in heaven. Bingo nights, watching baseball, etc. :) Hope Michael and the rest of your family are doing okay.

Weekend Warrior Wife March 28, 2012 at 8:22 PM  

Random curiosity - does this mean that Michael is bilingual? Or that his mother is, anyway?

My husband is half-Korean and we've asked my MIL (when the time comes) if she'll speak Korean to our kids.

Elizabeth,  March 30, 2012 at 12:13 AM  

What a beautiful goodbye message.

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