Two days ago was the one year anniversary of Nonno passing. For those of you who are not Italian or who do not watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Nonno means grandpa in Italian.
My Nonno had Alzheimer’s, which I’m entirely convinced is the worst of all the diseases. You forget the most beautiful things you have in life, the people and the memories of them. It’s heartwrenching.
However, as most of us do, we find joy in the pain.
So one summer as I took care of Nonno, I also took down funny and memorable quotes from that time as well as pictures…enjoy!
Ugh. I loved that man so big.
And when we were not joking or in a heated debate (or argument), then we were singing and dancing.
We danced to Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” and sang our hearts out to Andrea Bocelli. I still can’t listen to Bocelli and Celine Dion’s version of “The Prayer” without crying. It’s true what music does for someone losing their memory, it brings them to life. It was especially true for Nonno. Music was significant to us and it was no coincidence that in our last moments together the worker at the nursing home turned on a playlist that started with “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett.
I sit here still sad for my family over losing this funny, wonderful man but it makes me wonder about you. Who have you lost in your short life? Who do you wish you had one more exchange with or one last dance with? I’m not sure. Here’s what I’ll say and it was advice given to me by a wise aunt, it doesn’t get easier–it just becomes different.
Tonight, may you remember the funny stories, listen to the songs they loved, and pour over the pictures I know you still have. We need that. Call those one or two friends who allow you to just start talking about it for no reason. We need those people around us. We need the time + grace to process the grief in our time, not just three days after that person was lost. That person and the memories matter so much.
And to you, Nonno. Thank you for your love & life.
With so much love, your Peachy Pie.
(And for those of you who knew my Nonno and loved him, or those who just enjoy good music. I attached some of our favorite songs below in a Spotify playlist.)