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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter! I am going to take this time to reflect on the Easters of the past. I miss my Grams all the time but I especially miss her on Christmas Eve and Easter. Both of those holidays were hers and everything about both of them are tied to the memories I have and can sometimes still feel. Growing up Catholic, we usually went to church on Saturday nights and Easter was no different. There were a few that we went to on Sunday and I remember hating having to stand the whole time. In those days, we went to church every week so I resented the "holiday Catholics". We endured church thinking about going to Grams' and Gramps'. There were images of the long-awaited calzone (that I went years thinking it was pronounced galzone). It isn't what you think it is. It is a delicious egg and cheese and sausage dish that my Grams and my Auntie Jean would only make on Easter. She would have the normal appetizers out but it was the calzone that I remember most. Every year, my uncle who was a retired butcher would try and pass off the lamb that my Grams was having as roast beef but we all knew and I am pretty sure the adults were the only ones that ate it. We filled up on everything else. The funny thing is that besides the calzone, the food wasn't what made that holiday special. It was the blue colored eggs with everyone's name on them that Grams used for place cards, it was seeing relatives that you didn't get to see very often, it was playing word games and answering thought provoking questions with favorite uncles and it was being in my grandparents' apartment imagining all of the Easters I would spend with my kids (naively thinking they would be in that apartment). I wish my Grams was here to see all of my kids. At the very least, I wish she had the chance or my kids had the chance to know the Grams that I loved. Nico has little memory of her before she got sick with Alzheimer's and the twins only remember her when she was in the home. I think she would have gotten a kick out of Gia.

We are headed first to church (which if you read previous posts about church, you'll understand why I have a new understanding for holiday church-goers) and then to my mom and dad's where there will be good food (my mom now makes the calzone that is every bit as good as my Grams' and Auntie Jean's), good company and thanks to my mom, traditions that my children are lucky to be a part of. My mom started a tradition of the week before Easter, my sisters and I, along with our families and my Gramps, get together to color eggs, take pictures with the Easter Bunny and exchange Easter baskets (the godparents buy one for their godchild). It's a wonderful tradition that I need to make sure nothing gets in the way of (Nico and Leo missed it because Nico had a game) and I hope my mom realizes how much we all appreciate how hard she works to make it special. I know that when we walk into my mom and dad's today, my kids will feel that same feeling of family and love that I felt walking into my grandparents' when I was their age.

Alzheimer's is a horrible disease and I am sad that Grams suffered from it but I am choosing not to remember her like that and instead I will remember her on Easter with her prettiest blouse, with her fancy jewelry and her bright red lips flitting around making sure everyone felt the specialness of Easter. Love and miss you Grams!


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