Wednesday, November 19, 2008

why my eyes are red and puffy today

I pretty much cried my eyes out last night so I'm puffy-eyed today. My best friend's grandma, we'll call her Maria, passed away last night.

I feel like my own grandma died.

My BFF's family is Sicilian and they have a way of enveloping people into their family. Maria was the most incredible woman. She was sassy, bossy, opinionated and completely loving. She spoiled her daughter, grandchildren and Darling and I rotten. I'm going to miss her so much.

She had been sick for quite a while but we all pretty much thought she'd at least make it until after the holidays.

Last night she was giving hell (a regular habit of hers) to the nurse who was trying to get her to eat which she refused to do since she said the nursing home food was inedible. (Maria owned a 4 star restaurant in KC during the 1970's and 1980's so she's a little picky about who prepares her food.)

The nurse left the room for five minutes and when he returned, she was gone. Quick as that. She had been up walking and sassing everyone just an hour before. No warning or indication the end was so close.

My BFF's mom (Maria's daughter) was sitting out in the hall, filling out paperwork when it happened and went into complete shock. When I talked to her this morning, she just kept saying, "I didn't know that was the last time I'd see her. I wasn't ready to say goodbye."

I know how she feels. I couldn't go to see her because of this shitty cold I'm still fighting. (Doctors tend to frown on upper respiratory infections around people with congestive heart failure.)

It's probably good that God took her by surprise. Maria was stubborn and was afraid of dying.

I guess she had plenty to consume her with Catholic guilt...

She used to drink like a fish.

She smoked like a chimney.

She was married two or three times (no one's really sure if she was officially married to the second one)and had several "liaisons".

She had to take a year long "vacation" to Canada due to her alleged involvement with something that no one will discuss (Mafia related.)

When FBI agents would dine/eavesdrop in her restaurant, she would write a code symbol on the cocktail napkins of her patrons' drinks to warn them to watch what they said.

She probably could have been a better mother, but no one ever doubted that she loved us.

She told the best stories and gave the most enthusiastic if not downright wacky gifts. (BFF's husband got collector's dolls of the Backstreet Boys one year for Christmas. I once got a 1970's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook).

I'll miss how she always gave huge hugs and would speak in Sicilian when she didn't want anyone other than BFF's mother to know what she was saying. I'll miss her quirks like being convinced that a neighbor/someone in the grocery store/that man on the street gave her the evil eye and thus cursed her.

You know what? I'm going to stop right there. I don't need any puffy enhancements this afternoon. My eyes already look like I smoked my lunch...

happier post next time, I promise.


Stacey K said...

My condolences to your friend and her family, and of course to you. Maria sounds like a person I would have liked.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so sorry! Sending you lots of hugs ...

Tony said...

Sorry you are puffy eyed. But you write an excellent account of your experience!!!

Brigindo said...

Wow, what a fabulous sounding woman. I can see why she'll be missed. Condolences and hugs...