This is one of the last photos of my grandmother Stella, who succumbed to lung cancer in 1977, lung cancer which had spread there from Breast Cancer, despite the double mastectomy she had to endure. Nonna Stella (as I call her-Nonna is Italian for Grandmother) was my mom's mom, and if she had been alive today she would have just barely turned 102, as her birthday was on January 24th, 1909.
My mom was very, very close to her, she was the one that always took care of her along with, at times, her sister, my aunt Marisa, which I adored as she was my Godmother and always loved me unconditionally. I miss her too, she passed away unexpectedly last summer. Sigh.
Nonna Stella was probably one of the sweetest people I've ever met, very family oriented, very loving and caring. A good cook too! The one thing I never understood though is how an amazing lady like her could have a son (my uncle) that is probably the least family oriented person I've ever met. Growing up we occasionally met his children (my cousins afterall) but there was never that lovey-dovey that I thought "should" exist with family, and that surely exists with all my other cousins and even second cousins and assorted family members and many of my in-laws! To me, family means 'something', but sadly to some it doesn't. I recently found my 'so called' cousins on Facebook, tried to befriend them, perhaps, in my naivetee, try to connect on some level, even though we haven't seen each other in 30+ years, and while one added me, the other one denied. Okkidokki. The one that added me did answer to me on occasion when I would ask him a question, he never attempted to have any sort of conversation with me, I was the one initiating as usual, and then out of the blue he unfriended me. I wonder what my Grandmother would think about that.
Admittedly, I am probably at fault here. I give people too much credit, I expect too much. Even with my ex and current husband's families I feel I am the one trying to make the connections at times and I have often had the door slammed in my face. I have found some of their family members quite lovely, and some, as in my family, are like 'who are you? Go away.' So much for 'family'.
Why am I like this? Why can't I be like everyone else and not give a shit? I wish I could have a talk with my Nonna about this and see what her thoughts are. My dad thinks everyone should be like me, more caring, trying to reach out more, how everyone has something to learn from me, but maybe he's just saying it. I don't know. All I know is that's how I am and who I am, but one thing is for sure, once you unfriend me or refuse the connection, cousin, the ball is in your court. If you never contact me back, my conscience is clean. I tried. I hope Nonna Stella knows that.