Today marks one year since my Nonna passed away.

In her words:

“Piangerre al morto sono lagrime perse.”

This loosely translates to “If you cry for the dead, you lose your tears.” With that in mind, I’m going to *try* my best to write this post without shedding a tear, though I can’t promise there won’t be a few.

She was a huge influence on my sisters and I growing up and we all loved her very much. We held a special place in her heart as her FIRST grandchildren, and triplets at that. She was very, very proud of us.

So, when she passed, we made the decision to deliver a portion of her eulogy to honor her life and what she meant to us. We had so many memories from our childhood to our adult years – she was always imparting such wisdom but in just the right “Nonna” way. In part, it read as follows:

Being her first grandchildren and triplets we got a lot of her attention. My sisters and I have some very fond memories of Nonna:

1) eating “nonna soup”– she would put the soup into bowls for us, and we’d bring them on the porch to let them cool down, then we’d put grated cheese on top, and eat it with bread. We would ask her to make the soup with the meatballs all the time – for our birthday and for holidays. And she would make it for us whenever we asked, because she couldn’t believe we could love “just” soup so much.

2) hiding under the dining room table, and in the cabinets, playing with pans. When we’d hide under the table and play, Nonna would peek under at us.

3)  yucky celery – also know as fresh anise or finnochio. We LOVED this stuff as kids, but we always called it yucky celery. Nonna figured out what we wanted when we asked for yucky celery.

4) Nonna would babysit us. She would lay between us until we fell asleep, and she always used to tell the story of the time we were falling asleep but one of us slowly shifted our arm over her head, and held hands with another sister.

5) As kids we would dress up in my Aunt Carmela’s bridesmaid outfits and parade around the table at Nonna’s and she would sing ‘Here comes the bride’ and she would say someday you will ‘go married’

It’s these memories I cherish. They are still vivid in my mind and bring a smile to my face every time. So, while I’m sad as I think about how much I miss her, I’m also very happy because I feel her all around me and know she’s looking down on us as happy and as proud as ever.

Whew. Just a few tears shed while writing this post. I think she’d be ok with that. 😉

In closing, a picture of my Nonna, taken at my sister Jen‘s wedding. One of her proudest days, I’d say.