It’s been almost a year since I have been able to revisit this outlet. I know there’s a reason but I can’t put my finger on it just yet. I am no writer, and definitely no blogger, but sometimes throwing a few words down into a document helps make sense of certain things. I don’t aspire to change lives or bring others to some sort of revelation. However, here’s a short take on the last year.
The last time I wrote was about you. I spoke to you about a year ago as well. You didn’t have the ability to respond but I know you heard me. To be quite honest with you, I still haven’t accepted it yet. About once a day, you come across my mind; whether it’s sitting next to me for my morning coffee, driving long distances, putting around the garden, and especially dinner on Thursday nights. Since you’ve passed things have been different. I’d be lying to you if I said that everything’s okay and we are doing alright since you’ve passed. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve gotten mad at times. However, we haven’t forgotten anything you’ve taught us. We’ve ingested your legacy and have learned new things about all of ourselves.
You represent more than the tight-knit family that you’ve grown. You stood for something greater. You created something that many others wish they had. You made your way to this country and fought for a life that you wanted. You didn’t let others tell you the life you should live. You told me over and over, “What else do I need? What a beautiful life I live!”
You were proud of what you had. You were proud of what you were. You were, most importantly, proud of all of us. We were the luckiest of all people to know you. Simply (and I’m sure I can speak for a lot of people) I can say that it was quite a pleasure to know you.
This past year without you has undoubtedly been tough. Rightfully so, we are all hurting. Circle back to what made me so proud to be your grandchild- you’re indefinite ability to be yourself and proud of it. Unfortunately I don’t think you’d be proud of me this past year. I’ve let life get to me and I believe I’ve done the opposite of what you taught me. I’ve let others get to me. I’ve let them tell me what’s the right path for me. I’ve envied, I’ve followed, and most importantly I trusted where I shouldn’t have. I haven’t been doing a good job at being proud of who I am; who we are. I’ve let people decide what’s right and wrong for me in the past year. In retrospect, I’ve realized that those words are subjectively dependent on the individual.
You’ve taught me to be proud, and from here on out, that’s what I’ll do. The past year’s troubles have been brought by anger I believe. I’ve been so fucking mad. So mad at the world for taking away something so pure and special. In that time, I’ve forgotten the most simplest of things you’ve taught me. To enjoy, smile, and be proud. So here’s to you, Nonno- to getting back at it like things never changed. Mi manchi….