the expected is just the beginning. the unexpected is what changes our lives.


Day 10. A work-free, sun actually ended up coming out kind of day. Filled with lots of friends and family. The picture above is where my Grandma use to sit, her bottle of water was still there when I took the picture on the day after she passed away. Today, I was missing my Grandma Dorothy.

She was my ‘person.’ We talked every day, sometimes three times a day and then this past Christmas night she went into the hospital and never came home. She always gave the best advice, and I have to admit that losing her was like losing a part of myself. She always knew the answers, always had your back, and always told you how it was going to work out… and she was ALWAYS right. Sometimes not being able to call her makes me antsy in a way.. I end up calling people or texting people I wouldn’t normally talk to, because I guess I’m filling the void she left… or maybe it’s her way of trying to tell me to give people another chance (she was always a believer in second.. and even third chances).  I try to keep busy, especially on the weekends, because normally every Sunday we would go to her house for ‘Sunday Dinner’. Sunday dinner to us is any and all family that can make it around 2pm and basically hang out and talk for hours and eat a LOT of food… it’s a pretty good time and an Italian thing, and always worth the longer drive to get down there.

When I think about my grandma, I don’t ever think about what she did for work or anything like that… I think about who she was as a person. She would take me on vacations (since my parents never did our whole lives), take me to the movies, play games, teach me songs on the piano (she could play by ear and I always envied her for that), she’d make up stories to help me sleep at night (I use to stay with her when I was younger for extended periods of time in the summer when my parents were both working at our family marina/restaurant), and she taught me how to appreciate a good cup of coffee with a long conversation. When I was in my early 20s I moved in with my grandma to see what it was like to get out of Wisconsin and test out Illinois… and every day before I’d leave for work we would drink coffee and talk for hours. This is my most cherished memory.

Anyone can take you places and buy you things, but the person who gives you their time, their undivided attention, their non-judgemental advice and opinions.. is definitely more valuable than anything else.. at least in my book.

Losing her was unexpected and changed my life. I still don’t feel like she’s really gone some days, and some days I regret not picking up the phone and dialing her number because I know my grandpa will answer, but he won’t be able to say ‘How’s my Gena? How’s the baby and Emma? DOROTHY.. pick up the other phone, it’s Gena’.. I saw my grandpa today, and he told me he missed the phone ringing… so this week, I’ll give him a call for sure… I know it might be hard not to be able to talk to my grandma once I’m done catching up with him, but things change and I don’t want to miss out on time with my grandpa either… he was always the one who actually made our cups of coffee in the first place.

Sweet Dreams

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