She has always been special
I've reached that sad, odd, time in my life where I have become the care taker for the people that once took care of me. This is my 87 year old Zia (Aunt, in Italian) Gloria, for whom I've been chosen to be her responsible overseer or more legally, Power of Attorney. She had a stroke almost a year ago and has since diminished in capacity a little everyday. Her spirits are still reasonably good but her mind is forsaking her. It's not an unusual story, many of you will be familiar with it.
Yesterday when I came into to her room, she immediately grabbed my hand with both of hers, rubbed it gently and then held it to her body as if it were her teddy bear. My heart felt the rush of love and it made my responsibility seem so meaningful.
When my grandfather died, way before I was born, and her brothers married and moved out, Zia decided that she would devote her life to caring for my Nonna (Grandmother). Forget all the suitors who would want to be her beau or even her husband. She would care for Nonna until she died.
She was a beauty and will always be remembered for her youthful appearance even late into her life. People come up to me today and say how they remembered how beautiful she always was and always looked years younger than she really was. This is not to say she wasn't intelligent but on the contrary. For years she was the admin, as we call it today, for the head of the Glass Factory in Alton, Illinois. Since there were no women in management back then, her position was about as high a woman could get.
A funny story arises more often than not these days, at least since it was brought to my attention. My mom tells me that shortly after I was born, she over heard Zia talking to Nonna and saying "I'm not standing up for that kid, (Godmother) he's the ugliest baby I have ever seen". Now, every chance I get, I remind her of that, and tell her I'm not sure why I'm being so nice to her now.
We laugh of course because she knows I like to tease her.
This could become a book, but since its just a blog, I'll leave the rest of the story for a later date.