Today, I was told of the passing of a dear woman. She was a friend, mother, sister and wife.
Fiercely independent and strong-willed she brooked no refusal to her plans.

I was fortunate to know her in her later years but before dementia had taken it’s toll on her faculties. That cruel disease did something not even polio could do to this stalwart woman; it made her vulnerable to those who wished to prey on her for what they could get. Yet, I do not want to discuss them now. I believe karma will pay them back ten-fold. Eventually alone and vulnerable themselves they will have to answer for their actions.

I would rather take this moment to remember the feisty lady I first met over 15 years ago. Her quick wit, fascinating stories and independent spirit.

She loved her family deeply and fiercely. And they loved her. I remember long talks and her eyes lighting up as she talked about her grandchildren, or sitting in her house as she pointed out the various photographs on the wall telling me their stories. She had such great plans for her grandchildren, some came to fruition and some will sadly remain unfinished. How she and ‘becca would love going to hospital cafeterias, how she glowed at seeing her first great, granddaughter and great grandson.

Her love of Dunkin’ Donuts, cinnamon cake and all things family. I spent many a lunch time with her, her daughter and granddaughters over the years.
And I can never hear the phrase “word for word” without thinking of her and her spunky “can do” attitude. I see it in her daughters Candace and April, in her son Frankie and in their children. Cori and Rebecca for whom I had the privilege of tutoring embodied her view point of letting nothing get in their way. Cori is now a successful business owner, married with two children. Rebecca’s a Harvard graduate with great potential.

Robbie and Sal have grown into fine young men and while I didn’t see Frankie’s boys as much, they have done their grandmother proud.

When I look back at her life, I see a woman who devoured life. Whose passion surpassed any infirmity or challenge. She was gifted with great love.

May she always be remembered this way…