Grandma Ricci was a wonderful grandmother, sharing so much love, and laughter, and such good food (OH THOSE CREAM PUFFS! OH THAT MINESTRONE!) She also crocheted dozens and dozens of afghans,
Here's a photo of Albina holding hands with her beloved, my Grandfather Angelo Ricci.
This photo was taken in 1922, when Albina was 19. They look awfully happy don’t they?
Unfortunately, Grandpa Angelo’s mother objected to my grandparent's union. Grandma Albina’s family was from Calabria, in southern Italy, while my grandfather's family came from Rome. Northern Italians tended to look down on Italians from southern regions.
The day that Grandma Ricci passed in 1987, I got word in a phone call from my parents. I remember so distinctly that I was lying on my bed talking with my beloved daughter, Jocelyn, who was only three years old.
After I hung up the phone, I started crying and Jocelyn, ever the caretaker, wanted to know what was making me sad.
"My grandma died today, honey," I said. I placed my hand on the top of her head.
She didn't miss a beat. "Oh, Mommy, that's OK, I'll be your Grandma!"
As I hugged Jocelyn that morning on the bed, I thought to myself, "she's right - she IS my future and the future of our whole family."
As I think back to that day, I am overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude. How lucky I am to have so much family. How lucky I am to now be a Grandma to my precious Ronen and Dani.
And yes, they are our family's future, right in our midst!