this letter says it well, I think..
She owned a few apt complexes near her home. When Mike and I were dating we would go over and push out the HUGE apt garbage bins for pick-up, she wouldn't let us leave without paying us. So, yes, you can imagine that we were always trying to find a reason to visit :) Even our good friends Mario, Jared and Jerry got in on the action because she would serve up heaping plates of homemade spaghetti or ravioli. I tried documenting her ravioli /sauce procedures many times. But I never could really duplicate it. Nonna wasn't big on measuring.
You needed to be prepared to eat at her house. A true Italian woman. You could tell her that you had just come from a restaurant. Didn't matter. She would sweetly tell you to sit down and then she would lay on course after course after course. Or she would trick you and say she was only serving spaghetti. And before you knew it, she would get up and bring on the next course, wearing this mischievous smile the whole time. Here is one of Nonna's sneaky meals...
two-liters of 7-Up and/or orange soda bought on sale and stockpiled for a long time.
a baguette of french bread (always had to be baguettes)
some cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto
angel hair spaghetti w/red sauce
a green salad
sliced potatoes baked in MUCH butter (this was never a problem for me)
polenta and/or stuffing (her stuffing was green and sliced in a circle shape)
some dessert cake she picked up from Safeway's bakery
at the end (!) she would bust open a huge tin of Danish cookies. Dont try to leave until the cookies come out.
If you tried to do the dishes she would tell you to leave them because she has nothing to do during the day.
We will miss her comments. She always called me 'Chris' or 'Connie'. Connie is Raina's (Mikes only Borzoni cousin) mom's name. And she's a classy gal, so I was totally fine being called that. But really, the best ones were her plain honest comments that always sounded a little off, due to the fact that she wasn't big on speaking English. Our most favorite is 'becafuuu'. For YEARS she would tell us this. "Becafuuu, Maiko." Mike thought it was some Italian phrase. A version of 'I love you', maybe? It wasn't until after we were married that we realized she was actually speaking English. "Be careful, Michael."
She worried a lot. She would let you know if she thought you were overweight. Each time we told her that I was pregnant, she would give us this lecture. Holding each of our hands tightly, "Maiko, Chris, you have (2,3,4) butifuu childre, why you wanna make a new one? Migh' come outta hannacap. You a luck now. More childre, maybe no so luck."
Love that woman.
It's no fun losing anyone you love. But as a mother, it's so much more difficult to watch your children experience all of this, don't you think? We've had our fair share of loss the last little while. And I dont think we're through the woods yet. I'm just trying to gather things and experiences from these loved ones.
Now go hug someone :)