A Tribute to my grandmother, Mary

I just received a phone call from my mom at 5:30 tonight that my grandma has died. I knew this was coming, but I am still in a state of shock. The matriarch of my family is gone. She know wears a crown and is sitting with Jesus. I wanted to pay tribute to an amazing woman I was blessed to call my grandma.

Mary Carmela Bartolomeo Darin was born on May 31, 1919. Her parents were imigrants from Italy.

She met my grandpa Joseph Darin, yes they were Mary & Joseph, I always loved that about them. They were married on June 18, 1939 and soon started a family, in a small town, outside Chicago.
My dad is the oldest of 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls. My grandma loved being a wife and mother. I loved hearing stories my dad would tell me about his childhood.

I was the 3rd grandchild out of 8. 7 girls and 1 boy. My poor cousin Tom had to deal with all the girls in the family. My grandparents managed hotels when I was a kid. I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. I remember one year they managed a motel right on the Rose Parade route in Pasadena. We had the best seats in the house, on top of the roof. It was great.

My grandma was an amazing cook. She would spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal for us. Everything was made from scratch. The pasta, spaghetti sauce, and my favorite, Buyata (dough with pasta sauce, bacon and herbs) you roll it up and bake it and it is heavenly. I remember going with her to the Italian Deli to get meats for sub sandwhiches. I just loved being with her.

My grandpa passed away suddenly shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a shock to us all and so hard on my grandma. After 21 years, they are reunited tonight.

I was thankful that I lived fairly close to my grandparents when I was growing up. I got to see them quite often. When we moved from California to Nashville in 1999, I wasn't able to see her as often as I would have liked too. I tried to get back about once or twice a year. I was thankful that she was able to fly to Nashville to see me get married in 2001.

I got to see her for the last time on August 6, 2010. I spent some time with her in her room at the nursing home. I remember she was sitting in her recliner and I was on her bed. We just chatted about life. Then we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner with my aunt and uncle and my cousin's wife and her daughter. I sat by my grandma. I am so thankful I had that time with her. I am thankful she got to see me pregnant. Wow so much has changed since that day. I no longer have my son or my grandma. I am so thankful that she is with my grandpa again and my sweet Zoe and Jonathan. Oh what an amazing reunion that must be.

One of my favorite, most recent memories, is surprising her for her 90th birthday last year. All of her kids and grandkids were there in one room to help her celebrate. It was such a fun time and I know it meant the world to her.

Grandma, I miss you terribly. I can't believe you are gone. I am so glad I got to talk to you last night, if only for a moment. I'm thankful I got to tell you how much I loved you. Thank you for being such an amazing woman. You left an incredible legacy for your children, your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Thank you for loving the Lord and being my prayer warrior. I will treasure the memories of the times we spent together always.
I will see you again Grandma. I love you so much!
(Thank you to my cousin Tom for collecting and scanning all of the pictures so we could have them. So thankful to have them.)


Pam K. said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved grandma. What a comfort to know that she is home with her savior and your babies, and you can look forward to seeing them again one day!

Anonymous said...

Your grandmother sounds like she was such a wonderful lady. And to know that you'll see her again one day is such a comfort. I lost one grandmother when I was 8 and the other one when I was 20 in 1986. You are truly blessed to have had your grandmother for so long but look at the heritage and the legacy she has left with you. Now that is awesome : )

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