I'm Mandy, a mother of a handsome handful of a toddler. I'm the wife to a relocated Jersey boy at heart for almost five years. I'm a "youngster" in "Corporate Legal America." I'm one-seventh of a dynamically loud and loving family. I'm a woman with newly-diagnosed hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Metabolic Syndrome trying to find a course of treatment that works. I'm a twenty-something trying to find her way on a journey to discover faith, friends and fitness. Most importantly, I'm me. I'm just trying to figure out who that is exactly...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

From Where You Are...

Nine years ago yesterday, one of the first loves of my life passed away. One of the greatest women I will ever know would have been seventy-six today.

“When I get where I'm going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
is spread my wings and fly.” – Brad Paisley (When I Get Where I’m Going)

I miss them terribly. I see Cristian and I want so badly for his great-grandparents to see him grow into the little man he is. I want them to hug and kiss him and take him to all the places they took me growing up.  I want them to meet Blake and for them to love him as much as I do. I would have loved their advice last year when I needed it so badly, and I want them to see that we made it--even when the world was against us.  I want them to see what I am doing with my life—because it’s completely different than when they left me.

I want them to know how much I love them and think about them each and every day and more so if possible on these two days of the year. I want them to know how much I appreciate having two of the best angels in heaven on my shoulder, and I want them to know that I am trying my hardest to make them proud.

When you love someone so much, losing them is an exhausting and exhilarating experience all at once. It’s emotionally exhausting but it’s exhilarating to know that they are no longer hurting and one day you will be together again. If you understood how hard it was for me to see them both as sick as they were, you understand how happy I am that they are together and healthy. They were both such amazing people with never-ending love and passion for life and family.

If I can be even an eighth of the woman my nana was, I will be so incredibly successful. Between her and Mom, I have had some of the best role models on being a good mother, wife, and woman.

I want Cristian to know how hardworking his great-grandfather was and to instill that work ethic in him early. I want him to realize how important family was to Papa, and how important family should be to him.

I will always remember our last family dinner at Andrea’s Restaurant. It was a joyous time with no discussions of ailments or heartaches. We enjoyed each other’s company. Even though the restaurant no longer exists, my memories will be as concrete in my mind as if the building stood strong.

I am hoping to visit their crypt sooner than later so they can meet their great-grandson face to face. And I want to shed a tear on their flowers and place the flowers next to them so it permeates through the marble and into their amazing souls.

Nana, I miss your smile which could pierce even my worst of days. I miss the way you called me “Mouse.” I miss our trips to the mall for pretzels and chatting. I miss the way only you could comfort me and let me know you were always there for me. Most of all, I miss you.

Papa, I miss your amazing blue-grey eyes. I miss the times I could sit in your lap or by your feet and hear incredible stories. I miss your catch-phrases and sayings and that belly laugh. I miss the way you made me know you were so proud of me. Most of all, I miss you.

And I love you both more than you’ll ever know.

“I miss the years that were erased.
I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face.
I miss all the little things.
I never thought that they’d mean everything to me.
Yeah, I miss you,
and I wish you were here.” – Lifehouse (From Where You Are)
Two of the greatest loves of my life.  May you rest in peace.

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