Ave Maria

When i was a little girl, i used to love my paternal grandparents house. They were the sweetest italian grandparents. I have such love for them. My grandfather was so proud and saved his hard earned money being a pharmacist and my grandmother tended loved and cared for 8 beautiful children. It was quite an accomplishment for my grandfather. His entire family was in the mafia and he was one of two in the family to choose a different lifestyle for us. A better way. My memories recall the house as being large but it wasn't. One bathroom for 10 people. A tiny kitchen. A tiny library the size of a bathroom off the kitchen. I remember their avocado green 60's floors. I have found myself many times on good nights going here in dreams and then i will close my eyes and go there during the daytime sometimes too. I see myself in dreams as a young girl of 7 or 8 in my white communion dress and grandma has an apron on and is baking the best homeade bread and minestrone soup. My grandfather is reading his paper at the amber wooden dining set. I see myself dancing to this song, Ave Maria....i twirl into their living room and see the corner swedish fireplace, so simple so cozy. So much love.

I was the oldest of 17 grandchildren. I remember when grandpa passed away, i stayed with grandma sometimes as she eased into living alone. I remember her 70's floral pastel bedspread. The sun shining with a pause through their window. The picture of my father and aunts and uncles on her dresser. I loved eating popcorn and watching disney movies like Sleeping Beauty with grandma. I could eat anything back then. Anything. I could walk. I could bathe myself....

This song plays in my head often when i think of them. For years. It connects me to the formless world in ways that are hard to describe. Grandma died the year i became bedridden in 2017. I couldn't see her. I couldn't tend to her. I did get to spend time with her the two years prior with my baby daughter. For this, i am grateful. I know she knows now why i couldn't be there in the end. She now sees limitations in my body that are invisible to the modern human eye. I did push hard one March day as i was collapsing. It was March 2017 and i always loved to go to a nature preserve and see the blooming magnolias. Me, my children, my father and husband were able to take her. How blessed am i? I got to go see my last and her last magnolia blossoms...with her and my children. I remember i had very little strength and much fear of what was happening to my body. Trying to hide and push through whatever it was that Drs said was nothing. She had her walker and i remember her saying i want to walk on the trail and see them. And i said, lets go grandma. As if some part of me knew it would be my last walk and hers down this path. My father became adamant that her body couldn't walk this, it wasn't safe, no, he said. Looking at me sternly. She had many falls and he was rightfully so protecting her. We were only walking but maybe 50? feet I looked at her and she had the will of a child and my little girl was a magical 2 year old and my grandmas eyes were sooooo lit up. Her children kept her in a safe protected space for years. Minimal trees. Very suburban. No forests etc. She came alive in that forest and i got to witness it. She defied my father and took her walker as i walked close to her and we went. It was risky. Yes. But she was willing to take this risk. I was willing to support her taking that risk. Because the medicine of a forest could not be measured in a vial. And she knew her increasing days in a hospital and nursing home were but moments away. She knew. I knew. And we looked up and saw these beautiful pink blooms. And yellow. And her jaw dropped. She didn't speak. She was speechless. She kept pushing her walker on this trail and taking each blossom in. Like she was free again. I've never witnessed anything like it. Surprisingly her body did better than mine and i quickly needed a bench as i was losing strength and lung power quickly. But i will never forget this day. Ever.

This song reminds me of her. And my grandpa. The 1940 Schubert version from Fantasia, often makes me think how we are each holding those lights, walking through a forest that leads to a formless world eventually. We each end up there when the time is upon us and no sooner. I lost both my grandparents this week years ago and then losing Miss C. this week has me now imagining her march into the ether. It really is a beautiful life, despite it all.

I recently did some solo fundraising for a new ME/CFS/CIRS/Lyme Dr. i am to see. I had never asked my extended family for a donation, ever. But this time round i decided to, the stakes are big. My adrenals (and other things) need serious help. I'm routinely turned away from medical care in my area. Three primary care physicians since 2020 have rejected my case despite pleas from patient advocates and medical advocates. A hospice nurse friend said she wants lawyers involved but who knows at this point. I hardly have that fight in me in such a broken system. Already two lawyers haven't even returned her and i's phone calls. Sometimes, it seems a certain way is set for me as the obstacles are quite astonishing. This seems one of my only options at this point (this Dr). So, i sent out messages. Simple, factual, to the point, describing what will be occurring. The cost of the bloodwork etc. Do you know out of 35 family members, one donated? ONE. My father. These were aunts and uncles and cousins i was quite fond of and close with for years. I would hand make lavender neck pillows for them certain years and bake them special birthday cakes and babysit their children and so many things. It seems, when my situation became too messy, my body needed more assistance than could be fathomed.... It seems, it was easier for most of them to leave me as a leper. I occasionally get texts a few times a year from an aunt or two cousins that they will visit me, never have...that they pray for me....that they will call me....never do. I do not hold resentment towards them. But being the kind of person i am and was with them, i'm rather floored at times at their mass abandonment of me. So much self focus these days. I can't help but imagine my grandparents envisioned a different kind of family in some ways back when their floor was avocado. Ah, well. C'est la vie.


:heart:
sunshine

Comments

Beautifully written ...thank u for sharing ❣️
Blessed for Grandparents .... Immediates can be a very different story ....

The last moments with our Grandparents a life long heart 💟
thanks for being here emma :heart:
its quite true about grandparents,
how luck was i to experience them
and create these memories.
 
Quiet a thing that your grandfather came fr mafia family and his spirit to do different ...
All those children and grandchildren !
And your Granma ... Isn't it quite something to see the resounding beauty when it's a rare occurance .... Magnolias too 💮
 
Quiet a thing that your grandfather came fr mafia family and his spirit to do different ...
All those children and grandchildren !
And your Granma ... Isn't it quite something to see the resounding beauty when it's a rare occurance .... Magnolias too 💮
ha! it really is. He was such an incredible human being. His step-father and brother were killed on the same street years apart due to mafia connections and his mother was widowed twice, her first husband (his father) killed in WWI. She had SEVENTEEN children total in her years. 10 survived childhood. Being it was the 20's and 30's she went to bootlegging to support her and all those children. Wild stuff. There is a book somewhere on parts of their story. I believe it mostly focuses on my great uncle and how he was the wrong target or something of that sort. He (my grandfather) even ran for democratic mayor of this small city they lived in and he had to fight through so much because of his familys story. Yet he put turkeys on hungry familys tables and when he died in the 80's my father found he had backlogs of loans to people at the pharmacy who couldn't afford their medications and toilet paper. All now written off. My grandparents were such special people to me.
 
ha! it really is. He was such an incredible human being. His step-father and brother were killed on the same street years apart due to mafia connections and his mother was widowed twice, her first husband (his father) killed in WWI. She had SEVENTEEN children total in her years. 10 survived childhood. Being it was the 20's and 30's she went to bootlegging to support her and all those children. Wild stuff. There is a book somewhere on parts of their story. I believe it mostly focuses on my great uncle and how he was the wrong target or something of that sort. He (my grandfather) even ran for democratic mayor of this small city they lived in and he had to fight through so much because of his familys story. Yet he put turkeys on hungry familys tables and when he died in the 80's my father found he had backlogs of loans to people at the pharmacy who couldn't afford their medications and toilet paper. All now written off. My grandparents were such special people to me.
Stunning ... Giving birth 17 times !! My goodness .... Can't imagine .
The 20s 30s 40s what times such rich history in our çultures .. I have a huge book of Britain's people in those times .... A lot of slum living .
I bought a magnifying glass to see the details of the b&w photos. It's a world I can fall into easily .. feeling the people's lives . When I come back to my own life and look around I'm living in luxury .. of course not to discount many in current times live poorly .
What's bootlegging ?
Your Grandfather was a man of heart I really admire that .

I ran my family tree in more recent yrs . Traced back to on the paternal grandfathers side my great great grandfather ... On my paternal grandmothers side it stopped at Great grandmother so that needs more explaination ( with all the other ' never can get to activities ) . I want to to honour them . My g Grandfather was a psychic and ran one of the spiritual churches in the Midlands UK . . His father was in an asylum ( that could mean he didn't have much wrong with him ) My G Grandmother and G Grandfather were both in the same orphanage as children.
My dads real dad ( he never met him ) was an American Pilot in WW2 . My Grandma got pregnant and he went back to USA I assume contact was lost . She then married a drunk and my dad had a hard time of it .
Both my dad and I feel quite American
 
I'm still listening to Ave Maria as I write. Goodness, it has been a long, long time since I heard that one.

@sunshine44......you were fortunate to have your grandparents as long as you did. I learned much from mine and loved them dearly. It can't be helped when they die, but every child should be exposed to them if at all possible while they're still alive.

I was fortunate that mine were on a farm. It was rented because they lost their land and brand-new farmhouse during the Great Depression. I never heard one word of complaint from them about it. Never ending work, even back then. No, while I'm 75 it wasn't the Dark Ages and many farm families lived that life. It's gone now. and that's a pity. Land helped fuel our country and now many large corporations have taken it over.

Their lives were rather primitive, a kitchen pump and others throughout the house and cold, cold water. Potbellied stoves everywhere and I loved them so. I had the privilege of living with them off and on. Both died in their 50's, people did seem to die younger then.

For those of you who don't have grandparents, please try to find someone who likes children (but not too much), has a grandmother's flabby arms and a calm, soft spoken grandfather. Your child will benefit from these people and I hope you can find them. There are a lot of people who would love to be "grandparents." We made certain that our children were exposed to our parents as much as possible. The same with our grandchildren.

For my personal look at the past, please check CHRISTMAS REMEMBRANCES under the heading of "What's New." @Emmarose47, I don't mean to start another Revolutionary War over this....tell me what you think, I'd like to know. Dust off those happy memories. Yours, Lenora

Keep your memories alive @Sunshine 44, use them for all the comfort and love you want. Pity about your relatives....I wonder if something will arrive in their Xmas cards. I hope so. Yours, Lenora
 
Stunning ... Giving birth 17 times !! My goodness .... Can't imagine .
The 20s 30s 40s what times such rich history in our çultures .. I have a huge book of Britain's people in those times .... A lot of slum living .
I bought a magnifying glass to see the details of the b&w photos. It's a world I can fall into easily .. feeling the people's lives . When I come back to my own life and look around I'm living in luxury .. of course not to discount many in current times live poorly .
What's bootlegging ?
Your Grandfather was a man of heart I really admire that .

I ran my family tree in more recent yrs . Traced back to on the paternal grandfathers side my great great grandfather ... On my paternal grandmothers side it stopped at Great grandmother so that needs more explaination ( with all the other ' never can get to activities ) . I want to to honour them . My g Grandfather was a psychic and ran one of the spiritual churches in the Midlands UK . . His father was in an asylum ( that could mean he didn't have much wrong with him ) My G Grandmother and G Grandfather were both in the same orphanage as children.
My dads real dad ( he never met him ) was an American Pilot in WW2 . My Grandma got pregnant and he went back to USA I assume contact was lost . She then married a drunk and my dad had a hard time of it .
Both my dad and I feel quite American

ha! RIGHT?!
Its so very true, life was lived so simply back then and many had so few means of getting by. I always admired their creativity and hard work to pull us through to each new generation. Bootlegging was making/distributing alcohol when it was illegal in the states. Was that the 20's or 30's Lenora? Thank you, indeed he was :)

Wow, your family history is so rich and interesting. Oh my goodness about the orphanages, my heart. Sigh. :( I am not surprised to hear of your psychic grandfather ;) Thats good info for you to have. Ran a church, eh? Fascinating. Oh thats wild about the American man! Those American men ;) I am sure that was quite difficult for your father. I am so sorry for the sadness that probably surrounds that.

The asylum, ugh, so true, my maternal grandfather was committed to one as well but he actually was schizophrenic. But his story was incredibly sad and he was experimented on for years at a mental hospital with electric shock therapy etc. I often thought about him growing up but he was a ward of the state and my mothers family moved on in life without him after some time. So many difficult choices my grandmother had to make with 4 children. When i was 23 my aunt called me one day and i was living about 3 hours from him and she was willing to meet me in this town. She knew i always wanted to meet him. I had been told he remarried a woman he met in the asylum and we knew very little except he was no longer in mental hospital. So, i packed my new baby son up and we went on an adventure most of my family didn't approve of. I wanted him to see us though. I knew he was a troubled man but i needed him to know we were out there. So, not knowing what to expect, my aunt and i connected and they called and asked to meet us in a McDonalds in a very bare bones town in southern Illinois. And thats where i met him. He couldn't make eye contact and he did odd gestures and incessant and often inaudible talking....but i met him. I do know it had an impact on him. I know it did me. You could tell he had survived immense pain and was forever shaped by it. Even though he couldn't communicate well, i swear i saw a tear in his eye. He sat with us the entire time. When i arrived back home, it was the strangest thought i had this new family member. I didn't know what to do but wanted to extend an olive branch and keep in touch, so i went to the store and bought a card and puzzle. I was trying to think of soothing activities after his big visit with long lost family. But, within days of meeting, i found out he was walking, collecting cans on the road and a truck hit him and he perished. So the week after i returned with my entire family that hadn't seen him in 25 years or ever for his funeral. wild, huh?
 
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I'm still listening to Ave Maria as I write. Goodness, it has been a long, long time since I heard that one.

@sunshine44......you were fortunate to have your grandparents as long as you did. I learned much from mine and loved them dearly. It can't be helped when they die, but every child should be exposed to them if at all possible while they're still alive.

I was fortunate that mine were on a farm. It was rented because they lost their land and brand-new farmhouse during the Great Depression. I never heard one word of complaint from them about it. Never ending work, even back then. No, while I'm 75 it wasn't the Dark Ages and many farm families lived that life. It's gone now. and that's a pity. Land helped fuel our country and now many large corporations have taken it over.

Their lives were rather primitive, a kitchen pump and others throughout the house and cold, cold water. Potbellied stoves everywhere and I loved them so. I had the privilege of living with them off and on. Both died in their 50's, people did seem to die younger then.

For those of you who don't have grandparents, please try to find someone who likes children (but not too much), has a grandmother's flabby arms and a calm, soft spoken grandfather. Your child will benefit from these people and I hope you can find them. There are a lot of people who would love to be "grandparents." We made certain that our children were exposed to our parents as much as possible. The same with our grandchildren.

For my personal look at the past, please check CHRISTMAS REMEMBRANCES under the heading of "What's New." @Emmarose47, I don't mean to start another Revolutionary War over this....tell me what you think, I'd like to know. Dust off those happy memories. Yours, Lenora

Keep your memories alive @Sunshine 44, use them for all the comfort and love you want. Pity about your relatives....I wonder if something will arrive in their Xmas cards. I hope so. Yours, Lenora
I love listening to your stories Lenora. Such a beautifully spoken sentiment. We are blessed to experience them and i love how you include anyone. Its very true, blood or not. Thank you i will check that thread out.
 
@lenora absolutely good memories are important ! My goodness I live in the past a lot helps me get through the days ! But I also need to.remember rose.tinted can happen and that many good times also had other feelings and difficult bits.. it helps me cause I can view life before the doom as wonderful and it wasn't always ... But hey more wonderful than now.... Well ifn some ways ... Now still has it's wonder
 
@sunshine44 ah yes my dad only officially found out his dad wasn't.actually.his dad.when he was in his 30s ! But he said he always felt it .. to find out your real parent is fr a different country is quite something .
His step dad was a Scouser bought up in Liverpool was in the navy ... His parents Welsh I think . He was physically abusive to my dad in horrible ways when he was drunk . I don't know if he hit my granma . My dad however was good to him in his later yrs ... Visited him in the care home took his cigarettes . He died by running too hot a bath one nite obviously the staff weren't on care duties ..

My dad is a lovely man ... So full of fun
 
OhGod bless him ...
So lovely he got.to.meet u all and feel that connection ..before he ascended ...
Schizophrenia is a cruel disease I've supported.many people with it in the past ..
I worked in a long term care home once with people who had been in the old asylum type hospitals ... Pumped with those old.meds that created dystonia and other hard side effects .
It was nice to help people have a more ' ' integrated ' life .. I think so anyway ?
One man I took him to the pub and this women was just staring at him I gave her the daggers and she stopped . After we went to the park and he said to me ' I'm a bad man ' . I replied no Rodg ( roger ) your a good man , your a really good man ..
I was thinking of them all the other day wondering if he had passed away by now or not ..
His delusions were he was a soldier and the environment would be at war ..
Another man believed he was married to the blonde women from Abba .. he would send presents to her fan club .. he also believed he ran a business and spent his hours filling out business paperwork ....
 
Re: Schizophrenia. His name was Kevin and he was a neighbor of mine. When I met Kevin he told me he had traumatic brain injury. He and I began a relationship and it wasn't too long into the relationship that I realized that in fact Kevin had Schizophrenia. I loved Kevin but needless to say the relationship became so very difficult................beyond difficult at times especially hard to navigate with my CFS. Nevertheless we made a go of it. I kept thinking there was something I could do for him to make it better. WE did fall in love. 5 yrs into the relationship, Kevin took his life. Life became just too difficult for him to navigate. Despite the bad times, we had a lot of good times and I'm glad I could make part of his life a happy one.
 
Re: Schizophrenia. His name was Kevin and he was a neighbor of mine. When I met Kevin he told me he had traumatic brain injury. He and I began a relationship and it wasn't too long into the relationship that I realized that in fact Kevin had Schizophrenia. I loved Kevin but needless to say the relationship became so very difficult................beyond difficult at times especially hard to navigate with my CFS. Nevertheless we made a go of it. I kept thinking there was something I could do for him to make it better. WE did fall in love. 5 yrs into the relationship, Kevin took his life. Life became just too difficult for him to navigate. Despite the bad times, we had a lot of good times and I'm glad I could make part of his life a happy one.

ohhhh, Tammy, thats a very moving story. The heart when magnetic like that can cast all away, its quite remarkable really what unconditional love is capable of. Although i am incredibly sorry for your loss, i am so happy you did experience good times together. Those will live through eternity. I am sure you did add great joy to his life in ways you may never know.Thank you for sharing. Lots of love Tammy.
 
@sunshine44 ah yes my dad only officially found out his dad wasn't.actually.his dad.when he was in his 30s ! But he said he always felt it .. to find out your real parent is fr a different country is quite something .
His step dad was a Scouser bought up in Liverpool was in the navy ... His parents Welsh I think . He was physically abusive to my dad in horrible ways when he was drunk . I don't know if he hit my granma . My dad however was good to him in his later yrs ... Visited him in the care home took his cigarettes . He died by running too hot a bath one nite obviously the staff weren't on care duties ..

My dad is a lovely man ... So full of fun

oh wow. How heavy. Your pops has been through alot. And he still shines. Thats quite commendable. Very interesting how he always had an inkling. WOw.
 
ohhhh, Tammy, thats a very moving story. The heart when magnetic like that can cast all away, its quite remarkable really what unconditional love is capable of. Although i am incredibly sorry for your loss, i am so happy you did experience good times together. Those will live through eternity. I am sure you did add great joy to his life in ways you may never know.Thank you for sharing. Lots of love Tammy.
Thank you sunshine. I mentioned in another one of your blogs how some of my loved ones came through with signs after they had passed. Well let me tell you, Kevin came through like superman in all sorts of ways for about 3 months! It was amazing.
 
OhGod bless him ...
So lovely he got.to.meet u all and feel that connection ..before he ascended ...
Schizophrenia is a cruel disease I've supported.many people with it in the past ..
I worked in a long term care home once with people who had been in the old asylum type hospitals ... Pumped with those old.meds that created dystonia and other hard side effects .
It was nice to help people have a more ' ' integrated ' life .. I think so anyway ?
One man I took him to the pub and this women was just staring at him I gave her the daggers and she stopped . After we went to the park and he said to me ' I'm a bad man ' . I replied no Rodg ( roger ) your a good man , your a really good man ..
I was thinking of them all the other day wondering if he had passed away by now or not ..
His delusions were he was a soldier and the environment would be at war ..
Another man believed he was married to the blonde women from Abba .. he would send presents to her fan club .. he also believed he ran a business and spent his hours filling out business paperwork ....
You've lived such a full life. I have great respect for those that can assist that population. They are so cast off. You are an earth angel dear one. I am sure you impacted so many lives. Thats so sad he thought he was a bad man, i sensed that from my grandfather as well. Its a terrible illness. A old friend of mine did similar work as you through a local hospital with the schizophrenic population and her stories were astounding. I never realized how neglected and ostracized these people still were. Thank you for sharing with me and teaching me. I really hope they can solve that illness more one day. I was so terrified since i was a child that i would develop it since i heard horror stories. When i began having panic attacks at 17 it was one of my biggest fears for years. But, my situation was a bit different. I know my grandfathers brother had it as well and there was some connection to mercury with them, shoe salesmen? or something...i would need to hear the story again which would have to come from my aunt since most in my family choose to not talk about him.
 
Thank you sunshine. I mentioned in another one of your blogs how some of my loved ones came through with signs after they had passed. Well let me tell you, Kevin came through like superman in all sorts of ways for about 3 months! It was amazing.

thats interesting. When i read this, i had a feeling this was someone that visited you. How beautiful you had/have that experience. :heart: You must have been very important to him.
 
It's very sad and also interesting to be the member of a family with any mental illness. I only have experience with bipolar illness myself. Still, it's a hard way to live for both the patient and the family members.

My younger brothers and sisters were completely terrified by the illness(es) exhibited by my mother and, at that time, a brother and sister. Totally out of control if I wasn't around. I have no idea why I was the chosen one they would listen to....still don't to this day.

One brother caused the illness (OK, the appearance of the illness) in a younger sister. She spent all of her adult life with mental problems. Men can be especially violent when they have this illness, but they will listen to reason, especially if they're told once and then sent away to think about it.
Violence is often a part of it as hyper-sexuality and the usual depression and mania. Just because one part is missing does not mean they don't have the disease. Mania can appear as agitation.....high agitation.

Apparently there is no connection between intelligence and this illness, but that has not been my experience at all. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Schizophrenia is one of the toughest of the mental illnesses to live with and no, the average person often does understand it. The same with bipolar illness. Most people assume that lithium cures all bipolar patients. Not true at all, and it's often a lifelong dance to find the correct balance. Family histories often remove any signs of both illnesses....nice, right?

I look forward to the day when these illnesses no long exist....like ours, it will happen. So many people and families are affected....mental illness gives great sadness to all affected. Yours, Lenora

I knew from early on that the least I could do was admit that this was in our family.....I wasn't going to "pretend." If they were brave enough to live with it, I was certainly brave enough to admit they had it. Oddly enough, with everyone who had it in the family the surest way of coming out of the problem was ECT. That goes against what everyone things and, as a result, scares many people who could benefit from it.

MY mother was the first to develop it (who wouldn't....9 children, no relatives and no money). At a very young age, when everything known at that time had failed, I agreed to ECT. She was absolutely fine and the treatments only became better as the years passed. Today's they're very humane and many people get off the table and go on to their jobs....none the worst for wear.

We hear many horrid stories, but if things aren't working out, I would suggest that this be considered by the family (after studying how different people respond).

I read a research paper probably last year detailing that a virus was responsible for bipolar illness and ME, e.g. It's rather frightening to think of a switch that could turn this off or on in different directions, isn't it? I'd rather live with the problems I have.....because this is the easier road. At least in my opinion.
 
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You've lived such a full life. I have great respect for those that can assist that population. They are so cast off. You are an earth angel dear one. I am sure you impacted so many lives.

V full life .... Umm maybe too full ....
Being a Psychiatric nurse Def contributed to where I am now ... The responsibility, the stress . But it was an honour to walk beside so many unwell people and help them live more fulfilling lives . In the end working at a re integration unit for people to get back into society involved a lot of systems and the social care system. V stressful and a lot to manage . Was never the patients that were the heaviest !
 

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