I don't know if it's an Italian thing, or just something my family did, but our grandparents were always referred to as nanny & poppy. I've heard kids call their grandparents many different types of names. Surprisingly, the Monte family were the only ones I ever heard use nanny & poppy referenced in a sentence.
As a kid, I thought that made them even more special.
I really couldn't have asked for better grandparents. They fulfilled their roles, and then some. I think my story of my dad's mother sums it up.
Nanny: Nicholas J., are you hungry?
Me: No Nan, I'm good.
Nanny: Ok, let me get you a meatball.
I can't help but crack a smile every time I think about that story. Also, I can't help but think that everyone's cooking is inferior to hers!
Yup, I have a story about all four of them. Some funny, some sad, some heartwarming, all precious memories.
Why am I bringing all this up? As of yesterday, both of my grandmothers took a turn for the worse.
I know, what are the odds of that one?!?!
My dad's mom was in much worse shape of the two. So we went to her bedside first, since my many aunts and cousins went to my other grandmother's bedside.
I walked through the hospital room doors, said hi to everyone, and went straight to her bedside. She looked up at me, big puppy dog eyes, and said, "My Nicholas J., how are you babe?"
It's a name she's called me as long as I can remember, but it's the first time she said it in such a weak/defeated tone.
I almost lost it right there.
Hours passed by, and the room was filling up more and more with family members. We reminisced, cried, prayed and did our best to make her comfortable.
Surprisingly, it's also the first time I've EVER seen my dad cry. I almost can't put the feelings into words. Only that it was one of the saddest moments of my life.
I know the next few weeks are going to be rough. No way to avoid it. Luckily, a few weeks ago I called nanny on her birthday. We talked for about 20 minutes on the phone. I'm so glad we did. It's kind of helping me out a lot knowing that we had a great conversation recently.
Yes, it's sad and heartbreaking. However, I know it'll be a celebration of a great life these women lived. Also, I know that they finally get to be with my awesome grandfathers.
Now, as an adult, I truly know how special they are to me.