Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are starting to prep for it here at the house. We have to clean and grocery shop and tomorrow I have to cook a couple things because I am splitting the cooking with my mother in law this year. My oldest son has a cold so trying to get him to rest is quite tricky, and he is getting cabin fever even though he has been outside everyday, just not as long as usual. We usually have Thanksgiving at my mother in law’s house but she wanted to switch it up this year because of her sadness since the loss of her dear mother. Gigi, left us last spring and we miss her dearly. I have always wanted to write a post on her, but I find certain things difficult to write about. Writing about my loved ones, especially those who have passed away, makes me feel like I can’t write enough, or do them any justice with my words. So even though I have thought about her every single time I go to blog, I set the post aside for a time when I might be better prepared.
Well that time has come now, because it is Thanksgiving and our traditional schedule has changed because our sweet Gigi won’t be there this year. We would spend every holiday with Gigi, usually at my mother in law’s home, and to not have her there in physical form will be a sad one, although I know she will be there with us in spirit.
Gigi lived a long, wonderful life and turned 90 years old last April. She had three children, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was the matriarch of the family and played an active role in each family member’s life. Like I said before, she would be at every holiday function, so if you hadn’t talked to her in between holidays, you definitely caught up with her there. She was always so great to talk to because she had a million stories, she was super funny and always told it like it was. I really appreciated that about her because I really admire candid, direct people. It is what I am always searching for from people. Honesty. Truth. Just tell it like it is please.
Gigi was born in Baltimore County and very proud of it. She was an expert on the area and had seen it change over the years. She married her high school sweetheart, Vince, and they lost him early due to sickness. Like most people from the ‘old school’, she had an amazing work ethic. She was a full time working mother working five days a week as an administrative assistant for the Baltimore County Bureau of Sanitation. They say she was always dressed to perfection with the matching accessories and shoes, layered over her fresh, flawlessly ironed clothing. I also have appreciation for that whole process because it takes time and patience to iron clothes! It is quite time consuming, and to be able to get ready for work while caring for three darlings is no easy feat day in and day out.
She was an amazing woman and I’m so glad that I was able to get to know her over the past couple of years. She had an incredible bond with her grandchildren, one that I had always been quite impressed with really. She spent time with my children and always took interest in what they were up to. We still read all of the books that she gave to the kids and see the little notes in the cover saying, ‘To _, Love Gigi’. We would receive random homemade cards from her saying hello and that she loved them. I forgot to mention that she was an avid reader, writer and poet. She wrote formal, rhymed poetry and kept a journal too.
There is so much more to a person than a blog post can capture but I tried to include what I could to let you all know how loved and special she was. The family recently gathered together to share in some of her belongings and it was such a nice gathering filled with laughter, food, and love. It means so much to be able to hold onto something that was hers, especially to sentimental folk like me. Her scarves still smell of her, and I was able to get the one thing that really reminded me of her, which was a pillow that would sit on her couch. It now sits on my bed next to me when I sleep. I love it so much.
Tomorrow when we are sad to not have Gigi there, I will have to remember that we were so lucky to have had her so long. And to hold tight to those that we love and make happy memories.