As I get older, I find myself wishing to have some time back. I wish for it not because I want to stay young forever, but because I want to ask questions of people who are no longer with me. What seems to happen is as follows: Time goes by and you realize you had someone extra special in your life. You loved that person, but in the way that a child can love. You loved her because she loved you, and treated you specially. She may have danced around the kitchen the day you were born. She rejoiced at your “firsts”- your first smile, first tooth, first word, first steps. You probably never truly “knew” her. You thought you did of course, but the truth is that she knew you.
I would like to ask my Nana Gallucci (my mother’s mother) a few questions.
- Did you really love life as much as it seems you did? I have never (no lie) come across a picture of you where you were not smiling or laughing. Is there a secret to that? I want to share it if that’s OK with you.
- Let’s talk about relationships. Like your’s with Papa. I used to think you didn’t like him at all because you two bickered a lot. In my heart I believe that you loved him. I know he loved you.
- Tell me about your weeks and your weekends. What did you do when you were a young woman, and as you got older. I want to know what life was like.
- What is it about Highballs that you love so much, and where do you buy all of that great costume jewelry?
- Did you really believe you would win the WHDH radio telethon with Jess Cain? (because even as a small child I had my doubts. I couldn’t believe you wrote down that amount every hour.)
- How come you never got your driver’s license? Wasn’t it a a pain to have to get rides everywhere? If not, then tell me why because today everyone owns a car, and traffic is crazy. I’m inspired by you. Maybe you didn’t find the need to travel far out of your familiar circle. I think we could use a bit of that here today.
- You know, a lot of women are doing what you did and having children at 35+ years old. At 42, you were like a pioneer! Was it difficult for you? It seems difficult today for a lot of women.
- Tell me about your pregnancy with Mum because sometime’s she thinks she was adopted.
- What was my mother like when she was little, because I have 4 kids now, and maybe one of them is like she was.
- What in the world did you love so much about parakeets that made you actually want to keep one? It was super cool when I was little, but I just could never have one in my house,
- I totally understand why you liked to watch Carol Burnett. However, I just don’t get your fascination with Lawrence Welk. Help me understand.
- Can we take a walk up Whittemore Street to the Center so you can take me to Playtime for old times sake? I’d like that. Then sit with me under the willow trees on Spy Pond and chat about this thing called life that you seem so content with. I’d really like that.
P.S. I know that you saved every card we ever gave you because I found the stack in your room one morning after I slept over in your bed. I thought it was strange then, but I know why you saved them now. Because you loved us.
“Hey Nan. Come sit with me. Let’s talk.”