A Special Birthday Present

Yesterday was my birthday. I celebrated it quietly and alone {not complaining}. I puttered around the Internet {including writing yesterday’s Five Minute Friday post}, caught up on the last few episodes of How To Get Away With Murder {interesting cliff hanger} and watched a sappy, predictable Hallmark movie and a few innings of the Angels-Yankee game before heading to bed. My Facebook account was blowing up with birthday well wishes. According to Fitbit, I slept just nine minutes shy of my eight hour goal at a 97% sleep efficiency {thanks to age-related bathroom breaks}.

birthday (2)All in all, it was a very good day.

Generally around birth day, I get somewhat introspective. I remember the past as I celebrate the day and look forward to the future. I usually smile at the memories. I often wonder about the future. What has changed in my life from birth day 2015 and birth day 2016? What will the next year bring?

I use the day to map out adventures for the coming year. I guess that’s as close to planning as I get.

Two things happened today, however, that were the frosting on the proverbial cake.

14064177_10209308725268059_3246549363458882660_nFirst, my cousin posted a glowing Facebook post remembering our Grandma. She wrote, “Tomorrow is ‘gramma’s’ birthday. Born August 22, 1898, she was the most important person in my life, my go-to ear and shoulder when I needed to talk, or make a decision. She was my hero, my model. After 5 brothers and three sons, I was the first grandchild – and GIRL – to come into her life. She’s even my godmother. Miss her everyday. She made this doily, which I had framed. She taught me how to crochet. This is gramma dressed up to go visiting, and with Grandpa and uncle Francesco and her three boys. (Dad is on the far right, my Dad is the little squirt in the middle.). What a special lady!”

All I can add is, “Amen!” The weird part is I’ve been thinking a lot about Grandma lately as well.

14064175_10209308726108080_3329615493844650485_nGrandma was the most remarkable woman I ever knew. Despite being handed a life of lemons — my grandfather was gassed in World War I and spent most of the rest of his life in a veterans’ hospital — Grandma truly turned it into lemonade. She raised three sons on her own during the Depression … and they turned out pretty good. I never heard her complain about the “raw deal” but rather saw her live her faith.

I think her strength came from her connection to family and her strong faith. There was always someone at Grandma’s house, checking on her, helping her out and just visiting. And she welcomed them with a pot of coffee on the stove and cookies and fruit on the table.

14040208_10209308726468089_5385153611509831368_nWhen I think of Grandma, I remember a woman who was always there to listen to my horrid jokes … to put up with my schemes and dreams {I can still hear her say, “Put out your hands. Wish in one and shit in the other. See which comes first!” before giving me that big grandmotherly hug} … to “solve” problems with a cookie break.

And she was one of the “stars” of the DeGrezia family reunion of 2012 {wow, has it been that long?}.

That’s the segue to the second incident that happened today. Somehow, the post I wrote about the reunion — Families Ties (https://wisdomfromafather.com/2012/10/14/family-ties/) — resurfaced out of the blue today. It seems a long, lost cousin, Joan Rotella commented on my post. I’ve never met her … didn’t even know she existed. I have no idea how she uncovered the blog, let alone that specific post.

“From Quindici, Avellino, Italy, Giuseppe and Giuseppina Scibella had 3 daughters. Luigia married Giona Scala, my husband’s great grandfather. Louisa married James Balbi. Carolina Scibella married Nunziato Cavallaro. Their daughter Angelina S BeBe Cavallaro married Frank DeGrezia. Hello cousins.”

Yeah. Frank DeGrezia and Angeline S BeBe Cavallaro were Grandma’s brother and sister-in-law. Happy Day! Another piece of the geneological puzzle linking the family history back another generation.

This wasn’t the first time my words expanded my world. My grandfather’s sister’s daughter-in-law connected with me a couple of years ago. So I say it again, all in all, it was a very good day.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: What if Jesus wasn’t only talking to the rich man in Matthew 19:21.

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in Birthdays, Blogs, encouragement, Faith, family, growing up, Life, love, Memories, reflect, relationships, reunion, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Special Birthday Present

  1. TamrahJo says:

    Happy Birthday wishes from Colorado! 🙂

  2. Mappingout adventures – no better way to spend a day and start the game.
    That generation was something. Lots of commonsense smarts to impart. Love the doily – looks like some from my grandmother, too!
    Happy happy and onward

  3. arv! says:

    Belated happy birthday

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