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post #119
bio: katie
bio: victoria

perma-link
4/18/2005
12:53

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ossification
Monday, April 18, 2005

› by victoria

"Make your heart like a stone, because that's the only way you're going to get through this."

--Peter, from My Teacher Flunked the Planet by Bruce Coville

My grandmother died this weekend. On sunday, actually, in Italy, which is why it took an email from my parents to tell me about it.

You ever have those times when you know something's gonna happen, but you just don't know when? My grandmother dying was like that. She was 89, and old, and tired, and frustrated of a world that gave her nothing but grief even though she worked tirelessly to support her family of 4 daughters and a husband with a knack for awful money management and even worse investments. She loved Furbizia, that elusive italian quality that can mean either "cleverness" or "screwing the hell out of somebody by cheating them." She always said that we three grand-daughters (of my Mom) were Bellissima and that we should show off our beautiful bodies (she was big on that). When we would sing for her, she would cry.

She was generous, almost too much so. She would hand us cento mille lire (about $50) bills as kids and tell us to have fun with the money, with a twinkle in her eye. She had gorgeous legs well into her '60s. She hated getting old. She was funny, and crazy, and one time she yelled out of the window at her hypocritical neighbors in San Marino (where we lived with our grandparents for the summer back in 1999, I think) "Siete Falsi! Siete Tutti Falsi!" (You're fake! You're all fake!). She loved animals but in a practical way, considering the fact that her life was so hard and she knew that she couldn't afford to get attached to anything. She moved to America with her 4 young daughters back in the 60's, and moved back to Italy in the '70s. She had almost too much life in her, and it's hard to believe she's dead.

I hope she's happier wherever she is now. She was a very devout catholic, so the least God could do for her is save her from purgatorio and take her straight up to heaven.

I don't know how to reach a middle ground at this point. I was alone for so long that I developed a solid bony emotional skeleton to support myself in those years of middleschool and highschool when almost everyone else is like a clinging vine. And now I feel like I've got an exoskeleton, like an insect which is all hard and shiny outside and soft inside. And Biff is really frustrated with me, and I don't really know why. So it's like I have to get strong and support myself because he doesn't know what I'm talking about when i am grieving, or when I need some cheering up because it's the whirlwind end of the school year and I don't get no breaks (the same way Shaq rapped "We don't need no hooks," it's the same thing, "I don't get no breaks." Sad but true).

I need to be strong. I need to get through this.


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