Wednesday, July 4, 2012

There was never such a woman

My grandmother, Nona Ana, who I loved so very much, passed away two weeks ago (June 20th). This was the eulogy I was blessed to deliver at her graveside.

Ana Jung, my Nona Ana -
There was never such a woman.

She always gave everything from her heart.
All of you that are here know this.
For her family, it goes without saying.
She gave her children everything.
She was always thinking about and waiting for her grandchildren and then great-grandchildren.
Every time I would come over here to visit, after a long trip, her delicious soup (juha) was waiting for me. She would always say that it was "kako medezija" (like medicine).
She prepared the best potato omelet, fuzi, gnocchi, ravioli, meat sauce, manestra (local stew), etc.
She was always looking out towards the road for someone to come by and chat underneath her shady mulberry.
Her door was open and her espresso pot was always whistling.
We all came because she was kind to us beyond all measure,
She gave whether you deserved it or not.
She offered her love to the people that came to her door every day.
There was never such a woman.

Nona was so strong and sharp. You couldn't fool her.
She knew every date, who was related to who, and what had happened 100 years ago.
I would always ask her to tell me about:
- how it was for her growing up in Plomin,
- how her and my Nono Mate (Matthew) met
- how it was during the war (WWII)
- her giving birth to Maria, Bruno and Elda and how it was when they were kids, etc.
No birthday passed with her picking up the phone.
She ended up alone, without her Mate, fairly young. And then lived another 28 years!
She lived through so much. She certainly cried enough but knew how to laugh too, and to take life as it came.
When I was little, I was fascinated by her hands. They were so rough and scarred – you could see her difficult life history in her hands.
She was so full of courage and the will to live that she consented to have her leg amputated at 91 years of age just so that she could be with us a little longer.
There was never such a woman.

She was religious. Nona Ana would typically watch two Masses on TV on Sunday mornings. There was a calendar of saints hanging in her kitchen ("kucica", literally little house).
She didn't just believe but lived it.
She taught me who I was and where from.
Until the very last day. Thank you Nona.

Now she has gone to be with Nono.
For this, she is certainly glad because she loved him so very much and she missed him every day.
We will miss her with that same intensity.
There was never such a woman.

We love you Nona.
We won't find you at Vinez 5 anymore but you will always be there.
You will never be far from us,
I hope that we will see each other again, God willing, on the other side.
Nona Ana will be waiting for us with her delicious soup.

Nona lived a good life.

In the category of life can change in an instant and is not fair…
My dad has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It has metastasized to his liver. He needs aggressive chemo to live. His symptoms only started at the beginning of June.
The metastasis is already interfering with his liver function. His body can only handle a lesser chemo right now.
We are praying that it helps enough to get him to the next level of treatment.
If you know him, you know what an absolutely wonderful man he is.
Please pray for him too with all your might.