It is becoming a January trend that I hope has come to an end. Last year when I came home from ShmooCon I found out a dear friend was losing his battle with addiction and passed away the next day. This year I found out that my best friends mother had passed away and then a week later my grandmother passed away. I am pretty sure the January curse needs to STOP! So much heart ache and pain has been surrounding this month that I am not sure how we have managed to pull ourselves together. Please keep all of these amazing people and families in your thoughts and prayers
A little about my grandma... Her name was Ila Marie Likley and my grandfather called her Tutee growing up I called her Nonni. I will not lie about the fact that I was not very close to my grandma growing up, we didn't spend much time together and really just didn't click. It wasn't until my daughter was born almost 7years ago did all this change. My grandma became so much more to me then my dads mom, and my grandma. She became a great grandma, and best of all my friend. We shared stories, and tips. We laughed and cried together. We learned to forgive each other and truly love each other with every ounce of our beings. We really talked about everything, it was no holds bar. We talked about her husband often; he passed away when I was a very young girl. She told me of all the good times they had together. I learned so much about the home we often visited growing up but never really connected with. The blood sweat and tears that went into building their home. The first time they brought their daughter home from the hospital and how then she said her house become a home. The story of my twin uncles and how she had no idea their were two of them. The craziness that soon followed after they were born. The day she found out she was pregnant with my dad and how she new he would round out their little family. The dance parties they had in the basement of their home. The long weeks when my grandpa was out on the road and she was home with the kids. Stories about the kids and the stuff they did growing up. Stories about some of the furniture in her home and where it came from and what it meant to her. But I think my favorite moment was when we were talking about our favorite Christmas presents; she said maybe not my favorite but my most rememberable would have to be an orange. My kiddos were in the room when she said that and they laughed at how silly it was. I told them come an listen to her tell you why it meant so much. The listen intently at her amazing story about the depression and how an orange was so expensive at that time, how her father made sure they got this hard to find, expensive delicious orange in her stocking on christmas day. This story made a huge impact on my kids and this year we started the tradition of an orange in their stocking. It was so cute to see their faces on christmas morning and then tell their Great Grandma all about it, was truly a heart warming experience.
My grandma became my friend. Someone I could sit and hold hands with and talk with for hours. She was someone who truly made a huge impact on my life and was a driving force behind many of my decisions. I shared with her heart ache, pain, loss, fear, the hurt I felt growing up, and we shared moments of healing together. I am beyond blessed to call Ila Likley not only my grandma but my friend. I will always miss her and life will not be the same without her, but I promise to always care her in my heart and to continue to talk about her with my kids. She will always be a lasting memory in our household.
The Saturday before she passed we talked about our house hunting. I told her of a home I really loved and how we were hoping to see it soon and if all goes well we would put an offer on the house. She asked me if it was a ranch (If you new my grandma you would understand why she asked that) I told her no it wasn't. Her response was "Jennica you will have to move again". I laughed and smiled. She then said I really hope you get it. Wednesday she passed away and Thursday we had scheduled to go see the house. So we went, as I knew my grandma would want me to. We fell in love with this home and we both knew it was the home for us. Friday we put in an offer and Saturday we set off to Ohio to be at my grandmas viewing. Saturday night I was sitting around the table with my family when I got a phone call. WE GOT THE HOUSE! I can't help but think my grandma had a hand in all of this and was with us through out the process. We can not wait to move forward with our lives and move into the new home. She will defiantly be a huge part of our new home as we feel she had a hand in it all.
I miss my grandma so much and wish I could run to her side and tell her that we got the house! However I know she already knows and is celebrating with my other grandparents. I have and army of angels looking over me know. =)
Life doesn't always go as we plan and sometimes (well always) we have to give it up to God. We ask why? Why did so and so pass away? Why are we here? Why can't we just move on? Why now?! I have been reeling with these questions the past couple of weeks. The answer is no where to be found but in the trust of God. I will never know why my grandma passed away when she did. I will never understand why my other grandparents died so young. I will never understand why I have lost so many friends over the years. But I have learned to trust in God. It has worked for me so far.
RIP Janice Reffo 1/18/16
RIP Ila Likley 1/27/16
You are both loved and missed dearly