Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tchau Vovó

This week I lost my beloved grandmother Irene. She was 88 years old and although she had cancer, Alzheimer's and other age-related conditions, she passed suddently and surprised the whole family. It all started with a fall and a couple days later she passed away. I was really sad, especially because I had a prompting that I should call her before any of this happened, but I didn't. I am at peace now because I know she's in a better place and she can be with my grandpa now. I'll miss you Vovó Irene!

A lot of my memories of her are food related. :-) She always had a snack for me hidden in the fridge. I used to love her homemade Mango ice-cream... and her homemade popsicles... I also loved her pizza and Bacalhau. Vovó was always so gentle and happy. I have never seen her angry. At one time, I stayed at her house for a couple weeks so my parents could visit my sisters in the U.S., and even then, I never saw her angry (I should also include here that this visit included a visit to the hospital. I broke my head playing karate with my cousin).
I grew up across the street from my grandparents, so I was constantly there. My grandfather Aurélio had a stroke about 20 something years ago and was left very dependent of help. My grandmother took such good care of him. She was so patient and loving and took care of him until he passed away about 12 years ago. She also took care of a lot of her neighbors and her brother who lived in the same building. My mother asked me constantly to go check on her and grandpa and help with what was needed. Vovó never wanted much (sometimes I bought her medicine or groceries, but not frequently), but she would always give me her hidden treasuries (food!).
We always went there on Sunday nights and so did my cousins and uncles and aunts. Her home was very small, but we all seemed to fit just fine and the food always fed everybody, although nobody could ever get seconds (how much I wanted seconds!). We used to watch Silvio Santos on TV together, talk, and then the kids (myself included) would run off and play downstairs.

Me, Vovó Irene, My Mother Cecília  and Raphael - May 2007 - last time I saw Vovó

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