My grandma passed away one year ago today at 97 years old. Having had her with us that long did not ease the pain of losing her at all as she was here so much longer for us to love. I think it may have made it harder, in fact. Gran, as I called her, was born Carmella Focarile but she despised her given name; she was always called Mildred or Millie. We lived in a two-family house in NY and Gran was my constant companion--being an only child, I had her all to myself and she was a fabulous playmate. No matter what she was doing, be it cleaning, washing or cooking her sensational meals, she always made time for me. She never grew tired of my constant questions and yammering about this doll or that book, what she was doing, how we might spend the day or any other of my youthful ramblings. She taught me how to do everything from reading to cooking and cleaning and she was there for every milestone in my life. Without a doubt, she is the person who has influenced my life the most and the person whose opinion mattered the most to me. I never questioned if her love was unconditional because she showed me each and every day that it was. The greatest compliment my husband gives me is when he calls me "Little Millie." I could not be more proud.
Gran, a year may have transpired but there has not been a day that has gone by when I do not think about you, talk about you to the children or miss you. If I could be half the woman you were, then I would have truly accomplished something in my life.