Sunday evening we lost another member of our family. My brother-in-law and John’s older brother passed away at 90 years young. I still remember the first day I met Johnnie Grande as we all called him. It was the first outing that I attended with John and his family; believe it or not it was at John’s Aunts funeral. After the service all of his brothers and sisters gathered at a restaurant to have lunch. Johnnie Grande was a very outspoken man and didn’t have any trouble speaking his mind. I can still remember it like it was yesterday; how he said to the waitress, “you call this coffee?” Although I heard him speak this way to a lot of waitresses and my sister-in-laws, he never spoke that way to me. He always shook my hand when he first saw me and as he would leave he would again shake my hand and thanked me for the dinner or he would say, “I’m glad you got to see me, you know it might be the last time, as I’m getting old.” He said the same thing to me every time he would say goodbye. Except for the Saturday before last when I saw him for the last time here on earth; John and I went to visit him in the nursing home after he had fallen at his apartment and broken several vertebra and contracted pneumonia and could no longer care for himself. I sat beside of him and asked MY John to get a warm washcloth so that I could wash Johnnie Grande’s matted eyes and his mouth that had traces of chocolate on it (yes we gave him chocolate because we usually gave him whatever he wanted). You could tell that the warm washcloth felt good to him. I then bent down to kiss him on his forehead and say goodbye; I started to walk out of the room as he hollered “Tamara, come here” I turned to go back in the room and as I walked towards his bed he extended his hand as he always did but this time he only shook my hand and said, “thank you.” That’s when I lost it and had to leave the room immediately with John at my heels. I know sometimes he was ornery and cantankerous but he will be missed by all who knew him. May you Rest in Peace Johnnie Grande.
I will be away from here until next Monday, John’s other brother from Connecticut is coming to our house to stay for a few days so I will need to take care of things here. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week and may God Bless each and every one of you.