Up Front and Personal

Travelling on Time as Grandma Turns 100

by Gabriel Marocchi

Today my eyes have been filled with emotion, my grandmother is 100 years young, still carrying a bright mind, not many wrinkles in her face, a heart full of life and more hair than me.

When I approach her bed to say goodnight and she grabs me and gives me a blessing and a kiss, I travel on time.

I see in my mind my great-grandparents back in 1912 when they received their first daughter, my grandma, and I just imagine how much happiness and love they had. I imagine all my relatives, great aunts and great uncles, whom I have had the fortune to meet. I was so blessed to meet and live with my great-grandma, who was a tough cookie. Before she went to heaven, she shared with me all the family stories that I treasure. They were the most precious gift she gave me.

I also treasure all the memories of my mother, sister and I living with my grandma. She saw the first Ford cars. She saw the invention of the radio (her dad and a partner, my great-uncle, used to build and sell the first Galena radios). She remembers when all the neighbors gathered at a corner near her house, and she brought them food as they listened to the fight that was held at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan between Luis Ángel Firpo and Jack Dempsey. That was on Sept. 14, 1923.

She worked as a secondary actress in a few movies, some of them along with my grandpa and my mom. Along with my grandfather, they built their house, a business, and most important of all, they raised a family.

She saw the first TVs, and she played with the Atari 2600. She still loves watching the Jurassic Park movies and, of course, ET. Once in a while, she read a romantic book and so many other things.

I can talk for hours about her, but I just want to share a phrase that she has been saying — “I’m 100, and I still didn’t live enough!” Each time that she tells me this phrase, I just close my eyes and try to understand the depth of her words. I realize by thinking about her life, about her achievements, about her love, that even though life sometimes presents us with pain, we must try to face it with an smile and optimism, knowing that to live this life to the fullest is important because this life is unique and precious. This is true whether we are 10, 20 or 100. If we do not appreciate every single day that God gives us, whether it is good or not as precious as we would like, there may not always be another day given to us to enjoy, to learn and, especially, to help by giving ourselves to others.

Having grandma with us is a complete blessing. Happy birthday, grandma. We love you with all our hearts and all our souls. Thanks for being that person that gives us many reasons to think how blessed we are.

Don’t waste time. Give a hug to the persons that are close to you. Forgive the ones that harm you. Help the ones that need you. Perhaps some will live a long life, perhaps not, but what is most important is to live it and make each day unique for them because we do not know if they will be here tomorrow.[hr]

Gabriel Marocchi is a member of the Jornada movement and a parishioner at St. Matthias, Ridgewood.