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Finding Joy

I was in a rush to leave the house this morning when I was in my closet scrounging to find something to wear when it scanned my view. I not only glanced at, but I saw it. You know those things that are around you everyday that you forget are there? It could possibly have been my utter exhaustion that gave me the awareness and somehow clarity to see something that is in front of my eyes every time I’m in my closet, but never really look at it.

During Saturdays meditation we were asked the question, “What brings you joy?” I was in an easy seat on my mat with my eyes closed as the picture of this item I saw in my closet came to mind instantly. It stirred up such emotions and loving memories that tears came streaming down my face.

There it sat on my shelf. My grandmothers off white faux leather purse. Inside, a black rosary and bright red lipstick. A 60 year old treasure that reminded me of someone very special. I picked up the purse and held it close. I ran my hands across the cracked and worn material. Took out the rosary and ran my fingers across all 59 smooth beads. Her lipstick, Red Commotion, was in a white case and smelled of old wax. It smelled and reminded me of her.

My grandmother, Delfina Verrecchia. My old school Italian, hard working, fowl mouthed, strong, stubborn grandmother. She had a difficult life in Italy and immigrated to Canada at the tender age of 19. Married her Italian sweetheart who soon followed her to a new country and built a life together. They worked many jobs and had two boys. As a lot of European families did back then, my family lived with my grandparents for some time. I was close to both of my grandparents, but my grandfather passed in 1979, so I had many more years to create memories with my grandmother.

Her work ethic was paramount. Working long hours at jobs many others wouldn’t dream of. Her devotion to her family was nothing short of tough love, but there was no doubt in my mind that she loved beyond measure. Most of her sentences included Italian swear words that would make a sailor blush but was part of her everyday language. She wore the same clothes, day in and day out even though she had closets filled to the brim with outfits from the 60’s and 70’s for special occasions, most of which she never wore because she was a home body and somewhat of a recluse. Delfina taught me a lot. She taught me how to work hard for things that matter, never give up especially through the difficult times, love unconditionally and treasure the time we have with those we love. I miss her dearly, but have the fondest memories of her strong character, gritty ways and unwavering love.

To me, memories are like snap shots that take you back to a special time, a special place, or a special person. Perhaps when you least expect it, you too can find joy in those polaroid pictures.

With fondest loving memories,


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