My Italian grandmother, Louisa Castelli, or Nana, always thought highly of me. When I was born, my mother, upon first seeing me, said, "He looks like Jiminy Cricket (the Walt Disney character)".
My Nana had terrible arthritis, but I never saw her pain when I was younger, and my earliest memories of her were when she was in her seventies. She always found a way to laugh around me. I did see her pain as I got older, but she always made light of it. Her doctor told her she could have a glass of red wine before bedtime, to help her relax and sleep better. She replied, "Doctor, if it's all the same to you, can I have a shot of scotch instead?"
He knew his answer didn't matter. "Mrs. Castelli, scotch it is," he said with resignation.
Throughout these last painful years, she would say of me, "I just want to see him make his first communion." Check. Then it was," ...his Confirmation." Check. "... graduate high school." Check. "...graduate college." Check. "...get married." Check. "...his first child..."
Sorry, Nana. She passed away at age 90, before George was born.