Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rest in Peace Aurora

My cousin Aurora passed away last evening. I received a letter from her son Bobby this morning alerting us all to the status of the latest condition which took her from us. I hope you don't mind, dear cousin, but your words are way more meaningful than I could ever write. 
I know she is hanging out with the crew we have lost and out of her pain and suffering. What a brave, loving wife, mother, sister and friend! This one's for you, Aurora...

Aurora and sister, Florence. What beautiful women!
From: Robert Pagano
To: Family and Friends
Subject: My Mother

Dear friends,

My Mother, Aurora, passed away on Thurs (21-Oct) at 9:41 pm holding my hand.  As most of you are aware, this is the end of an almost 12 year period of suffering after a major stroke left her paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak in Oct of 1999.  Although she was cognizant and responsive since recovering from the stroke, the years were also full of incidents and hospital visits, culminating in a fall, breaking her femur in May (the beginning of the end in my opinion).  However, when the final moments came, an indescribable quiet came into the room and her last breaths passed very peacefully.  I was pleased and honored that I could be close to her during this most stressful episode in her life.

Her family was present in the final days (Dad, four grandkids, Anna and I), and I like to believe she understood this.  There certainly seemed to be signs; if you have faith, you can draw no other conclusion.  She lived quite an interesting life, as many immigrants have, starting as a farm girl outside of Lucca, Italy in 1932, to leaving Italy at age 14 on a US military liberty ship in 1946 after World War II, as well as numerous boat trips back and forth in the ensuing years, and come to find out yesterday, included an airplane flight in the mid-‘50’s for the birth of her only niece (propeller plane, Italy to Tenerife to NYC, to Chicago… yikes, imagine a Transatlantic crossing in a prop plane you worldly travelers!), to settling into the western suburbs of Chicago and a set of successful restaurant businesses; starting by working for her Dad, then her brother-in-law, and eventually moving on to building Roberto’s Pizza with my Father.  She was a very generous, warm and loving woman, as those of you who really knew her will attest to, ready to fire up the skillet at 2 am to feed anyone, and having a blind love for her grandchildren.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being close to me in your individual ways.  I am blessed for many reasons, including being able to call each and every one of you my friend.

If I missed anyone, I apologize in advance… a mind is a terrible thing to loose!

Love and peace,

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