I joined my family this past weekend in Akron Ohio to celebrate the life of my Grandmother Billie Ruth Buccigrossi who passed away on October 14, 2009. As I sat there with my family feeling almost helpless, as her daughters scattered making arrangements, answering phone calls, and filtering pictures. It was weird standing in her home, and not hearing her laughter fill the rooms around me. I let myself get lost in the memories of my 8 year old self when elephants filled the house, the carpet in the breeze way was blue, and babies where gave their baths in the big sink in the laundry room, kickball was played in the empty lot, and rolling down what at the time seem like such a big hill in the backyard. I can almost hear my Grandfather calling me bug-a-boo, but those years of innocents, and child's play have long been washed away. I am left here with the understanding of how very real it is to say goodbye. So in this weekend her family and friends have come together to celebrate the life of Billie R. Buccigrossi mother, wife, sister, friend, and to us 15 she was Grandma. She loved us all in her own special way. The love was unique to us as our own individual colorful personalities. We have so many memories of her that dance in our hearts. Today I would like to share with some of those very personal thoughts and memories from the hearts of her grandchildren, and give you a glimpse into the incredibly lucky world of being born one of Billie Ruth's grandchildren!
My own memories of my Grandmother start with her hugs for such a petite woman her hugs where strong. Sometimes I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to breathe again, but for some reason I just couldn't get enough of those hugs. My grandmother also taught me to write letters that came from my heart. I was even lucky enough to receive the a letter from her with the story of her falling in love with Grandpa. A story I am so glad she shared with me. Even being miles away from her she still found a way to connect with me, and love on me!
I remember Grandma Billie as the sweetest thing that would always tell you how pretty you were even if you just rolled out of the bed. She was the first person to give a compliment and stick up the grand-kids when we were in in trouble because we were "good kids" I remember go-cart Sundays when one of us would wreck and Papa would get mad she would say "Frankie leave them, alone they aren't hurting anything."
Grandma had a love for life and children she never cared to sit and listen to a story she had heard a hundred times. She will be truly missed by all.
Would also like everyone to know that no one will ever be able to make red potato salad the way grandma did.
I have so many great memories. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays were my favorite days. I would bring movies to Grandmas and we would sit together and watch movies and I would make her lunch. We spent so much time together and I enjoyed every minute. Her favorite movie was Happy Feet.... We watched it so many times, and it never got old. I brought over The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants and she loved it. I was sitting at home and the phone rang. It was grandma calling to tell me Sisterhood 2 was coming out and she wanted to go see it. So I got to her house one Friday and said okay lets go! We drove over to Lake cinemas and got some popcorn and sat through the movie. She was sobbing, and when girls where looking at her she said " I am old, I'm allowed to cry". We had some truly great times, and I'll cherish all of them for the rest of my life.
There is not one fond memory of my grandmother and I, but an entire lifetime of memories that fill my heart. She was a person who never judged me despite the many mistakes I made. She always supported the decisions I made for myself. I remember playing hooky during the school year when I was little just so I could stay home with grandma all day. We would eat wonderful food like chicken livers and fried potatoes while we watched our channel five soap operas. To this day we could tell each other what was happening on those daily shows even if we had missed a few here and there. Grandma was part of my everyday life and it is going to be hard to knowing that piece of my day will be altered now that she is resting in heaven. I feel grandma was very proud of the person I have become, including the mother I am to her great granddaughter Lucielle. I am heartbroken to no longer have her in my life but I am thankful to now have such a wonderful angel watch over my family and I. With all my love to grandma; forever and always
I'm sure that no one has ever had better steaks than the $17 steaks we had from Giant Eagle, the ones that remind me of one of my fondest memories of Grandma Billie.
To celebrate one of our first meals official meals in the new house that dad and papa built, my dad gave me his debit card and told me to go to Giant Eagle and buy some steak for everyone so would could cook them on the grill. I did what I was told, but my parents weren't to happy when I returned and saw the receipt for the $17 dollar steaks. "Oh take it easy!" is probably what Papa said followed by Grandma Billie of course reminding my dad they like their steaks well, well, well, well, done....."NO PINK!" We all sat down for dinner and everyone took their first bite of steak... Well that bite began a running joke that has continued for the past 12 years. Both Papa and Grandma could not stop raving about the best steaks they have ever had. Every single bite, Grandma would say that she couldn't believe the steaks were from Giant Eagle....She's never had a better steak. She didn't care how much they cost....I heard about the steaks all night. After that night every dinner Grandma had involving a steak was automatically compared to my Giant Eagle Steaks. She would say we went to so-and-so for dinner last night they had steaks, but they were nothing compared to those ones.... "We had steak at Lonestar last week and I almost sent it back and went to Giant Eagle!" There has not been a steak since that night worth mentioning
I will never forget the dinner with Papa and Grandma in which we ate "The World's Best Steaks"
So many years that we have spent making memories. Spending summers in Ohio, going to get ice cream, going to the park chasing squirrels. Today is a day you never want to imagine would come, but knowing the strong Christian woman my Grandmother was. I know that today she wouldn't want us crying tears of sadness, but tears of joy. No matter how much older I got she always called me Grandma's Baby, and that I will forever be. Though we were miles apart she was only a phone call away. I hope that one day I can say I was half the woman she was!
As I remember my Grandma Billie today I remember a sweet caring woman, and even miles apart I was felt so close. Running to the phone on Monday mornings to get to it first so I could talk before mom did.
Summer trips to stay with grandma where my favorite. Baseball games, painting each others finger nails, and going to the produce store. Is what I will remember. The trouble me and Allen would get into never mattered to her. She would yell at us and let us go. One thing through all the trouble we would cause, never did she let anyone think we done anything wrong. She would take up for us even when she knew we were guilty. She was there when I graduated, got married, and had my first baby. There isn't hardly a family memory that I have that she isn't in. Today as I say goodbye to my redhead Grandma I can't help but think about the one thing she would always tell me "Never go to sleep with saying I LOVE YOU". So today I say I love you Grandma Billie!!!
I am going to end our trip down memory lane with and excerpt from her grandson Allen's blog Brillance or Madness. Allen who is in the peace corp in Africa and was unable to join the family in Akron, Ohio, but we all know his heart was with us. Here is what he had to say in loving memory of his beloved Grandmother
I would like to take a moment to remember my grandmother, Billie R. Buccigrossi. She passed away October 14, 2009. I know that she is happy with the life she was given. She lived happily with my grandfather, Frank, and her children, grand children, and great grand children. She lived a good life and always wanted the best for everyone. She loves her family unconditionally and put their health and happiness first.
I have a lot of good memories with my grandma, she'd always make the best apple crisp and no-bake cookies (and not just for anyone...sorry Val, lol), she drove on so many of my class field trips in school. During summer vacations, she'd have to deal with me and Samantha and all the trouble we'd get into, but she was never mad for long (even if we did throw rocks at cars or spray strangers with the water hose and run). She'd give us a dollar to spend at Ritzman's pharmacy, looking back it seems like that dollar bought us a months worth of candy. I think I'll always remember her as my redheaded grandma who we loved to visit.
I can't help but feel that she's gone too soon, too suddenly, and with that the world seems emptier. She'll be missed and will remain in our thoughts everyday. We love you grandma!
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