A Post for Dolores

Prefacing this post with a little tidbit I have shared before: I struggle a lot with religion. I am spiritual but I have frustrations, doubts, and worries. I am in the midst of exploring, reflecting, and meditating on religions and their place within my life. I will come back to this, I promise.

Today has been four years since my Mom-mom Bianchini passed away. I have actually been reflecting on how much has changed for me in these past four years. I graduated with my master’s degree, moved to Baltimore, started my career, ended a very serious relationship, and have been apart of countless events and changes to my family. I believe this to be one of the big turning points in my life. A time where something major happens, in this case the death of a loved one, and things change rapidly thereafter.

I don’t know what it means that so much has changed. Certainly I am not blaming Mom-mom’s death for having caused a lot of change. Especially when that change had their seeds planted before her death. However, I am recognizing the shifting priorities that took place because I lost her. Would I have been so hell-bent on spending more holidays with my family rather than my significant other if not for Mom-mom passing? Would I have not wanted to totally be there for my family members when they needed me the most because I would have been focused elsewhere? Would my views of my remaining grandparent have remained the same? These major questions were answered and played into my changing relationship status and familial relationships.

In the summer of 2015, after a ton of initial change, I was in my car driving home to Baltimore and I was deep in thought about a lot of things. My anxiety was building and building as I thought of dating again, my family and their struggles and successes, what my next direction would be and where. I had my iPod on shuffle for all of the almost 5,000 songs on it. As I started to enter a really anxious place, a song that my family associates with my grandmother came on. Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love.”

I immediately felt a chill ripple through me and I calmed down. I noted that I was sitting with my left hand on the wheel at 12 o’clock and my right hand resting over the center console and near the passenger seat. When I would sit next to my Mom-mom at her kitchen table while the family was visiting this is sort of how I would sit when I would be leaning towards her holding her hand and chatting her up. I know it sounds odd, but I had the feeling that she was with me in my car.

And that is when I knew it: I was going to be okay regardless of what was going on.

This is how I know that there is something else. Something bigger. Something more. I don’t know what it is. But I literally cannot think that there is nothing bigger or nothing higher. I might not be the most faithful Christian. I might be questioning what my spiritual identity is. But I believe Mom-mom was looking out for me that day from beyond the grave.

So today, on the anniversary of my Mom-mom’s death, I will be having a meatball sandwich and a Tastykake to honor her and thank her.  So thank you Dolores for always holding my hand, telling me I need to eat more, telling me you love me, telling me you are proud of me, and for telling me that it will all be okay no matter what happens.

Kyle

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Mom-mom and me not too long before she passed away.
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The stairs and railings going to where we would always gather as a family.
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