People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In Loving Memory of Annie Marchese

My Aunt Annie passed away on Sunday after a four month illness with bone cancer. She was a wonderful, funny, sweet woman. She leaves behind a husband, three children, nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Uncle Anthony, my mom's brother, met and fell in love with Yanette Petrillo, when she was only 13. They were married when she was 21. My mom still tells the story of her first encounter with Annie. Being the little brat she was, mom greeted the girl who liked her brother by sticking her tongue out and running away. 

But, somehow, even after that, the two became great friends. Their kids grew up together, more like siblings than cousins. Their friendship would last for 72 years. The last few years, since they weren't able to get around too much anymore, they mostly talked on the phone together. And talked. And talked. Every day. For hours and hours and hours. In all those many years, my mom was able to say that they never once had a major disagreement or fought about anything.  That's something when you consider they're both Italian, too!

A room in her house, dedicated to her doll collection.
Aunt Annie touched so many lives. She was one of those people who would give you anything she had. And she had lots and lots of stuff.  You've never seen so much stuff. She was the woman you could always go to if you needed something unusual, cause she probably had it. She decorated her entire house for every holiday, including Arbor Day, I think. But Christmas was when she went way over the top. She would buy presents all year round for her kids and grand kids, and then carry down big bags full of gifts for everyone. One year, when I was little, she took a Santa hat out of one of her many trunks full of costumes and gave it to me. I wore that hat until it fell apart and I still wear a Santa hat every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Because I did that, my four nephews always wore them, and now their children wear them, too. Even though they don't know it, it's a legacy from my Aunt Annie.

She had a saying for everything. For instance, she'd tell her grand kids, "Never marry a murderer" and "Don't make friends with a serious killer." OK, maybe she got those sayings a little wrong, but we knew what she meant. She was also fond of telling you that if you did something wrong or were with someone who did something wrong, you'd get worms. And she was always worried about what you were doing, even if it was just going out for ice cream. "Oh, dear, be careful, I knew a kid who died doing that."

What makes her sudden loss even worse for the family is that my cousin, Marianne, their youngest child, just died in November, the day before Thanksgiving, after fighting cancer for 5 years. She was only 53. I wrote a post about her, if you'd like to read it, she was an amazing person. 

Aunt Annie was still grieving her daughter when she started feeling ill, around Christmas, but she didn't get checked out until Easter.  They found a tumor in the bone of her shoulder and removed it surgically, inserting a metal rod into her arm where they had to remove bone.  But it was too late. The cancer had spread through her body.

She spent the next four months in and out of facilities, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, having radiation and chemo.  A few days ago, they gave about three months to live, but said maybe a year with treatment.  While she was going through chemo last week the pain became unbearable and they started heavily medicating her. At that point, the doctor gave her two weeks.

Then we got the call at 2 am Sunday morning to get to the hospital and she died around 10:15 am.

I already miss her so much and I just can't imagine what we'll do without her. We won't forget you, Aunt Annie. We love you very, very much. 

1 comment:

Julienne said...

:( She was such a lovely person.