(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
YouTube link added 01.31.09
11:35 PM, Friday, July 14th, 2006:
Has a better picture ever been taken? That's my grandmother and grandfather at the Copacabana in New York in the mid-50s. The style just oozes out of that picture and even the woman behind them tells a story. I have gazed at this since I was a baby and am still enamored with what it captures: A 50 year love affair we should all strive to have in our lives. I am heartbroken for my grandfather and will be for quite some time.
My grandmother passed early this morning at 4:35 as peaceful as can be imagined. Her strength and determination turned what was to be a day at the hospice into 10 days literally baffling the doctors and nurses. One guy in particular, 2 days after giving her less than a day, had to finally say: "My crystal ball is closed, she is obviously an incredibly strong woman." Unfortunately cancer is so devastating that once it spreads into the blood stream, all the strength in the world isn't going to stop it...she just gave it everything she had.
Once again, many of us are on another 40 hour stretch. This hour actually marks my 41st without sleep. I woke up yesterday morning to watch the announcement on CBS, and have yet to go back to sleep. It's all so overwhelmingly emotional, I'm completely numb at this point. No choice but to take that route as we all have responsibilities to get the arrangements done in time. The funeral is just over 48 hours away and I have about 30 hours to finish scanning hundreds of pics for the viewing. We're all in that mode, the grieving will come later.
Finding the pictures however, has been a labor of love. The 50s time period for pictures was like no other. Unfortunately once cheap technology came into the picture - we got shots like this:

Is that not a "spoof" of the 70s? For cryin' out loud there is not ONE part of that picture that doesn't scream "EXTREME 70S STEREOTYPE". LOL. Literally every single piece of clothing on those 5 people would look bad today. Socks, shoes, pants - even the cut of the tank tops - LMAO. Brilliant picture.
Anyway, spending the day looking through photo albums has been wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time...but needed either way. The hardest part was that she passed today and we had no choice but to go into that mode. I have a feeling Tuesday is going to roll around and we're all gonna just collapse. Although I have stayed up for 40, even 50 hours straight before... I have never done it 3 times in the span of 10 days. We're all being tested for sure.
I am hardly in a mode to wax poetic on my personal feelings about my yia-yia. I did not have the relationship with her that I did with my grandmother who passed in 2000, as divorce tends to change everything, but what strikes me more than anything though is just how vibrant and "with it" she was. She had all the spunk and wit of a 30 year old. She would say things you just couldn't believe someone in their mid-70s would say and you immediately knew where our whole family got their strength, courage and determination from. I think that's why it is hitting everyone sooooooooo hard. This was not an old woman by any stretch of the imagination (her mother lived to her late 90s) and we all just KNEW she had another 20 years in her. We're all just shellshocked and I know that I'm personally months away from accepting this. Which I believe, is completely OK. I just don't hide from that at all. I will be extremely angry about this, feel shortchanged, feel depressed....just feel. I am not ready to move on, and truth be told won't even consider it until I know I am ready. I pray that everyone in our family gives everyone else enough respect to not judge how we all choose to deal with this. No matter how "right" your process is...it's still your process.

I'm still in shock that my world is changing so quickly around me and I can't seem to hold onto it. I'm still shocked that I chose to move 2200 miles away from my family when I care so deeply about them all. I'm still shocked that the place that I said goodbye to on January 1st, 2000 is now missing pieces of me that I could've spent more time with. I'm even more shocked that I have no doubt that I'll get back on that plane on the 24th and keep fighting the fight...
But more than anything, as I said at the beginning, I am just heartbroken that the most shining example of passionate love shared between two people is now a memory that we all have to try and remember as opposed to watching them dance at an event like a couple half their age. Hell a couple half their age would be lucky to move like that. Their relationship will inspire the dreamer in me for the rest of my life.
Unforgettable, thats what you are
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more
Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, thats how youll stay
Thats why, darling, its incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too