Sunday, 29 September 2013

Remembering Emma

I've been MIA for the past couple of weeks because work has been so overwhelming.  I've found it difficult to keep on top of the demands - mostly demands created by myself as I want to be Outstanding.

My perspective has changed.

On Thursday I received the news that my grandmother - Emma Garofalo - passed away.  She had just underwent surgery to remove cancer in her kidney and stomach and seemed to pull through.  She was making a strong recovery when she took a turn for the worst.  

Receiving that email and making the panicked phone call to my mum was the worst feeling in the world.  My grandma was a fighter - she was an amazing woman and I viewed her as immortal as she faced death so many times and came out on top. She was 84 and lived a full and beautiful life.

I bought my plane ticket and am now sitting at the kitchen table - the heart of my childhood home - writing the eulogy I will deliver at her funeral on Monday.  When my mother asked me to speak I was honoured yet terrified.  I know I'll be able to do her justice.

On the evening I found out about my grandmother, I was meant to bake doughnuts for a charity event we were holding at school on Friday - Macmillan coffee morning.   What better way to honour my grandmother than by baking - one of her claims to fame - for a cancer charity.  I managed a dozen and left a note on the top - just thinking someone buying the doughnuts may see it.

I was visited by the head boy and one of the other senior prefects who organised the event.  Both hugged me and expressed their sympathy for my grandmother's passing.   They asked if they could dedicate the event to her and made a large sign for the hall.  I was so touched by the kindness and thought our students possess.  They raised the equivalent of $4,000.

So now I'm left with my thoughts.  My heart is heavy, but it's also softened as I remember that I work in a school full of beautiful and caring people.  Check out their video here.

I've learnt that no matter how difficult times may be, as long as there is love in our lives, we will be just fine.  Nothing else really matters in the end.

 In loving Memory: Emma Garofalo
Sister, Mother, Grandmother, Friend and so much more

1 comment:

  1. My condolences, Jen. Your grandmother was a wonderful woman. The Macmillan event was brilliant. :)