My NaNoWriMo was a bust. The why is that unfortunately, on 11/5/17, my mother-in-law, Geraldine "Deena" Marchiano passed away, at home, surrounded by family. Mother-in-law jokes aside, Deena was a woman of unique character, who was loved by many, and will be missed dearly.
Deena was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1949. She was raised by her mother and grandmother in a poor, Italian neighborhood on Cleveland's West Side. She grew up at the West Side Market, where her grandmother owned a vegetable stand, one of the only stands owned and run by women at the time. Nine year-old Deena would be there every morning unloading vegetables off the truck alongside grown men,
As she grew up, Deena stayed rooted in the values of old Italy and Catholicism, but, being an Aquarius, she interpreted the world through her own rather liberal, rose colored glasses.
Deena had two children from two short-lived marriages. Her daughters, Toni and Tina would become the most important things in Deena's life, a feeling reciprocated by the girls until the day Deena died. In the 1990s Deena's mother got sick and eventually needed constant care. Rather than place her in a facility, Deena sacrificed a great deal to keep her mother at home and provide that care. Later, when Deena got sick, her daughters were able to do the same for their mom.
Deena was all about family and fun. I married her daughter, Toni in 2001. In 2004 we moved from Ohio to North Carolina. A few months later, Deena and Tina moved out too, getting a home within a quarter mile from our own. A few years later, we all moved out to California, again living within a few miles of each other.
Deena loved Disney, Rocky, and seemed to know every film made before 1970 and every musical by heart. She loved her daughters more than anything. She had a love/hate relationship with Johnny Depp.
Every Halloween, EVERY, Halloween, and on other days at random, she was the Green M&M.
Deena, we'll all miss you. But your legacy was a life of fun, optimism and optimism and we will endeavor to honor it as best as we can.
And now back to writing...
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