Mary Jane Piazza sent this to me a few months ago, and it seemed like this would be a good day to post it:
I can still hear the words as Dad hung up the phone: “Daddy is dead,” my father said. When the phone rings, even now, at 6 a.m., I say to myself, “oh no, Someone died.” What an incredibly sad day. I felt like there had been a paradigm shift in our world.
We wouldn’t be ‘going down to Jeff’ till the next morning, but everything that Friday at school seemed so surreal. I had just started my Sophomore year in High School. There was a football game that Friday night. I had a nice boyfriend who played trombone in the marching band. Our school was huge and to have a boyfriend in the marching band was the epitome of “cool.” I looked forward to sitting in the stands, cozied against all the sweaty musicians in their uniforms and their instruments to keep warm. I felt so guilty, though, being there, when my Grandpa was lying dead. I felt so helpless–and guilty for being at the game. All I could think of was Grandma, and how she was taking it. Someone said that she ran into his side of the shiffarobe and was hugging his house shoes and sobbing. Dad felt I should have been home, in mourning instead of the game. But I was indeed mourning. I bet everyone in the family can tell you the spot they were standing that morning of that Friday the 13th, when they got the call. But most of all, I remember all of us cousins crying, blowing our noses, and as soon as we pulled ourselves together, someone would relate another remembrance, and it would all start over again.