Happy Easter, Buona Pasqua
I grew up in Yonkers, NY as part of a big extended Italian family. My parents, aunt, uncles, grandparents, even two of my first cousins were born in the little town of Tagliacozzo, which is in Abruzzo, Italy. It is about 50 miles east of Rome. Being the first generation in the United States, our Italian traditions run very deep.
Every holiday morning, whether my family was hosting the day or not, my dad and I made the rounds. We visited all the aunts and uncles to say, "Buona Pasqua!" And because my maiden name is Pasqualone, we wore Easter very proudly in my house.
This will be the first Easter that my dad is not with us. My husband, son, and I visited his grave today. Among the many lilies and Easter Palm crosses at the cemetery, there's an Easter basket with Cadbury eggs for my dad. I always bought him Cadbury eggs, because he loved them. It would have been too strange (and too painful) for me not to buy them for him this year.
When we left the cemetery, I took my husband and my son on a tour of the old neighborhood in North Yonkers. It's so weird how things have changed so much over the years and yet they are oddly the same.
Two somewhat strange things happened on our little tour. We passed my friend, Kerin McCue's house. I pointed the house out to Rich and Greg as we drove by. Kerin did my father's eulogy last May. I can never thank him enough for the amazing tribute that he wrote, and delivered for my father. Not 5 minutes after we passed his house, Kerin texted me "Happy Easter"!
We stopped to have lunch at Frank Pepe's on Central Avenue in Yonkers. Yes, there's a Pepe's in Yonkers now too! On our way home, I checked in on Facebook that we had taken a tour of the old neighborhood. My friend, Tom Ragone, commented "I'm in Yonkers too, were heading over to Frank Pepe's on Central Ave."
Since I don't believe in coincidences, I'm going to believe that my dad was happy with his Cadbury eggs again this year. I think he was glad that I went home, and that I was sort of "making the rounds". Maybe he nudged Kerin and Tom to send their messages to me.
Listen to Linda G weekdays from 3-7pm on 105.5 FM, online at kicks1055.com/listen-live/ or by downloading the radioPup app for your mobile device.