Thursday, May 30, 2013


Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to my beloved Grandma and Grandpa Zatorski.

Their wedding day 

As a young girl I visited Grandma and Grandpa Z's house often. They loved me greatly. Grandma called me her "Tashi-weeders" and would take my feet into her hands and say "grow little feet, grow". I was always grandpas little girl. He would follow me around like a puppy dog.
I especially remember Christmas time in all it's glory. The living room softly lit by the trimmed tree decked out with large Christmas lights of the early 80's. It shimmered from afar with loads of tinsel. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby joyful sang Christmas carols, I recall to static of the record player as Mannheim Steamrollers took over their place.
The scents of Christmas were intoxicating. The smell of a real tree can never be replicated by scented candles. I don't care what anyone says. Home made fudge (with and without nuts) made their way into crystal candy jars, a multitude of cookies that grandma spent hours baking were tucked into tin cans. Chocolate covered cherries sat in their boxes waiting to be devoured and of course the nuts, oh the nuts, still in their smug shells waiting for you to figure out how to use the bloody nut cracker.  The Nativity set had it's place under the tree, I would crawl under there and play with it. Grandma made the last lap, before everyone arrived, around the house making sure everything was just the way she wanted it. Grandpa played in a room around the corner from the kitchen. His enjoyment came in the form of model trains; building, painting, and constructing villages of days gone by in the Wild West.
It was splendid and had everything I will ever need to treasure my Christmas memories with them.

You might be wondering why I am taking a trip down memory lane about Christmas with my grandparents when it's only the month of May? 

Here's the long version.

It's been over ten years since my last conversation with my grandfather. He always took an interest in my life as an young adult and when some complication arose from a surgery he had, I spent my morning with him. I brought a purple rose to him in the hospital and helped him eat his scrambled eggs and toast. We talked about life and how unique the color of the flower was.
He proudly told every visitor about the flower. When I left his side I felt awful and helpless. (I had not yet found my faith and was living a life without prayer and the understanding of God). In the middle of the night I received the dreaded call, Grandpa was in a medical coma to keep him comfortable and he wasn't going to make it through the night. I rushed up to the hospital and was there with my mom, grandmother, aunts and uncles when he passed away. For months I would get into my car and drive in silence. I could smell his after-shave...a true mystery.

Fast forward ten years and you will find the same dreaded phone call came upon me last Sunday morning. This time I was equipped with Faith. I knew this day was coming, Grandma had been declining over the past few months and I came to terms with that. I had been up to visit her while she was still able to converse, it was my "good bye" to the grandma I was loosing. When I received the phone call I was, thankfully, running out the door to Mass. I say "thankfully" because it was that hour I needed to spend in prayer and ask The Lord for the graces I, and my family, needed to get through this time of suffering and grief. After Mass Robert told me to decide if I wanted to go visit her and "just go do it" if that was what I wanted. And, it was. He held the fort down while I spent some time with my family and grandma. I held her hand and talked to her. She could not respond but would flutter her eyes open and squeeze my hand. I spoke for her. I knew she was aware I was there. I fought back tears as I spoke. I mentally prayed for her suffering and her soul. I knew it was bringing her closer to God. I knew my suffering was too. I could see her suffering was bringing other family members to take time out and pray. It was bringing them closer to God as well. We all leaned on Him during her final hours. When I left on Sunday afternoon I was sad to see Grandma in such a state of agony. I just wanted it to be over. I wanted The Lord to have mercy on her and take her now. Even though I have my faith I still struggle with the thoughts of "Am I really open to God's will? Or, Am I praying for my will to be done?" The Lord made us with emotions and a human mentality along with free will in order to choose to love Him. It is because of the human mentality and emotions, opposed to a divine one, that  also can make it hard to watch loved ones suffer and feel sorrow.
This time I didn't feel helpless. I knew I could pray and how to pray and what it meant to pray. So, we continued to pray for Grandma and she made it through the night, suffering, carrying her cross. On Monday afternoon I received a particularly hard phone call from my mother, giving me an update on grandma. It was then I tried my hardest to pray for Gods will. With in a half hour, my mother called back to tell me she was gone. My mother and a cousin held her hand as her soul departed from this earth. I felt so at peace. I texted my sister in law, Jessica, who had been praying for her. She texted back "May she rest in peace". It was the second time in my entire life that I felt the meaning of those words.

May she rest in peace.
When I think of my grandparents, I will think of them like this. In love on Christmas with all the Christmas Glory.
Grandma & Grandpa Christmas 1983:
 My momma and I in the back ground.


  1. This is really beautiful - thank you for sharing your grandparents with us! As you say, seeing those we love suffer is so hard, and although I try to remember to identify with Our Lady as she watched Christ in his agony, it's still really difficult! "Let Your will be done" is one of the hardest things for us to say at ANY time, no less when WE really want to be able to "fix" someone or some situation that we hold dear to us. Continue to treasure these beautiful memories you have, and pray for their souls!

  2. Those are some beautiful memories they blessed you with.