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    What do you do when faced with death? What do you do when the death of a loved one stomps in your heart? My dear, sweet, loving Grandma died a few days ago. It still hurts a lot. There is still a dull ache in my heart. When someone you love dies a bit of your soul always dies with them.

    My Grandma or "Nanny" as we called her was a wonderful lady. We lived in her house when I was a boy and she helped to raise me. I can remember so many special things about her. I can remember hiding behind her when my Mom was mad at me. I can remember her delicious dinners of spaghetti made every Sunday after church. I can remember picking her dandelions so she could make her special homemade wine. I can remember her laughter that made her entire body shake. I can remember her strong desire to always cut my oldest brother's long hair. I can remember her big Italian hugs and her gentle little kisses. I can remember her stubborn, feisty nature and her fiery temper which included teaching people a few choice words in Italian that they shouldn't know. I can remember her delight in flowers, gardens, and all growing things. I can remember most of all though her gentle love for all of us and her joy in being alive. Remembering these things in her life makes me want to choose even more love and joy in my own.

    What do you do then when faced with death? What do you do when the death of a loved one stomps in your heart? You hurt, of course, and you also grieve and miss them terribly. Most of all, though, you remember them. You remember them and celebrate the life they lived and the love and joy they shared. You wish them happiness in Heaven and you ask God to help you choose a little more love and joy in your own life on Earth. I love you Nanny.

    � Joseph J. Mazzella