My grandmother, Bea Polino, always known as Nana, left us for heaven yesterday after 97 years here on earth. Apparently, heaven has a need for better pasta, so God called on one of the best. Bea (maiden name Adamo) came from Sicily in 1912. Her Ellis Island record is here (free registration required). Bea married Tony Polino in Chicago during the Great Depression. The irony of course, is that it wasn't a great depression for them, they truly seemed to have lived happily ever after.
Both Bea and Tony met Christ at a tent revival and the lives of thousands of people were changed forever. Yes thousands. Tony ran a print shop and gave away literally thousands of pieces of Christian literature and New Testaments. Bea kept Tony running and provided more support than any of us will ever know. She and Tony always worked the conversation around to one question, "Do you know Jesus?". Along the way they managed to raise, nurture and worry over three children who all turned out pretty well. One of those children turned out to be a really great father as well, mine.
Nana was as good a grandmother as anyone could ask for. She was always sweet, but not a push over. When she was bossy, it was for your own good. She had plenty of that Italian spunk, even into her 90's. When her memory finally started to fade, even if she didn't know you, you were always "sweetie" or "honey" to her.
Nana, you were always sweetie or honey to us as well and, until we meet again, we will miss you.