Today we lay my grandmother, Linda Pio Valentine, to rest. Since I am not the best public speaker, I thought I’d say a few words here accompanied by some of my favorite photos of Mom-mom (aka Lil’Linda).
For me, being the only granddaughter in an Italian family certainly came with its challenges as Mom-mom undoubtedly had a special love for her boys. Even when I married Zach, the first question she would ask me every time we spoke was “are you taking care of Zach”. To which I’d reply, “sure Mom-mom, I slide a pancake under his dungeon door every now and then”. Her response to such smart remarks usually included “ooooh, you little…” I’ll let you fill in that blank!
My summers living with her on Long Beach Island had their moments too. Walk anywhere near the kitchen and she’d rattle off everything in the fridge (with shocking accuracy)…in her un-ending purpose to feed you and never leave anything to waste. However, living with Little Linda at age 22, certainly didn’t cramp my style as much as one would think. She never inquired as to when I’d be home and always welcomed my friends with open arms. And of course she had no problem welcoming my wine discount at Kubel’s too! After one particularly long night out on the island, I woke up with…we’ll call it a more than minor hangover. Mom-mom took one look at me, went to the kitchen to retrieve me a Coke and Tylenol and insisted I return to bed. Talk about an amazing grandmother!
She once said to me, as if embarrassed, “I’m not the kind of grandmother who bakes cookies and drinks tea, I make pasta and drink booze!” Mom-mom, I am fairly certain I can speak for all your grand children; we would not have had you any other way. Goodbye Little Linda, this “lil’shit” will always love and remember you fondly.