kissin’ don’t last, good cookin’ do

As I yelp I look up and see my great big tall Fellow crouched near the door jam with a look of abject horror on his face. You know something gross is going on when you freak out a fireman.

The Dr. is pulling a live serpent out of my belly! How can removing a tube be more painful than pushing an 8 pound baby through my cervix? I don’t know. But it is. Or maybe we just forget. Yeah. That’s probably it. We forget. Nature’s way of suckering us into procreation. Anyway, I won’t forget this. And I won’t forget that when a doctor says “this might hurt a little” he’s prone to extreme under estimation. The more frightened I become, the more cheerful he becomes! He veritably bounces with his little scissors in hand! “Oh, isn’t that something?! Some people don’t feel this at all (as if it’s my fault I feel it) …you just never know! Hm! Curious!”

Yeah. Curious F’ing GEORGE MAKE IT STOP!Unknown-2

But to be fair to Dr. Curious, it doesn’t take long for relief to kick in and a bit more mobility. Oh the little dignities I take for granted! Like being able to wipe my own bottom with full assurance. It’s been a little dart and dash to be frank. Not something I can normally be accused of, I assure you. It’s a terrible feeling wondering, all day, wondering.

I got to see the new button today. Not bad. Looks authentically umbilical. Insert abject horror on Fellow’s face once more.

Though I am still very weak and sore and can’t do things like put on my own shoes or close a car door, I am well enough to go home. I am allowed to shower. Ooh! And I see Fellow has fixed my shower and my sink and my broken cupboard! And now he’s running out to get cat litter. What a prince. Honestly. My eyes well up with tears. Have I ever been taken care of like this? I gingerly unwrap my Frankenstein centre and stand underneath a partial careful drizzle and praise God for hot water and soap. I scour and scour and scour. Then I lay down naked on my bed and drip dry, staring at the purple dahlias blooming around my waist. I wouldn’t mind an evening gown that colour.images

And as a I lay reconstructed, finally rid of the uncooperative bits, I feel like myself again. In that haze of satisfaction and optimism I dream of rearranging all my furniture, finishing my income tax early, writing my novel and learning how to maximize blog viewers like all the spammers promise. As I drift to sleep I think of Nonna’s house. It never occurred to me until now that it may be deconstructed. My eyes fly open!

But of course. Are they going to save it as a Frangione museum? Of course it will be dismantled.

But what of the July tea cup we always drank Espresso out of? When I was a teen I gave her a pillow that says “Queen”, and she still proudly displays it in the centre of her sofa. Oh gosh. The black velvet painting of the naked lady? That is CLASSIC! It can’t go to Value Village. Or the mermaid statue in the shower that Nonna never used. Or the massive rosary hanging above Zia Cecilia’s old bed? Or the kitsch plaque in the kitchen that says “kissin’ don’t last, good cookin’ do” Or the delicate pastel coloured espresso set in the china cabinet? Or the fur coat in the closet as a girl I’d always sneak in and stroke? These things about her place that I always go to check and see because they delight me. These things that are so distinctly “Nonna”. And the smell of the house. The smell. Can someone please bottle that? That mix of espresso, chicory soup and fancy soaps in the bathroom unused? Well. Well. We can’t save it all. Maybe a few of these things will end up as whimsies in the homes of my cousins but for the most…I’ll have to let Nonna go.images-1

My fingers flutter across my bruises. We are all so temporary. And like the dahlia, I suppose, that is part of what makes us precious. We hold dear to these trinkets of Nonna’s because we know someday we will have to let her go.

Fellow walks through the door as I awkwardly try to step into my pyjamas. Not a sexy moment. He looks very tired, caring for me, my pets, his son, his work, his home – it has been taxing. He says wearily and quite sincerely, while holding the kitty litter: “I’m afraid of getting old.”

I love him so much in this moment I want to burst. I give him a hug. “My knees hurt” He says.

“Damn knees, I know. They’ll be the next thing to go.” IMG_1381



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  1. Vilma

    I’m so sorry about your nonna

    I was in her house a couple of times as a child and you are right about it.


  2. Charlotte

    Reflecting on the fear of getting old- two things:
    F alse
    E vidence
    A ppearing
    R real

    Getting old, death, negative challenges
    like shadows, or shade in our lives.
    I’ve discovered beautiful flowers
    that only bloom in shade.
    So too, there are some things in our lives,
    that only blossom when there is shade, shadows.
    Look for them.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      beautiful and wise, Charlotte. I love the idea and truth of some flowers only bloom in shade.

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