Easter. For Christians, the best day of the year. The most important day that reshaped our history. But today, for me, Easter was a little different. I made sauce. My Papa’s recipe. The first time I have ever made sauce by myself. Papa wanted ravioli for Easter dinner. I’ve never tried before. I don’t even know if it turned out good. I never tried it.

Today we got up early. Went to church. It was great. I love our church. We lingered long in the lobby. Seeing friends. Cute little munchkins in their Easter dresses. Having serious talks about opening day and how the Red Sox are going to do this year. (its serious folks) But when we got home, Easter changed. My grandpa was in the hospital. We tried to get a hold of my aunt at the hospital, but she didn’t have service. Deb…she didn’t either. Finally we just left. Went to the hospital. He was ok. Just some fluid in his lungs, but they were on top of it. He was dehydrated and got an IV and he told me he didn’t like my nail polish color. See. Fine. So they only let two visitors in the waiting room in the ER so we rotated. I spent most of my Easter sketching in the ER waiting room. They decided he was ok enough to send home, just needed to finish some antibiotics etc, so Pete and I left. Lisa and Deb had left too because they hadn’t slept and since he was soon to be discharged, all of us waiting at the hospital didn’t seem necessary.

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We were starving. Remember I made sauce? And we had bread and ravioli. All set for a beautiful Easter feast. But nothing was ready. So Pete and I stopped at a bar on the way home. Pizza and beer for Easter dinner. It was good pizza. Good beer. But Pete and I in a bar on Easter…odd. Very odd indeed.

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We rented movies, and hung out at the house waiting for mom and dad to come home. Penny & Martin stopped over with dessert. They didn’t get our messages that we weren’t having dinner, so they stayed and hung out anyway. Mom and Dad were on the way home with Papa and needed the key to his house, so Penny and I brought it over. He was tired, but funny as usual. He went to the bathroom and then sat down in the kitchen. Mom asked him if he wanted some dinner or a drink or… Nope he didn’t want anything. Well what did he want to do? Play poker. So dad, Papa and Penny played a few rounds of poker. He won. Of course. He always won.

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Mom, Penny and I went back home. We cooked some dinner. Chatted. Hung out. Penny & Martin went home. Dad waited for the aide to come before he left Papa’s. We watched Skyfall. Exhausted. It was a long day. About 10:30 dad got a phone call. He went and got his shoes and socks and was putting them on in the kitchen. So I yelled “Where are you going?”

“Dad?”

“What’s going on?”

“Dad died, so I guess I’m going over there”

Silence. I don’t think I moved for a good 5 minutes. WHAT. And just like that. He is gone. We were just playing poker. We were talking about opening day. Joking about basketball. Bad nail color.

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But now, he is gone.

Grace.

God’s grace.

I moved home just 3 weeks ago. I didn’t know why I was moving home. But I got to hang out with Papa a few times. Precious time that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

We all got to spent time with him today. Just our family hangin out in the ER.

My dad left before he died, so God must have known that watching him die would be too much, so he spared him that.

I have been in this family for 31 years. This Italian, sauce making family. And in those 31 years I have never attempted to make the sauce. Until yesterday. I spent the majority of my day studying my grandpa’s handwritten sauce recipe. Making his sauce. He was happy when I told him that today. I’ll never look at making sauce the same way again.

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So as this Easter draws to a close. My parents are at my grandparent’s house with my aunt. Arranging things. My sister is in North Carolina. With her husband. I know it’s so hard to be away. And I feel sad for her. My brother is at a bar. And I am here. Alone. Reruns of the office playing in the background, Typing a blog post.

Easter will always be about the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reason for my faith. The most amazing day in all of history. But for me, from now on, it will always be a little bit about pizza and beer. The ER and poker. It will always be the day my funny, red-sox loving, sauce-making Papa took his final breath. I will miss him forever.

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Vincent DiMartino
3/31/13
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