In the middle of the night, I heard, “Miiii, Nuna a va fare sessant’anni!”
I had been fast asleep, but this voice woke me up! It was my mother’s voice, as if she were right there next to me, her voice clear as could be, saying in the Sicilian dialect, “Oh MYYY, Nora’s going to be 60!” Was I dreaming?
All I know for sure is that my big sis, whom I love with all my heart, is turning 60 today! How I wish I could click my heels and be with her.
As a child, I was always held by Nora. I always sat on her lap and she was eager to help take care of me! She tenderly combed my hair and dressed me. She bathed me and read to me at night. She was the bridge of understanding between my parents, Italy-born and newly immigrated to the USA, and me, the first born American in my family. She was and still is an amazingly caring and nurturing person. She took care of my mom and dad and Jeanie over the years with such an amazing dedication. She takes care of my sister Toni and makes sure that Toni is healthy, happy, and stays safe. She is always there when I call. And if I have to leave a message, it is a matter of moments before she returns my calls.
Nora proudly tells everyone that we are “bookends”: she the eldest, me the youngest, three between us. She is an anchor for me and I cannot even imagine my life without her. And today is her 60th birthday!! I want to wish her the best always. I want her to celebrate her existence in the biggest way because she is such a special person.
Yes, the world is a better place because Nora is in it!