Saturday, June 22, 2013


Written May, 2015

Funerals is a heart warming, inspirational true story of family relationships, spirituality and hope.


Ten years had passed since my Mother's death, my days were hectic: I had a big career, was speaking professionally and mothering my daughter. But inside I was still raw.

It was now 2005, cross town my cousin Tony Fiorenza's young wife, Cheri had died.

Even in the very large Fiorenza family, Cheri was exceptional. But she became a victim of breast cancer, and she was only 38.

Cheri had been diagnosed five years previously. She'd put up a good fight and there was much hope, but it was not to be.

She left Tony, her husband, and children, Vanessa, 7; Adam, who'd just turned 14; and Tj, 16.

Adam happened to be in Washington, D.C. on a school field trip and Tony didn't want his son to hear news of his Mother's death over the phone. Tony waited for his son to return to Southern California. Rather than greet the returning students at their school, Tony met the class at the airport, and it was there that Adam learned that his Mother had died.

I found her death too much for me to 'fly,' alone. 

My connection with the sizeable Fiorenza  family had always been through my Mother. Honoring this wonderful young mother proved difficult for me.

Trying to get to Cheri's funeral I ran into typical Southern California traffic.

Being a working Mother, I'd been traveling across the Country and I was spent.
Cheri  was a much beloved woman and the Fiorenza's were a large Italian family.

Consequently, when I pulled up to the church, I was not surprised to see a very long line of people waiting to get in, it circled the building.

My headache was now a migraine, and my stomach  felt queasy, but I wanted to honor this young Mother.

I was glad to find a seat, it was near the aisle in the back. This catholic church's rituals of light through stained windows, deep music from the organ, and words spoke to hearts, including my heart
After some time trying to settle in and get my breath, I glanced up to see my dear, lovely Aunt Donna, my Mother's Sister, walking from up front, down the aisle. She approached near to me and said aloud, to no one in particular, “This is my Sister's Daughter.” She reached her arm out to me.

I was broken and overcome with grief. I didn't think I'd be able to walk. I didn't join the family up front. But I so loved her gesture.

Funerals aren't easy or pleasant to write about. My situation then was and is irrelevant to my cousin Tony's family.

Because life of course does go on, I feel the need to explain. The emotions were too much, I would have collapsed and this lovely young woman's ceremony was not the time for me to selfishly emote.

Twenty years later, April of 2015, it was now my dear Aunt Jinny's funeral, my Mother's only brother's wife, his beautiful wife, Virginia.

My Uncle Ev Worrell, My Aunt Jinny Worrell
 And My Aunt Donna Fiorenza

My uncle Ev, Everett Worrell, is and has always been formidable, he's an oak. He and his wife are/were pillars of their community, their church and of course of their family. Jinny,  his diminutive, dear wife was most lovely, most graceful and most approachable. She was a true beauty and I was blessed to know her.

This time I would fly to Illinois and drive immediately to my Aunt Jinny, to the room where she was dying. She hadn't communicated, hadn't voiced words for countless hours and it was terribly painful. It was certainly the time of letting go.

But I walked past my dear Uncle, seated quietly next to his beloved.

I bent over her hospital bed, put my head next to her head, gently held her hand and told her, "Aunt Jinny, it's your niece Patti, from California."

She answered me. My Aunt Jinny whispered, from her throat, from her heart, "I love you."

The day I arrived was day two of what hospice had said would not last more than a week.

She was no longer eating or receiving intravenous substance. My Aunt had chosen heaven.  She ached to be free of her ill, earthly body.

Despite what hospice had said, this tiny woman in her tiny body stayed on this earth for nine days, two more than predicted. It brings a smile to my face - Aunt Jinny was also formidable, she was also an oak.

I'm proud to say that, finally, this time, I was able to approach the very full pews.

My daughter Sarahjoy had flown in for the funeral. I grabbed her hand and this time being my Mother's Daughter, I had the ability and proudly walked past another great and large gathering, up to the front.

I saw clearly there were two seats open right next to my dear, bereaving Uncle, my formidable Uncle. I sat next to him, Sarahjoy next to me. After all, I was his Sister's Daughter.

Author's Postscript:

This is but one chapter of my book, my autobiography, my writing underway as you read. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area but am a lifetime Southern California chic.

If you're reading this and it affects you, please 'Like,' my page here.
Moreover, perhaps maybe send me a note here on Facebook or maybe in the "Write A Comment," section of a particular chapter.


How did it affect you, does it resonate in your life? Which chapters? Each chapter?
How are you handling life situations?
Thank you. We are all a work in progress.

Feel free to 'Friend' me - send a friend request to Patricia Loya, so we can form a bond. I'm a 'normie' woman writing about my life. What's going on that resonates in your life?


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