Today we are going to take a little break from Ecuador and say Happy Birthday to someone who is very special to me.

My Monica

Today was her birthday. She was my wife for thirty-eight years. We meet while we were attending high school. In the beginning she wanted nothing to do with me. She had dated other boys, all of them taller than I. Most of them were not Italian even though she was all Italian. Some were very skinny and one that I remember was tall and very muscular, others were of average build. I was under her six-foot requirement by three inches and no one considered me skinny or average. I shopped in the husky boys section.

She was a friend of my next door neighbor friend Carol. I was one year ahead of her in high school, but we did not attend the same school. She attended an all girls’ high school. I had attended an all boys’ high school for just my freshman year and was now attending a public high school. When I first saw her I thought she was nice and pretty, so I asked her out. I know this may be very difficult to understand but Monica said NO, to me. How could she refuse me? Did she not know that I was the man of her dreams? Yes as I remember I was the best available guy of all the guys in the city of San Jose, California. Yet she said no to me!

In fact, she refused me not just that time but at least three other times after our first meeting. I also remember an occasion when I was attending one of her school dances (with another girl who did not say no to me). I saw her sitting at a table with her date and decided to ask her to dance with me. I excused myself from my date and approached her table. After saying hello to her, I asked her for the next dance. Again I got a look, that over time I would come to understand, and she said NO! She even went on to explain that she was at the dance with the boy sitting next to her. She said his name but it was not important to me so I do not remember him.

She said that he was her date and she would not dance with me. I looked this boy in the eyes and with a very serious and piercing look asked “Do you mind if Monica dances with me?” He replied that the decision was hers to make not his. So I turned back to Monica and with a big smile explained that her date did not mind if she danced with me, so let us go out and dance. Again, the look, and then she said no. I returned to my date for the dance and enjoyed the dance. I did think about Monica during that evening and that look but it did not stop me from having a good time.

I truly miss my girl Monica. She passed away in 2005, but her memory is with me always. She was the one I loved and the one who taught me to love. She will always be deep in my heart.

Happy Birthday Honey! I miss you.


Giudicessi Family Reunion – Final

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During the prayer and at the mention of my wife Monica, who is deceased, being departed. My five year old granddaughter, also named Monica, blurted out “where did I go”. Well as you can understand that changed the solemn tone of the prayer to one of laughter.

After Marianne’s prayer I got up to introduce the reason for the event and how it came about. This comprised of the first page of this blog. Once I was finished, Marianne introduced as much of her family as she could remember, I did the same, Gail stood up for my missing brother Sam and introduced their family, and then Jess did the same for her family. After the laughter died down the food started to arrive and we began to eat and continue talking.

During lunch my mind drifted to thoughts of my mother and father, Rose and Frank, and how I hoped they were looking down from their home in heaven to see the beautiful family and rich legacy they left behind. I found that at that time I missed both my parents just as much as possible. I could see the beautiful smiles on both of their faces, and the gleam in their eyes. I am sure this reunion had made them a little happier in their home in heaven. Of course I thought of my wife Monica and how happy she would be to see the additions to our family, little Monica and her great granddaughter, Alexis. My thoughts ended thinking about my nephew Jerome, the first of this clan to depart the earth and head to heaven. He was a young man who did not need to be taken so early in his life. I am sure that he is missed by his father and mother as well as all of his family.

We talked of old times and I did a lot of remembering. It was such a shock to see people who I remember more as a child stand in front of me as young adults. The children I remember as children had children of their own and OMG yes some of these children had children. Heck not only was I a great grandfather I was a great uncle as well. What happened? Had I fallen asleep only too awake as a much older person? Oh what the hell. I am happy and joyful to not only be a member of this group of wonderful people but I know that I am a little part of each person present.

The reunion was beneficial to me because I was able to see my nephews and nieces who I could only remember as children present with their families and being social with cousins they had not seen in years. I was very happy for one of my granddaughters who much earlier this year had asked me why we did not have family reunions like other families. I know that this is just the Giudicessi half of the family and as a starting point that was a lot of work. Who knows maybe next time we could include the Federico half next time. I am sure there is someplace in California large enough to have such an event.

Now, I must thank my little sister, Jessica, for all the effort and time spent to put this little reunion on for the Giudicessi families.

I will also relate a story that was told to me shortly after the reunion was over. Well it seems that some families continued the gathering of the Giudicessi families once the lunch was over. One group consisted of my two daughters families. Yes, Deborah and Susan decided to head to Deborah’s home and relax in the pool with the children. The story as told to me by my daughter Deborah went something like this. The four youngest girls, Abby, Braylin, Monica, and my great granddaughter Alexis were playing and talking in the pool when Alexis shouted out that she was a “Giudicessi Girl”. With that she got out of the pool and told her grandmother, great aunt Susan and soon to be great uncle Bruce that she was a “Giudicessi Girl”. Deborah made me smile with the telling of this story as it only drove home the fact that this reunion was special and very important to one and all.

Giudicessi Family Reunion – Continues

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The event started very close to on time. Most people arrived at or before 1:30. When I walked into Buonarroti’s with Marti on my arm and Alex just a step behind me

I saw a large group of people talking and laughing. To my surprise that large group of people was my family. I saw some family members that I had not seen for a long time. It looked to me like the event was off to a good start.

After a quick huddle with my two sisters, Marianne and Jessica, we shared the information about our brother Sam and his wife Anne. They would not be able to make it to the party as Sam was ill and Anne did not want to leave him home alone. This was very sad news as we all wanted our brother and his wife to be present to enjoy the family. With the three of us together we started talking and saying hello to other family members. My daughter Susan called me to explain that she and her sister had taken a wrong turn but would arrive just a little late. I was glad because they comprised of all of my grandchildren and my great grandchild. It just would not be a reunion without them.

Soon after the call Susan and her family arrived. Deborah with her family was right behind Susan and with her was my great granddaughter, Alexis. I noticed that my oldest grandson, Jordan, Alexi’s father, was missing from the groups and it was then I remembered that he had called explaining how he had to work. Again I was very sorry that he like my brother and sister was unable to make the family reunion.

I noticed that all three of Marianne’s boys, Frank, Gary and Brian, were present along with their families. Jessica and David had all of their children, Josh, Dave, and Jenny, present and with their families. I saw Gail and during our talking saw Rosie and her son Evan. The last family member to arrive was Taryn. Taryn is a lovely young girl and I was very happy she was able to make the event.

Marianne started the reunion with a prayer. In the prayer she identified the few family members who because of their passing could not attend this Giudicessi Family Reunion except in our hearts. They are:
a) Frank and Rose Giudicessi, my mother and father, (Nan and Pops, to their grandchildren), ok ok mother and father to my two sisters (Mary Anne and Jessica), and my brother Sam
b) Jerome, son of Sam and Gail Giudicessi, brother to Rosie
c) Monica, wife of John Giudicessi and mother of Deborah and Susan

Little Problems

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I am very sorry but I am experiencing problems at this time.  The photos taken at the reunion are on another website and I do not know how to download or transfer them to wordpress.  If anyone can help me please contact me asap.  I have written the blog on the Giudicessi Family Reunion but can not place the photos into the writing.  Please have a little patience with me.

Coming Soon – Two Family Reunions

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This month I had the honor to attend two family reunions. The first one I attended was for the Casolary family. I am sure you will enjoy my story about that party. The next reunion was the Frank and Rose Giudicessi family. They were my mother and father and between my brother and two sisters we had ten children, many grandchildren, and a few great grandchildren. I hope you enjoy my stories and the few photos.