Roses and Flowers, Aita

“Boil the H…2…O, remove the exoskeleton,” she said. “It was her scientific response for a shrimp and linguini recipe,” her son Peter said at the eulogy.

My sister-in-law Anita’s life came to a swift end at too early an age. Her funeral last week was an extraordinary honor.

Boil the H…2…O, remove the exoskeleton…“My mother wanted me to be sure to follow the recipe.”
Well, after all, Anita was a science teacher and she did everything…from being a mother, wife, relative, friend and teacher…the right way. Ever the educator, whether by direction or by example, she took the time to explain. Ever a friend, she was at your side to help.
Anita knew no other way. Though it was no surprise to see hundreds at the wake…the wait in line was two hours… it still amazed us. “I can’t believe it. They just keep coming.”

As I chatted that evening with Anita and Peter’s friends and relatives, I realized that they all communicated the same theme…. “We were with them just a week, just two weeks, just three weeks, etc. ago. I heard from her just yesterday, just a few days ago, etc.”
Anita and Peter never forgot. They stayed in touch. They were brother and sister to all.

There were many moments for tears, but the travel to the cemetery hit me hardest.
From church to cemetery was forty miles, more than half of it on busy route 95 through the center of Providence. We witnessed something none of us had ever seen before. The funeral director from Nardolillo’s, anticipating the size of the cortege, saw fit to ask the Providence Police for help.
They did more than just help. In their wisdom, they closed route 95. For Anita. Closed route 95. The funeral cortege of more, many more than fifty cars, traveled unimpeded for miles along 95.

A tribute to a teacher, mother, wife, friend, relative; a tribute to a person who lived a Christian life with honor, dignity and  concern for others. Even battling an unrelated injury for the recent six months, she stayed in touch, she thought of others more than herself.

“They got it right when they stopped the traffic,” someone said. “They finally got it right.”

Yes, Anita, they did, because you did. You got it right.

“Boil the water, remove the exoskeleton.”

Thank you, Anita. We will.